Having already defeated one top-three team from the “Sooner State,” the Texas Tech Red Raiders will look to throw a monkey wrench into the BCS championship dreams of the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Saturday afternoon.
The Cowboys are ranked No. 2 in the BCS and have a chance to win their first Big 12 conference title.
They are led by a high-powered offense that averages nearly 400 yards passing and 50 points per game. Head coach Mike Gundy has done a terrific job building this program back up, and they are just three wins away from playing for a national championship.
However, the Red Raiders will not be intimidated in this game. They defeated Oklahoma, arguably a better overall team than Oklahoma State, and they did it on the road. They have their own high-flying offense that averages almost 37 points per game, though they have lost four of their last five games.
Where: Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas
When: Saturday, Nov. 12 at 12:00 p.m. EST
Watch: ABC; ESPN3.com
Betting Line: Oklahoma State (-17)
While Oklahoma State is the better team, that is too many points to be giving in this game. In addition to playing on the road, the Cowboys' defense is starting to crack. They gave up 45 points last week to Kansas State, so they are clearly not an unstoppable force.
The Red Raiders have had their struggles in recent weeks there is no doubt about that. But they are good enough to put points on the board against anyone, and they are going to keep this game close for four quarters.
Regardless of which team actually wins the game, it is going to be a lot of fun to watch. Both of these teams can get up and down the field in a hurry. Combined, they average almost 87 points per game.
The 78.5 points they are being given in this game has got to be a conservative estimate, because these two teams could easily combine for over 100. These two offenses are so good that I wouldn't put it past them.
Anything is possible.
Oklahoma State Injury Report
Out: WR Hubert Anyiam (Foot), OL Jonathan Rush (Knee), CB Devin Hedgepath (Achilles) and S Johnny Thomas (Eligibility).
Questionable: WR Josh Cooper (Hamstring) and RB Jeremy Smith (Hand).
Texas Tech Injury Report
Out: S Terrance Bullitt (Shoulder), CB Tre’ Porter (Head), UT Pete Robertson (Shoulder), RB Eric Stephens (Knee), LB Tanner Foster (Knee) and RB Ronnie Daniels (Suspension).
Probable: UT Ben McRoy (Illness).
BCS/Top 25 Poll Implications
There has been a lot of talk about the Oklahoma State-Oklahoma matchup in the final week of the season, but if the Cowboys can't secure a win this week, that game will lose its luster.
Mike Gundy’s team is trying to do something special this season, and to date they have taken care of business. A loss here will end their national championship hopes, though they would still be alive in the Big 12 race.
Texas Tech is just trying to play the role of spoiler and become bowl-eligible, which they will do if they can steal a victory in this game. They were ranked in the polls after that victory over Oklahoma, but two straight losses have caused them to fall from the voters’ good graces.
Keys To Oklahoma State Victory
We know what the offense brings to the table.
Quarterback Brandon Weeden and wide receiver Justin Blackmon form the most lethal combination in the country, and the results show because they are second in the country with 50.1 points per game.
The defense has to step up if this team is going to make a national championship run. They are never going to be dominant, but as long as they are forcing turnovers and limiting big plays they will be fine. They couldn’t do that last week, and it nearly cost them.
They won’t get away with playing another game like they did against Kansas State.
Keys To Texas Tech Victory
Everything I said about Oklahoma State can be said about Texas Tech, with the exception of having the lethal battery at quarterback and receiver.
Their offense is the reason why they have success year after year, but since the victory over Oklahoma this team has scored just 27 points in their last two games combined. They have to score early and often in order to have a chance in this game.
The defense is never going to win them a game, but as long as they make a couple of plays that result in turnovers they will be fine. Unfortunately, that does not happen very often.
This game is going to be closer than the experts think, but Oklahoma State is too strong on offense to lose.
Oklahoma State 56, Texas Tech 45