July 22, 2009

2008 Season in Review: Oklahoma

Funny thing. I remember practically nothing from Oklahoma's 65-21 disarticulation of Texas Tech in Norman last season. I watched the game from the opening kickoff to the final bitter snap, but nothing specific of the contest remains in my mind. No single play. No commentary from the announcers. No specific image of the stadium or fans. It is all a crimson and cream blur in my mind.

Courtesy of MyFoxLubbock.com.
Is this a case of memory protecting mind? Is this what the brain does to suppress trauma? If so, thank God for the mental mechanism. Because what I do recall is that it was the worst beating I've ever seen a Tech football team absorb.

RECAP: The game started in the lower depths for the Red Raiders and then quickly plunged into the abyss. The Red Raiders picked up one first down on their first drive and were then forced to punt. The trouble soon began.

Oklahoma's offense simply bludgeoned Tech's defense with the running game on OU's first series and punctuated it with a short touchdown run.

The Red Raiders actually had a chance to strike early in the game with a 1st-and-ten on the Oklahoma 36. A pass for no gain and two consecutive sacks put an end to that and the rout was about to commence.

The Sooners scored three straight touchdowns, during which period, the Red Raiders squandered a 2nd-and-three from the OU 15 and got no points. The score was 28-0 before Tech got on the scoreboard with a Tramain Swindall touchdown reception. Oklahoma, however, scored two more touchdowns to make the score an incomprehensible 42-7 at halftime. That is what the Red Raiders typically do to an Indiana State or Northwestern Louisiana.

The second half was nothing more than a meaningless appendix. Oklahoma tacked on 23 points while Tech tallied a pair of meaningless touchdowns to make the final score 65-21.

STAR OF THE SHOW: For the first time during the 2008 season, the star of the show was not a Red Raider. Instead, it could have been practically anybody on the Oklahoma sideline. Sam Bradford passed only 19 times but completed 15 of them for 304 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. The OU offensive line paved the way for DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown to run for over 100 yards and a combined five touchdowns, while allowing only two sacks of the quarterbacks. Or it could have been the Oklahoma defensive front seven which totally stifled Tech's running game and sacked Graham Harrell four times. Take your pick.

BIGGEST MOMENT: There was no biggest moment because this game was never in the balance. The Red Raiders were doomed before they ever took the field. That said, if Tech had been able to cash in with a touchdown early in the second quarter to make the score 14-7, the Red Raiders might have been able to keep it somewhat interesting for a while. Instead, Graham Harrell failed to connect on a pass to Shannon Woods on a 4th-and-3 from the OU 15-yardline and that was all she wrote.

BIGGEST PLAY: The only big plays were on the Oklahoma side of the ledger. The Sooners punctuated the obvious disparity between the two teams on multifarious occasions. Any of those punctuations could stand as the biggest play. Perhaps Jermaine Gresham's 19-yard touchdown reception to make it 21-0 early in the second quarter was the most deflating. Sam Bradford was entirely unmolested in the pocket, almost as if Tech's defensive line was invisible. And Gresham looked like Godzilla with Flash Gordon speed as he cruised through the Red Raider secondary like he was strolling down that old, fair lane. The physical domination was jaw-dropping.

STAT OF THE GAME: So many to choose from. Bradford averaged 16.1 yards per completion. Texas Tech was 1-13 in third down efficiency. The Red Raiders rushed for 45 yards; the Sooners rushed for 299. Both DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown ran for over 100 yards. Michael Crabtree did not score a touchdown. But try this one on for size: 65. That is the most points Tech has given up in 85 years of playing football.





 

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