No. 16 Oklahoma Sooners (4-2 SU, 2-4 ATS) vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-3 SU, 4-2 ATS)
College Football Week 8
Date/Time: Saturday, October 22nd, 8:00PM (EST)
Where: Jones AT&T Stadium Lubbock, T.X.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: OKLA -13.5/TTU +13.5
Over/Under Total: TBA
The Texas Tech Red Raiders will try to shake off a pair of back to back losses this Saturday when they host the no. 16 Oklahoma Sooners at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock. Texas Tech was beaten pretty badly by no. 20 West Virginia last week in a 48-17 blowout. The Mountaineers racked up over 650 yards of total offense as the Red Raiders succumbed to their 3rd loss on the season. This Saturday Texas Tech will get a chance to bounce back in a big way as they seek an upset bid as they seek their first victory over the Sooners since 2011.
Despite their 4-2 SU mark this year, Oklahoma is just 1 of 3 teams remaining undefeated in Big 12 competition as they remain very much alive in the race for the Big 12 Championship. The Sooners have also rattled off 3 straight wins since their last loss to Ohio State back in week 3. The streak has featured wins over no. 21 TCU, Texas, and most recently Kansas State this past Saturday. For the first time this year, the Oklahoma offense is starting to live up to the hype that they received for most of the preseason. In the opening weeks, Oklahoma barely eclipsed the 400 yards of total offense mark. However, in recent weeks the Sooners have averaged over 550 yards of total offense through their last 3 games.
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Quarterback Baker Mayfield has finally emerged as the Big 12s most efficient passer with a 180.4 quarterback rating. In the last 3 games, Mayfield has racked up 1,010 passing yards with 9 touchdowns and 3 interceptions while running for another 3 scores. The offense has been elevated and WR Dede Westbrook has become one of the biggest threats in the country as a result. In the last 3 games, Westbrook has hauled in 26 catches for 574 yards with 8 touchdowns in just a few weeks of action. Obviously, Oklahoma is going to have to keep that pace this weekend when they go into Lubbock as near 2 touchdown favorites. The Red Raiders have not had the best defensive performance in recent weeks but I dont think anyone would doubt their scoring potential on any given Saturday.
Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes II leads the conference with 2,579 passing yards with 21 touchdowns and just 5 picks. Despite 272 passing attempts, Mahomes has impressively completed 71.3% of his attempts. If you consider the fact, Oklahoma has been eat up against the pass to the tune of 277 yards per game (107th in FBS) then it is definitely reason for concern for the Sooners. Obviously, Oklahoma has played against some really tough passing teams which makes that statistic appear a little worse than it should be. However, Texas Tech is still capable of big plays and big scoring opportunities either way.
One thing that Oklahoma has to accomplish is getting pressure on Mahomes. Last week, West Virginia was able to capture a pair of sacks in the first two drives and later converted that pressure into a thrown interception only minutes into the 2nd quarter. As a result, West Virginia was able to get out to a 24-7 lead and the Mountaineers never looked back. So far this year, Oklahoma has done a pretty good job of getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks and their 2.5 sacks per game ranks 44th in the FBS. However this weekend more than most, it will be very critical that they get to Mahomes. Otherwise, this defense could have a long day and have to rely on the offense in a potential shootout.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I admittedly thought Texas Tech was going to beat West Virginia last week so I was wrong in a big way. However, I am going to back them one more time as I have not lost all hope in the Red Raiders. I think they match up well against Oklahoma and I think they can score some points in this game to keep it within reach. Take Texas Tech +13.5
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