How high will the stakes be when the Sooners and Texas Tech meet Saturday night in Norman? It’s an all-in event when it comes to national title chase. And not just for OU and Tech. You could argue that some other teams – Texas, Southern Cal, even Penn State, Utah and Boise State – can claim an investment in the outcome.
There’s plenty at stake for the quarterbacks, too, with Sam Bradford and Graham Harrell in the thick of the Heisman Trophy race. With a big game, the winner is likely to rush to the front. What’s the biggest challenge facing the OU defense? The pressure is on to apply some pressure. Harrell is deadly when he’s allowed to sit in the pocket and wait for his army of receivers to work open. And that’s business as usual for Tech, which ranks second nationally in sacks allowed, surrendering just five in 10 games. Think about that a minute. The Red Raiders have attempted 499 passes, more than any other team – by comparison, OU has thrown 360 times – and their quarterback has been dropped just five times. It won’t be easy for the Sooners, either, with ends Auston English and Alan Davis both out with knee injuries. That puts Pryce Macon and converted linebacker J.R. Bryant in play as the backups to Jeremy Beal and Frank Alexander. Is Harrell the best fit yet to run Mike Leach’s attack at Texas Tech? No question.