Oklahoma State Football: Why Cowboys Should Be Wary of Texas Tech
The Oklahoma State Cowboys are riding high after an exciting victory over the Kansas State Wildcats, but they can't celebrate too much because there's three games left in the season, including an away game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
The Cowboys are the better team going in, but that doesn't mean they should expect to roll over the Raiders. They need to make sure to take this game seriously or they might have trouble pulling out the victory in Lubbock.
It will be difficult for Texas Tech to pull off an upset, but there are five reasons Oklahoma State should be wary going into this game.
5) Seth Doege Can Sling It
With the exception of games against Kansas State and Iowa State, Seth Doege has been putting up great statistical games all season long.
He didn't throw an interception until the fourth week of the season and only has six on the season. Doege has thrown 24 touchdowns to those six picks and has 3,160 yards. He played exceptionally well against the Oklahoma Sooners secondary, carving the "Sharks" up for 441 yards and four touchdowns.
The good news for the Cowboys is that his worst games have come when he played at home. When Kansas State came to town, he tossed three interceptions, and against Iowa State, he was held under 200 yards passing while throwing another two interceptions.
However, the Cowboys would be making a mistake in thinking they can shut Doege down. He may have had a few bad games, but he's still a lethal passer that could rack up yards against OK State's secondary.
4) Lubbock Is a Tough Place to Play
Even though Seth Doege has had his biggest struggles when playing at home, any team that comes into Lubbock is going to be greeted by some outrageous fans.
The Texas Tech fans are sometimes crude and brash, but they are always loud. In fact, last year was the first time Oklahoma State had beaten the Raiders in Lubbock since 1944.
This rivalry has long been dominated by the home team, largely due to how devoted the fanbase's are. That said, the Cowboys have proven that they can go on the road and win big games. They can't assume this is a victory, but their fans can rest easier than they usually would before a game in Lubbock.
3) Oklahoma State Has Never Been in This Position
The Cowboys are 9-0 for the first time in forever and have their first legitimate chance to go play for a national championship.
As we've seen countless times in sports, it's difficult for a team who is new to success to continue playing well as they move towards a championship. Generally, teams don't jump from solid to championship contenders in a single season.
It's possible that Oklahoma State could be the exception to the rule, but it will be a difficult task for head coach Mike Gundy to keep his team on track as they move towards the championship.
Gundy will have to make sure his young team comes out ready to play. It's always tough for a team to continue their excellence throughout a season, and it's even more difficult when you're experiencing this much excellence for the first time in your program's history.
2) Texas Tech Has Already Played the Role of Spoiler This Season
As everyone in the country knows, the Texas Tech Raiders went into Norman and snapped OU's 39-game home winning streak.
They did it by dominating the Sooners secondary and winning the turnover battle. OU's defense was missing three key starters, but they still should've beaten the Raiders.
The Cowboys' secondary isn't great, but they have shown a knack for forcing turnovers. If they can win the turnover battle they should be able to hold off Seth Doege and Co. long enough for the offense to score enough points to win the game.
That said, it's not guaranteed that they will be able to pull it off. Texas Tech is likely to bring their best game and the Cowboys will be facing a tough crowd. Oklahoma State must get out to an early lead and get the crowd out of the game.
1) The Cowboys Could Be Caught Looking Ahead
The biggest reason Oklahoma State might fall this week is that they may be caught looking forward to the huge Bedlam game against OU.
Considering the huge implications that game could have, you almost can't blame the Cowboys if they are already trying to get ready for the Sooners. However, Gundy has to make his team focus on the game at hand or the Bedlam game won't matter.
The ultimate goal is to gain a berth in the national championship game, but they can't get there without a victory over Texas Tech. Hopefully, the team is able to put aside the thoughts of playing the Sooners and can put all of their focus into the Raiders.
If they don't you can expect Seth Doege and the Red Raiders to capitalize on any mistakes the Cowboys make. We'll know quickly how focused Oklahoma State is, and if they come out strong they should be able to pick up a victory.