Oklahoma dominates second half, rallies to top Texas Tech

BY foxsports • November 15, 2014

Before anyone drops an, "I told you so," or rips off a nasty Facebook post directed toward anyone wearing crimson and cream and sporting a headset, credit the Oklahoma coaching staff.

Yeah, for reals.

In the most egregious display of, "Better late than never," the Sooner coaches did figure it out and the Sooners did win.

Just like everyone thought. Down by a touchdown at halftime, Oklahoma dominated Texas Tech in the second half with a predictable, effective and efficient offense.

The Sooners ran the ball. Just like everyone thought they would and they won, just like everyone expected, finally getting past Texas Tech 42-30.

But the question to ask Saturday in Lubbock, Texas, isn't why it took so long for the Sooners to solve Texas Tech, the question is why it took so long for the Sooners to find their offense.

It took 10 games. And another half.

With no consistent quarterback play and no established receivers, Oklahoma has fought the urge to hand its offense over to its running game, which, by all accounts, has been really good this season.

Against a Texas Tech team ranked last in the Big 12 in rush defense, allowing 246 yards per game, and featuring a new starter at quarterback, OU decided to throw it 17 times in the first half and run it just 18 times. All that, despite not having its best receiver – Sterling Shepard, who sat most of the game with an injury.

OU had drives of 31 yards, 12 yards, zero yards, 1 yard and QB Cody Thomas threw three interceptions. OU trailed by a touchdown at halftime.

Then in the second half, OU ran the ball 33 times, passed it only three times and had drives of 75 yards, 87 yards, 64 yards (twice) and 34 yards. The Sooners scored every time they had the ball in the second half.

By running the ball.

So, if you can see it and we can see it, why are the Sooner coaches fighting it?

Samaje Perine had 25 carries for 213 yards. He scored three times. Thomas ran for 103 and scored a touchdown. It worked. Easily. OU had 384 rushing yards as a team.

Perine went over 1,000 yards for the season and has three games this year where he's gone for better than 100 yards. That's great. Seems like Perine could have had eight games of 100 or more yards. Seems like OU could have established a running game. Seems like it would have been the thing to do.

Heading into Saturday, quarterback Trevor Knight had more than 30 passing attempts in every game this season but two. He had 29 against West Virginia and 20 against Texas.

Maybe Saturday was a game-changer for the Sooners. They threw it only 21 times. Maybe Josh Heupel has decided that with an unstable quarterback situation and an unhealthy Shepard at receiver, running the ball with the these backs, this massive offensive line and this team might be a way to win games.

Every time.

In most ways, 2014 will be considered a lost season. The Sooners started the year ranked No. 4 in the country and a favorite to make the first college football playoff. It was supposed to happen. But it's n

Before anyone drops an, "I told you so," or rips off a nasty Facebook post directed toward any wearing crimson and cream and sporting a headset, credit the Oklahoma coaching staff.

Yeah, for reals.

In the most egregious display of, "Better late than never," the Sooner coaches did figure it out and the Sooners did win.

Just like everyone thought. Down by a touchdown at halftime, Oklahoma dominated Texas Tech in the second half with a predictable, effective and efficient offense.

The Sooners ran the ball. Just like everyone thought they would and they won, just like everyone expected, finally getting past Texas Tech 42-30.

But the question to ask Saturday in Lubbock, Texas, isn't why it took so long for the Sooners to solve Texas Tech, the question is why it took so long for the Sooners to find their offense.

It took 10 games. And another half.

With no consistent quarterback play and no established receivers, Oklahoma has fought the urge to hand its offense over to its running game, which, by all accounts, has been really good this season.

Against a Texas Tech team ranked last in the Big 12 in rush defense, allowing 246 yards per game, and featuring a new starter at quarterback, OU decided to throw it 17 times in the first half and run it just 18 times. All that, despite not having its best receiver – Sterling Shepard, who sat most of the game with an injury.

OU had drives of 31 yards, 12 yards, zero yards, 1 yard and QB Cody Thomas threw three interceptions. OU trailed by a touchdown at halftime.

Then in the second half, OU ran the ball 33 times, passed it only three times and had drives of 75 yards, 87 yards, 64 yards (twice) and 34 yards. The Sooners scored every time they had the ball in the second half.

By running the ball.

So, if you can see it and we can see it, why are the Sooner coaches fighting it?

Samaje Perine had 25 carries for 213 yards. He scored three times. Thomas ran for 103 and scored a touchdown. It worked. Easily. OU had 384 rushing yards as a team.

Perine went over 1,000 yards for the season and has three games this year where he's gone for better than 100 yards. That's great. Seems like Perine could have had eight games of 100 or more yards. Seems like OU could have established a running game. Seems like it would have been the thing to do.

Heading into Saturday, quarterback Trevor Knight had more than 30 passing attempts in every game this season but two. He had 29 against West Virginia and 20 against Texas.

Maybe Saturday was a game-changer for the Sooners. They threw it only 21 times. Maybe Josh Heupel has decided that with an unstable quarterback situation and an unhealthy Shepard at receiver, running the ball with the these backs, this massive offensive line and this team might be a way to win games.

Every time.

In most ways, 2014 will be considered a lost season. The Sooners started the year ranked No. 4 in the country and a favorite to make the first college football playoff. It was supposed to happen. But it's not going to. OU is 7-3 and hasn't won back-to-back games since September. It has no wins against ranked teams. It has no hope of winning the Big 12.

But in one way, 2014 was a missed opportunity. Oklahoma could have committed to running the ball. It's too bad it took them more than nine games to figure it out.

Follow Andrew Gilman on Twitter: @andrewgilmanOK

ot going to. OU is 7-3 and hasn't won back-to-back games since September. It has no wins against ranked teams. It has no hope of winning the Big 12.

 

But in one way, 2014 was a missed opportunity. Oklahoma could have committed to running the ball. It's too bad it took them more than nine games to figure it out.

Follow Andrew Gilman on Twitter: @andrewgilmanOK


share