Week 12 - Texas Tech at Oklahoma State

Posted Nov 14, 2012

Week 12 Fearless Prediction - Texas Tech at Oklahoma State

Texas Tech (7-3) at Oklahoma State (6-3) Nov. 17, 3:30, ABC/ESPN2

Here’s The Deal: In a bad, bad, BAD weekend of big game, this one qualifies as a marquee matchup only because the two are ranked in the current BCS top 25. After this weekend, one will be out and will tumble down the Big 12 bowl pecking order.

It has been a weird and rough weekend for Texas Tech and Tommy Tuberville, with all the attention focused on the head slap of a graduate assistant during last week’s overtime win over Kansas, but on the positive side, the controversy has diverted the discussion from a Red Raider team that appears to be in a freefall for the second straight season.

After a hot start and a 6-1 record, Tech was blown out by Kansas State and couldn’t handle Texas before the double-OT battle with the Jayhawks. With a trip to Baylor to close out the regular season, and with the Bears likely to be in desperate need of a win, it would be nice to come up with the first win over Oklahoma State since 2008 and the second since 2006. Last year the Red Raiders lost 66-6.

Oklahoma State can still make plenty of noise with Oklahoma and Baylor still to play, but this is the home finale and this is the big chance to stay in the top four of the conference chase. The offense hung 55 on West Virginia last week – but whose hasn’t? – coming off a tough loss to Kansas State. The offense is rocking, leading the Big 12 and ranking third in the nation in scoring, and the passing game is rolling helping the attack crank out 561 yards per outing. This is supposed to be a transitional season, but the team is coming up with a nice year. With three more wins it could be a great regular season.

Why Texas Tech Might Win: Can Texas Tech get to 41 points? The offense is 18th in the nation in scoring averaging 39 points per game scoring 41 or more six times on the season – all wins. Oklahoma State has allowed 41 points or more three times and lost all three games, and won the six times it didn’t. The Cowboy pass rush has been hit-or-miss and the pass defense can be thrown on. Texas and Arizona were able to win after throwing for more than 300 yards, and while West Virginia threw for 401 yards and lost, the passing attack worked. Even through the struggles, the Texas Tech passing game has been terrific throwing for 300 yards or more in every game but the loss to Oklahoma and with 508 yards last week against Kansas. Oklahoma State can be thrown on, and this is going to be a shootout from the start. Can the Cowboys keep the mistakes to a minimum? Texas Tech hasn’t fumbled the ball in three of the last four games and QB Seth Doege has only given up two picks.

Why Oklahoma State Might Win: All of a sudden, Texas Tech’s run defense has reverted back to its old form once the schedule got tougher. No one was moving the ball early on with just one rushing touchdown over the first four games, but the five worst days against the run came over the last five weeks bottoming out last week against Kansas, giving up 390 yards and two scores. The pass rush has been non-existent since the first month of the season and the defensive front hasn’t been able to hold up when powered on. Oklahoma State might not exactly blast away with the ground game, the offensive line has been a force and should control things from the start. In the reverse of Texas Tech’s defense, OSU’s running attack blew up over the first part of the season and has fizzled a wee bit over the last few weeks. However, expect a big game from …

What To Watch Out For: Joseph Randle. The junior back ran for three scores in last year’s win over Texas Tech and came up with 95 yards and a touchdown in the victory two years ago. He hit the 1,000-yard last week, and while he has only rushed for nine scores after getting into the end zone 26 times last year, he has been extremely effective with six 100-yard games. Held in check by Kansas State with just 43 yards, he wasn’t needed much against West Virginia with 74 yards. This is the week he should break through the 100-yard barrier again.

What Will Happen: Can Texas Tech rise up above the noise and the controversy and play a good, tight game? Maybe, and the nation’s No. 1 passing game will work, but Oklahoma State will be balanced and effective with a good day that will keep the chains moving. The Cowboys will always be in control.

CFN Prediction: Oklahoma State 38 … Texas Tech 24
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Oklahoma State -10.5 O/U: 70
Must Watch Rating (5 – Killing Them Softly, 1 – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2): 3.5