Coach Bob Stoops cannot come up with a specific reason why Oklahoma has yet to win on the road in conference play this season. He has the answer, though, when it comes to the Sooners' sparkling play at home for much of the last five years.
Coming off another Big 12 road loss, the 19th-ranked Sooners will try to extend the nation's longest home winning streak Saturday against Texas Tech.
Oklahoma (7-2, 3-2) has won 35 straight in Norman since losing to TCU in the 2005 season opener. Stoops' teams haven't scored fewer than 24 points during the streak and have held the opposition to 17 points or fewer 21 times.
This season, Oklahoma is 5-0 in true home games, winning by an average of 25.0 points.
On the road, though, the Sooners haven't shown the same explosiveness. After losing to then-No. 18 Missouri on Oct. 23, Oklahoma saw its seven-game winning streak over Texas A&M end with a 33-19 loss last Saturday.
Stoops has an answer for the inconsistency.
"It's real simple, we play better (at home)," he said. "And on the road we need to play better. Now a lot goes into that but it isn't like we're sitting here and just naively walking onto the field. We have methods in how we prepare and get ready and meetings and practice and all of those."
Oklahoma needs to find an answer to its road woes quickly. Tied for third in the Big 12 South, the Sooners close the season at Baylor and Bedlam rival Oklahoma State, but Stoops is concentrating on Texas Tech first.
"We have three conference games left. All that matters to us is Tech and that we play well," he said. "That possibility (of making a BCS bowl) is there. If we're able to win (our games), make improvement and win them there are opportunities to do some of the things we've been doing around here for a long time."
That starts by notching another home win over the Red Raiders. Oklahoma has won six straight at Owen Field in the series, including a 65-21 romp over the then-unbeaten and second-ranked Red Raiders in November 2008.
"We've just got to take it one game at a time. Texas Tech, we've got to win this game. We just need to make it happen," defensive back Jamell Fleming said.
Another solid effort from Landry Jones should help. Jones is second in the Big 12 with 1,638 passing yards at home while throwing 14 touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Sooners also would like to see better production from running back DeMarco Murray, who needs 139 yards to reach 1,000 for the second time and is second in the conference with 13 touchdowns. After eclipsing the 100-yard mark in five of his first seven games, the senior has rushed 48 times for 169 yards with two scores over the last three weeks.
Texas Tech (5-4, 3-4) has alternated losses and wins in its last six games but may have given first-year coach Tommy Tuberville a signature victory with a 24-17 upset of then-No. 14 Missouri last Saturday.
After quarterback Steven Sheffield generated little offense, Taylor Potts came off the bench to throw three touchdowns as the Red Raiders rallied from 14 down.
"We needed some momentum, and I tell you, he was on," Tuberville said. "We felt like that we knew Potts would stay in there, stay in the pocket because he's done it all year long."
Stoops also was impressed by what he saw.
"Their defense played really well and offensively they're very similar to other teams," he said. "As you see a lot of Tech's offense from a year ago, they're executing it well. I think every part of the game, you can see as the year has gone on, they're improving play."
The Red Raiders' Baron Batch will try to build off his best game of 2010 after setting season highs with 28 carries and 134 yards.
Last year, Texas Tech handed Oklahoma a third straight loss in Lubbock, 41-13. Potts completed 35 of 53 passes for 388 yards and two scores, and Batch ran for a career-best 136 yards with two TDs.
Top 25 Overview
Oklahoma returns to the comfy confines of Norman to host Texas Tech. The Sooners have had their woes on the road, losing at Missouri and Texas A&M, but are unbeaten at home, having won 35 straight. Oklahoma has won six straight over the Red Raiders at Owen Field. Texas Tech needs one more win to be bowl-eligible.