If Texas Tech is to upset Oklahoma on Saturday, they will need to do these five things.
1. The Texas Tech defensive backs can’t let Oklahoma receivers beat them deep
The Oklahoma offense is able to score in the blink of an eye. Most of their explosiveness comes from their two speedy wide receivers, CeeDee Lamb and Marquise Brown. Combined, the two receivers are averaging 19.15 yards per reception. If the Red Raiders are to upset Oklahoma and shock the college football world, the Tech defensive backs can’t afford to let Brown and Lamb beat them deep. In Saturday’s game against Iowa State, Cyclones’ wide receiver, Hakeem Butler torched the Texas Tech defensive backs. Butler had 4 receptions for 148 yards and a 37 yard average per catch. If the Red Raider defensive backs are able to slow down Brown and Lamb, it will validate this unit. If not, Texas Tech will likely be looking at 5-4 record.
2. Alan Bowman needs to limit his mistakes
In last week’s game, Alan Bowman’s fourth quarter mistakes cost Texas Tech the game. Granted, Bowman threw for 323 yards against one of the stingiest defenses in all of college football. But, his 3 interceptions and late game safety were unacceptable. If the freshman quarterback throws 3 interceptions against Oklahoma on Saturday, Tech won’t have a shot at victory.
3. Tech will need to manufacture some sort of run game
The run game will be vital to the success of Texas Tech. In each of Texas Tech’s five wins, someone on the offense has rushed for over 60 yards. In last week’s loss, the Tech run game disappeared. The Red Raiders were only able to get 30 rushing yards in the loss. In order to win on Saturday night, head coach, Kliff Kingsbury will need to be creative in the run game. I would not be too surprised if backup quarterback, Jett Duffey got some reps. Duffey has only appeared in 4 games, but has a stellar 250 rushing yards on the season. Duffey is a dynamic athlete who would be able to add a different dimension to the Tech offense. Either way, Kliff Kingsbury will need to find a way to muster up a run game.
4. Texas Tech must involve the crowd early and often
The main advantage that Texas Tech will have over Oklahoma on Saturday is the home crowd. In order to utilize this resource, Texas Tech will need to start the game fast. The Red Raiders can not afford to let Oklahoma get off to a fast start and neutralize the rowdy Texas Tech fans. Coming from behind against Oklahoma will be nearly impossible. Therefore, Tech will need to get a lead early and sustain that lead for most of the game.
5. The Texas Tech defense must contain Kyler Murray in the running game
Kyler Murray has made a living off of being a fantastic athlete. Recently, the Oklahoma quarterback was selected in the MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics. If the Red Raiders have any plans of pursuing an upset win, they must bottle up Murray in the run game. Already this year, Kyler Murray has rushed for a career high 474 yards. The easiest way to prevent Murray from running the ball is to keep him in the pocket. Once Murray escapes and gets in space, it is likely already too late. Sending a linebacker to spy Murray may be the only possible way to limit him when he uses his legs.