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Texas Tech outclassed, outcoached Oklahoma in an upset that shook up BCS title race

COMMENTARY — A storm and the Texas Tech Red Raiders blew into Norman Saturday night, and swept away the Oklahoma Sooners' BCS title hopes and a 39-game home winning streak.
Oklahoman Modified: October 23, 2011 at 1:11 am •  Published: October 23, 2011

NORMAN – Just before the scheduled kickoff and a few minutes after sundown, with monstrous clouds surrounding Owen Field, a pocket of the eastern sky lit up with a yellow light.

Looked like the kind of opening you’d expect for the voice of the archangel and the trump of God. Armageddon’s advent would have been no less shocking than what we saw Saturday night on Owen Field.

The Sooners’ national championship hopes? Gone. The Sooners’ home invincibility? Gone. A Bedlam battle of unbeatens? Gone.

Texas Tech, thought to be toothless without Mike Leach, dominated every facet of the game, thrashing the third-ranked Sooners 41-38 in an upset that shook college football 2011 and sent fans from Boise, Idaho, to Clemson, S.C., dancing into the streets.

The Sooners were outclassed and outcoached in the first half, then played desperate in the second half. Sometimes desperate works. Mostly not. And this didn’t.

“They whipped us in every part of the game,” Bob Stoops said. “We were definitely outcoached and outplayed. Defensively, we really got outplayed. Offensively, it was too little too late.”

The final margin was misleading. Only twice in the final 38 minutes did OU get within one possession of catching Tech.

* Landry Jones’ 3-yard touchdown pass to Trey Millard on the first play of the fourth quarter made it 31-24. Tech responded with a field goal and touchdown on its next two drives to make it 41-24.

* Jones’ 22-yard TD pass to James Hanna with 1:10 left made it 41-38, but Tech recovered the onside kick.

Give Tech coach Tommy Tuberville credit. His team came ready to play, even after a 94-minute weather delay just before kickoff.

And give Bob Stoops blame. His staff was hoodwinked by Tuberville’s. OU’s defense didn’t have a first-half clue and improved only marginally in the second half. OU’s offense was spotty, too.

The second quarter was as bad of football as the Sooners have ever played under Stoops. You’d have thought this was Southern Cal down in Miami.

Tech outscored OU 17-0 in points and outgained OU 194-40 in total yards. The defense was bad, the offense worse.

This one was a total team effort. You can cut the defense a little slack, since starters Casey Walker, Jamell Fleming and Tom Wort were sidelined with various injuries.

The OU offense missed flu-stricken Dominique Whaley, who must be the most valuable player in Sooner history, considering how his mates fared without him. But Roy Finch was a decent replacement.

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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