Things to watch against Texas Tech

Nov. 25 -Oklahoma coach Brent Venables said his team can’t feel comfortable after clinching a big win against Oklahoma State last week.

The win gave the Sooners six of the season and bowl eligibility, extending their active streak of postseason games to 24 years. It was a much-needed win, but there is still a chance for the Sooners to fall short heading into the off-season.

If the Sooners (6-5) win against Texas Tech this weekend, they will secure a winning record regardless of the bowl game outcome. If they don’t, they risk ending up with a losing record for the first time since 1998.

There’s still a lot at stake for the Sooners against the Red Raiders. With that in mind, here’s a look at three things the Sooners must do to win in Lubbock, Texas:

1. Find success third

The offense struggled mightily in third place against the Cowboys last week.

During the season, the Sooners converted 40 percent of their third down attempts, which ranks sixth in the Big 12. But last week, the Sooners converted just 1-of-14, leaving them unable to score after the first quarter.

“The most frustrating thing is that it’s fallen in a lot of different areas,” said OU strike coordinator Jeff Lebby. “That’s me thinking and saying, ‘Let’s make sure we’re really tight of what we call, what I call every week, and allow these guys to execute things really neatly against a bunch of different pictures. . ‘

“That to me is where it has to go forward. I think if there’s regrets, maybe doing it a little too much, asking guys to do some other things. That starts and ends with me. I have to put them in some better third-place positions to make those plays.”

It hasn’t been a problem in every game. But that was the fifth time this season they have converted less than 35 percent in a game.

The Red Raiders rank fifth in the Big 12 in thwarting third-down conversions, with a score of 38 percent. But if the Sooners struggle to convert against the Red Raiders, it could spell trouble.

2. Get Dillon Gabriel back on track

Against the Cowboys, the OU quarterback threw for nearly 200 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter.

After that, he threw for just 60 yards and zero scores. He only completed 1 of 12 attempts in the second half. The Sooners failed to score on their last 12 possession.

Consistency has been a problem for Gabriel over the past two weeks as he threw just 190 yards against West Virginia. If it weren’t for that explosive first quarter, the Sooners might have fallen to the Cowboys.

The Sooners need Gabriel to bounce back, but that can be tough against a Texas Tech defense that surrenders just 228 passing yards per game, which ranks third in the Big 12.

3. Get Jalil Farooq back on track

The sophomore receiver has been big for the Sooners all season. But after his 30-yard touchdown grab in the first quarter, Farooq didn’t get a pass the rest of the way.

It’s only the second time since Week 3 that he’s failed to catch two or more passes. He also had a few uncharacteristic falls, especially in the second half, that prevented the Sooners from finding momentum.

Lebby said getting him involved with the Red Raiders will be important.

“He’ll be able to bounce back because he’s had production,” Lebby said. “We know what he’s capable of. I think he knows he left some big yards there. Two of the touch drops that were within five, six yards of the line of scrimmage, those actually had the ability to make really big plays. and then clear the scramble in third, Dillon makes an incredible play for us there. We need to make that play.”

On the season, Farooq has 24 catches for 338 yards and three touchdowns.”

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