After a disappointing start to the Big 12 season, No. 24 Oklahoma has won consecutive games over Texas and TCU. The Sooners' month-long road trip away from Norman, Oklahoma, reaches its conclusion with a trip to Lubbock, Texas on Saturday to face Texas Tech. A win would signify a turning of the corner for the Sooners. This has easily been the toughest stretch of the schedule and the worst time to figure out who/what you are as a team. Oklahoma has won its last eight against the Red Raiders, though games in Lubbock tend to be a little closer.
Texas Tech is coming off its most complete game of the 2020 season so far -- a 34-27 win over West Virginia. The switch to Henry Colombi at quarterback has been more reliable, and this is the biggest opportunity of the year to get a marquee win. Lubbock doesn't have the same lore as it did in 2008 when the Red Raiders knocked off top-ranked Texas, but with a primetime kickoff, there's a chance to reclaim a little bit of that magic.
The Red Raiders haven't beaten the Sooners since Tommy Tuberville was still roaming the sidelines in 2011. They also haven't beaten the Sooners at home since 2009 when Mike Leach was the coach. Can Matt Wells find the magic to pull off the upset on Saturday night?
Let's take a closer look at this matchup and the storylines to follow before making some expert picks both straight up and against the spread. Odds via William Hill Sportsbook
Oklahoma: Part of Oklahoma's slow start was a search for offensive playmakers. It was a strange situation in which the Sooners found themselves, given their embarrassment of skill player riches. Freshman receiver Marvin Mims has stepped into that WR1 role nicely. He hasn't caught more than five passes in a game, but he was a big-time deep threat against TCU with four catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns. As the season progresses and he gets more comfortable, Mims is the kind of explosive player who can give Oklahoma's usual quick-strike offense more of a vertical presence. He and running back T.J. Pledger have emerged over the past couple of weeks, so their presence will be stories to watch.
Texas Tech: It wouldn't be right to say Texas Tech ran a ball-control offense against West Virginia, but it was more efficient. Three scoring drives were at least nine plays spanning 69 yards. The Red Raiders were 50% on third downs and 2 of 3 on fourth downs, too. A big difference between Oklahoma and Texas Tech has been the explosive plays. In fact, Oklahoma has twice as many (34-17) as Tech. Keeping the ball away from Oklahoma's offense and limiting big plays will be crucial to pull off the upset.
Date: Saturday, Oct. 31 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Jones AT&T Stadium -- Lubbock, Texas
TV: Fox | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Game prediction, picks
Both teams are figuring out who they are at the right time. That should make this game exciting even if the line is double-digits. Ultimately, Oklahoma's offensive weapons are enough to get the job done. Three true road games for the Sooners in the past month is a lot, however, and that may keep things interesting. Pick: Texas Tech +14.5
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