OU avenges last year's loss
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Sunday, October 07, 2012
10/07/12 at 7:02 AM
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LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech's early offensive success likely led to nervous moments from the Oklahoma faithful on Saturday afternoon.
The Red Raiders were taking over where Kansas State left off two weeks earlier, moving the football against the Sooners defense. There's little doubt memories of last year's 41-38 shocking loss to Texas Tech were being remembered.
But OU strengthened as the game went on and dominated for much of the final three quarters in a 41-20 victory before a record crowd of 60,800 at Jones AT&T Stadium.
"It does feel good," OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. "Our players knew what we had to do and you can tell we had a different edge and attitude.
"That comes back to a year ago when we let our guard down and didn't play nearly well enough to beat a team that's as good as Texas Tech."
So did revenge play a little factor in this game? Check out Aaron Colvin's thoughts after his six-tackle, one interception performance when asked if this was a must-win.
"We lost (two weeks ago) ... but I would say more so it was last year," Colvin said. "I felt like we kind of got disrespected in our own house. I don't feel like we played to our best capability."
The Red Raiders made an early push, opening with a 75-yard touchdown drive that mixed the pass and run while tying the game at 7. They added two field goals and kept the hosts within 14-13 with 6:58 remaining in the second half.
At that point, Tech had ran 35 plays for 213 yards.
OU settled from that point, allowing only three first downs and 60 total yards on Texas Tech's next eight possessions. The Red Raiders got their final 86 yards on a touchdown drive with 56 seconds left against Oklahoma reserves.
"They did a good job keeping us off balance," Stoops said. "The third downs were short and medium, and we never got them in a long-yardage situation where we could rush and cover.
"They were always playing ahead of the chains in the first half. I thought we did a better job controlling the run game, and that enabled us to get in more pressure packages on third-and-longs."
Texas Tech entered averaging 188.2 yards on the ground in four victories. It managed only 89 against the Sooners.
"That's a big deal," Bob Stoops said. "It sets up more third-and-longs. Then we were able to get pressure with mixing up our blitzes ... then we got the big turnovers. So that all came together."
Turnovers have been a sore subject for the OU defense, which only had a nation-worst one takeaway entering the game.
"Coach Mike Stoops has been in our ear, especially this past week, as far as getting turnovers," said Colvin, who had an athletic pick while blitzing Tech quarterback Seth Doege. "So personally, I know I wanted to go throughout and try to make a play. That's what happened."
Javon Harris' 46-yard interception return for a TD increased the OU lead to 38-13 with 8:40 left in the third quarter and sent many of the Tech fans scurrying for the exits.
"The one thing we've been working on is these turnovers and making sure I have the ball and then just take it as far as I could," Harris said. "All I saw was the end zone when I caught it."
OU defense by the numbers
3: Turnovers created against the Red Raiders. OU managed just one interception in previous three games.
6: Game-high tackles made by Aaron Colvin, Corey Nelson, Frank Shannon and Julian Wilson. Wilson made his first start.
46: Distance of Javon Harris' interception return for a touchdown.
60: Yardage allowed by OU defense on eight consecutive Texas Tech possessions. OU would score 27 consecutive points during that span.
Eric Bailey 918-581-8391
OU's Chuka Ndulue wraps up Texas Tech's Kenny Williams on Saturday. STEPHEN PINGRY / Tulsa World