NORMAN — Oklahoma has avoided early starts this September.
Not any more. The No. 5 Sooners will host Texas Tech at 11 a.m. on Sept. 28 in a FOX-televised game.
OU played five games that kicked off at noon or earlier last year. Four were at 11 a.m.
Iowa State-Baylor (2:30 p.m., ABC networks) and Kansas State-Oklahoma State (6 p.m., ESPN+) were selected for later spots.
The Sooners (3-0) are off this week. Texas Tech fell to 2-1 after a 28-14 loss at Arizona over the weekend.
• Bowman out: Texas Tech confirmed reports Monday that quarterback Alex Bowman has suffered an injury that will force him out “for several weeks,” conceivably meaning he’ll be unavailable to face OU.
Bowman was injured against Arizona after throwing for 307 yards, which put him atop the Big 12 in passing yardage. He was also the nation’s leader in completions per game (33.7).
Had he played a full game against OU in Lubbock last year, the result may have been different. Bowman was 21 of 26 for 227 yards and two scores before leaving the game with a collapsed lung.
Tech backup Jett Duffeey is 104-154 this season for 1,221 yards and eight touchdowns. He’ll have a week to prepare for the Sooners with the Red Raiders facing an open date Saturday.
• Pledger’s timetable: It’s still not clear when running back T.J. Pledger might return.
He traveled with the team last week and walked the sidelines in street clothes and a jersey, but OU coach Lincoln Riley couldn’t provide a clear timetable.
Pledger had hand surgery before the season opener.
“Yeah, it’s a little open-ended right now. Kind of a week-to-week deal,” Riley said. “We’ll see how he progresses through the bye week. I would say Texas Tech’s maybe a long shot, but we’re getting pretty close.”
• Bedlam rewind: Pittsburgh Steeler Ben Roethlisberger’s season-ending injury was sad news for the quarterback and the franchise. But it has set up something historic as it pertains to Bedlam football.
Former OU quarterback Baker Mayfield, with the Cleveland Browns, and former Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph of the Steelers are now headed for a collision course to play each other Nov. 14 in Cleveland. According to Elias Sports, it would mark the first time former OU and OSU quarterbacks would start against each other in the NFL.
Mayfield and Rudolph were part of one of Bedlam’s wildest nights. Mayfield threw for what marked a single-game OU record of 598 yards. The teams combined for 114 points, the highest-scoring Bedlam ever.
• Packing on LBs: Riley was especially impressed how the linebackers played against UCLA.
It’s as deep a group as he’s had at OU and is benefiting from more rotation. Players who developed in redshirt years, like Nik Bonnito and Brian Asamoah, are contributing.
“Really it was a strong game for our linebackers, especially some of the other guys not named Kenneth Murray,” Riley said. “Dashaun White, Ryan Jones did some really good things. Asamoah did some good things. Bryan Mead did some good things. It was good to see those guys play well and certainly when your front is playing like that it makes your job as a linebacker much easier."