|No. 2 Texas Tech gearing up for No. 5 Oklahoma|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 17 November 2008 16:30|
Another week, another never-before to conquer for the nation's No. 2 team. And in a season flush with firsts for the Red Raiders, a win in Norman against No. 5 Oklahoma on Saturday would give Texas Tech its only Big 12 South title and move it closer to playing for an national title.
The Sooners are the last in a four-game gantlet of Top 25 opponents for the Red Raiders, who own the nation's longest active win streak at 12 games. They crushed then-No. 19 Kansas, stunned No. 1 Texas in a thriller and clobbered No. 8 Oklahoma State.
Last week? A bye that Leach says was anything but time off.
``There's nothing off about it,'' said Leach, who has Texas Tech 10-0 for the first time since 1938. ``It was better for the players because the load was reduced so their legs are probably fresher.''
Offensive lineman Rylan Reed said the week away won't do anything to slow the momentum.
so focused and done such a good job of being prepared that I don't think there's any chance of that happening,'' he said. ``We just got to keep it going.''
That means keep scoring. And in Norman, expect a shootout.
The game pits two of the top three passing offenses and scoring offenses in the country. Led by QB Graham Harrell, Tech is tops at 433.7 yards per game, and the Sooners are third at 355.5. When it comes to scoring, Oklahoma ranks first (51.4 points per game to 47.9).
The Heisman Trophy could be on the line, too. Harell and Oklahoma's Sam Bradford are ranked first and fourth in the nation in total offense.
In last year's matchup in Lubbock, Bradford received a concussion in the first quarter and left the game. This time, Tech knows the sophomore is coming in with more experience.
``He's got the size and the arm and makes good decisions back there,'' said Texas Tech safety Daniel Charbonnet, whose five interceptions tie him for ninth in the nation.
Texas Tech has won two of the last three against Oklahoma but has never beaten the Longhorns and the Sooners in the same season under Leach, who served as offensive coordinator for Bob Stoops in 1999 before taking over in Lubbock.
Texas Tech has been on the verge of winning the South division before, but that chance in 2002 didn't come with national title implications.
aded to Norman the next week with the Big 12 South at stake. The trip ended badly - No. 4 Oklahoma pummeled Tech 60-15, giving Leach the first of four losses at Oklahoma since 2000.
A loss to the Sooners this time wouldn't necessarily knock the Red Raiders out of the Big 12 race. Oklahoma must still play at No. 11 Oklahoma State on Nov. 29, the same day Tech wraps up its regular season against Baylor.