NORMAN – Oklahoma needed a get-right game before their only bye week of the season coming off a poor performance against Kansas. They got that and more Saturday afternoon in Norman, as freshman sensation Caleb Williams went 23-30 for 402 yards and an eye-popping six touchdowns to lead the Sooners to a 52-21 rout of Texas Tech. The Sooner defense looked much better with the return of Delarrin Turner-Yell and Jalen Redmond from injury. The Sooners moved to 9-0 on the season, 6-0 in Big 12 play with the win.
Tech won the toss and took the ball. The Sooners held them to a three-and-out on the opening possession but could manage only one first down themselves and had to punt. It would be the only Sooner punt of the afternoon, as they would score on every succeeding possession except for running the clock out at the end of the game.
After another Tech punt, the Sooners took over on their own five-yard line for their first scoring drive of the game. Caleb Williams hit Drake Stoops for 31 yards and a first down at the OU 39. A pass interference call two plays later moved it to the Red Raider 40. Two plays after that, Caleb Williams hit Jadon Haselwood for 17 yards to the Tech 22. Caleb Williams then avoided pressure and hit Mario Williams for the 22-yard TD. The Sooners led 7-0 with 6:32 to play in the first quarter.
Tech would answer with an eight-play, 83-yard TD drive. The big play was a 16-yard run that had a personal foul tacked on and moved Tech from their own 42 to the Sooner 27. Three plays later, OU had two defenders in position to make a play on a ball to the back corner of the end zone, but the Tech receiver pulled it in anyway for the score. It was 7-7 with 2:31 to play in the first quarter.
After Marvin Mims returned the ensuing kickoff to the 22, he caught a pass on first down for 10 yards. Kennedy Brooks ran for a yard before Caleb Williams hit Mims again with a laser beam down the right side. Mims avoided a tackle, then turned on the jets down the sideline for 67 yards and the score. The Sooners took the lead for good at 14-7 with 1:07 to play in the first quarter.
After a Tech punt, OU took over on their nine-yard line. Consecutive passes of 16 yards to Braden Willis and 14 yards to Drake Stoops moved it to the OU 39. Consecutive passes of 13 and 36 yards to Mario Williams a few plays later got it to the Tech 10. After Caleb Williams ran for two yards, he hit Willis from eight yards out for the TD, and it was 21-7 Sooners with 10:11 to play in the first half.
OU turned Tech over on the ensuing possession, as Henry Columbi’s third down pass was batted high into the air by Isaiah Thomas and picked off by Pat Fields and brought back to the Tech 17. Two plays later, Caleb Williams hit Stoops for the score from 12 yards out and OU’s lead was up to 28-7 with 7:26 to go in the first half.
Tech ate up the rest of the half on its next possession and moved all the way to a first and goal at the OU seven-yard line. However, poor time out usage, a penalty, and a negative yardage play left them with no times out and a second-and-goal from the OU 15 with 35 seconds left. A running play lost four yards and the clock was running, but for some reason the Sooners called time out with 15 seconds to play. It had to have been clear to Tech that any play ending in bounds would not leave them enough time to get their field goal team on the field. They needed to throw the ball to the end zone or the sideline and they might have had three pass plays to try to score a TD. Instead, they threw over the middle and were stopped at the OU eight-yard line with the clock running. They tried to run the field goal team on, but did not have enough time, and the kicker forgot to go out, to boot. The clock expired before Tech could get the snap off and the teams went to the locker room with OU leading 28-7.
The Sooners took the opening kickoff of the second half and extended their lead to 31-7 with a 53-yard Gabe Brkic field goal with 9:44 to play in the third quarter. The Sooner defense picked off another tipped Tech pass on the ensuing possession, giving the offense the ball at the Tech 43. On the next play, Caleb Williams threw another dart to Mims on the post for the score, and it was 38-7 and completely out of hand with 5:52 to play in the third quarter.
A 10-play, 75-yard TD drive by Tech on the ensuing possession made it 38-17 with 44 seconds to play in the third quarter. A nine-yard TD pass from Caleb Williams to Austin Stogner made it 45-14 with 10:56 to go in the game and ended the freshman QB’s day.
Thomas forced and recovered a Tech fumble on the next possession. Spencer Rattler came into the game in mop-up duty and tossed a 42-yard TD pass to Brian Darby that made it 52-14 with 6:10 to play in the game. The Red Raiders would add one more TD to make the final score 52-21.
Mario Williams had five catches for 100 yards and a score, while Mims tallied four grabs for 135 yards and two TDs. Stoops had three for 59 and a score, while Haselwood added three for 40. Jeremiah Hall had three for 22, Darby had two for 49 and a score, Willis had two for 21 and a score, and Stogner had one for nine and a TD.
Brooks led the Sooner rushers with 35 yards on only eight carries. Marcus Major had five for 29 late in the game, while Eric Gray had two for five and Caleb Williams added five carries for three yards.
Next up is a well-earned bye week before the Sooners travel to Waco a week from Saturday for what should be a monster game in the Big 12 race. The Bears are coming off a big win over Texas yesterday, and they travel to Fort Worth for their grudge match against a fading TCU team before facing the Sooners. See you in the ancestral home of Dr. Pepper.