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Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State: Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Oklahoma State

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 match up in our Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State preview and prediction.

Game Info

11 A.M. CT, Saturday, October 5th , 2019, Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, Texas

TV: FS1 (Brian Custer and Robert Smith)

Home Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network (Brian Jensen, John Harris, and Chris Level)

Away Radio: Cowboy Radio Network (Dave Hunziker, John Holcomb, and Robert Allen)

Opening line:  Oklahoma State -10

Fun Fact: With Matt Wells being in year one at Texas Tech, as were Chris Klieman (KSU) and Sterling Gilbert (McNeese), Mike Gundy will be coaching against the 3rd of five coaches he’ll face this season that are in their first year at their current job. So far over his career he’s 27-5 against first year coaches. Neal Brown (WVU) and Gundy’s old boss Les Miles (KU) are the other two he’ll face this season.

 

Key Players

Oklahoma State

Running back Chuba Hubbard

Expect Hubbard to be listed here every week. Coming into the season there was some hope in Stillwater that Hubbard could fill in nicely for the departed Justice Hill and take advantage of defenses having to play the pass to guard star receiver Tylan Wallace. Well, five games, 938 yards and 10 touchdowns later the question is when will teams stop doubling Wallace to commit more people to the box to stop Hubbard. If not for barely being used against outmatched McNeese in week two (8 carries for 44 yards) the Canadian track star would easily be over 1000 yards less than halfway through the season. After being mostly bottled up against Texas, getting 121 yards but needing 38 carries to achieve it, he galloped for 296 (!) on just 25 carries against what was considered the strong run defense of Kansas State. Did I mention that both of the Cowboys starting tackles were out, forcing two back ups to play and two of the other three starters to switch positions along the offensive line? Hubbard has proven to be one of the best players in the country up until now and I would assume OSU will continue to ride him against a weak run defense in Lubbock.

Linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga

Ogbongbemiga’s play has been a pleasant surprise for OSU, and an unpleasant surprise for the announcers covering the games because his team leading 42 tackles (tied) make it where his name has to be said A LOT.  Ogbongbemiga will probably be tasked with containing new starter and dual threat QB Jett Duffey, either sacking him (3.5 on the year) or keeping him from breaking the pocket and turning a bad play into a big gain. Containing Duffey and forcing the Red Raiders earn yards the hard way against their bend-don’t-break defense will be the plan, and Ogbongbemiga and his linebacker buddies must play well for that to happen.

Texas Tech

Quarterback Jett Duffey

After starting senior grad transfer Jackson Tyner in place of the injured Alan Bowman in Norman last weekend the Red Radiers will go with junior Jett Duffey on Saturday. Tyner went just 1-5 for 2 yards before getting the hook but Duffey showed a bit more promise going 11-20 for 120 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Duffey is a decent thrower and a decent runner which should give Texas Tech a shot in every game until Bowman returns. While filling in for Bowman last season and in a back-up role he completed 68% of his passes for ,1221 yards, eight tds and six picks. This weekend is a big test as the Oklahoma State defense has faced dual-threat quarterbacks the last two weeks in Texas’ Sam Ehlinger and Kansas State’s Skylar Thompson, although with mixed results between the two games, and should be prepared for what Duffey bring’s to the table.

Wide Receiver T.J. Vasher

One of the biggest questions from Texas Tech fans last weekend is how Vasher only had one catch for two yards against the Sooners. While the Oklahoma defense looks improved it was literally the worst in the nation against the pass last season so lobbing a few deep might have been a good thing to try. Oklahoma State wasn’t much better against the pass last year, and has given up enough long passes this year for the Red Raiders to hopefully figure out to let it fly.  The Cowboys have big corners, but not as big as the 6 foot 6 inch, 210 round Vasher who should win most 50/50 balls thrown his way. If Tech can get the run game going with its backs and Duffey to make Oklahoma State play Vasher one on one he could have a big day off the play action.

Linebacker Jordan Brooks

Someone has to plug the gaps or seal the edge when Chuba Hubbard runs to keep a three yard gain from becoming a 30 yard gain. Brooks, a senior, is the leading tackler with 41 tackles (24 solo) and will probably be tasked with that assignment. At six foot one and 245 lbs he has the size (30 lbs heavier than Hubbard) and range to bring the back down before he gets up to full speed out in the open filed. It’s not an envious task but its an important one if the Red raiders are to pull the upset.

 

Key Storylines

Oklahoma State

The Cowboys seem the be the number three team in the Big 12 (and would really like another crack at the Longhorns) but they’ve looked that way before and still managed to lose focus and  drop games to teams the should’ve beat. After last season head coach Mike Gundy admitted he had grown complacent and vowed to be more engaged this season. So far so good but can the Cowboys maintain the level of play they had against Kansas State, or will dominating the Wildcats and the headlines that came with it creep in and give the team a big head? On paper OSU should cruise to an easy victory but with the newfound national ranking, the sudden hype surrounding Hubbard, and a bye week coming up losing focus might be a problem.

Texas Tech

Can Jett Duffey save the season? Not one expected Texas Tech to beat OU in Norman even with Alan Bowman but now that the all-but-guarenteed loss is behind them the Red Raiders need to find a way to win four games out of the last eight to get to bowl eligibility. With Bowman they had a punchers chance against everyone in the Big 12 including the Sooners and Longhorns but there’s not as much room for error without the talented gunslinger. OSU and Baylor look to be better than Texas Tech, but not unbeatable. Stealing a game against the Cowboys or Bears (next week) makes getting the required wins with the remaining schedule of ISU, KU, WVU, TCU, and KSU a little easier before having to play Texas in Austin to end the season. A bowl game in Matt Wells first year would be a huge win after the failed tenure or Kliff Kingsbury, and would give the team another month’s worth of practices in the new coach’s system.

Prediction

Oklahoma State 41 Texas Tech 24

Texas Tech’s run defense is ranked 100th in yards per game given up at 179.8 a game. Chuba Hubbard averages 187.6 yards a game on the ground by himself so far this season. While that stat should rightfully scare the pants off of Red Raider fans Matt Wells is a good coach and there is plenty of firepower left over from the Kliff Kingsbury recruiting strategy. Oklahoma State shut down Kansas State’s simplistic offense but struggled on defense against Texas and in the first half against Tulsa. Offensively Texas Tech should be able to keep this game close enough to make it interesting throughout, especially with OSU’s red zone scoring issues, but I don’t think the Red Raider defense is up to the task of slowing down Hubbard without allowing Tylan Wallace and Spencer Sanders to run free. 

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