LUBBOCK Seth Doege was putting together a strong senior season for Texas Tech.
Then big, bad Oklahoma came to town and crashed his party at Jones AT&T Stadium.
Doege, the quarterback who played his high school ball at Crane, entered Saturday’s Big 12 Conference showdown as one of the leading passers in the country for a team that was 4-0.
But he suffered through his worst game of the season against the 17th-ranked Sooners, and so did the rest of his teammates in a 41-20 loss in front of a stadium-record crowd of 60,800.
Doege finished 22-of-36 passing for 203 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions. He was sacked twice and, after taking a hard shot from Oklahoma’s P.L. Lindley on a third-down throw early in the fourth quarter, was replaced by redshirt freshman Michael Brewer with 5 minutes, 25 seconds remaining.
Doege was not available for comment after the game.
“It’s just a bad game for all of us, really,” said Texas Tech receiver Bradley Marquez, a sophomore from Odessa High who finished with one catch for 7 yards. “Seth’s a great player and he’s going to be there down the road.”
Doege, who threw 15 touchdown passes and three interceptions in his first four games this year, doubled his interception total against the Sooners (3-1 overall, 1-1 Big 12). He made up for the first one by forcing Jamarkus McFarland to fumble right after the first pick — Texas Tech recovered and went on to kick a go-ahead field goal — but the last one was returned 46 yards for a touchdown by Javon Harris to give Oklahoma a 38-13 lead midway through the third quarter.
Doege started well, completing 8-of-10 passes for 109 yards in the first quarter and helping Texas Tech (4-1, 1-1) take a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter. But after a Ryan Bustin field goal with 6:58 left in the first half — which made it 14-13 in favor of OU — the Red Raiders didn’t score again until Brewer led an 86-yard touchdown drive that ended with SaDale Foster’s 3-yard run with 56 seconds remaining.
Doege had thrown for at least 319 yards and three touchdowns in each of the last three games, but Saturday’s three picks gave him five in the last two games. Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said Oklahoma’s defense affected Doege by mixing up its blitzing schemes as the game progressed, and he also put some of the mistakes on Doege.
But Tuberville shot down the notion that the Red Raiders might make a change at the quarterback position, with Foster adding that he and his teammates have “100 percent confidence in Seth.”
“He’ll battle back and make a lot of plays for us,” Tuberville said. “We have all the confidence in the world in him.”
Oklahoma was just as hard on the Texas Tech defense, which includes Permian graduate Eugene Neboh as a starting cornerback. The Red Raiders entered the game ranked first nationally in total defense (167.5 yards per game), passing defense (82.0) and scoring defense (10.8 points per game), but the Sooners had surpassed all those totals by halftime.
Oklahoma opened the game with a 12-play, 75-yard touchdown drive, converting three third downs along the way, and scored on six of its first seven possessions and five in a row from early in the second quarter until late in the third quarter.
The Sooners finished with 380 total yards without committing a turnover. Quarterback Landry Jones threw his 100th career touchdown pass and moved into second place on the Big 12’s all-time passing-yardage list, finishing 25-of-40 for 259 yards and two TDs.
Neboh, who finished with two solo tackles and had two early pass breakups to double his season total in the latter category, said the Sooners’ efficiency on third down was a factor. Oklahoma was 8 for 14 for the game and 3 for 3 on its game-opening touchdown drive.
“They came out with a few different things at the beginning, but it was nothing that we couldn’t adjust to,” Neboh said. “Credit to them. They made plays and they executed more than we did.”
For Doege, Marquez, Neboh and the rest of the Red Raiders, Saturday’s game was the first in a five-game gauntlet. Texas Tech’s next four are at home against West Virginia, at TCU and Kansas State, and then at home against Texas.
All four of those opponents were ranked in the top 25 entering Saturday’s action, so the road won’t get any smoother for the Red Raiders.
“No matter what happens, we’re not going to break down,” Texas Tech safety D.J. Johnson said. “Last year we broke down, and some other teams may break down after a loss like this. For us, we continue to get better. We know what we can do and know what we’re capable of.”