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Texas Tech-Oklahoma notebook

Red Raiders feel they adequately disproved newspaper's assertion they are overrated

Posted: October 26, 2013 - 10:14pm  |  Updated: October 27, 2013 - 4:14am
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Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury walks the sidelines during their game against Oklahoma on Saturday in Norman. (Stephen Spillman/AJ Media)  Stephen Spillman
Stephen Spillman
Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury walks the sidelines during their game against Oklahoma on Saturday in Norman. (Stephen Spillman/AJ Media)
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Bring it on

Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury readily acknowledged last week that he’s happy to use the words of skeptical media to motivate his team.

So Saturday’s edition of the Oklahoman should have been right up his alley. The newspaper’s Sooner Pregame wrap featured the word “OVERRATED” in all capital letters and large print above a photo of Kingsbury. Columnist Jenni Carlson then made that case while saying it’s good to have the Red Raiders back among the Big 12 contenders and Lubbock a tough place to play again.

Tech had stacks of copies for players to peruse before the game.

“We heard about it,” defensive end Branden Jackson said. “We saw it, tried to use it a little bit as motivation. We never want anyone to think we’re overrated. We’ve earned everything we have to this point. Tech is a team that fights and claws. Nothing’s given to us.”

The Red Raiders started the season 7-0 for only the fourth time, but the wins are against six teams with losing records and 4-3 Texas State.

Tech players said they disproved the assertion they’re overrated by the way they played in a 38-30 loss.

“Whoever wrote that, you can ask OU players: They were in dogfight,” Tech safety Tre Porter said. “It wasn’t given to them. So for us to be (called) overrated, it’s just ridiculous. But they came out with a win. Tip our hats to them.”

After Tech rallied past West Virginia 37-27 last week, Kingsbury said he noticed ESPN College Game Day’s Kirk Herbstreit and “a couple of others” had picked against the Red Raiders.

“That’s good,” Kingsbury said in last week’s post-game. “I hope they keep giving us locker room material.”

Another delay

The game was delayed 1 hour, 15 minutes — from an original start time of 2:30 p.m. to kickoff at 3:45.

Though little precipitation fell in the interim, Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said there were three lightning strikes within a 6-mile radius of Norman, Okla., at 1:45 p.m. and multiple strikes within a 10-mile radius.

Castiglione said the weather was tracking toward Norman about the time the teams were scheduled to be on the field for pre-game warmup.

Two years ago when Tech visited OU, the teams waited out a pre-game delay of about two hours before the Red Raiders posted a 41-38 victory.

New look

Texas Tech broke out a new uniform combination: gray helmets, white jerseys and gray pants. There was a special twist with the helmets: the traditional double-T logo on one side and the player’s jersey number on the other.

Gaines done

Texas Tech confirmed just before gametime Saturday that starting safety J.J. Gaines is out for the season. He missed the West Virginia game the week before with a shoulder injury.

Austin Stewart started in Gaines’ place Saturday and finished with 10 tackles, including half a tackle for loss.

Gaines made five starts, and had 16 tackles and five interceptions.

Block that kick

Texas Tech defensive tackle Kerry Hyder blocked a first-quarter field-goal attempt by Oklahoma’s Michael Hunnicutt. Before the kick, Hunnicutt had made 53 of 61 field goals in his career and 15 of 16 this season.

In Tech’s 41-38 upset victory two years ago in Norman, Hunnicutt missed from 39 and 28 yards.

Sooners lose FB

Oklahoma fullback Trey Millard was lost for the season, Sooners coach Bob Stoops said, with what appears to be two torn knee ligaments he suffered in the game.

“He has a bad knee injury — the anterior cruciate and another ligament,” Stoops said. “It will end his season. I’m just crushed by it. I hate it. He’s such a strong part of our football team. It will be tough to overcome that loss.”

Millard is a 6-foot-2, 253-pound senior.

“He’s just an amazing young man,” Stoops said. “Hopefully he can recover from it. He will be a guy that will have a bright NFL career and hopefully he can get past this and move on at some point.”

Linebacker look

Micah Awe played nearly the entire game at Raider outside linebacker in place of regular starter Terrance Bullitt. Bullitt said after the week-seven win at West Virginia he had suffered a rib injury.

Bullitt started Saturday, but came out early and didn’t return.

“They just told me he was down,” Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “I don’t know what it is yet.”

Awe was credited with nine tackles. However, he also was blocked off the perimeter early in the second half on a 35-yard run by Oklahoma’s Damien Williams. Williams scored from 3 yards out on the next play.

In brief

Tech TE Jace Amaro extended his streak to seven consecutive games with eight or more catches. … FS Tre Porter was credited with 13 tackles, and CB Bruce Jones and SS Austin Stewart with 10 apiece.

Compiled by Don Williams

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Run Defense

The absence of Dartwan Bush was noticed yesterday. For the most part OU dominated the line of scrimage in both the run and passing games. I don't remember a sack and most of the time Bell was never pressured. This is evidenced by the fact that our D Backs led the team in tackles.

We played hard but OU converted several 3rd and longs, and the fact that Bell had time to throw is the reason he had a career day.

We have to improve in the front seven if we want to compete with Baylor and UT.

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