From The Sports Network
By Ralph Lauro, Associate College Football Editor
GAME NOTES: The 19th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners wrap up their home slate this weekend, as they host the Texas Tech Red Raiders in a Big 12 battle in Norman.
The Sooners will surely be sad to see their home schedule come to a close, as they are the owners of the nation's longest home winning streak at 35 games. The school-record run began in 2005 and includes five games this season.
Unfortunately, Oklahoma has found wins tough to come by away from home, dropping its last two true road games. The most recent of those setbacks took place this past weekend, a 33-19 defeat at Texas A&M.
"I see it as very similar to the way we lost at Missouri. I'm proud of the way we fought back. We played hard, A&M just played better," stated head coach Bob Stoops.
Despite the loss and just a 3-2 record in the Big 12, the Sooners still have a chance at the South Division title with both Oklahoma State and Baylor to follow in the coming weeks.
TTU meanwhile, is coming off its biggest win of the season, a 24-17 upset of nationally-ranked Missouri last weekend.
"Real proud of this football team," stated head coach Tommy Tuberville. "They've bee through a lot all year long." They fought hard, and finally things started click for us on both sides of the ball at the same time."
The Red Raiders are now sitting at 5-4 overall, one win away from becoming bowl eligible.
As for the all-time series, Oklahoma holds a 12-5 advantage over TTU and that includes a 7-1 edge in Norman. Last season, however, the Red Raiders captured a 41-13 triumph in Lubbock.
QB Taylor Potts threw for 188 yards and three TDs, leading TTU to an upset of Missouri last weekend. Steven Sheffield also saw time under center and he connected on 11-of-20 passes for 99 yards.
"I'm proud for Taylor, but I'm proud for Steve, too," stated Tuberville.
For the season, it has been Potts who has seen a majority of the action and he has completed 65.6 percent of his throws, with 24 TDs against six INTs.
Detron Lewis leads the team with 57 receptions, but Lyle Leong leads the way with 711 receiving yards and 15 TDs. Last weekend, Leong grabbed nine balls for 123 yards and two TDs, while Lewis finished with eight receptions for 64 yards and a score.
The ground attack also got going versus Missouri, as Baron Batch rushed for 134 yards as part of a 198-yard team effort. Despite this being a pass oriented offense, both Batch and Eric Stephens have found some room to run, combining for 1,031 yards and eight TDs.
The TTU defense was outstanding last weekend aside from a dismal first quarter that saw Missouri score on runs of 71 and 69 yards, respectively. After that, the defense took over and kept Missouri to just a field goal the rest of the way.
The Raiders did give up 260 yards on the ground, mostly due to the early long runs, but the defense kept Missouri to just 95 passing yards on 12-of-30 attempts. The Tigers were also held to a dismal 1-of-12 effort on third downs, allowing the TTU defense to spend just 20 minutes on the field. It was clearly a positive effort from a unit that is sill surrendering 439.0 total ypg on the season.
Bront Bird is tops on the roster in tackles (79), to go with two INTs, while Brian Duncan is the team's best pass rusher with 9.5 TFLs and six sacks to his name.
The Sooners were stopped three times on fourth-and-one from the goal line and that was their downfall in a loss to TAMU last weekend.
"The story of the game is we clawed our way back and missed some opportunities on three different occasions down on the one yard line," said Stoops.
Oklahoma rallied from a 19-0 deficit to make it a two-point game, but just couldn't overcome its red zone woes. QB Landry Jones threw for 290 yards and a TD on 36-of-59 attempts in the loss, while Ryan Broyles had eight receptions for 59 yards. The duo have played well together this season, with Jones throwing for 2,837 yards with 22 TDs and six INTs. Broyles meanwhile, ranks among the top receivers with 86 receptions for 1,077 yards and eight TDs.
In the backfield, Demarco Murray provides a versatile threat for the Sooners and he has rushed for 832 yards and 13 TDs, in addition to catching 50 passes with three more scores. Last weekend, he had 80 yards and a TD on the ground, to go with 10 catches for 67 yards.
Oklahoma gave up three scoring drives of 68 or more yards to TAMU, which used two of those drives to put the game away in the fourth quarter. The Sooners forced two turnovers and didn't give up a tone of yards, allowing 382, but just couldn't slow down TAMU enough.
The defense for Oklahoma has been vulnerable at times this season and is yielding 143.0 ypg on the ground and another 231.7 ypg through the air. On a positive note, the Sooners have recorded 18 takeaways and 22 sacks and that has helped compensate for some of the yards allowed.
Travis Lewis is the team's leading tackler with 80, while Jeremy Beal heads the squad with 13.5 TFLs and six sacks.
The Sooners are coming off a sub par performance, but they should be able to bounce back at home, where they have been unbeatable.