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Saturday Showdown: #10 Texas Tech @ #12 Oklahoma

OU Kansas snap

(Norman)—

So just how good is unbeaten Texas Tech anyway?  We’ll find out Saturday afternoon at 2:30 when the 10th ranked Red Raiders (7-0, 4-0) visit 12th ranked OU (6-1, 3-1) on Owen Field and national TV.  The Sooners have a habit of routing the Red Raiders when Texas Tech has come to town highly ranked.  Like back in 2008, the Red Raiders had star wide receiver Michael Crabtree & Co and Texas Tech was ranked #2 in the nation.  When it was over, OU had steamrolled the Red Raiders 65-21 behind the play of Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford at quarterback.  Even before that, Texas Tech came in unbeaten in 2002 and left with their first loss, an OU beatdown when the Sooners rolled 60-15 behind Quentin Griffin’s 207 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns.

But then there was the game two years ago, when Texas Tech stunned Oklahoma 41-38 in Norman to end the Sooners 39-game home winning streak.  And from a 2013 standpoint, if the game ends up being an offensive “shoot-out”, does OU have the firepower to win a game like that?  Recent results would scream the word “NO !!!”.  Witness the Texas loss and the struggle to beat lowly Kansas in Lawrence.

I say the keys to an OU win Saturday are these:  1.  Blake Bell *must* play better.  The Sooners need the Tulsa & Notre Dame Blake Bell instead of the shaky signal-caller who’s averaged a paltry 152 yards passing in the 3 conference games since South Bend.  2.  Run the ball alot and run the clock alot.  OU has the stable of running backs (including Blake Bell) to pick up yards on the ground with Damien Williams, Keith Ford (if he can hang onto the ball), Brennan Clay, Trey Millard, etc.  A successful ground game will also keep Tech’s high powered offense on the sidelines, watching the action and helping out the OU defense.  3.  Stop the Texas Tech run.  The Sooners have honestly been pitiful stopping the ground game in the Texas loss and in the first quarter against the last-place Jayhawks last weekend.  Whether they’re lining up wrong or just getting assaulted up-front, if Tech is allowed to rush for 150+ yds., the Red Raiders should demolish OU with their pass game too – and they’ll leave town with an 8-0 record Saturday.

Watch our coverage on KFOR-TV Saturday including our periodic updates right here at kfor.com