Oklahoma beat Kansas 47-17 last weekend but led by only two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
The game was close for a long time despite the Sooners outgaining the Jayhawks by more than 350 yards.
Kansas was able to hang around, in part, because of a plus-three turnover margin that came by way of two fumbles and an interception.
“We had the interception that we had taken away because we lined up offside and the forced fumble we weren’t able to recover,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. “When you have a couple of turnovers it changes things a little bit, but again we really moved the football well most of the day.”
Avoiding turnovers will be a key for No. 3 Oklahoma at 7 p.m. Saturday when it hosts Texas Tech. The Sooners are 29-point favorites and will be facing a Tech team that didn’t come up with a single turnover in its back-to-back home losses to Texas A&M and Kansas State.
Tech coach Tommy Tuberville and linebacker Daniel Cobb also remarked this week that Oklahoma is the one team the Red Raiders will face this season that run a faster offense than they do.
The Red Raiders have actually run more plays than the Sooners with 518 to their 489, but the Sooners have been slightly more effective, ranking fourth in total offense to Tech’s sixth.
Keeping up with Oklahoma certainly won’t be easy for an inexperienced, inconsistent Tech defense.
“Our intensity in practice is the same as every week but faster,” Cobb said. “They like to NASCAR a lot. We have to prepare faster and get ready to call calls faster, line up faster and play.”
Oklahoma has an arsenal of offensive weapons for Artesia, N.M. native Landry Jones to go to. Wide receivers Kenny Stills (27 catches) and Jaz Reynolds (19) have 300-plus yards apiece and six touchdowns between them.
Ryan Broyles has 60 catches for 815 yards and nine touchdowns, ranking second in the nation in receptions per game and receiving yards per game. He caught a 57-yard touchdown pass last weekend against Kansas that made him the NCAA’s career leader in receptions (326) and touchdown catches (44).
“The first time I saw him on scout team my redshirt year, I knew he was going to do it,” Oklahoma tight end Trent Ratterree said. “They just couldn’t touch him on scout team. After that, I just thought this guy was going to be amazing, and he truly is.”
As concerned as Tech might be about dealing with Oklahoma’s fast tempo, the Red Raiders’ speed will be chief among the Sooners’ concerns, too.
“They’re actually faster (than us), I think,” defensive back Gabe Lynn said. “We definitely have to be in shape in order to keep up with them. ... They throw the ball well, so our secondary is going to have to blow up and defensive line is going to have to rush. We’ll just have to come all together to stop their offense.”
Like they did a week ago against the Jayhawks, the Sooners will have some margin for error against the Red Raiders.
Tech, though, can’t afford the sorts of mistakes that have cost the Red Raiders against the two ranked opponents they’ve played this season.
Tech lost 45-7 in Norman last year, and Tuberville believes that experience will help the Red Raiders on Saturday.
“I think a little bit of last year will help us with what they did to us, how we can make adjustments,” he said. “But we have a lot of players that were playing on Friday nights last year playing in this game. So they’ve got a lot to learn. It will be a growing experience.”
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