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Week 10 - Oklahoma State at Texas Tech

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Oct 31, 2013


Week 10 Fearless Prediction & Preview - Oklahoma State at Texas Tech

Oklahoma State (6-1) at Texas Tech (7-1) Nov. 2, 7:00, FOX

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Do you want to try figuring out the Big 12 title chase?

Texas Tech looked good, and can’t be blamed too much for a loss at Oklahoma, but now it has to get back on the horse in a hurry with Baylor and Texas still to deal with after Kansas State. The Red Raider defense has been solid – 38 Sooner points aside – and the offense has been creative and effective, and now it’s time to beat a real team.

TCU is fine, but it might not get to six wins, and West Virginia is going to struggle to get a post-season bid, meaning there’s a good chance that Texas Tech has yet to beat a team that’ll end up going to a bowl game. It did what it had to do against the mediocre part of the schedule, and again, the OU loss was fine, but now it’s time to go to work. At the very least, with a win, a top four conference finish is more than likely, and a good bowl game will come in a terrific first year under Kliff Kingsbury.

Oklahoma State is in the same boat.

The Cowboys are coming off their most effective win of the conference season with a 58-27 blasting against Iowa State, and the final score wasn’t even indicative of the dominance. After the struggle against West Virginia in the puzzling loss in the conference opener, OSU has put that in the rearview mirror, along with the Sports Illustrated drama, to win three straight, and now it controls its own destiny. Win out, with Texas, Baylor and Oklahoma to close after the free space against Kansas next week, and go to the Fiesta Bowl.

Why Oklahoma State Might Win: The secondary. Oklahoma State has been known for its offense over the past several seasons, but it’s the defense that’s getting it done in Big 12 play. If you can stop the pass, you can win in the conference, and the Cowboys have been outstanding at limiting the big plays, ranking seventh in the nation in pass efficiency defense helped by 13 interceptions while allowing just nine scoring passes – six of those game in blowout wins over UTSA and Iowa State. Texas Tech will get its yards and it’ll find ways to get the passing game moving, but don’t be shocked if the O goes silent for long stretches – the Cowboy secondary is outstanding at getting off the field on key downs.

Why Texas Tech Might Win: Don’t be fooled by the Iowa State win; Oklahoma State’s offense is trying to figure it all out. It’s almost November, and still the Cowboys don’t quite have the quarterback situation settled and the offense just isn’t as consistent as it should be. Making things worse for the OSU backfield is an aggressive Texas Tech defensive front that gets behind the line on a regular basis. It’s not a coincidence that the Red Raider defense struggled to make big things happen in the backfield in the two toughest games – TCU and Oklahoma – but Oklahoma State’s O line gives up big plays. It’s phenomenal in pass protection, but it’s possible to get behind the line on this group.

Who To Watch Out For: Really, is it J.W. Walsh or Clint Chelf? It’s both. The coaching staff is talking about playing both guys and hoping to get some sort of production out of one of them. Walsh wasn’t miserable against Iowa State, but he completed half of his passes with two picks. Chelf completed 10-of-26 passes for 78 yards and a score with a pick doing nothing to get the ball down the field, but he ran for 85 yards.

- Eric Ward is overdue to come up with a big performance against Oklahoma State. The Red Raider receiver caught just four passes for 36 yards in the 2011 loss, and he followed it up with a mere five grabs for 38 yards last year, ending a dominant three game run and following it up with 113 yards against Baylor. He caught nine passes for 106 yards and two scores in last week’s loss to the Sooners, and he has to be one of the main men again.

- Welcome to the fun, Desmond Roland. The Oklahoma State running back had a few nice moments over the course of the year, but he was an afterthought in the mix. The 6-2, 210-pound junior is built like a power back, but he can crank up the wheels when needed. A big runner with wide receiver quickness and straight-line speed, he ran for 219 yards and four scores on just 26 carries against Iowa State.

- On a four-game series winning streak, Oklahoma State has destroyed the Red Raiders over the last few years, winning 59-21 last season and an evil 66-6 in 2011. The Cowboys have won six of the last ten dates.

What Will Happen: Expect a terrific game with lots of back-and-fourth swings and big days from both offenses. The two defenses will take over in the fourth quarter, and the lack of a steady OSU passing game will become a problem in the final minutes. It’ll come down to the final drive.

Prediction: Texas Tech 38 … Oklahoma State 34
Line: Texas Tech -2.5 o/u: 66.5
Must See Rating: (5 All Is Lost – 1 Storage Wars) … 4
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