STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State 66, Texas Tech 6.
The score says everything you need to know about what happened between the Cowboys and Red Raiders last year in Lubbock, but Tech players this week came up with plenty of ways to describe the crushing magnitude of a 60-point loss on their home field.
“I never in my wildest dreams — or even my nightmares — imagined getting beat like that,” Tech safety D.J. Johnson said.
“It was an embarrassment for the entire program,” quarterback Seth Doege added.
“We just got whipped,” coach Tommy Tuberville said, “outcoached, outplayed.”
Last season’s meeting featured two teams trending in polar opposite directions. Oklahoma State was on its way to a Big 12 title game and a Fiesta Bowl victory against Stanford. Tech was headed toward a 5-7 finish, its first losing season since 1992.
That didn’t make the drubbing any easier to handle for the Red Raiders.
“They were probably the better football team last year,” Doege said, “but there was no reason it should have been that lopsided.”
The teams are on much more similar paths this season, with a similar destination in mind. When Tech (7-3, 4-3 in Big 12) and Oklahoma State (6-3, 4-2) kick off at 2:30 p.m. Saturday inside Boone Pickens Stadium, both squads are aiming for a slot in the Alamo Bowl, which is likely to go to the game’s winner. Additionally, a 10-win season is still in play for the team that emerges victorious.
For Tech, though, making amends for the shameful loss it suffered to the Cowboys a year ago may be the biggest motivating factor the team is leaning on.
“That embarrassment factor is huge,” wide receiver Alex Torres said. “One thing you saw in that game that was uncharacteristic of us last year, and is especially uncharacteristic of us this year, was just the lack of fight, regardless of the circumstances. ... We’ve promised ourselves that it wouldn’t happen again.”
Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon, two of the players heavily responsible for Oklahoma State’s dominance last season, are now playing in the NFL, but the Cowboys offense this season has been potent nonetheless. The unit’s 561 yards per game are good for fourth in the country. (Texas Tech is 10th at 507 yards per game.)
“They’re very similar to Texas Tech when it comes to their offense,” Johnson said. “I just feel like we have to go out there and impact that and remember what we do against our offense to make those plays against them.”
The Red Raiders this week have focused on red zone offense. Tech has moved the ball with ease the last two weeks, but finishing inside the 20 has been an issue the team will have to resolve in order to succeed in a hostile road environment.
“There are times that it feels like we needed to really score touchdowns, very critical times in the football game,” Doege said. “And that’s what makes it seem that it’s like, ‘Well, we have a red zone problem.’ Well, we really don’t, but we need to score touchdowns. I think that puts us, obviously, in a better position to win a football game.”
Tech didn’t score offensively in the game against Oklahoma State last season, as the Red Raiders’ only score came on a 37-yard fumble return by Cornelius Douglas.
It’s just one more reason Tech believes it has plenty to prove Saturday in front of a hostile, orange-clad crowd.
“We’re a totally different football team than we were last year,” Doege said. “I don’t think we’ll lay an egg like that ever again.”
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