OU-Red Raider game might be an offensive explosion

From a statistical standpoint, Oklahoma and Texas Tech – two of the most prolific offenses in college football – may have another shootout in Norman Saturday night.

The No. 10 Sooners host unranked Texas Tech at 7 p.m. OU surged past Kansas State 42-35 in Manhattan last Saturday while the Red Raiders lost to No. 25 Iowa State, 13-31.

“We  came out flat to start this game,” Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said after the ISU loss. “It was the first game I felt like we were flat. They executed at a high level and we didn’t. We can’t do that in this league. We got to find a way to get back up. Got a big one next week,”

Last season in Lubbock, Oklahoma had to score 66 points to overcome Texas Tech, which scored 59 (outscoring OU 21-15 in the second half). Former Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes (a first round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs) threw for 734 yards and OU’s Baker Mayfield both passed for 545 yards and a school-record seven touchdowns.

The teams combined for 1,708 total yards of offense.

This season, Mayfield leads the nation in pass efficiency (200.4 rating) while Texas Tech quarterback Nic Shimonek is No. 13 (160.4).

Mayfield has made 149 of 202 pass attempts (74 percent) for 2,347 yards, 19 touchdowns and only two interceptions. Shimonek has thrown for almost exactly the same number of yards (2,341) with 18 touchdowns, hitting 195 of 275 attempts (71 percent) with five interceptions.

In terms of percentage of completion of passes, OU is No. 1 (75 percent) and Texas Tech is No. 2 (72 percent) in the nation.

Oklahoma is second in the nation (behind Oklahoma State) in average passing yards per game at 382 while Texas Tech is not far behind at No. 7, averaging 351 yards per contest. Oklahoma averages almost 200 yards a game rushing (199) while Texas Tech averages 162 yards rushing per game.

OU averages 42 points per game while allowing an average of 25 points. Tech averages 40.3 points per game and gives up 30.9 points.

Oklahoma surrenders an average of 374 yards in total defense while the Red Raiders is No. 98 in the nation, giving up 426 yards per game.

In the win over Kansas State, the Sooners uncharacteristically fell behind 10-21 at the half but a strong second half by the defense and heroics by Mayfield sealed the win.

“Our guys at halftime had a great look in their eyes,” said OU coach Lincoln Riley. “They were determined to come out and play a lot better and the mentality really went to another level there. Got them into the locker room at halftime and they were really ready to play.

“The second half went about as scripted until I made a dumb call on the flea flicker. It was just bad by me. We were moving the ball well and we were stopping them. So a poor decision by me that gave them some momentum back in the game and they took advantage of it. We obviously had the snap on the punt that we did not catch and gave up a few plays there and gave them some momentum. But for the most part in the second half we did a much better job against their run game and made some adjustments. Guys did a much better job simply just getting off blocks in the second half and certainly finished drives a lot better offensively.”

Kansas State fell to 3-4 overall and 1-3 in the conference.

“We obviously did not play well,” said K-State coach Bill Snyder. “We gave up big plays throughout the course of the ball game but mostly in the second half and you just can not do it against a team like that. You let them get in the red zone and then Baker (Mayfield) really can do some amazing things and he adds his feet to the game during that period of time and then you have got too many people to have to defend against. But, Baker (Mayfield) is a very tremendous player which he has proven day in, and day out.

“You did not need me to say that but you know, he throws the ball and just handles the game so very, very well. I admire the way he finds the open receivers, he has got a lot of people running routes and he always gets the one that has got some room to throw the ball to. He is a good player, good leader.”

Mayfield threw for 410 yards on 32-of-41 passing with two touchdowns and one interception. He also ran for 69 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.

“I was very confident in our guys,” said Mayfield. “Going into somebody’s house you have to love those types of moments. Being down, backs against the wall, nobody wants you to win, you have to have a bunch of guys that are hungry to go get the job done and prove those people wrong. For us, we had a lot of momentum but those moments you see what you are made of. You see if you are going to cower down or if you are going to rise up to the occasion and we had been doing just that. So I had all the confidence in the world in our guys and I love those types of moments. That is a huge win for us considering that we have not played well in the second half most of the season besides the Ohio State game. We handled our business in the second half today.”

On Monday, Riley said that backup quarterback Kyler Murray was inserted in the Kansas State game for a change of pace and not because Mayfield was hurt.

“(Murray) is really progressing and doing a lot of things well,” Riley said. “I know a lot of it ended up being run game the other night, but there’s a lot of things he could certainly do throwing the ball for us, as well. Part of it was Baker didn’t practice the whole week, and so we had some things ready to go for Kyler.”

Mayfield appeared to injure his shoulder in the win over Texas.

“No, he’s doing a lot better,” Riley said. “He had a tough time last week, but rebounded nicely and played very well. It was just a deal where he didn’t practice and we had some things for Kyler that were ready to go. We didn’t get to all of them. Thought he came in and did a nice job.”

Riley also said the wildcat package had been working in previous games but that Kansas State stopped it twice.

Sophomore running back Rodney Anderson had a career high in rushing yards (147), rushing attempts (19) and rushing long (36). He scored the final go-head touchdown for the Sooners.

Tight end Mark Andrews caught a career high seven receptions for 61 yards while wideout Jeff Baden tied a season high with five receptions and recorded 42 receiving yards. Wideout Marquise Brown caught six passes for 12 yards.

OU cornerback Jordan Thomas had his second interception in as many games and the eighth overall of his career.

“People are always on my back; hassling me,” Thomas said. “Right or even wrong. It was just huge for me to come out and play a great game. I gave up a little eight-yard hitch. Outside of that I didn’t really give up much, then I got a big pick. It was huge for me just to get those people off my back.”

His interception changed the momentum of the game.

“It was huge,” Thomas said. “They look to who their better players are to make plays in these kinds of games, and when I did that it was just a domino effect after. Guys just start showing up all over the place. Our linebackers were flying around. Our defensive line was flying around. Our offense started to turn it up, and at the end of the game it was a great result.”

Kicker Austin Seibert made four extra points, giving him 179 for his career, surpassing Trey DiCarlo and Tim Lashar (177) for fourth in OU history. Seibert connected on a pair of field goals, and is 5-for-5 over the last two games. But Seibert mishandled a snap that set up a K-State score that could have cost OU the victory.

OU will play at Oklahoma State at 3 p.m. on November 4 and the game will be on FS1.

Oklahoma is 75-19-4 all-time against Kansas State, including a 38-10-1 mark in Manhattan and 7-0 at KSU since 2000. The Sooners have won nine of the last 11 matchups in the series and 12 of the last 15.

The victory is win No. 75 in the series for OU, its second highest win total against another school behind its 86 wins vs. Oklahoma State.