Layna Dewell, News9.com
NORMAN, Oklahoma – The Oklahoma Sooners, No. 1 in the Coaches Poll and third in the first BCS rankings of the season, are back to the grind this week preparing for Saturday's showdown against Texas Tech.
The Sooners enter the game with an undefeated 7-0 record while the Red Raiders have lost two games straight and are 4-2 thus far.
Texas Tech provides a challenge in its passing offense led by quarterback Seth Doege who leads the Big 12 in total offense.
The Red Raiders enter the game ranked in the top 10 nationally in passing offense with 372.3 yards per game and are averaging 533.8 yards per game in total offense and 43.8 points per game scoring.
"(They're) a team that offensively has had more snaps than anybody in the country playing at a fast tempo/pace and really doing well throwing the football. Their quarterback Seth Doege is completing about 70 percent of his balls, really spreading it around like they always have to a bunch of different receivers and they always have the opportunity and chance to run the football well-- and we are well aware of that," said OU head coach Bob Stoops.
"They've got a really good quarterback, good receivers and they throw the ball well," said OU defensive back Gabe Lynn. "We will really have to come together on defense."
Tech came up short against Texas A&M losing by five and in a late game battle at Kansas State the Red Raiders fought to the end but fell 41-31 against the Wildcats.
"Defensively they've been solid and they've been in a couple of tough games where they've been in the fourth quarter with some good teams and a chance to win but have come up on the short end of it, but again they are a team we recognize is really a good football team coming in here so we need a good week of work," added Stoops.
Stoops says that third down conversions as always are pivotal in the game and realizes this is one of Texas Tech's strengths.
"It's always a big factor in games, the third down conversions and holds. They have been very efficient in moving the ball and third downs is a big part of it so they have done a great job executing and running or throwing the ball."
One thing the Sooners are working to improve on is breakdowns in the red zone.
Currently, Oklahoma is sixth in the nation with 45.3 points per game, but scores touchdowns on only 56 percent of its possessions inside the opponents' 20-yard line.
Although Stoops said that during the Kansas game their struggle came from missed blocking assignments, dropped balls and overthrows, to him there is only one main problem.
"I think the issue is at the end we are working to get it better to not miss a block," said Stoops who added that the issue stems from not executing the play correctly—an issue that the team will diligently continue to work on.
Stoops also noted the similarities between the play of Texas Tech from previous coach Mike Leach to now head coach Tommy Tubberville.
"There's a lot of the same offense that's there, you see a lot of the same route combinations and formations and great throwing the ball and then they don't publicize it but they can still really hurt you running the football," said Stoops.
"The times when we have not played well against them, they have run the football on us so that's still a major concern for us."
As far as injuries go, Stoops said that Ben Habern is still out 2-3 weeks as he recovers from a broken arm but says that as of now he expects all others to play.
For more on the Sooners upcoming matchup be sure to read this week's Vitals: Oklahoma vs. Texas Tech.
Kickoff is set for Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. and will be televised on ABC.