Texas Tech challenges OU bid for 40th straight home win

Posted Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011  comments  Print Reprints
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Today's Big 12 games

No. 12 Kansas State at Kansas (11 a.m., FSSW): A victory would secure the Wildcats' first 7-0 start since the 1999 season.

No. 6 Oklahoma State at Missouri (11 a.m., FX): OSU has not lost a road game since Nov. 28, 2009. Mizzou is unbeaten at home this season.

No. 17 Texas A&M at Iowa State (2:30 p.m., WFAA/Ch. 8): The Aggies lead the Big 12 in rushing TDs (17). Iowa State ranks eighth among league teams in rushing defense.

Texas Tech at No. 3 Oklahoma (7 p.m., WFAA/Ch. 8): The Sooners seek to protect the nation's longest active home winning streak (39 games) against a Tech team that has lost its last two.

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If anyone can relate to Oklahoma's 39-game home winning streak, it's Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville.

While he was as assistant coach at Miami from 1986-93, the Hurricanes never lost a home game. That streak -- which reached an NCAA record 58 -- started the year before Tuberville arrived and ended in 1994, the season after he left the Hurricanes to become the defensive coordinator at Texas A&M.

So, when the Red Raiders play No. 3-ranked OU in Norman, Okla., at 7 tonight, Tuberville knows what the Sooners are experiencing. This time he's on the other side of the streak.

"Each week at Miami when we had that streak going, when it got to 30, 40 and then 50, nobody wanted to be part of that team that lost that game," Tuberville said. "And so that's kind of the mindset I'm sure that as a coaching staff and as a team that [the Sooners are] taking.

"They don't want to be part of the team that loses that home game. You hope you can build something like that at every school, and they've obviously done it there."

Having top-notch athletes -- like the ones OU has -- is why some teams are able to string together long winning streaks.

"They're used to the environment; they feel like they can execute a lot better at home," Tuberville said. "They've got more confidence whether they're ahead or behind that they can get the job done."

In his second season at Tech, Tuberville would like to build a home winning legacy with the Red Raiders. But he knows that takes time and effort.

"I don't think you think about it until you've got that streak going," Tuberville said. "Players just feel more comfortable with the atmosphere; they feel more confident, no matter who they're playing."

The Sooners' home winning streak started with a 31-15 victory over Tulsa on Sept. 10, 2005, a week after losing to TCU. Tuberville is hoping the OU streak ends tonight.

"You have to have the mentality and you have to have the confidence, but you have to also have a heck of a football team," he said. "And your players have to take pride in it.

"[The Sooners are] a different team at home than they are on the road, but most teams are. This will be their 40th if they can beat us, and not many people come close to them."

During their streak, the Sooners have outscored opponents 1,744-570, for an average winning margin of 30.1 points.

Because of a scheduling quirk forced after the Big 12 lost two teams, the Raiders are playing in Norman for the second consecutive season. Last year, Tech was blown out 45-7 at OU.

The challenge doesn't get any easier this time around for the Raiders. The Sooners are 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the Big 12, while Tech (4-2, 1-2) is coming off back-to-back conference losses to Texas A&M and Kansas State.

"They're all a challenge for us, but we're a better team now than we were last year when we went in there to play them," Tuberville said. "But I think they're also better and they're very consistent.

"But [streaks are] made to be broken -- that's what streaks are about."

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760

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