Big 12 Previews

Oklahoma State vs. Texas Tech: Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Texas Tech

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

Game Info

11a.m. November 28th, Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, Oklahoma

TV: FOX (Joe Davis and Mark Helfrich)

Radio: Cowboys Radio Network; Texas Tech Sports Network

Spread: OSU (-11)

 

Key Players

Oklahoma State Cowboys

QB Spencer Sanders

I think I put Sanders here every game with the same thing he needs to do: don’t turn the ball over.  He only had one interception in Bedlam (which may not have actually been an interception) but he was dinged up early and didn’t play most of the blowout bringing me to this week’s need for Sanders: don’t get hurt. Sanders has been hurt almost as much as he’s been healthy since he came to OSU and it shows in his development. He has all the talent in the world but it just hasn’t clicked yet. With freshmen back-up QB Shane Illingworth quarantined with COVID he isn’t available to play this week.  Sanders HAS TO stay on the field.

RB LD Brown

Chuba Hubbard is having a rough year. There’s all kinds of theories floating around about him being injured or checked out or replaced by an alien clone or any other thing you can think of to explain it. I just think the beat-up line has hampered him more than it might other backs because Hubbard’s style is patience. He sets up blocks and runs through late holes before slipping a tackle on the second level and hitting the gas. The problem is there are no holes, no blocks this year behind OSU’s paper mâché line. LD Brown is a bit more reckless in his running style. He hits the gas as soon as he touches the ball and powers into wherever the hole is supposed to be, sometimes picking up big yards but usually at least gaining a couple. I don’t think Brown is better than Hubbard, but he may be a better fit right now. 

The Offensive Line

I’m not to here to rip these guys. As a whole is the unit good? No. They’ve had injuries and dismissals and more injuries and basically anything bad you can have happen. The guys that are playing play hard. As a group they just don’t have the stuff which is a shame because OSU was an offensive line away from having a Big 12 Champion/Playoff level team. But they have to do SOMETHING. Just get in someone’s way and fall down, anything, to give the offense a chance.

Texas Tech Red Raiders

QB Alan Bowman

I’ll write this and the Red Raiders will play Henry Colombi.  Bowman saved Tech in their last game, coming in for an apparently injured Colombi and sparking the offense to a win against Baylor. I personally saw Bowman torch the Cowboys in Stillwater two years ago, and although he’s struggled a bit since being injured against OU last season he seems to be rounding back into form. OSU’s rush is stout but a quick trigger and a strong arm can help negate it. 

Running Back Committee

As a group the backs ran for 129 against a decent Baylor defense, but the best thing was no matter who was in the caught the ball out of the backfield well.  The Sooners exploited the Cowboys with passes to running backs last week.  Matt Wells and his staff have had two weeks to prepare for this one and the extra time should’ve allowed them to find some chinks in the armor. Throwing to the backs is one of them, along with intertwining crossing routes to get create space against the tight man coverage but this requires solid blocking up front. Establishing and run game with whichever back happens to be in will slow down the pass rush.

The Defensive Line

The big boys up front have to be salivating after watching film of the Cowboys’ last two games. Kansas State and Oklahoma ran through Oklahoma States’ offensive line like it was butter and they were hot knives. If Texas Tech can create pressure with just four, a very likely outcome, they shouldn’t have any problem controlling a dysfunctional OSU offense.

 

Key Storyline

Texas Tech isn’t very good. Oklahoma State’s goals are out of reach. Does either team care anymore? Coming off a feel good win against Baylor and two weeks rest the Red Raiders probably hold the edge in excitement to play in this game. You’d think there’d be some hangover for the Pokes after getting smashed in Bedlam, a game many people gave them a chance to win.  The Cowboys seem to fit the mold of the talented team that couldn’t get it together and then just gives up and loses a bunch of games they should win at the end. Think West Virginia two years ago when a loss in Stillwater as a number 5 ranked team lead to them losing four more games. Oklahoma State is loaded with All Big 12 caliber players but if they decide to phone it in Tech could easily beat them.  Same goes the other way: if the Red Raiders aren’t in it mentally and OSU is, woo…. that defense can make this game a bloodbath.

Prediction

Oklahoma State:  24  Texas Tech: 21

I think this game gets ugly, as in hard to watch ugly. I set the over under on total punts at 15. OSU plays great defense. They even managed to put up a fight against OU for a large portion of the game. The offense’s inability to do anything led to the lopsided score down in Norman. Texas Tech doesn’t have the Sooners offensive prowess to run up the score if Oklahoma State’s offense struggles. And it will. Oklahoma State can barely play offense at all these days but they just have too many playmakers for Tech to shut them down. Wallace, Hubbard, Brown or Sanders will find a way to score, although not a lot. I am once again putting my faith in the Cowboy defense to win the Pokes a close game. They do say defense travels.

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