What to expect in Lubbock

Two teams in very similar positions heading into the season finale. Both Oklahoma and Texas Tech are having adjustments with first year head coaches.

Both the Sooners and Red Raiders earned their sixth wins last weekend to guarantee attendance in a bowl game next month.

Now each team will be looking to finish strong as OU heads to Lubbock this weekend. Breaking down all things tech-related is RedRaiderSports.com writer Justin Apodaca.

How was Joey McGuire and the offensive staff able to handle everything that happened at the quarterback job? Is there finally some stability with Tyler Shough now?

The quarterback position has been a bit of a mess this season, and it’s kind of funny, because McGuire has talked a lot about having extremely deep quarterback room and he’s had to start everyone the same this season. Shough won the off the field job but was hurt the first week. Donovan Smith took over until persistent problems kept him out of Oklahoma State, where Behren Morton took over. Morton excelled and would likely be the starter if he weren’t dealing with a bad ankle sprain that got worse in Ft. Val. Morton is likely the future at the Tech position, but Shough has grown as a runner in recent weeks and makes enough in the air to find success.

What made Sarodorick Thompson and Tahj Brooks such a powerful one-two combination at running back?

There have been times this season where both Thompson and Brooks have been underused, but they have found quite a groove on the ground in the last two games. Both are extremely patient runners who can make something out of nothing, which they’ve had to do behind an offensive line that’s been abysmal at times. Having dealt with his injury early, Cam’ron Valdez offers a nice change of pace with a different style, being more of a single-edged type of runner.

The Tyree Wilson news is terrible. Who takes her place? How does technology fit into what he’s done on defense?

True freshman Joseph Adedire has filled in for Wilson in recent weeks, and while he’s nowhere near as talented as Wilson, he’s made some plays and pressured Dekkers a few times in Ames. The defense has been extremely multi-faceted all season, they have a lot of different looks and carry a lot of different pressures. Marquis (Muddy) Waters was excellent in the “lead” position, while the presence of ringside veterans in Tony Bradford Jr. and Jaylon Hutchings provided stability.

OU is entering this relatively healthy for the end of November, can the same be said for the Red Raiders (aside from Wilson)?

Outside of Wilson and the aforementioned Morton, the Red Raiders will be pretty much complete. They are expecting the return of standout corner Malik Dunlap after missing last week against Iowa State with an injury that McGuire has not addressed. Mason Tharp, one of three tight ends used regularly, is questionable while the status of deep linebacker Jacob Rodriguez is unknown, he appeared to take a helmet on his head last week.

If you had to pick one person to be an X-Factor on Saturday night, who’s that guy up for a standout performance?

Myles Price is probably the best wide receiver on this Texas Tech team, and has struggled to get going this season at times, but after a couple big catches against the Cyclones, I believe he will be the biggest star player on the offensive end of the ball. Defensive end, middle linebacker Krishon Merriweather is my pick to have his best game of the season in his last ever at Jones AT&T Stadium.

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