OU football 2011 opponent breakdown: Texas Tech Red Raiders
The 2011 college football season is still weeks away, but excitement surrounding Norman is nearly overflowing.
And while the Sooners have their eyes on winning the university's eighth national title, there are 12 games that must be played before the preseason No. 1 team can earn its place in the BCS national championship game in New Orleans.
Leading up to the first day of classes, The Daily will publish a breakdown of each opponent OU will face this year.
Up next: Texas Tech
OCT. 22 IN NORMAN
(Previous meeting: W, 45-7, in 2010)
A positive to the schedule reshuffling the conference had to do: Oklahoma gets Texas Tech in Norman in back to back years.
Why? Because the Sooners have not beaten the Red Raiders in Lubbock, Texas, since 2003.
For whatever reason, West Texas has become the place where Oklahoma's BCS dreams have gone to die in recent years. So in a season when OU seems positioned for a serious run to the BCS national championship, the Sooners catch a scheduling break.
However, this might have been the perfect year for OU to exorcise those demons. Texas Tech is replacing its quarterback and top two receivers from an offensive attack that was 15th in the country last season in yards per game (460.23).
The Red Raiders will turn to a quarterback who only threw four passes in 2010, but coach Tommy Tuberville says what junior Seth Doege lacks in experience, he makes up for it with intelligence.
To assist Doege's development, all five starting linemen are back to help keep their quarterback upright and give him time to make plays to the Red Raiders' deep cast of receivers and all-everything running back junior Eric Stephens.
When Tuberville arrived in Lubbock, he announced his intention to run a more fast-paced offense. Sticking to his word, Tech ran 81.7 plays per game in 2010, second nationally only to Oklahoma's 86.5. Now, the Red Raiders are looking for more efficiency to go with their pace.
Having a full year to adjust to Tuberville's system should help the offense remain effective as Doege grows comfortable in his new role, but that isn't the biggest concern for Texas Tech. The real problem is the defense, which was porous and ranked near the bottom of all the national categories last season.
To improve the unit, Tuberville hired Chad Glasgow from TCU to serve as Tech's defensive coordinator. Glasgow brings a 4-2-5 scheme to Lubbock that should help the Red Raiders face the Big 12's high-flying offenses.
Tech's defensive line should serve as a unit of strength in Glasgow's defense, and the team's young linebackers and secondary showed a lot of improvement toward the end of last season — but Oklahoma will be too much for a Texas Tech team that is a step or two away from competing for league titles.
Prediction: W, 42-21
Confidence: 90 percent
Returning starters: seven offense, seven defense
Red Raiders to know: QB Seth Doege, S Cody Davis, RT Mickey Okafor
Prediction, too: Three OU running backs score a touchdown