NORMAN — Oklahoma has been unbeatable at home.
Texas Tech is the classic example. The Red Raiders have won the past three meetings in Lubbock. But when they play in Norman, it’s usually a Sooner rout.
Not this time.
In one of the most shocking upsets in the Bob Stoops era, Texas Tech ended OU’s 39-game home winning streak with a 41-38 win Saturday night on Owen Field.
“I told our players afterward credit (Tech),” Stoops said. “They whipped us in every part of the game. I told our players we were definitely outcoached and outplayed.”
The shocking upset was similar to Oklahoma State’s Bedlam upset a decade ago when the Cowboys, like the Red Raiders, were four-touchdown underdogs.
And this loss, like that one, came out of nowhere.
And this loss, like that one, probably knocked the Sooners out of the national title picture.
“If we can make improvements and show some character who knows what can happen,” Stoops said. “Take it one game at a time.”
OU is 75-3 under Stoops at home.
“This was the first time in my career (to lose at home),” said linebacker Travis Lewis. “We got our (butts) kicked tonight. I don’t have much to say about it.”
The three home losses in the Stoops era:
OSU 16-13 win a decade ago.
TCU a 17-10 win six years ago.
And Texas Tech’s stunner Saturday night.
“Sometimes too much is said about it like it can’t happen,” Stoops said. “I told the players anyone we play the rest of the year will whip us if we don’t if we don’t play better than we did today.”
On a day LSU, OSU and Alabama made strong statements the Sooners joined Wisconsin as teams that most likely eliminated from the national title chase.
It was a complete team meltdown.
Offense. Defense. Special teams. Every unit underachieved.
“It’s definitely no fun to lose,” said quarterback Landry Jones.. “I don’t know what else to say... Tech did a good job. Credit them for playing smart, playing solid defense against us.”
In a game that was delayed 1-hour, 34 minutes by lightning and rain, the defense, missing three starters — linebacker Tom Wort (back), defensive tackle Casey Walker (hand) and cornerback Jamell Fleming (knee) — allowed 572 total yards.
This wasn’t one of those games the Sooners could point to two or three plays.
Assisted by shoddy OU tackling and suspect pass defense, Tech compiled 17 plays of 10 or more yards.
The Red Raiders had touchdown drives of 54, 78, 69, 73 and 74 yards.
Even when the Sooners put a good lick on the Red Raiders, Gabe Lynn was flagged for a personal foul, targeting above the head. The same Gabe Lynn who was victimized so many times by Tech receivers for big plays OU eventually pulled him from the game and moved Aaron Colvin to cornerback.
But the offense deserves just as much blame as the defense.
Quarterback Landry Jones constantly threw behind receivers and threw a momentum killing third quarter interception, three plays after the defense made a momentum-changing, fourth-down stop in the shadows of its own goal line.
Ryan Broyles, the NCAA’s all-time leading receiver, lost a fumble for the third time this season. Boyles’ turnover, getting stripped of the ball in the second quarter, was a play that helped Tech seize momentum.
Broyles also had a personal foul penalty on OU’s final touchdown with 1:10 left, although the Sooners failure to recover an onside kick sealed Tech’s win.
The offense finally kicked it in gear in the second half but was a major contributor to a 31-7 deficit early in the third quarter.
OU’s high powered offense was plagued by seven three-and-outs — one technically a two-and-out when Broyles fumbled. The shocking development was Tech’s suspect defense held the Sooners to five consecutive possessions without a first down when Tech built a commanding 24-point lead.
“As an offense too many three-and-outs, not producing any yards, putting the defense back on the field, the defense not being able to get off the field,” Stoops said. “They hit two screen passes for touchdowns.”
The kicking game also contributed. Redshirt freshman kicker Michael Hunnicutt, who was given the job two months ago, missed two field goals.
Hunnicutt’s 39-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter would have given the Sooners their only lead of the game.
But it was Hunnicutt clanging a 28-yard attempt off the right upright with just under three minutes left that officially assured Texas Tech would post a shock-the-world upset.