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Texas Tech falls to No. 4 Oklahoma, 52-21

Texas Tech takes on No. 4 Oklahoma in Norman.
Texas Tech takes on No. 4 Oklahoma in Norman.(Texas Tech Athletics)
Published: Oct. 30, 2021 at 10:33 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 30, 2021 at 6:35 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Red Raiders were unable to overcome No. 4 ranked Oklahoma this afternoon, falling 52-21, in Sonny Cumbie’s debut as the Interim Head Coach.

OU’s quarterback Caleb Williams threw for 402 yards and 6 touchdowns on the day, proving why he’s in the Heisman conversation.

The Sooners jumped out first, on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Williams to Mario Williams. Texas Tech tied it up at 7 with a few minutes left in the first, on a 17-yard pass from Henry Colombi to Erik Ezukanma.

Ezukanma led the Red Raiders with 105 receiving yards. Meanwhile, Colombi finished 7-for-12 with a touchdown and an interception.

The Red Raiders trailed 14-7 after the first quarter, but OU opened the flood gates in the second quarter, scoring three more touchdowns and taking a 28-7 lead heading into halftime.

Texas Tech freshman quarterback Donovan Smith took several snaps this afternoon. Smith threw for 192 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown to J.J. Sparkman in the third quarter. Texas Tech trailed 37-14 after the third.

But the Sooners never let up, adding two more scores in the fourth to secure the win and advance to 9-0 on the season.

The loss gives Texas Tech a 5-4 overall record, and 2-4 in Big 12 play. The Red Raiders have three more opportunities to get a sixth win and become bowl eligible. They have a bye week next weekend and will face No. 22 ranked Iowa State on November 13th.

INSIDE THE SERIES

  • This will be the 29th all-time meeting between Texas Tech and Oklahoma as the Red Raiders will be looking to snap a nine-game losing streak against the Sooners. Oklahoma controls the overall series between the two schools with a 22-6 all-time record versus the Red Raiders, which includes a 9-4 mark at Jones AT&T Stadium.
  • The Red Raiders will be looking for their first win in the series since Texas Tech shocked the top-ranked Sooners, 41-38, in 2011. Oklahoma, which was No. 1 in the coaches’ poll at the time, has rolled off nine-consecutive wins since that loss, marking the longest winning streak by either team all-time in the series.
  • Texas Tech will be facing a ranked Oklahoma team for the 11th-consecutive year Saturday. The Red Raiders are 3-19 all-time against ranked Oklahoma teams.

CAREER NOTABLES VERSUS THE SOONERS

  • Erik Ezukanma came close to a 100-yard performance against the Sooners a year ago as he caught seven passes for 88 yards. He has eight catches for 107 yards over his two career games versus Oklahoma.
  • DaMarcus Fields has recorded 15 tackles and three pass breakups over his career against the Sooners. Fields, whose 44 career passes defended are the most for a Red Raider dating back to 2000, is one of two players on the Texas Tech roster to face Oklahoma each of the past four seasons, joining fellow super senior Riko Jeffers.
  • Speaking of Jeffers, he has notched seven tackles in each of the last three meetings with the Sooners as he has 22 career tackles versus Oklahoma, including 3.0 that have gone for a loss. He had 1.5 tackles for loss in each of the last two contests.
  • Travis Koontz found the end zone for the first time last season versus Oklahoma as he caught a Henry Colombi pass near midfield and raced the rest of the way for a career-long 75-yard touchdown. It marked the longest reception by any Red Raider last season.
  • Eric Monroe came close to reaching double digits for tackles in his first-ever game against Oklahoma a year ago as he totaled nine stops, including 2.0 that went for a loss. His 2.0 tackles for loss remain a career high.
  • SaRodorick Thompson nearly hit the 100-yard mark for the first time in his career during the 2019 meeting between the two schools as he carried 13 times for 96 yards versus the Sooners. Thompson eventually eclipsed the 100-yard plateau two weeks later with a career-high 153 yards in an overtime loss at Baylor. He has 17 carries for 124 yards and a touchdown over his career against Oklahoma.

CUMBIE NAMED INTERIM HEAD COACH FOR REMAINDER OF SEASON

  • Texas Tech Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt announced Monday a change in leadership for the Red Raider football program after head coach Matt Wells was relieved of his duties, effective immediately. Hocutt has tabbed offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie to serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
  • Over its now 96 seasons of football, Cumbie is only the third interim head coach in program history, joining both Ruffin McNeil and Chris Thomsen. McNeil and Thomsen both led the Red Raiders to a victory in their only games as head coach, which came at the 2009 Alamo Bowl as well as the 2012 Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas.
  • Cumbie is the first head coach in the history of the program who will take over in the middle of the season. He will be tasked with leading the Red Raiders to at least one more victory against a challenging stretch of four-consecutive ranked opponents to push Texas Tech to its 39th bowl appearance in school history.

COACHING CONNECTIONS RUN DEEP BETWEEN TECH, OKLAHOMA

  • This weekend’s matchup will feature two Texas Tech graduates in interim head coach Sonny Cumbie and OU head coach Lincoln Riley. Riley graduated from Texas Tech in 2006 and was a member of the Red Raiders’ coaching staff from 2006-09. Cumbie, a former record-setting quarterback for the Red Raiders in 2004, returned to his alma mater this past offseason as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Riley is only the third Texas Tech graduate to face his alma mater as an opposing head coach, joining Tom Wilson (Texas A&M 1978-81) and Art Briles (Baylor 2008-15).
  • This is only the third time in school history where a pair of Texas Tech graduates will be on opposite sidelines in a game that involves the Red Raiders. Former head coach Kliff Kingsbury faced a pair of fellow Texas Tech graduates twice during his tenure in former Baylor head coach Art Briles from 2013-15 as well as Riley over his final two seasons in 2017-18.

BOWL ELIGIBILITY STILL IN REACH FOR RED RAIDERS

  • The Red Raiders will look to secure bowl eligibility for the first time since 2017 Saturday against Oklahoma. Texas Tech, one of the most frequent bowl participants in college football history, is looking to avoid its first four-year bowl absence since staying home from postseason play over eight consecutive seasons from 1978-85. This is currently the longest Tech has gone without a bowl trip since missing the postseason from 1990-92.
  • A victory over Oklahoma would secure bowl eligibility for the Red Raiders prior to the month of November for the first time since 2013 when the Red Raiders opened the season with seven-consecutive victories.
  • The Red Raiders picked up their fifth win of the season at Kansas, moving them one shy of the six needed for a bowl selection. It marked the 14th time during the Big 12 era where Texas Tech has started a season at 5-2 or better overall. Of the previous 13 occasions, Tech reached a bowl game in 11 of those seasons with the two exceptions coming in 2011 and 2018.
  • Texas Tech entered this season ranked tied for 21st all-time with 38 career bowl appearances, matching the totals of fellow Big 12 member West Virginia as well as Ole Miss, BYU and Notre Dame. The Red Raiders are tied for third among current Big 12 members for bowl appearances, trailing only Texas (57) and Oklahoma (54).

RANDOM TIDBITS HEADING INTO OKLAHOMA GAME

  • Texas Tech is searching for its fourth win away from home this season, which would mark its most on the road or at a neutral site since 2017 when the Red Raiders headed home with victories over Houston, Kansas, Baylor (AT&T Stadium - Arlington) and Texas. In addition to this weekend’s trip to Oklahoma, the Red Raiders are slated to close the regular season at Baylor on Nov. 27.
  • Both of Texas Tech’s conference wins this season have come on the road as the Red Raiders won at West Virginia and Kansas in recent weeks. It marks the first time Tech has secured back-to-back Big 12 road wins since 2018 when the Red Raiders opened their league slate with a 41-17 rout of No. 15 Oklahoma State and then followed with a 17-14 victory at TCU. Tech has not won three-straight Big 12 road games since 2008 when the Red Raiders topped Kansas State, Texas A&M and Kansas.
  • A victory over Oklahoma would give the Red Raiders three wins in the month of October for the first time since the 2009 season when Texas Tech topped New Mexico, Kansas State, No. 15 Nebraska and Kansas.
  • Texas Tech leads the Big 12 and ranks 29th nationally in kick return defense despite five-straight weeks of facing a returner ranked in the top 25 of the FBS. The Red Raiders, who are giving up only 18.5 yards per return, have seen the likes of Kansas State (Malik Knowles (3rd), West Virginia’s Winston Wright (9th), Kansas’ Kenny Logan Jr. (12th) and Texas’ D’Shawn Jaimson (24th). TCU’s JD Spielman leads the Big 12 at 33.6 yards per return but does not have enough attempts per game to enter the NCAA rankings. Over that five-game stretch, opponents have only returned nine kicks for 138 yards, only a 15.3 yards per attempt average.
  • Texas Tech created early momentum against Kansas State with a Tyrique Matthews forced fumble that was recovered by McLane Mannix on the Red Raiders’ kickoff following its opening touchdown. It was one of two fumble recoveries on the day for the Red Raiders, who only had one coming into the game.
  • Texas Tech was previously 5-0 this season when allowing 29 points or less until falling to Kansas State last weekend. The Red Raiders had not previously dropped a game when allowing less than 29 points since falling to Arizona, 28-14, early in the 2019 season.
  • This will be Texas Tech’s final game prior to experiencing its lone open week on the 2021 schedule, which comes Nov. 6 prior to back-to-back home games versus Iowa State and Oklahoma State. It is the furthest Tech has had to wait for an open date since 2015 when the Red Raiders lone weekend off came prior to the regular-season finale at Texas.
  • Texas Tech and Oklahoma are facing each other over the final weekend in October for the third time in the last five years. The two schools met during the month of November in 14 of their first 15 seasons together as Big 12 members but have squared off during the season’s final month only twice now since 2010 (meetings came in 2014 and 2018).
  • If the season ended today, Texas Tech would have, statistically, accomplished one of its better defensive seasons in recent memory as its 385.2 yards of total offense allowed per game would be its lowest since 2012 and its 151.6 rushing yards allowed per outing would be the lowest since 2009.