A few observations from Oklahoma’s dramatic 38-30 win over Texas Tech in Norman.
- Making Plays: When the Sooners needed a play in the second half against a game Texas Tech squad, they came through. Sterling Shepard had a big third-down catch, Michael Hunnicutt made a 37-yard field goal after a false start penalty to put OU up by eight, and the Sooners made a defensive stand to hand Texas Tech its first loss.
- Kliff Magic: Kliff Kingsbury pulled out all the stops in the second half. Following a field goal that cut OU’s lead to 21-17, the first-year head coach gambled and surprised the Sooners with an onside kick. Davis Webb also converted a clutch pass on fourth-and-long in the fourth quarter to keep Texas Tech alive. In Texas Tech’s first true test, Kingsbury went on the road and proved he’s one of the bright young coaches in college football, and his team is still in contention for the Big 12.
- Big Second Quarter: The Sooners were money in the second quarter. Jalen Saunders had two touchdown catches, and OU had 188 yards of offense in the second quarter alone. Combine that with an Aaron Colvin fumble recovery and a fourth-down stand by the Sooners, and OU had all the momentum going into halftime.
- Saunders/Bell Connection: Saunders went off in the first half with six catches for 153 yards and touchdown grabs of 19 and 77 yards. He hauled in both of Blake Bell’s touchdown passes and had three key third-down catches on a 97-yard scoring drive for OU – the Sooners’ longest scoring drive of the season. Bell and Saunders connected for a 19-yard touchdown on the same drive to tie the game 7-7. It was a big response for the Sooners’ offense, centered around Saunders and Bell, who played one of his best games as a starting quarterback.
- Ground and Pound (and elude): Out of halftime, the Sooners went to the ground. Damien Williams got the ball seven times on the Sooners’ opening drive of third quarter and was rewarded with a 3-yard touchdown run. In the third quarter, it was Lacoltan Bester’s turn, as he turned an intended receiver pass to Bell into a reverse-field 35-yard touchdown run. Williams had two scores and 97 yards, Roy Finch was electric in the second half and the Sooners ran for 277 total yards to keep the ball away from Texas Tech’s offense as much as possible.