This Game Breakdown was completed by Russ Morris and Ethan Nieporte.
The Red Raiders travel to the hostile confines of Norman, Oklahoma to take on the #6 Oklahoma Sooners. Both teams look to open up Big 12 play with a win, but it won’t be an easy task.
Texas Tech looks to not only win in Norman but beat OU for the first time since 2011 when they knocked off Bob Stoop’s 45 game-home winning streak 41-38.
This is the first true test for Wells and his staff. Playing in Norman is different from any where else in the country. Teams don’t win there often but when they do, it’s well earned.
The key for this game will be containing Jalen Hurts. Hurts enters the week as a Heisman front-runner and a possible 1st round pick in the NFL Draft. He is, in my opinion, the best QB in the Big 12.
The two game films to watch on how to contain Jalen are the 2017 Iron Bowl, and the 2018 National Championship (Bama vs Georgia).
This game has a chance to be a shootout if all goes well on Tech’s side of the ball. We know what OU brings to the table, but how Tech responds from Arizona will be interesting to watch.
Oklahoma Sooners: Big 12 (3-0)
Oklahoma enters the week ranked sixth in the country and have earned that spot based on the previous weeks. Their biggest test up to now was against the Houston Cougars.
Oklahoma took care of business against the Cougars but it was one of the sloppiest games of the weekend. The score ended up 49-31 but it was never that close. The Sooners got out to a 21-7 lead at the half, and they
scored early to start the third. After that, the Sooners got complacent and the Cougars were able to capitalize and make a game out of it.
The Sooners also have a new defensive coordinator. This guy was at Ohio State when Urban Mayer was the head coach there. The Sooner’s defense looks a lot better than when Mark Stoops was the DC. Same players different scheme.
If the Sooners look to play in January, their new DC will be a factor as to how they get there.
Their linebackers will fly to the ball and the safeties/corners play tight. They like to show their presence off the line and will not look back. This is the most aggressive defense Tech will see this year.
How the Red Raiders handle this defense will be a key if they want to win.
Texas Tech Red Raiders: Big 12 (2-1)
The Red Raiders enter the week coming off a loss to Arizona and a bye to prepare for the biggest test of the year so far. Texas Tech will also have a new QB taking the snaps as Wells stated on Monday, “Both QBs will play in some capacity on Saturday.” Look for Jackson Tyner to start, but also look for Duffey on designed runs and maybe on some trick plays. Xavier Martin is currently listed as the emergency third stringer.
If Tyner does take the first series, this will be the first time he has faced a power-5 opponent. This will be interesting to see how he handles the rough environment.
Tech enters this week posting a top 10 offense and a top 30 defense. Which should provide some better help this year against arguably the best team Lincoln Riley has ever had since he’s been at Oklahoma. The focus for this weekend will be the offensive line. The ability to protect the inside will be a huge key as the Sooners have shown that they are not afraid to twist and stunt. Terrance Steele will be a guy to watch as he must step up his game this week if the offense is to have some success.
As far as the offense goes, if we come out flat then Tech will not win the game. Teams can not afford to get behind this Sooner team because they are too quick. They lead the country in points off turnovers and they are one of the top six teams in terms of first quarter scoring.
There is some pressure on the offense this week to score and score often. If they don’t show up, it’s game over for the Red Raiders. How Tech responds to the loss at Arizona and the learning experience during the bye week will be a major key as far as mental preparation goes.
In Memory of…
In case you haven’t heard. We are mourning the passing of two Red Raider legends as EJ Holub and Andre Emmitt have passed away only a day or two apart.
Andre Emmett was the Red Raider’s all-time leading scorer from 2001-2004 with 2,256 points and is in the Texas Tech Basketball Ring of Honor. During his senior season he received All-America Honors and was named to the All- Big12 conference First Team three times. He was drafted to the Seattle Supersonics in the 2004 NBA Draft. Andre played with the Memphis Grizzlies and the New Jersey Nets during his two seasons in the NBA. He moved around for a while before finding his home in the Big 3 League. He was a fantastic athlete and an even better man. He will be missed. RIP Dre.
EJ Holub passed away this past weekend at the age of 81. Nicknamed “The Beast” throughout his playing career at Lubbock High and Texas Tech, Holub was a two-way player under coach DeWitt Weaver from 1958-1960 when the Red Raiders were transitioning from the Border Conference to the Southwest Conference. Holub earned First Team All-America honors at center both in 1959 and 1960 becoming the first Red Raider to receive the honor twice in a career. He was Tech’s first consensus All-America Honor his senior year in 1960 and was the school’s first selection to the all SWC-Team that year as well.
EJ would finish 10th in the Heisman race as a senior which would cap a historic collegiate career that would later lead to his induction to the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame in 1986. He would also be inducted to the Texas Tech Hall of Fame in 1977 and would be a member of the charter Texas Tech Football Ring of Honor Class in 2012.
Holub would be selected as the sixth pick in the first round of the 1961 AFL Draft to the Dallas Texans as well as a second-round pick to the Dallas Cowboys that same year. Holub would sign with the Texans beginning a successful 10-year career with two Super Bowl appearances.
EJ played two seasons for the Texans before the team moved to Kansas City and become the Chiefs ahead of the 1963 season. The Chiefs later would go on to play the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl 1 and would slate EJ at linebacker going against former Red Raider Donny Anderson at fullback.
To this date EJ is the only Red Raider to start two Super Bowls at two different positions. He would retire in 1971 following a knee injury at training camp.
After his playing career he would give back to Texas Tech as a member of the Red Raider Club. He is also well-known for is halftime speech in 1999 when the Texas Tech trailed to the Sooners in what would be known as Spike Dykes’ final game at Tech. Tech would eventually pull off the upset. EJ would help carry Spike off the field that day lasting an image that remains iconic to this day.
RIP EJ “The Beast” Holub
This Saturday before the game, we will be helping First Cumberland Presbyterian Church by unloading all the pumpkins for their pumpkin drive. We help them every year and it is always a favorite event of ours. If you're in Lubbock soon be sure to stop by and get some Pumpkins!