Jalen Hurts put up some serious numbers against Texas Tech in week 5. OU won 55-16 and Hurts finished with a career-high 415 passing yards, three touchdowns, 70 rushing yards and another rushing TD. Oh, and he did that all in three quarters.
I absolutely believe Hurts is a legitimate Heisman candidate, but I disagree he “solidified” himself as a favorite after his week 5 performance, mainly because Texas Tech’s secondary just wasn’t that good.
Texas Tech’s Overrated Defense
On paper Texas Tech’s defense looked pretty good coming into this game. Earlier in the season I actually thought this would be Oklahoma’s first test. Through three games, Texas Tech’s defense was No. 22 nationally in defensive SP+. Even with a small sample size some thought it was impressive because they haven’t been ranked that high since 2009. In addition, The Red Raiders were ranked 14th nationally in yards per play allowed at 4.3.
Unfortunately, I think these stats were just padded by their lackluster opponents. Montana State, UTEP, and Arizona, just don’t do it for me.. Arizona is currently ranked 5th in overall offense but racking up points against Northern AZ doesn’t impress me.
The Week 5 “Highlights”
Not only did they earn their ranking against mediocre offenses, they just simply didn’t play like a top 25 defense. Some might argue that’s because Hurts was picking them apart. However, when you watch the highlights that’s up for debate.
I’ve time stamped a few plays I don’t think lived up to the hype, and one that absolutely did. I’d suggest cracking a cold one from our friends at Tavour.com and watching with a close eye. Use promo code Tailgate to get $10 in free beer delivered right to your door when you sign up.
0:21 – Hurt’s first shot down field to Rambo was exactly how it should have been but that doesn’t make it special, he hit em wide open down the middle. Good read for sure but that’s it.
0:40 – The next long ball down field to Rambo easily could have been picked. I’m not buying he put the “biscuit in the basket” on that one. I think Rambo just made a hell of a play. Hurts put the ball right between Rambo and the defender, Rambo was just more athletic.
2:01 – If you watch the 71 yard TD to Ceedee Lamb, all Hurts did was hit an absolutely wide open Lamb and then watch him outrun almost the entire Texas Tech secondary. Again, this was still a great pass and all but 71 yards for a TD was a gift brought to you by the Red Raiders.
2:37 – The next Ceedee Lamb touchdown is absolutely Heisman caliber, no doubt about it. I don’t care who you’re playing, the way Hurts threaded the needle on that 14 yard TD was beautiful. It did seem like there may have been a little miscommunication or something cause Lamb had to turn back to the ball but still this is a great TD. If I start seeing consistent balls like that I’ll absolutely consider Hurts a Heisman favorite.
2:51 – Lamb’s 3rd TD reception was another gift. Hurts threw a well timed ball over the middle (although it was a bit behind him) and the Red Raider corner just completely whiffed on the tackle. Top 25 defenses don’t miss those tackles.. but then again maybe Lamb is just that much of a freak athlete and Hurts knew it.
All in all, I don’t think the Red Raiders were as good as we thought they were, especially in the secondary. The wide open receivers, missed tackle, and lack of athleticism from the defense inflated Hurts’ passing yards this game.
Hurts’ is still a real-deal Heisman candidate, and he played well, I just don’t think the Texas Tech game was the “statement” game others are making it out to be.