LUBBOCK, Texas — In the second quarter, Texas Tech wide receiver Alex Torres slipped past Oklahoma cornerback Brian Jackson for a 65-yard gain along the sideline to set up Tech's first touchdown.
On the next drive, Tech's Austin Zouzalik beat Sooner linebacker Keenan Clayton down the middle for a 21-yard touchdown reception.
Those two big plays hurt.
But the most disheartening plays for the Sooner defense weren't the big ones.
They were the little ones.
After jumping to a 17-6 lead, the Red Raiders grinded OU's previously stalwart defense with first down after first down to blow out the Sooners, 41-13.
"We didn't play well on defense," said defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. "We couldn't get any stops. They kept getting the first downs. I don't know what was going on with our defense.
"We got dominated."
OU surrendered a season-high 32 first downs and 549 yards of offense.
But most of the damage didn't come from big plays. The majority came on tough runs and intermediate passes right through the heart of the Sooner defense.
"They ran the ball at will," said linebacker Travis Lewis. "We felt confident our front seven could stop the run. But we couldn't. We laid an egg. Very disappointing for our defense."
In the past, the OU defense had given its road-struggling offense a chance away from Norman. In four losses, the Sooners allowed 14, 21, 16 and 10 points.
But Saturday, the defense gave its offense no chance.
Said coach Bob Stoops: "That's the first time the defense looked that way. Weren't as sharp as they've been."
Said defensive coordinator Brent Venables: "We didn't play with the kind of discipline and purpose we have all year. And they're good enough to expose you and they did."
To open the second half, Tech scurried 91 yards down the field in six plays to go up 24-6.
The backbreakers, though, were still to come.
With OU desperate to get its offense back on the field, the Red Raiders began an 18-play drive late in the third quarter that would cover 80 yards and more than 7 minutes.
Only one play on the methodical drive — Baron Batch's 21-yard touchdown scamper — went for more than 12 yards.
Tech even overcame a pair of 15-yard penalties along the way.
"Very disappointing when they had a long drive like that and you can't stop them," said defensive end Jeremy Beal. "They kicked our butt. Scoring on an 18-play drive? That's kicking your butt."
But the kicking wasn't done.
Later in the fourth quarter, the Red Raiders came back and hammered away with a 14-play, 82-yard drive.
After quarterback Taylor Potts' intentional grounding penalty, Tech faced second-and-17. But on the next play, running back Eric Stephens beat OU cornerback Dom Franks to the corner and dashed 30 yards down the sideline for the first down.
Two plays later, Stephens finished off the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run between the tackles.
"We just got beat," McCoy said. "No certain (assignment) we didn't make. No certain call we didn't call. Just got beat."