By JOHN TRANCHINA, Associated Press
NORMAN (AP) — For a while, it looked like No. 10 Oklahoma and Texas Tech were going to re-create their record-breaking offensive output from last year, when each team piled up 854 yards in Oklahoma’s 66-59 victory.
Each team scored touchdowns on its first three possessions Saturday, but Oklahoma’s defense made some key adjustments to back star quarterback Baker Mayfield in a 49-27 victory Saturday night.
Mayfield completed 22 of 34 passes for 281 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another score.
“Great team win – really proud of the team,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said. “I was proud of the way we responded on both sides of the ball. (Texas Tech) had a good plan early, against some of our three-man fronts, to run it, but we made some adjustments and went back in and out of it, and I thought that kept them off-balance. They really didn’t get much after that.”
Making his first career start, Rodney Anderson gained a career-high 181 yards and a touchdown rushing, and Abdul Adams returned from a two-game absence due to an ankle injury to add 95 yards rushing on 10 carries for Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1 Big 12).
CeeDee Lamb set OU freshman single-game records with nine receptions for 147 yards and two touchdowns, while Mark Andrews added six catches for 79 yards and a touchdown for the Sooners, who amassed 617 yards of total offense.
“We have a lot of guys able to make plays,” Mayfield said. “A lot of people coming into the year didn’t know who we were going to have, but I was always hitting on us having the best running back room we’ve had since I’ve been here. Whoever has the hot hand is going to be rolling, and at receiver, we have a lot of guys making plays for us right now.”
Nic Shimonek passed for 322 yards and four touchdowns on 22-of-36 passing for Texas Tech (4-4, 1-4). Tre King gained 113 yards on 24 rushes, while T.J. Vasher compiled five receptions for 98 yards, and Keke Coutee had four catches for 93 yards and a touchdown. Cameron Batson added two receiving touchdowns.
“We just didn’t execute,” Red Raiders coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “Started fast and then had some things in the second half that we just didn’t get done. We have to figure out how to sustain some of that success from the first half and make routine plays and convert. … You just have to find a way. You have to have guys step up and leaders step up when something bad happens.”
Shimonek completed his first eight passes for 149 yards and three touchdowns as Tech jumped out to a 20-14 first quarter lead.
Oklahoma answered on Mayfield’s 3-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Brown just 1:15 into the second quarter to go up 21-20, and it looked like neither team was going to get a defensive stop. But Oklahoma’s defense clamped down after that, switching to a four-man front, and Texas Tech scored just one more touchdown the rest of the night.
Texas Tech: After managing just 13 points last week in a loss to Iowa State, the Red Raiders erupted for touchdowns on each of their first three possessions, and it looked like the Red Raiders were off to a big day. But following 20 points and 211 yards of total offense, while also converting the first four third-down situations, Tech sputtered after that. King rushed for 83 yards on 17 carries in the first quarter but gained just 30 more yards after that, and Shimonek was just 5 of 14 for 46 yards and an interception over the next five-plus possessions as Oklahoma scored 21 consecutive points and took control of the game. The Red Raiders also converted just one of their last 10 third downs.
Oklahoma: Everyone expected the Sooners’ offense to produce, and they did, surpassing 500 yards of offense for the seventh time in eight games this year, but it was their adjustments on defense that truly secured the victory. After surrendering 20 points and 211 yards of offense, including 87 rushing, and trailing 20-14 in the opening quarter, Oklahoma limited Texas Tech to 174 yards – just four rushing – over the second and third quarters combined, by which point the Sooners held a commanding 22-point lead.
The lopsided victory, coupled with several teams ahead of them losing earlier in the day, should mean that Oklahoma jumps up a few spots in the rankings, perhaps as high as No. 7.
MILKING THE CLOCK
After stopping the Red Raiders on a fourth-and-goal with 11:16 remaining, Oklahoma took over at its own 1-yard-line and managed to run out the clock. The Sooners converted three third downs and one fourth-and-2 to clinch it. Anderson gained 57 yards on nine rushes during the drive, which took 18 plays and advanced OU to the Texas Tech 30-yard-line before time expired.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders try to snap their three-game losing streak next Saturday at home against Kansas State.
Oklahoma: The Sooners travel across the state next Saturday to face No. 11 Oklahoma State.
More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
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