Oklahoma knocks off previously unbeaten Texas Tech
The Associated Press
NORMAN, Okla. — Blake Bell knew he would likely have to match Texas Tech’s high-powered offense with big plays of his own if Oklahoma was to knock the Red Raiders from the ranks of the unbeaten.
The Sooners quarterback did just that in a 38-30 victory Saturday, providing one of several spectacular moments for No. 17 Oklahoma as it reasserted its position as one of the Big 12 Conference’s best.
Bell accounted for 293 yards of total offense for the Sooners (7-1, 4-1), throwing for 249 yards and two touchdowns in handing the 10th-ranked Red Raiders (7-1, 4-1) their first loss of the season.
None of Bell’s plays were bigger than his 76-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Saunders in the first half, a play that put Oklahoma up 14-7 and gave it a much-needed boost of momentum after offensive struggles in recent weeks.
“You need to get some chunks,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. “It (was a) spark to get some big plays, and to get a chunk like that is a huge play in the game. It was a great throw by Blake and a great job by Jalen running it down and making the play.”
Saunders finished with six catches for 153 yards and Damien Williams rushed for 97 yards and two touchdowns for the Sooners, who forced three turnovers.
The Red Raiders entered the game riding a wave of momentum under first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury, and they were eager to prove they were worthy of their lofty ranking — despite just one win over a ranked team this season entering the game.
The three turnovers, however, came back to haunt Texas Tech.
“You cannot come into this stadium against this team with those coaches and those athletes and do that,” Kingsbury said. “... We knew coming in that we couldn’t have the turnovers, but we didn’t take care of business.”
Davis Webb finished 33-of-52 passing for 385 yards for the Red Raiders, who were led by Jace Amaro’s 119 yards receiving on eight catches. Eric Ward had nine catches for 106 yards.
Texas Tech led 7-0 after the first quarter, and the offensive shootout was on between two of the Big 12’s best — the defending conference-champion Sooners and upstart Red Raiders.
The teams combined for 986 yards of total offense, with Oklahoma outgaining Texas Tech 526-460.
“I felt like we had a lot of momentum when it was 24-21,” Amaro said. “We just needed one more stop. We had a good chance of putting it away if we would’ve had one more score.
“... You can’t be having turnovers on the offensive side and penalties; that really killed us.”