The Oklahoma Sooners (6-5 and 3-5) will go on the road to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-5, 4-4) in primetime.
Coming off of their best defensive performance of the season, this week looks like another challenge for Brent Venables and Ted Roof's defense. The Red Raiders can put up some points and have thrown for a lot of yards in 2022.
Spencer Sanders threw for 381 yards a week ago, but the Oklahoma defense came through in clutch situations to force turnovers and make stops to force the Cowboys into kicking situations.
Going on the road against Joey McGuire's Red Raiders hasn't been easy for anyone in 2022. Texas Tech is 5-1 in the friendly confines of Jones AT&T Stadium this season. On the road, they're just 1-4. The Sooners are 2-2 in true road games but lost their most recent outing in Morgantown to West Virginia.
Lubbock isn't an easy place to play, and Oklahoma will have to overcome a raucous crowd Saturday night.
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Sooners Wire Staff Predictions
While the Sooners will continue their streak of non-losing seasons, 6-6 just doesn't cut it for me. 7-5 seems so much better.
The OU defense has been looking better as the weeks have gone by, culminating in their dominating performance against Oklahoma State. Their streak of good performances will continue against the Red Raiders. They will hold Tech under 20 points and grab at least one turnover.
As for the offense, Eric Gray will get 100 yards or more. He was on a four-game streak of such games until the Cowboys held him to 90 yards.
The Sooners will win this one and go into bowl season with a 7-5 record.
Sooners 31, Red Raiders 17
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Oklahoma finally laces up for their final regular season game in Brent Venables' first year on the job. It wasn't an easy start to his tenure, but the Sooners have navigated the storms to at least earn bowl eligibility.
Staring them in the face for their season finale? A primetime game in Lubbock vs. Texas Tech.
In the week leading up to the game, the Sooners landed four commitments from future defenders after their best defensive game of the season against their in-state rivals. There's some good energy floating around Norman, and Oklahoma needs to capitalize on it with another strong outing vs. the Red Raiders.
Dillon Gabriel hasn't been nearly as effective on the road, and that will have to change to beat Texas Tech, especially after his showing in the final three quarters against Oklahoma State.
Ultimately, I believe Oklahoma is still the more talented team, and the defense has been trending in the right direction for a few weeks now. They are the difference-maker here with 2 turnovers. Eric Gray runs for 100-plus yards and a touchdown, and we get a Brayden Willis touchdown.
Oklahoma 37, Texas Tech 28
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The Oklahoma Sooners did a phenomenal job at creating pressure on Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders last Saturday night. If they can recreate that effort against the Red Raiders, it'll be a long day for Tyler Shough.
According to Pro Football Focus, Shough has been pressured on 30.4% of his dropbacks in 2022. Under pressure, he's completed just 6 of 17 passing attempts for 65 yards and an interception. Tech has allowed 3.45 sacks per game entering Saturday night's contest, which ranks 122nd in the nation. If Oklahoma's defensive front can get to Shough without having to blitz, they'll put Texas Tech right where they want them, in third and long situations where they convert only 36% of the time (96th in the nation).
Offensively, the Oklahoma Sooners need a bounce-back performance in the regular season finale. Though they started hot against Oklahoma State, they went ice cold from the second quarter on, and the defense picked them up.
Though Jeff Lebby and the Sooners will look to get Eric Gray and Jovantae Barnes going on the ground, Dillon Gabriel and the passing attack will need to be better than they were a week ago to pick up the win.
Gabriel hasn't been efficient of late, completing 57.5% of his passes over the last four games. Removing drops and throwaways from the equation, Gabriel's adjusted completion percentage is 70%, which ranks 48th among FBS quarterbacks with at least 101 dropbacks over the last four games.
This offense needs their quarterback to be on target and making the right throws. Even if Gabriel doesn't throw for big yardage against Tech, he needs to be more accurate and in sync with his receiving corps to keep Oklahoma in a rhythm and prevent the defense from being on the field for more than 100 plays like they were a week ago.
The offense won't need to score 40 in this contest to win, but they'll have a more consistent performance from start to finish as the defense continues its strong play of late and the Sooners pick up the win on the road.
Sooners 30, Red Raiders 20
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By the Numbers: Oklahoma travels to Lubbock to face Texas Tech
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