If recent history is any indication, expect plenty of points Saturday night when ninth-ranked Oklahoma hosts Texas Tech in Big 12 Conference play. Both teams are averaging more than 40 points per game, have suspect defenses and and are only a year removed from combining to set an NCAA record for yards in a game.
Oklahoma won that wild shootout 66-59 as both teams finished with an eye-popping 854 yards in total offense, setting an NCAA record for combined total yards (1,708). Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who was drafted in the first round by the Kansas City Chiefs last spring, set the FBS record for total offense (819 yards) and passing yards (734), and the two teams combined for an FBS record 1,279 passing yards. Although Mahomes is gone, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, who threw for a career-high 545 yards and a school-record seven touchdowns, is back and will be going against a Red Raiders defense that ranks 126th nationally in passing yards allowed (291.3) while new Texas Tech quarterback Nic Shimonek, who is averaging 334.4 yards per game passing, goes against an Oklahoma defense that has allowed 35 or more points in three of its last four games and is allowing 227.9 yards per game in the air. “Unfortunately we’ve been watching it,” Sooners linebacker Emmanuel Beal told OU Daily about the tape from last year’s game. “But we’ve got to see what happened. We’ve got to learn from our mistakes.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2. LINE: Oklahoma -20
ABOUT TEXAS TECH (4-3, 1-3 Big 12): The Red Raiders come off a 31-13 home loss to Iowa State and have dropped three of their last four games after a 3-0 start. Shimonek, who has thrown for 18 touchdowns against five interceptions, had his worst game as a starter against the Cyclones, completing 31-of-41 passes for just 207 yards, no TDs and a pick-six. Junior Keke Coutee (53 catches, 744 yards, 6 TDs) is Shimonek’s favorite target while senior Justin Stockton provides a solid ground option with 495 yards on 76 carries (6.5 avg.) and four touchdowns.
ABOUT OKLAHOMA (6-1, 3-1): Mayfield, who walked on and started at Texas Tech as a freshman before deciding to trasfer and walk on at Oklahoma after a falling out with Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury, has completed 149-of-202 passes for 2,347 yards, 19 touchdowns and two interceptions. Tight end Mark Andrews has been his top receiver with 30 catches for 520 yards (17.3 avg.) while wide receivers Marquise Brown (24 catches, 429 yards, 1 TD), CeeDee Lamb (21 catches, 393 yards, 4 TDs) and Jeff Badet (20 catches, 363 yards, 2 TDs) all have caught at least 20 passes. Cornerback Jordan Thomas (three interceptions) leads a secondary that figures to have its hands full while DE/LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo is second in the league with 12 tackles for loss and leads the Big 12 with six sacks.
1. Oklahoma has won the last five meetings against Texas Tech, averaging 50 points and 578.8 yards in the process.
2. Mayfield has thrown a touchdown pass in a school-record 33 consecutive games and at least two TD passes in a Big 12-record 20 straight games.
3. Oklahoma leads the nation with an average of 8.4 yards per play.
PREDICTION: Oklahoma 58, Texas Tech 38