Five things to know about Texas Tech:
Texas Tech quarterback Davis Webb has thrown for more than 1,400 yards while completing 61 percent of his passes.
1. They possess the country’s second-ranked passing offense, amassing 416.4 yards per game in their up-tempo brand. Each quarterback has thrown for more than 1,400 yards, including 1,488 from Baker Mayfield and 1,427 from Davis Webb. Mayfield has tossed eight touchdowns to five interceptions. Webb, slightly better in terms of a TD-INT ratio, has 11 to six, respectively. Mayfield has completed 66 percent of his passes, with Davis doing so on 61 percent of his.
Said OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops: “Well, their tempo will be a concern, I think. You know, we see it from our offense. We’ll have to work it against our guys throughout the course of the week, and we can go as fast as anybody when we want to so that’ll give us a good look in preparation. But your communication is going to need to be improved over what it was last week.”
2. Tight end Jace Amaro keys the passing attack, leading the team and tight ends nationally with his 742 yards. He’s averaging 13.2 yards per reception, 106 yards per game and also has three touchdowns. Amaro has caught 56 passes—the next closest Red Raider sits at 37—and is the leading candidate for the John Mackey Award.
Said OU cornerback Aaron Colvin: “You know, he’s a very, big, strong, physical guy and he catches the ball well. They basically use him like a receiver when they need to pass it and they use him like a tight end when they need to run. So, he can do it all and we realize that.”
3. Texas Tech ranks 30th in the nation, giving up 358 yards per game. They’re better against the run statistically, holding opponents to 123.1 yards per contest, good for 23rd in the country. Quarterback Blake Bell and the Sooners at least appear to have a better chance to hit the Red Raiders with the passing game, if Bell can be on point, as they are just 72nd with their 234.9 yards per game allowed.
Said OU co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel: “They’re playing really well. I think they’re 10th in the country in third-downs. They’re giving up three yards per carry. They have been able to play from ahead, and they’ve put a lot of pressure on the quarterback when that happens and make things competitive on the outside. So, we need to get off to a fast start. We got to stay out of third-and-longs and we got to score touchdowns when we’re in the red zone.”
4. Three main guys lead the Tech defense, including linebacker Will Smith, defensive lineman Kerry Hyder and defensive back J.J. Gaines. Smith leads the club with 47 tackles and 3.5 sacks. Hyder ranks second in the Big 12 with 10.0 tackles for loss. Gaines has picked off a pair of passes in the secondary.
Said OU wide receiver Sterling Shepard: “Oh yeah, they’re a lot physical. And, I mean, they like to play a lot of press man, so that’s one thing that we have to work on is beating press coverage. And we got the scout guys being physical with us, so, you know, that’s what we’re working towards.”
5. The Red Raiders are solid on special teams all around. Place kicker Ryan Bustin leads the land with 16 total field goals on 19 attempts. Punter Ryan Erxleben is netting 44.4 yards per punt. And the kickoff return unit is 11th in the nation while averaging 26.8 yards per return.
Said OU head coach Bob Stoops: “You know, they continue to play very confidently, aggressively, with good discipline. You don’t see many mistakes. So, you know, they’re [confident].”