Game Preview: Oklahoma vs Texas Tech
It's pretty obvious what the main storyline is for the Oklahoma game.
I don't know that it's fair to either team or to Kliff, but Baker Mayfield deserves all the hate.
I mean, Mayfield is the one who bailed and then trashed the university and its head coach. Then, walked on at a rival school where he had no shot at playing. Then, overcame adversity to become the starter and receive that elusive scholarship that had always avoided him.
I get that Lubbock wants to make Baker Mayfield a villain. I do. But the fact of the matter is, Patrick Mahomes is friends with Mayfield. Kliff Kingsbury thinks the whole thing is overblown. I'm amazed at how much the fan bases still talk about it. Both fan bases.
The only way this game will be affected by the Mayfield defection is if The Jones is packed and loud. If the crowd can get into Baker Mayfield's head then, maybe, this storyline is a difference maker.
Tonight is a 7 p.m. kickoff. That helps. It's a blackout. That's cool. But if the crowd is anything like what it's been for the rest of this year (leaving well before the game is over, win or lose), Oklahoma will run away with this game in the 4th quarter.
Something strange has been going on with the offense since the second half of the Louisiana Tech game. The team is out of sync. The offensive line has been bad. The receivers have not been getting open. I don't think it's Mahomes' shoulder injury, which happened at Kansas, but I'm sure that has played into it.
If Texas Tech wants to win again this season, the offense has to get fixed.
I'm going to make a bold prediction, against my better judgement, and say the offense starts fast tonight. The team will respond to the butt kicking from last week and the atmosphere will propel them to synchronize and play well early.
The game will be close at halftime.
Baker Mayfield's biggest liability is that he does too much. Rather, he tries to do too much.
The scrambling gunslinger mentality leads to sacks and turnovers against a good defense.
If Texas Tech is successful on defense, it will be because Mayfield tried to do too much in a big moment. Turnovers are a must. If the Texas Tech defense can force two turnovers, then this game will be close.
I think the moment will be big for Baker Mayfield. I also think he's been in bigger moments, like the College Football Playoff.
Bottom line: Oklahoma is the better team overall.
I am conflicted because I want to believe Lubbock will resurrect the 2007 level of mayhem tonight in The Jones. They will invoke the spirits of the past sell-out rowdy crowds that helped beat Texas or OU in the past. It's possible.
It's a must-win.
How will Kliff Kingsbury and his Red Raiders respond?
We will be live at 4 p.m. talking about the game and giving our score predictions. Be sure to tune into 1340 The Fan online or listen on the air at 1340 AM.