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Oklahoma shuts down Texas Tech defense en route to 41-20 win

The SportsXchange

LUBBOCK, Texas - When Oklahoma left for its Big 12 road game at Texas Tech, the Sooners carried some reasons for concern.

The 17th-ranked Sooners had been downed by Kansas State in their conference opener and hadn't defeated Texas Tech in Lubbock since 2003. Add to that a sometimes-sputtering Oklahoma offense this season and Texas Tech's sudden rise to the top of the national rankings in defense and it looked like a trap for Oklahoma.

But the Sooners showed they're still a force in the Big 12.

Oklahoma scored on five consecutive possessions and safety Javon Harris' 46-yard interception return for a touchdown on the way to dismantling Texas Tech, 41-20, on Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said his Sooners (3-1, 1-1 Big 12) were never shaken after the Big 12-opening loss at home to Kansas State.

"Any time you go on the road and win, you get something," Stoops said. "But the idea that we were thinking we can't come in here and win, that's an outside aura. We played well in a lot of areas. We got the turnovers, which is always a big factor in these games."

Texas Tech (4-1, 1-1 Big 12) came into the game giving up 167.5 yards per game and ranked atop the nation in total defense. However, the Red Raiders surrendered 251 yards and 24 points to the Sooners in the first half as Oklahoma took a 24-13 lead. The Sooners finished with 380 yards of total offense.

The Red Raiders forced Oklahoma to punt on the Sooners' second offensive series of the first half, but Oklahoma scored on every other possession of the first, second and third quarters. Texas Tech finally forced Oklahoma to punt early in the fourth quarter, but trailed by four touchdowns at that point.

Texas Tech punched with Oklahoma in the early going, taking a 10-7 lead on Ryan Bustin's 35-yard field goal with 14:22 left in the second quarter. But with the Red Raiders failing to stop Oklahoma, trading field goals for touchdowns didn't keep Texas Tech in the game for long.

Bustin booted a 43-yard field goal that cut Oklahoma's lead to 14-13, but the Sooners scored the next 27 points.

"I thought the situation where we had to kick that second field goal took the life out of us," Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said. "You can't get in the red zone and settle for field goals."

Sooners quarterback Landry Jones led the charge, peppering the Texas Tech defense with precision passing that kept the Sooners moving. Jones completed 25 of 40 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns.

"I'm not surprised by it," Stoops said. "Landry's an excellent quarterback and he had a good rhythm today."

Pressed on whether the game built confidence for Jones, Stoops bristled slightly at the implication that Jones had reason for a lack of confidence.

"He's going to go down as one of the best ever here and that's saying a lot," Stoops said.

As for his part, Jones deflected the praise to the Sooners as a whole.

"It was just us executing the way we know we can," Jones said. "Today was us putting it together."

When the Sooners reached the doorstep of the end zone, Texas Tech had no answer for Oklahoma wildcat quarterback Blake Bell, who ran for a pair of touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Seth Doege, who had thrown 15 touchdown passes to just 3 interceptions, was held without a touchdown pass and gave up two picks in the first two quarters. By the time Harris intercepted a Doege pass and returned it for a Sooner third-quarter touchdown, Oklahoma was waltzing to a win.

NOTES: Landry Jones' 13-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Stills in the second quarter gave him 100 touchdown passes for his career. Jones became the fourth Big 12 quarterback to pass for 100 touchdowns and 10,000 yards in his career, joining Missouri's Chase Daniels, Texas Tech's Graham Harrell and Texas' Colt McCoy. ... Oklahoma defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland intercepted his first pass of the season only to give it back to the Red Raiders. McFarland intercepted a Doege pass at the Texas Tech 17 and returned it to the 4 before fumbling. Tyson Williams recovered for the Red Raiders, who proceeded to drive 78 yards for a 35-yard Ryan Bustin field goal. ... Texas Tech set a new home attendance record with an announced crowd of 60,800.
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