Leach takes insider knowledge into game against Sooners

Friday, November 16th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) _ Mike Leach was Bob Stoops' first offensive coordinator at Oklahoma, but the Texas Tech coach doesn't expect the Red Raiders to derive any real advantage from that.

The No. 3 Sooners (9-1, 5-1 Big 12), who need a win Saturday to maintain control of the Big 12 South, are still running the pass-happy attack Leach installed. The Red Raiders (6-3, 4-3) are running their own version of that offense.

``They know a lot about our system,'' said Leach, in his second season at Tech after spending 1999 at Oklahoma. ``I know all those guys, coaches. But once the game starts, it gets pretty analytical. It's not half as interesting or organized as you might think.''

Texas Tech has won three straight Big 12 games for only the second time.

The Red Raiders are the Big 12's top passing team, and rank sixth nationally, at 336 yards per game. Junior Kliff Kingsbury has thrown for 2,902 yards, and his 19 touchdown passes are only three less than Texas' Chris Simms.

Critics claim Kingsbury's numbers are skewed because of Leach's incessant aerial attack. Stoops, the Oklahoma head coach, isn't among them.

``I think he's a very good quarterback,'' Stoops said. ``He's a talented guy who can move as well as throw, so I'm sure he'd fit in about any system there is. He's a quality player _ a good athlete and a good arm.''

Leach agreed, saying Kingsbury shouldn't be unheralded.

``I think it's unfortunate he's not a sung hero,'' he said.

Oklahoma's defense will have a hard to duplicating its feat of the past two games, when it held both Texas A&M and Tulsa to less than 100 yards passing.

While Texas Tech is just trying to get into another bowl game and possibly break into the Top 25, the Sooners want to keep alive their chances of repeating their national championship.

The Sooners could lose and still win the Big 12 South and advance to the Big 12 championship game. But they can't make it to the Rose Bowl with another loss.

Oklahoma needs a win to match idle No. 5 Texas at 6-1 in the South. If the two teams finish tied, the Sooners get the spot in the Big 12 championship game because they won 14-3 over the Longhorns in October.

The Sooners end their regular season Nov. 24 against Oklahoma State. That's a day after the Longhorns play Texas A&M.

Tech officials said security will be increased for the game in response to a melee that broke out on the field and in the stands after Tech upset then-No. 24 Texas A&M 12-0 two weeks ago. No players were involved in the scuffle that injured at least one person.