No.17 Oklahoma Sooners (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS) vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-0 SU, 4-0 ATS)
College Football Week 6
Date/Time: Saturday October 6th, 2012. 3:30PM Eastern
Where: Jones ATT Stadium Lubbock, T.X.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Okl -5/TT +5
Over/Under Total: 58.5
It has been two weeks since the Oklahoma Sooners suffered a heart breaking loss to Kansas State 24-19. Entering 2012, the Sooners were favorites to battle for National Championship as they seem to be every year. Therefore the early season loss to the Wildcats definitely had some extra sting. This week the Sooners return to action when they travel to Lubbock to battle Tommy Tuberville’s Texas Tech Red Raiders. Texas Tech has put together a solid 4-0 start but this will be their first “big” game of the season. For the Sooners, they must shake off the loss to the Wildcats because another loss at this point in the year could put Oklahoma on the outside of the Big 12 Championship race which would totally let the sails out of the 2012 campaign.
Last week the Red Raiders captured a respectable win against Iowa State 24-13. The Texas Tech defense held the Cyclones to just 183 total yards and helped force 4 turnovers throughout the game. Tuberville has always had strong defenses dating back to his days in Auburn and he has put together another solid group this year in Lubbock. In fact, the Red Raiders currently lead the nation in total defense allowing just 167 yards per game. Sure the numbers may be inflated a bit over inferior competition but do not be fooled. The Red Raiders defense is legit.
Outside of the Texas Tech defense, they also have an offense that can move the football. The Red Raiders sport the nation’s 8th ranked offense averaging 547 yards per game. QB Seth Doege is an excellent passer and does a great job of spreading the ball around to all of his receivers. Doege has currently hit 71% of his passes while throwing for 1,189 yards with 15 touchdowns and 3 picks. Despite averaging 547 yards per game of total offense, Iowa State did find a way to slow down the Red Raiders offense last week by stopping running backs Kenny Williams and Eric Stephens Jr. Texas Tech did manage to put together 395 yards of total offense mostly through the air and it will be interesting to see if Oklahoma’s 12th ranked defense can do an even better job against the Red Raiders offense this Saturday.
One thing that is certain is that Texas Tech has a solid football team on both sides of the football that should get some respect. Additionally, the Red Raiders have held their ground against the Sooners winning 4 of the last 6 meetings in Lubbock. For those reasons, odds makers have opened the betting lines showing Oklahoma as rather small 5 point favorites.
For those that do not remember, Oklahoma entered their meeting against a highly ranked Kansas State team as two touchdown favorites. Therefore it appears at least from the odds maker’s point of view, this should be a great football game. As state previously, Oklahoma has the defensive talent to slow down the Red Raiders offense. The Sooners just have to find a way to thwart the Red Raiders defense to get back on the winning path.
For Oklahoma to do so, they must protect the football. The Sooners gave up 3 crucial turnovers in the loss to Kansas State that eventually led to their demise. Oklahoma has the firepower on offense to run circles around most defenses but they just cannot afford to give up the football in the big games. QB Landry Jones has been decent through the first 3 games completing 63% passing for 772 yards with 5 scores and 2 picks. Running backs Damien Williams and Dominique Whaley have helped provide solid run support. Williams leads the team with 293 yards and 5 rushing touchdowns while Whaley supports a respectable 5.8 yards per carry. Oklahoma needs to a solid effort from both the running and passing games this Saturday to keep the Texas Tech defense off balance.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I know the Big 12 has a big offensive reputation especially when you mention teams like Oklahoma and Texas Tech. However, I truly think defense will be the story this Saturday. In fact, the total has gone ‘under’ in 4 of the last 5 meetings between Oklahoma and Texas Tech. I think that trend continues. Take the under 58.5!
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