for this game

Texas Tech faces huge test against Oklahoma

Nov 22, 2008 - 11:21 AM (2) Texas Tech (10-0) at (5) Oklahoma (9-1), 8:00 pm EST

NORMAN, Oklahoma (Ticker) -- Texas Tech's last-second victory over then-No. 1 Texas three weeks ago was billed as the biggest game in school history.

However, the second-ranked Red Raiders have an even more important game Saturday when they visit No. 5 Oklahoma in a showdown with huge national championship ramifications.

This figures to be the last major regular-season hurdle for Texas Tech (10-0, 6-0 Big 12 South) en route to the BCS title game January 8 in Miami.

With a win, the Red Raiders would clinch a berth in the Big 12 title game, where it would be a prohibitive favorite against Missouri, the winner of the North Division.

Texas Tech would only have to beat Baylor next week to complete an undefeated regular season.

However, the Red Raiders face the biggest test of their storybook season on Saturday against the Sooners (9-1, 5-1), who still have national title hopes of their own.

"They're good, very good," Texas Tech coach Mike Leach said. "I mean, there's not one thing you can zero in on and try to stop. You just need to play good solid defense and react to it all."

Since losing at Texas, 45-35, Oklahoma has averaged 57 points during a four-game winning streak, including back-to-back contests with 60 or more points.

The Red Raiders will get their first extended look at Oklahoma sophomore quarterback Sam Bradford, who suffered a concussion in the first quarter of the Sooners' 34-27 loss in Lubbock last year.

Bradford has passed for more than 3,400 yards this season with 38 touchdowns and only six interceptions.

"He's the best (professional) prospect we'll face," Texas Tech safety Daniel Charbonnet said. "He's got the size, he's got the arm. He makes good decisions back there. He moves well, too."

Of course, the Sooners have to contend with the nation's most productive duo in quarterback Graham Harrell and wide receiver Michael Crabtree.

Harrell has thrown for more than 4,000 yards and 36 TDs, while Crabtree has 78 catches for 1,010 yards and 18 scores.

The sophomore receiver has caught at least five passes and one touchdown in 13 games, one shy of the NCAA record held by former Pittsburgh standout Larry Fitzgerald.

Texas Tech is completing a four-game gauntlet against top-25 teams - the last three against top-10 foes.

Texas was unable to complete a sweep in a similar stretch, allowing Crabtree's winning touchdown against Texas Tech will one second remaining.

The difference for the Red Raiders, however, is that they had a week off before the third and fourth games.

Still, Texas Tech's two most impressive wins this season - Texas and Oklahoma State - came at home. Now the Red Raiders have to win a signature game in a hostile environment.

If Oklahoma wins, there is a strong possibility that the Sooners would finish in a three-way tie atop the Big 12 South with Texas and Texas Tech at 7-1.

Conceivably, the Sooners could use a win over Texas Tech as a springboard to the national championship game.

If there is a three-way tie in the South, the division winner will be determined by the team with the highest BCS ranking.

Oklahoma (fifth) currently is behind Texas (third) in the BCS standings, but might be able to vault over the Longhorns with an impressive win over the Red Raiders.