Texas Tech Holds Onto Lead, Upsets No. 3 Oklahoma, 41-38
Coach Tuberville interviewing with Holly Rowe following Tech's 41-38 win at OU.
Oct. 22, 2011
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Tommy Tuberville got his first landmark win with Texas Tech in a place where practically no one else could.
Seth Doege threw for 441 yards and connected with Alex Torres on three of his four touchdown passes, and the Red Raiders snapped No. 3 Oklahoma's 39-game home winning streak with 41-38 victory Saturday night.
The Sooners' run had been the longest active streak in the Bowl Subdivision, and they were bidding to become only the ninth team in FBS history to win 40 in a row at home.
"We wanted to show everybody what kind of team we really do have. We're a resilient team," Torres said. "We have a lot of fight in us. ...We knew coming in what we were facing, coming in to Oklahoma and playing in Norman. We knew what kind of challenge we were up against but we knew exactly what we needed to do."
Doege carved up an Oklahoma defense missing three starters, and Tuberville pulled off a feat that Mike Leach couldn't accomplish in his 10 years in charge of the Red Raiders.
The Sooners (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) are now 75-3 on Owen Field in Stoops' 13 years. The other losses came to TCU in the 2005 season opener and Oklahoma State in the 2001 regular-season finale.
The celebration in Lubbock, Texas, featured bells ringing on campus, car horns blaring and fireworks being shot off.
"It's one game, but it's a huge game for recruiting, for national stature. Obviously, you don't read too much about Texas Tech," Tuberville said.
"For some reason, I haven't seen much on TV. I bet you see it the next few days. We're going to be proud of that. When you go on the road and beat a No. 1 team (in the coaches' poll), it's really special. That's almost impossible to do."
Landry Jones ended up with 412 yards passing and five touchdowns, but it wasn't enough to rally Oklahoma back from a sluggish start and save its unbeaten season.
Doege, the nation's fourth-leading passer, had little trouble leading the Red Raiders up and down the field against the banged-up Sooners. Oklahoma was without cornerback Jamell Fleming (knee), defensive tackle Casey Walker (left thumb) and middle linebacker Tom Wort (concussion) but Tech had no sympathy while playing without starting running back Eric Stephens (knee) and then losing center Justin Keown on the second play of the game.
"It was a big-time win for us. It was a fun night for our football team," Tuberville said, praising his young team for looking like the veterans.
"I'm proud of Texas Tech and all the faithful they've got. This team deserves to win after what they've been through the last few weeks."
A storm packing heavy winds, strong rain and lightning arrived just before kickoff, and fans were asked to leave the stands and take shelter on the concourses. The game got started after a delay of 1 hour and 35 minutes, and Texas Tech struck almost immediately.
Doege bounced back from three fourth-quarter turnovers a week earlier in a loss to Kansas State to throw touchdown passes of 44, 30 and 11 yards to Torres and build up a 31-7 lead just over 2 minutes into the second half. The Red Raiders hung on from there.
After Jones' 22-yard TD pass to James Hanna cut the deficit to three, Aaron Crawford recovered an onside kick with 69 seconds left to seal the victory. The Red Raiders came bouncing off the sidelines to celebrate.
"It's special for the entire team. I'm excited about it," Doege said. "The best part of it is seeing how happy and excited my teammates are. We all got together, and we pulled it off. Everybody didn't think we could."
The win prevented Tech from losing three straight games for the first time since 1998 - and in stunning fashion. The Red Raiders came in as four-touchdown underdogs playing on a field where, until last month's game against Missouri, no one but the Sooners had had even led for 20 straight games spanning back to 2007.
There hadn't been in many squeakers, either. Oklahoma's average margin of victory had been 30 points.
"I don't know that it has to be all that surprising," Stoops said. "The teams we play can come in here and beat us. And sometimes maybe too much is said about it like it can't happen.
"I told the players that anyone who we'll play the rest of the year will whoop us if we don't play better than we did today. They just flat out beat us."
The Sooners were out of sync, failing to get their high-powered offense into the fast-paced tempo that gives so many opponents trouble. They failed to get a first down throughout the second quarter, when Tech capitalized to score 17 straight points, and didn't click until it was too late.
With the lead starting to dwindle, Tuberville got into a gambling mood. Having already cashed in one fourth-and-1 for a touchdown, he went for it again from the 6-yard line and Crawford got stuffed.
Then he took another chance by calling for a fake punt on fourth-and-4 on Tech's side of midfield, and upback Jackson Richards got stuffed close enough to the first down that officials took a second look at the replay.
Oklahoma capitalized on the short field that time, needing seven plays to cover the 44 yards and get within 31-24 on Trey Millard's 3-yard TD catch to start the fourth quarter.
Doege had an answer, though. He led Texas Tech down for a 39-yard Donnie Carona field goal to bump the lead back to 10 and, after yet another Oklahoma three-and-out, Tramain Swindall got his left foot in for a 14-yard touchdown grab to make the lead 41-24 with 7:38 to play.
"When the chips were down, we made enough plays to get the job done," Tuberville said.