OU football: Texas Tech was banged up, too
Injuries certainly played a part in OU’s 41-38 loss to Texas Tech last Saturday. The Sooners played without cornerback Jamell Fleming, linebacker Tom Wort, defensive tackle Casey Walker, tailback Dominique Whaley and center Ben Habern.
But injuries are no excuse. Texas Tech was missing key players, too.
Two defensive starters — linebacker Blake Dees and nose tackle Donald Langley — suffered injuries in practice last week and missed the game. Sophomore Daniel Cobb started in place of Dees and forced a fumble and led the Red Raiders with nine tackles.
Also, center Justin Keown suffered a knee injury on the second play of the game and did not return. Keown’s replacement consistently snapped low to quarterback Seth Doege, but Doege still produced a fabulous performance.
And don’t forget, Tech was without tailback Eric Stephens, who is lost for the season with a knee injury. Stephens in five games rushed for 570 yards on 109 carries. Yet backups DeAndre Washington and Aaron Crawford had excellent rushing games; Washington had 84 yards on 16 carries, while Crawford had 62 yards on 17 carries. Bob Stoops had said earlier in the week that if Tech can run the ball, its passing offense is very difficult to defend. That was manifested Saturday night. Crawford and Washington combined for 146 yards, allowing Doege to carve up the Sooners.
So yes, the Sooners missed their injured players. But Tech had key players out, too, and adjusted well enough to pull the upset.
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