Texas Tech Is Hoping Oklahoma Is Afraid of the Dark
The Red Raiders wear black at night. It's their thing. It was popularized during the Mike Leach era when The Jones was a dangerous place to play. New head coach Matt Wells has made it a rule that whenever his team is kicking off at home and it's a night game, there will be a blackout.
Texas Tech themselves is calling this the Celebrate Energy game. It always seemed odd to me to celebrate energy with a blackout, but here we are.
This night game will feature a 3-2 Oklahoma team coming to Lubbock, who is down this season, but still incredibly dangerous. The similarities between the Sooners and the Red Raiders are actually pretty striking.
Both teams have lost to both Kansas State and Iowa State this season. Both gave up leads and went to overtime with Texas. The Sooners and Red Raiders are also both coming off of games where it seems like they started to figure some things out.
The similarities don't end there.
Both teams might be without key players on Saturday. Ronnie Perkins for Oklahoma, who was expected to be back this week, but now it's unlikely. For Texas Tech, it's KeSean Carter, who provides a much different weapon over the middle of the field than what Texas Tech has in his absence.
In conference games only, Texas Tech and Oklahoma have both given up and scored more than 30 points per game. Granted, OU scores more than they give up, and Texas Tech doesn't.
The talent gap isn't as wide as it has been for Oklahoma over Texas Tech this season, but it's not like Oklahoma is bringing in a Heisman-hopeful quarterback, multiple high-level draft picks on the offensive line, the best WR prospect in the country, and all-American defensive players like they have in past seasons.
With the talent gap within distance, Texas Tech just hopes that Spencer Rattler is afraid of the dark.
And by dark, I mean Eli Howard and the pressure that the Texas Tech front has to get on him.
Rattler leads the Big 12 in passing, but has thrown five interceptions to go along with his 11 touchdowns. Rattler is inexperienced and easily confused. If DC Keith Patterson can scheme him into making mistakes more times than he hits big plays, the game can lean toward Texas Tech.
Offensively, the OU defense will be the worst Big 12 defense Texas Tech has played since Texas. This means it will be the most susceptible defense that Henry Colombi has played thus far. Of course, that won't matter if Texas Tech starts this game with the same roster they finished the West Virginia game with.
If Carter, Vasher, Thompson, White and more are out, then Oklahoma cruises to a victory. With each of those names playing, the offense gets a little bit better.
The x-factor here is that it's Halloween night. Does that matter historically in Lubbock?
In games played on October 31st historically for Texas Tech since 1981, they are 1-6. The one win came in 2009 against the last decent Kansas team.
That doesn't bode well.
How about adding in home games since 1990 played in the last weekend of October?
That makes it 3-10.
Can this game happen on November 1st? Texas Tech's had a couple big wins on November 1st. No? It's got to start on time. It could finish on November 1st, though.
New goal: If Texas Tech-Oklahoma finishes after midnight, Texas Tech will win.
Otherwise, with a line of 14.5, I think Texas Tech can cover with Vasher, Carter and Thompson or White in the mix.
For my exact prediction and expert analysis from the 23 Personnel Podcast, tune into the College Tailgate show on Halloween from 10 a.m. to noon. Costumes optional.