Ou vs. Texas Tech: More Damien Williams?
Interview: OT Lane Johnson
KEY STAT: 2
By Jake Trotter
This season, Texas Tech's defense has allowed only two plays of 25 yards or more, the fewest of any defense in college football. That's major reason why the Red Raiders rank No. 1 in the country in total defense. Breaking off big plays will be critical for the Sooners this weekend, but that's not something they've excelled at so far. OU had only one play go for more than 25 yards in the loss to Kansas State.
OU PLAYERs TO WATCH
By Jake Trotter
Aaron Colvin and Demontre Hurst have been tremendous all season. But their first test against a true pass-first offense this season comes Saturday night in Lubbock. Texas Tech QB Seth Doege torched the Sooners for 441 yards and four touchdowns last season. The OU defensive backfield will have to be much better this time around, and it will be up to Colvin and Hurst to set the tone.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
-- QB Landry Jones
Tech spreads ball around
By Brandon Chatmon
And the test is particularly difficult because Doege doesn't have a "go-to" receiver with six different Red Raiders entering the game with 12 receptions or more. By comparison, only two Sooners (Kenny Stills and Justin Brown) have caught at least 12 passes this season, although Tech has played one more game than OU.
Nonetheless, Doege spreads the ball around, thus testing his opponents defensive scheme and overall depth in the secondary. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Darrin Moore is Doege's favorite target with 26 passes thrown his way this season. But Eric Ward leads the Red Raiders with 17 receptions for 248 yards and four touchdowns (on 22 targets).
In the Red Raiders' 24-13 win over Iowa State, Ward was Doege's top target with 11 passes thrown his way as four different Red Raiders were targeted six times or more and nine different receivers were targeted at least two times.
The biggest concern for OU's secondary could be their tackling however. The Red Raiders make a living off their big plays after the catch. This season, 686 of their 1,435 receiving yards (47.8 percent) have come after the catch. Against the Cyclones, 222 of their 332 receiving yards (66.9 percent) were gained after the catch.
These numbers make it pretty clear. OU will have to be aware of every receiving option then be fundamentally sound with their open field tackling if they want to stop Doege and the Red Raiders on Saturday.
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