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Texas Tech at Oklahoma State: How They Match Up

Breaking down Saturday's game between Red Raiders, Cowboys

Posted: November 16, 2012 - 8:43pm
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When Texas Tech passes

Tech has gotten a lot of production lately from QB Seth Doege throwing to WRs Eric Ward and Darrin Moore. That formula could work again, because Oklahoma State CBs Justin Gilbert and Brodrick Brown, the latter preseason all-Big 12, haven’t lived up to expectations. The Cowboys are 96th in pass defense. Ward (61 receptions, 823 yards, 10 touchdowns) and Moore (59-622-10) have four 100-yard performances between them in the last three games. The Cowboys can concentrate on those two, because no other Tech receiver has reached 60 yards in the last four games. OSU lacks a strong pass rusher to get after Doege.

Advantage: Texas Tech

 

When Texas Tech runs

Linebackers Alex Elkins and Shaun Lewis lead a stout rushing defense that ranks 26th with a yield of 129.2 yards per game. Tech C Deveric Gallington, along with OGs Beau Carpenter and Le’Raven Clark, have a lot of work to do to root out DTs James Castleman and Calvin Barnett. The Cowboys’ duo have 51/2 tackles for loss apiece and have come along nicely. Castleman, a sophomore fromAmarillo, is a former Texas Tech commitment who switched. It’s been a humdrum last month for Tech RBs Kenny Williams, Eric Stephens and Sadale Foster with the Red Raiders held under 115 rushing yards four games in a row.

Advantage: Oklahoma State

 

When Oklahoma State passes

Inside receiver Josh Stewart (69-838-5) and WR Charlie Moore (29-481-5) have been on fire lately, Stewart averaging 10 catches and 118 yards in the last four games andMooreon a streak of five games with a TD reception. The Cowboys are dangerous whether Clint Chelf or Wes Lunt plays QB. Stewart will try to shed Tech nickel back Tre Porter, who had one of his best games while limiting West Virginia star Tavon Austin. Safeties Cody Davis and D.J. Johnson need to keep everything underneath, because giving up big plays is suddenly an issue for the Tech defense.

Advantage: Oklahoma State

 

When Oklahoma State runs

All a defense has to do is stop Joseph Randle, but how often does that happen? The Cowboys’ rushing leader has six 100-yard games, matching his total from last year and sharing the Big 12 lead in that category. The good news is Randle didn’t reach 100 the last two weeks against KansasStateand West Virginia. But that means he’s about due again, running behind a strong line led by senior guard Lane Taylor. Tech has dropped to 54th in rushing defense, having allowedTexas’ Johnathan Gray andKansas’ Tony Pierson and James Sims to top the 100-yard mark the last two weeks. DT Kerry Hyder, MLB Will Smith and friends have to reverse that for Tech to win.

Advantage: Oklahoma State

 

Special teams

OklahomaStateprides itself on special teams, and it shows. The Cowboys have gotten kickoff-return touchdowns the last two weeks from Desmond Roland and Gilbert, with Gilbert tying the Big 12 record with the fifth of his career. K-P Quinn Sharp is one of the country’s top special-teams aces with 20 field goals, a 45.6-yard punting average and a nation-leading 57 touchbacks. The Cowboys have been vulnerable on kickoff coverage, however, ranking 119th in that category after giving up two kick-return TDs. KR Sadale Foster often gives Tech good field position, but he’s yet to break one.

Advantage: Oklahoma State.

 

How we see it

Staff writer Don Williams: Oklahoma State 44, Texas Tech 35.

Staff writer Nick Kosmider: Oklahoma State 44, Texas Tech 31.

 

 

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