LUBBOCK, Texas — From Oklahoma’s first offensive drive of the 2012 season, which ended with UTEP blocking a punt and returning it for a touchdown, the Sooners have looked like nothing even resembling a championship-caliber team.
Full-on panic consumed Sooner Nation after a home loss to Kansas State two weeks ago. With the Big 12 stalwarts awaiting on OU’s schedule, fans asked, just how many games might this team — preseason ranked No. 4 — lose?
Then came Saturday, when the No. 17 Sooners dominated previously unbeaten Texas Tech across the board in a 41-20 rout.
“In today’s world, (fans are) up and down,” said Sooners coach Bob Stoops. “That’s what fans do. We don’t much care about that.
“I’m proud of our players for the resolve ... to come back and play a good football team on the road, and play like they did.”
With the convincing win, Oklahoma won at Jones Stadium for the first time since 2003 and exacted revenge on those responsible for an embarrassing home loss last season.
The Sooners also completely flipped the script on the rest of their season, beginning next Saturday in the Cotton Bowl for the annual Red River Rivalry with Texas.
“Every week, it seems like the guys are working harder,” said sophomore backup quarterback Blake Bell, who scored twice Saturday from the Belldozer package.
“I feel like our preparation is getting better, and we need to keep that going as we hit this stretch.”
Against a Tech defense that entered Saturday ranked No. 1 nationally in total defense and passing defense, the Sooner offense came out guns blazing.
Much-maligned quarterback Landry Jones led Oklahoma on a 12-play, 75-yard game-opening drive, capped with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Justin Brown. It was the Sooners’ first touchdown on an opening drive this season.
“We started the game off right,” Jones said. “We wanted to start fast, and whenever we got the ball, we wanted to go down and score.”