NORMAN — As far as Bob Stoops is concerned, the issues that have plagued his teams in Lubbock, Texas, aren't unlike those prevalent in any loss.
“There's common threads any time you lose a game, whether it's (Texas) Tech or anybody else,” Stoops said during his weekly news conference Monday.
“There are turnover issues, injury issues, execution issues. ... There isn't anything spiritual or spooky about it, OK? It's just playing ball.”
The No. 17 Sooners (2-1, 0-1 Big 12) return to Texas Tech — where OU has lost three straight games — for the first time since 2009 on Saturday.
Oklahoma, in 13 seasons under Stoops, has lost four of six games played inside Jones AT&T Stadium — the most losses for Stoops in any single venue other than Dallas' Cotton Bowl, where he's coached 14 games and lost five of them.
Some of the Lubbock losses have featured strange moments that worked against Oklahoma.
But the Sooners' last trip to Lubbock? Stoops is dead on: Nothing supernatural. No controversy. No injuries. Oklahoma's 2009 team just received a good old-fashioned walloping from the Red Raiders, to the tune of 41-13.
The only Sooner to start that game who will also start Saturday is senior quarterback Landry Jones, who in 2009 was a redshirt freshman, forced into action because of Sam Bradford's season-ending shoulder injuries weeks earlier.
“I remember it wasn't too fun,” Jones said Monday when asked to recall that November afternoon, when the Sooners, in their new Nike Pro Combat uniforms, trailed 27-6 after three quarters and were beaten in every way possible.
“We had cool uniforms. We looked good. We just didn't play good.”
The Stoops-led squads' struggles at Texas Tech date back to his first season at Oklahoma.
In late November 1999, Tech redshirt freshman quarterback Kliff Kingsbury made his first career start, and the Red Raiders scored 25 unanswered second-half points to come from behind, upset OU and end the regular season a six-win, bowl-eligible team.
Longtime coach Spike Dykes announced his resignation after the game, paving the way for then-OU offensive coordinator Mike Leach to take the reins in Lubbock and begin his successful run there.
Stoops' teams won their next two at Texas Tech — the last coming in 2003 — before back-to-back losses that were each memorable for the wrong reasons.
In 2005, the Sooners trailed 17-7 early in the fourth quarter before taking a lead on a 13-yard Adrian Peterson touchdown run with 1:33 left.
But then, the Red Raiders put together a game-winning drive that ended as time expired, when Tech running back Taurean Henderson scored on a 2-yard run that remains controversial to this day.
The score was upheld on review, but later replays showed Henderson's knee might have been down before he broke the plane.
Two years later, Bradford left the game with a concussion on OU's second possession, the Red Raiders opened a 27-10 halftime lead and held on for a 34-27 victory.
What seemed like it would be a championship-caliber 2009 season for OU was effectively destroyed when Bradford suffered season-ending shoulder injuries early on.
OU had lost four games entering its Nov. 21 game at Texas Tech, but the setbacks were by a combined 12 points; the Sooners were carried by their defense, which was anchored by defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.
But little went right that day in Lubbock, when the Red Raiders scored their most-lopsided victory ever over Oklahoma.
“It didn't matter to Tech how many times we won here,” he said, referring to the Red Raiders' 41-38 upset in Norman last year.
In Texas Tech's previous two trips to Norman, the Sooners won by a combined score of 110-28.
“Everyone wants to tie years to other years, and I don't see it that way,” Stoops said.