Two teams in very similar spots heading into the season finale. Both Oklahoma and Texas Tech are going through adjustments with first-year head coaches.
Both the Sooners and Red Raiders earned their sixth win last weekend to guarantee playing in a bowl game next month.
Now each team will look to finish strong as OU heads to Lubbock this weekend. Breaking down all things Tech is RedRaiderSports.com writer Justin Apodaca.
How in the world has Joey McGuire and the offensive staff been able to handle everything that has happened at the quarterback spot? Is there finally some stability with Tyler Shough now?
The quarterback position has been somewhat of a mess this season, and it’s quite funny, because McGuire talked a ton about having an extremely deep quarterback room and he’s had to start them all equally this season. Shough won the job out of camp but got hurt week one. Donovan Smith took over until a lingering issue kept him out of Oklahoma State where Behren Morton took over. Morton excelled and would likely be the starter if he weren’t dealing with a pretty nasty ankle sprain that was reaggravated in Ft. Worth. Morton is likely the future at the position for Tech, but Shough has grown as a runner in the past few weeks and does enough through the air to find success.
What’s made Sarodorick Thompson and Tahj Brooks such a potent one-two combination at running back?
There have been times this season where both Thompson and Brooks have been underutilized, but over the past two games, they have found a really nice groove on the ground. Both are extremely patient runners who can make something out of nothing, which they have had to behind an offensive line that has been bad at times. After dealing with injury early, Cam’ron Valdez provides a nice change of pace with a different style, being more of a one-cut type of runner.
The Tyree Wilson news is terrible. Who takes his spot? How does Tech adjust to what it has done defensively?
True freshman Joseph Adedire has been filling in for Wilson over the past few weeks, and while he is nowhere near the talent as Wilson, he has made some plays and got pressure to Dekkers a few times in Ames. The defense has been extremely multiple all season, they go into a lot of different looks and bring a lot of different pressures. Marquis (Muddy) Waters has been excellent in the ‘star’ position while the veteran presence upfront in Tony Bradford Jr. and Jaylon Hutchings has provided stability.
OU is entering this one relatively healthy for late November, can the same be said for the Red Raiders (outside of Wilson)?
Outside of Wilson and the aforementioned Morton, the Red Raiders will be pretty much at full strength. They are expecting standout corner Malik Dunlap to return after missing last week against Iowa State with an injury that McGuire wouldn’t elaborate on. Mason Tharp, one of three regularly used tight ends, is questionable while the status of depth linebacker Jacob Rodriguez is unknown, looked to take a helmet to the head last week.
If you had to pick one person to be an X-Factor on Saturday night, who is that guy primed for a breakout performance?
Myles Price is likely the best receiver on this Texas Tech team, and he has struggled to get going at times this season, but after a couple of big catches against the Cyclones, I believe he will be the biggest standout on the offensive side of the ball. On the defensive side, middle linebacker Krishon Merriweather is my pick to have his best game of the season in his last ever at Jones AT&T Stadium.