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Texas Tech 2022 Opponent Preview: Oklahoma Sooners

The Red Raiders conclude Big 12 play with a matchup against the Oklahoma Sooners at Jones AT&T Stadium in Week 14.

The Texas Tech Red Raiders will face the Oklahoma Sooners in the Big 12 regular-season finale for both teams on Nov. 26 in Lubbock, Texas.

It will be the culmination of a 14-week season and there could be a Big 12 Conference Championship Game berth on the line, depending upon how the season goes for both teams.

Oklahoma is coming off an 11-2 season and a 7-2 Big 12 slate. But, the Sooners failed to make the Big 12 Championship Game for the first since it was reinstated, and the offseason featured massive coaching transition.

Lincoln Riley left the Sooners to take over at USC, and the Sooners hired Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables to take over. Venables was a former defensive coordinator at OU under Bob Stoops, who was the interim head coach for the Sooners’ Alamo Bowl win over Oregon.

Texas Tech is coming off a 6-7 season that had its own tumult. The Red Raiders fired Matt Wells in October of last year and hired Baylor assistant coach Joey McGuire — a former Texas high school football coach — to take over the program. Former Red Raiders quarterback Sonny Cubmie handed the program on an interim basis and led them to the Liberty Bowl, where they faced their former coach, Mike Leach, for the first time.

Cumbie is now the head coach at Louisiana Tech. McGuire hired Western Kentucky offensive coordinator Zach Kittley for the same role at TTU, while he lured well-respected defensive mind Tim DeRuyter to run the defense.

Be sure to stick with as we preview every aspect of the matchup with the Sooners throughout the week

Oklahoma Sooners

2021 Record: 11-2 (7-2 in Big 12)

Head coach: Brent Venables

Venables is entering his first year as head coach at Oklahoma.

Offensive Set: Multiple

Defensive Set: 4-3

Returning starters on offense: 5

The most notable returning starter is wide receiver Marvin Mims, who had 32 catches for 705 yards and five touchdowns last season. The Sooners lost four of their top five pass-catchers from last season, along with their top two rushers and top two passers. Both starting quarterbacks transferred — Caleb Williams to USC and Spencer Rattler to South Carolina.

The Sooners do expect three starters back on the offensive line, so that’s where they’ll start under new offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby, who was at Ole Miss last season.

Projected offensive starters:

QB Dillon Gabriel

RB Eric Gray

WR Theo Wease

WR Marvin Mims*

WR Drake Stoops

TE Brayden Willis*

LT Anton Harrison*

LG McKade Mettauer

C Andrew Raym*

RG Chris Murray*

RT Wayna Morris

* denotes returning starter

Returning starters on defense: 5

The Sooners were a Top 30 unit against the run last season, but overall they were No. 60 in scoring defense and No. 109 in passing yards allowed per game. It will be up to Venables and his new defensive coordinator, Ted Roof, to install a similar system that worked for Venables at Clemson. 

Weak-side linebacker DaShaun White is the player to watch among the few returning starters, but the Sooners have enough talent to be competitive.

Projected defensive starters:

DE Reggie Grimes

DT Jeffrey Johnson

DT Jalen Redmond*

DE Ethan Downs

SLB Shane Whittier

MLB Danny Stutsman

WLB DaShaun White*

CB Woodi Washington*

CB D.J. Graham*

S Key Lawrence

S Billy Bowman*

* denotes returning starter

You can follow Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

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