Saturday, October 31, 2020, Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, Texas, 8 p.m. ET
Sooners at Red Raiders Betting Preview: Sooners (-14), Red Raiders (+14)
Sooners quarterback Spencer Rattler has a fan in Texas Tech coach Matt Wells.
“Arm talent, sick,” Wells said. “I mean, the guy flips his wrist and the ball flies. He’s very accurate, he can throw it on the run, he runs well in the pocket. … He has got big-time arm talent.”
Rattler has gotten his collegiate career off to a strong start, throwing for 1,518 yards and 15 touchdowns with five interceptions through his first five games as a starter. He seems to have gotten the No. 24 Sooners (3-2, 2-2 Big 12) back on track after passing for 332 yards in a 33-14 beatdown of TCU last week.
Rattler has been especially good since he was benched briefly in the second quarter against Texas on Oct. 10, an eventual 53-45 Sooners’ win after four overtimes.
“Coming out and being a starting quarterback at this level — especially at a school like this — you have to experience it,” Sooners coach Lincoln Riley said. “As much as you can mentally prepare guys and do everything you can to get them ready and talk to them and have guys who have been in that same position talk to them, it’s just experiencing it is another thing. I think he’s getting more used to the emotions, the ups and downs and just what it feels like.”
The Sooners have scored at least 28 points in a school-record 57 consecutive games and could welcome back a couple of key players this week.
Wide receiver Trejan Bridges, defensive end Ronnie Perkins and running back Rhamondre Stevenson were suspended before last season’s bowl game after reportedly failing an NCAA drug test, and they haven’t played since.
Bridges and Stevenson figure to be available against Texas Tech. The situation is a bit more unclear regarding Perkins, because there were snags after he had a chance to be reinstated earlier in the month, the Tulsa World reported.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
The Red Raiders (2-3, 1-3 Big 12) snapped their losing streak at three games with their 34-27 win over West Virginia with Utah State transfer Henry Colombi earning a start at quarterback against Oklahoma after completing 22 of 28 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown against the Mountaineers. He also had 40 yards and a touchdown rushing.
OU coach Lincoln Riley noticed the change in Tech’s offense with Colombi at the helm.
“It’s been interesting to see with the new guy,” Riley said. “I would think they continue to gain some confidence in him and continue to open it for him. But they’re doing a lot of good things, and they’ve always been creative offensively and do a good job of mixing tempo and different formations and challenging you in different ways.”
The Red Raiders are going to have to find a way to slow down Oklahoma’s offense, something they haven’t been able to do. The Sooners have averaged over 50 points a game during an eight-game winning streak over the Red Raiders, scoring at least 38 points each game during that stretch.
The Red Raiders have allowed opponents an average of 37 points a game this season with a minimum of 31 points. Even Houston Baptist burned the Raiders for 33 points in the opener, though Tech hung on for a two-point win.
Sooners at Red Raiders Betting Pick for October 31, 2020
The Sooners have an eight-game winning streak in the series after last season’s 55-16 rout of the Red Raiders in Norman. Fortunately for the Red Raiders, Jalen Hurts and his 413 passing yards in that game are gone, but OU’s Rattler has averaged 303.6 yards a game. Like pretty much all freshman, however, he can be prone to forcing things and he has five interceptions in 150 attempts.
Sooners at Red Raiders Betting Pick:
SOONERS 45, Red Raiders 27
Sooners at Red Raiders Best Bet for October 10, 2020
The Sooners seem to be getting their act back together after a pair of early season losses to Kansas State and Iowa State, holding TCU to just 75 yards rushing in a 33-14 win over the Horned Frogs last week. The Red Raiders, however, have scoring potential.
Sooners at Red Raiders Best Bet: OVER 68.5