Friday’s matinee is Oklahoma/Texas Tech 2016. Be warned: You will need to pray before entering here, and not because this is shrine. This would be for your own protection.
For exactly four hours and ten minutes between 7:10 p.m. and 11:20 pm Central, Lubbock, Texas on October 22, 2016 became the unholiest of football spaces. The two teams combined scored one hundred and twenty-five points — either scored at a rate of a point for every two minutes of watch time, or if you prefer at an average of one point for every 28.8 seconds of game time.
Two and a half years after this game hit the surface of the earth and left a crater visible from space, the numbers still disgust. Two NFL starters — Pat Mahomes for Texas Tech and Baker Mayfield for Oklahoma — threw for 1,289 yards combined. Mayfield won the bang-for-buck contest here, averaging 15.1 yards for each of his completions and throwing for 545 yards and seven TDs on just thirty-six attempts.
Mahomes played a one-man game called all night by the Texas Tech staff. He beat Mayfield for sheer mania, throwing eighty-eight times on the night for a deranged 734 yards and five TDs. Mahomes was also Texas Tech’s leading rusher with eighty-five yards and a pair of scores on the ground on twelve carries.
Patrick Mahomes touched the ball 100 times in non-handoff situations in a single game. His level of fatigue after this had to qualify as a wasting disease.
The game set the NCAA record for total yardage in a football game: 1,708 yards, a total most of the time someone would expect to find in an FCS game between two teams in Texas, but was instead from an FBS game between two members of a Power Five conference.
Afterwards what did Oklahoma’s defensive coordinator have to say?
Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops was disappointed in his unit.
”Everything we did, they had guys running free pretty much all night,” he said. “We thought we were making improvements. To fall on our face like this, we’ve got to re-evaluate some things we’re doing.”
A small spoiler if one has been asleep since 2016: Mike Stoops did none of this! Then again, what are arguably the two best QBs in the history of both programs were playing a Big 12 night game in Lubbock, each facing teams with little to no ability to defend anything, much less teams with offenses putting up thirty and forty points a game on good competition already.
Even with the requisite making fun of existing management issues for both teams....this was a planetary alignment, or an eclipse. And like an eclipse, it’s probably best not to stare directly at it too long or it will burn your eyes out of your skull.