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Sooners prepared for high-powered Texas Tech

Published on NewsOK Modified: October 25, 2013 at 7:15 pm •  Published: October 25, 2013
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Bob Stoops is all-too familiar with Texas Tech's wide-open brand of offensive football.

The Oklahoma coach watched it for years while competing against the Red Raiders and former coach Mike Leach.

Stoops will have another chance to watch the latest version of the "Air Raid" in person on Saturday when the No. 17 Sooners (6-1, 3-1 Big 12 Conference) host surprising Texas Tech and first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury.

"We recognize it," Stoops said. "It's still difficult to stop, though."

The No. 10 Red Raiders (7-0, 4-0) were picked to finish seventh in the Big 12 before the season, but they have yet to stumble under Kingsbury — the former Texas Tech quarterback who has energized his alma matter in his first season.

"When you can continue to prove people wrong, it's great for a team's psyche," Kingsbury said.

Led by a pair of freshmen quarterbacks in Baker Mayfield and Davis Webb, the Red Raiders enter Saturday second in the nation in passing offense with an average of 416.4 yards per game.

All of those passes have also translated into points, with Texas Tech second in the conference in scoring with an average of 41.1 points per game.

As good as the Red Raiders have been this season, Oklahoma will provide their most difficult test so far this season. The game is the first of three in four weeks for Texas Tech, which hosts Oklahoma State next week and Baylor on Nov. 16.

Much like Texas Tech, which struggled before rallying for a 37-27 win over West Virginia last week, the Sooners have also been stuck in somewhat of a funk in recent weeks — beginning with a 36-20 loss to rival Texas two weeks ago.

Oklahoma fell behind 13-0 at Kansas last week before storming back for a 34-19 win, a game in which it held the Jayhawks to just 201 yards of total offense.

The Sooners lead the country in pass defense, allowing just 149.7 yards through the air per game, and the secondary is likely to be tested early and often on Saturday as both teams look to take a significant step toward a Big 12 championship.

"They're a ball-hawking defense; get their hands on a bunch of balls," Kingsbury said. "So, they're good against the rush, against the pass. They're just an overall very well-coached, very disciplined defense, so it will be a challenge to move it in all phases."

Five things to look for as Oklahoma tries to become the first team to slow the high-powered Red Raiders:

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