Oklahoma Sooners Rushing Attack Overpowers Texas Tech Defense in Second Half
Texas Tech's final home game of the 2014 season ended up being a battle of backup freshman quarterbacks as Patrick Mahomes started for the Red Raiders in place of an injured Davis Webb and Cody Thomas starting in place of the Sooners' Trevor Knight.
However, it would be Thomas' legs, rather than his arm, that would help lead the Sooners to a 42-30 comeback victory.
Thomas finished the game 10/20 passing for 133 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions along with 8 rushes for 103 yards and one touchdown. 90 of Thomas' rushing yards came in the second half, along with his crucial fourth quarter rushing touchdown.
Oklahoma freshman running back Samaje Perine went over the 200 yard rushing mark in the fourth quarter as he gained a total of 213 yards on 25 carries, averaging 8.5 yards a rush. He also scored three touchdowns in the Sooners win.
During his postgame press conference, Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury praised Thomas' play and the Bob Stoops second half adjustments, "The Sooners pounded the ball, didn't turn it over and had some good schemes."
The change in how the Sooners approached the game offensively can be seen through the halftime stats. At the break, the Sooners had 120 passing yards and 68 rushing yards. They finished the game with 133 yards passing and 384 yards rushing.
But as far as the scoreboard goes, Texas Tech had a 14-7 lead at halftime. Mahomes provided the Red Raiders' scoring as he threw two touchdown passes. The first score was a 6 yard pass to Jakeem Grant with 4:03 left in the first quarter. The second was a 59 yard touchdown pass to Ian Sadler. Sadler got open in the middle of the field on a drag route and ran untouched into the end zone after catching the ball.
The Sooners lone score of the first half was a Samaje Perine two yard rushing touchdown late in the second quarter.
The third quarter started with Texas Tech receiving the kickoff. Three consecutive rushing plays to DeAndre Washington of six, 20 and two yards got the Red Raiders to the Sooners 47-yard line.
Two plays later, on a 3rd and 8, Mahomes found Devin Lauderdale open down the near sideline. Lauderdale caught the ball about 30 yards downfield as two Sooner defensive backs collided with each other and Lauderdale coasted into the end zone on a 47 yard reception (pictured). The Lauderdale touchdown put Texas Tech up 21-7 with 13:35 in the third quarter.
After taking a touchback, the Sooners started their next drive at the 25 yard line. They kept the ball on the ground with rushes of nine, zero and two yards to move the chains. On the next play Perine, busted through the line and found pay dirt on a 64 yard rushing touchdown. This moved the Sooners back within seven as the score was 21-14 Texas Tech with 12:04 left in the third.
The Red Raiders were unable to put points up on the board during their next drive. Their drive stalled out at the Oklahoma 40 yard line and they ended up punting from the 45 after a delay of game penalty.
Oklahoma started the drive after the punt at their own 13-yard line. Following the prescription from their previous drive, the Sooners kept the ball on the ground again.
Two consecutive Perine carries of nine yards each moved the ball to the 38-yard line. The Thomas found himself some space through the Red Raider defense on a 35 yard carry to the Texas Tech 27-yard line.
The Sooners kept the ball on the ground and Perine almost found the end zone on a 26 yard carry getting pushed out of bounds at one yard line. Two plays later Thomas connected with Durron Neal on a three yard touchdown pass. The Neal touchdown tied the game at 21 with 3:01 left in the third.
As the game crossed into the fourth quarter, Mahomes was able to lead the offense into the red zone after a Justin Stockton 19 yard run to the OU 35 yard line and a personal foul penalty pushed to the ball to the 20.
A 1st and 10 at the 11-yard line was set up after a three yard pass to Cameron Batson from Mahomes. However, the Red Raiders drive would stall out at the 9-yard line three plays later. Ryan Bustin's 27 yard field goal gave the Red Raiders what would end up being their final lead of the game at 24-21.
The Sooners next drive started at their own 36 and they kept the ball on the ground for the third consecutive drive. Rushing plays of 16, 5 and 3 set up a 3rd and 2 at the Texas Tech 40-yard line. Stoops pulled a little razzle-dazzle out of the playbook as he set up Thomas on a naked bootleg around the right tackle. Thomas had no Red Raider defenders within 10 yards of him as he scampered on a 13 yard carry to the Texas Tech 27-yard line.
Perine was given the rock on the next three plays and his carries of six, 17, and no yards set up a 2nd and Goal at the Texas Tech 4-yard line.
On the second down play, Thomas kept the ball on an option fake with Perine. Perine drew the defense away from Thomas as he plunged into the middle of the line and Thomas waltzed around the left tackle into the end zone. With the extra point the Sooners went up 28-24 with 10:06 left in the game.
Texas Tech wasn't able to get anything going offensively on their next drive, going three-and-out and having to punt.
The Sooners took over at their own 36 with 9:33 left in the game. At this point, they continued doing what was working, which was rushing the ball. Consecutive rushes of 11, 14, 15, six, seven and two yards to start the drive gave the Sooners a 2nd and 8 at the Texas Tech 9-yard line.
Three plays later, the fullback Aaron Ripowski plunged into the end zone on a one yard carry to extend the Sooners lead to 35-24 with 5:18 left in the game.
Oklahoma extended the lead to 42-24 on Perine's third rushing touchdown of the game, coming from 11 yards out.
The final score of the game came as time expired as Patrick Mahomes found Dylan Cantrell open in the end zone on a 39 yard pass.
Texas Tech's record dropped to (3-7, 1-6), guaranteeing the Red Raiders will miss out on a bowl game this season. Next Saturday, Texas Tech is on the road at Iowa State, Countdown to Kickoff starts at 11:30am on SportsRadio 1340 The Fan with kickoff at 2:30pm on FOX Sports Net.
- Oklahoma's 384 rushing yards marked the second time this season they broke the 300-yard mark in a game
- Samaje Perine broke the 200 yard rushing mark for the second time this season. He is also the first Sooner running back to rush over 1,000 yards in a season since DeMarco Murray in 2010.
- Jones AT&T Stadium attendance was 59,014; guaranteeing the third consecutive season Red Raider fans set an average attendance record. This year's average was 58,934
- Texas Tech senior linebacker Sam Eguavoen made his 35th career start
- Ian Sadler's 59 yard touchdown reception is the longest catch by a freshman since 2009 (Alex Torres 65 yards and Harrison Jeffers 62 yards)
- Texas Tech's first drive of the game was their longest this season for plays and times: 87 yards, 16 plays, 7:05 time of possession