Sooners put together complete performance in win over Texas Tech

By Tobi Neidy

The No. 13 Oklahoma football team got the vindicating win it needed with the 41-20 win over Texas Tech on Saturday.

Not only did the Sooners need the win in order to stay in contention for the Big 12 title, OU also got its first road win in Lubbock since 2003.

After spending two weeks answering questions about the lackluster performance during a home loss to Kansas State, the Sooner offense came out firing on all cylinders. Senior quarterback Landry Jones was able to establish a passing game, connecting with six different receivers for 175 passing yards in the first half and giving the Sooners a 24-13 lead.

To complement the offense, when OU needed its defense to step up and harass Tech quarterback Seth Doege, the Sooner defenders didn’t allow the starter to throw a touchdown pass during the game, coming away with a season-high three interceptions.

It was the complete game that Sooner fans asked for and coaches said they were working to put together in practices during the bye week. But more importantly, it showed just how good this team can be when all facets of the game are in top form.

The convincing 21-point win relied on proven offensive playmakers right out of the gate: junior running back Damien Williams and sophomore backup quarterback Blake Bell. Williams produced two carries of eight and six yards to start the game before the ‘Belldozer’ package was called in to secure another first down on a third-and-two situation. Jones later connected with senior wide receiver Justin Brown for the first touchdown of the game.

Williams emerged as a dual-threat in the Sooners’ offensive arsenal, leading both rushers (48) and receivers (82) in yardage while Bell finished with OU’s only two rushing touchdowns of the game.

And while the offense excelled, the defense simultaneously earned its right to be given game balls.

After spending the first quarter tracking down Tech receivers, junior defensive back Aaron Colvin earned his first career interception, which eventually led to an OU field goal that made it a two-possession game before halftime. Senior safety Javon Harris snagged an interception of his own and turned it into a pick-six that set up a 25-point lead in the third quarter.

Although senior defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland fumbled an interception he had in the first half, it was the first time an OU defensive lineman had picked off a pass since former defensive end Ronnell Lewis’s interception against Texas A&M on Nov. 5, 2011.

But maybe the most important part of this complete win is the fact that OU has the right momentum going into the rivalry game against Texas next weekend in Dallas.

It’s not hard for OU to get mentally ready for the game against the program’s archrivals, but knowing that the Sooners are starting to play their best football of the season with a pivotal conference game up next gives the team a renewed confidence going into the Cotton Bowl.

And in that aspect, the Sooners have undoubtedly made the needed corrections to right this season’s ship.

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