The Red Raiders square off against the 21st-ranked Cowboys Saturday, and these are two teams heading in different directions. Oklahoma State moved into the AP Top 25 after their convincing win over then-ranked Kansas State. Meanwhile, Texas Tech returns to the Jones after a tough loss in Norman.
Over the last decade, this matchup has been all Oklahoma State. However, Texas Tech ended the Cowboys 9-game win streak a year ago in dramatic fashion. The Red Raiders routed the Pokes in Stillwater in a 41-17 win. Now, Oklahoma State is looking to repay the favor of a humiliating defeat in front of a home crowd.
- When: Sat, Oct 5, 11:00 AM CT
- Where: Jones AT&T Stadium
- Weather: Partly Cloudy, High of 84°F
- TV: FS1
- Stream: Fox Sports Go
- Line: OKST -10, O/U: 63.5
21 Oklahoma State Cowboys
After last week’s win against a K-State team that has looked like a potentially top-three team in the Big 12, the Cowboys are looking like the favorites to push Oklahoma and Texas.
When thinking about Oklahoma State football, many naturally think of a high-powered passing attack. However, this season, Chuba Hubbard has changed that narrative and is the nation’s leading rusher. The dark horse Heisman candidate has a total of 938 yards and 10 touchdowns through just four games. To put that into perspective, Hubbard is on pace to surpass Barry Sanders’ record-setting Heisman year.
Hubbard owes a lot of his success this year to the hog mollies up front. They do not get the acclaim that position players get, bu the offensive line that has been a tremendous strength for this team. The Pokes are averaging six yards per carry, and have only given up six sacks the entire season. If the Cowboys can continue to keep their rushing game a strength, it will help redshirt freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders ease his way into truly grasping the entire offense and open up the passing game for Tylan Wallace and Dillon Stoner.
We also have to talk about the Cowboy defense. They stepped up tremendously last week against a Kansas State offense that was rolling for the early part of the season. The Cowboys only allowed a total of 244 yards of offense. This week, the defense has to be drooling about going up against an offense that embarrassed them last year, but is now out of sorts without their star quarterback.
Oklahoma State Keys To The Game
Keep The Offense Balanced – It is easy to say keep giving the ball to the nation’s leading rusher, which is a smart thing to do. However, defenses will start to key in on the rushing game and force the Cowboys to pass. For the Cowboys to be dominant this Saturday, they need to keep a balanced offense and keep the Red Raider defense guessing.
Apply Pressure – Texas Tech quarterback Jett Duffey likes to be mobile, the defense needs to play as they did against Skylar Thompson of Kansas State and apply pressure at every moment possible. Do not let Duffey have time to drop back and throw clean passes or find running lanes.
Sanders Time – Mentioned before the Cowboys need to continue their balanced offensive game plan. However, coach Gundy and coach Gleeson need to find ways to let Spencer Sanders find a rhythm in the passing game and further facilitate Tylan Wallace in the passing game. Look for Sanders to get some easy, quick short throws in the opening series to find a rhythm that will help lead the Cowboys to another victory in Lubbock.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
Texas Tech doesn’t have an easy task ahead of them Saturday. With the early kickoff in Lubbock, and the two game losing streak, it’s questionable how much of a home field advantage the Red Raiders will actually have. The Red Raiders will need the fans to show up and get rowdy, though. They need this game if they hope to have a season worth salvaging by the time Bowman gets back on the field.
This is weird to say for a Texas Tech team, but they have to find their offense. They lost the offense somewhere on the way out to the desert a couple of week ago. They averaged just 5.6 yards per pass attempt against Arizona and managed to put just 14 points on the scoreboard in the loss. If they went searching for their lost offense during the bye week, they weren’t able to find it before facing Oklahoma. With Alan Bowman out, the Sooner’s speed D scheme confused and frustrated backup quarterbacks Jett Duffey and Tyner Jackson. The Red Raiders averaged just 4.7 yards per pass attempt in the blowout loss.
Jett Duffey has been named the starter moving forward, but we saw the Duffey show last year. It was tough to watch. However, like it or not, it’s been renewed for another season.
The Red Raiders can’t afford the costly mental errors that have shown up the past two games and will need to execute perfectly if they hope to have a chance on Saturday.
Texas Tech Keys To The Game
Start Fast – Texas Tech needs to jump ahead quickly on Saturday. The Red Raiders pride themselves on their tempo and they will need to wear down the Cowboy defense early if this game becomes a shootout.
Finish Drives – Texas Tech is facing an explosive offense that can put up points early and often. If Tech wants to have a chance at winning they have to have sustained drives that not only keep the ball out of the opponents hands, but end in points as well. Too many punts will result in the blowout we saw last week.
Eliminate Big Plays – Confidence in Jett Duffey’s ability to push the ball downfield in a shootout isn’t where it would be with a healthy Bowman. The Red Raiders can’t afford to get in a shootout with the Cowboys. OSU’s running game is too strong and if they get up on Tech early, they could easily play keep-away and wear the defense down like we saw from Arizona in week three.
Oklahoma Stat’s defense has been questionable at times, but the unit is improving under Jim Knowles. They are giving up just 24 points a game, and have only given up more than 30 points twice this season.
It’s going to take at least 30 points to beat Oklahoma State, and while Texas Tech is averaging 41 points per game on the season, they’ve averaged just 15 points their last two times out.
The Cowboys defense is going to play Texas Tech a lot like they played the Kansas State offense by applying pressure, not giving up leverage and stopping a potentially explosive offense from finding a groove.
The Cowboy offense is just too much behind Chuba Hubbard, Tylan Wallace and Spencer Sanders who can bail them out should a play break down. They will break open this game and the Pokes’ establish a lead in the second quarter that they will not relinquish.