Is Winning In Lubbock Possible For OSU?

STILLWATER – As if winning in Lubbock, Texas hadn't been hard enough for Oklahoma State in the past 66 years (the Cowboys are 0-9-2 since 1944), it may be even more of a challenge Saturday at Texas Tech's Jones AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys second-ranked passing offense in the nation may have to line up against the Red Raiders without three of its top receivers.

OSU head coach Mike Gundy confirmed Monday that redshirt freshman Michael Harrison had surgery on a finger over the weekend and will not play against the Red Raiders. The status of Josh Cooper (concussion against Louisiana last Friday) and Hubert Anyiam (sprained ankle) will not be known until later this week.

That's not good news for the 18th-ranked Cowboys, who have lost six games in a row by an average margin of 24.7 points against Texas Tech in Lubbock since the Big 12 Conference was formed. The Cowboys have played the Red Raiders close twice in Lubbock in recent years, losing 30-24 in 2006 and by a 24-17 score in 1998.

Why's it so hard for Oklahoma State to win in western Texas?

"They've had good team for one (thing)," Gundy said. "Other than that I can't answer that. We've been over there a time or two in the last six or eight years and had a chance to win, and didn't finish it.

"We'll discuss with the players what we think it takes to win the game and we'll line up and go play hard. The one thing that benefits our team is they're not going to be concerned with not being able to win over there in 66 years. They're just going to be concerned with the game Saturday. I wish it would not have been 66 years without a win over there. We're certainly going to try to put an end to that." added Gundy.

One major difference when the Cowboys fly to Lubbock will be the absence of Mike Leach, who has been replaced as Texas Tech's head coach by Tommy Tuberville.

But Tuberville's team doesn't look much different than Leach's "Air Raid" offenses. Senior quarterback Taylor Potts is leading a Texas Tech offense that is averaging 333.2 passing yards per game (fourth in the nation) and 36.8 points (17th).

Gundy says new offensive coordinator Neal Brown, who the Cowboys faced when he was at Troy, has the Red Raiders playing a faster pace than in the past.

"They play faster. They run the ball effectively, the quarterback is throwing the ball really well, they're physical and they've got good skill guys on the perimeter," said Gundy. "They've got a nice carryover form the recruiting standpoint from what coach Leach was doing to what they're running right now. (There are) a lot of similarities other than the speed of the offense and obviously more running game."

But isn't it comforting to Gundy that the Cowboys won't be facing Leach-coached teams that have scored 56, 30, 31, 49 and 58 points in the last five games in Lubbock?

"From the part (of Texas Tech's 45-38 victory over Baylor) I saw on Saturday I didn't sleep very good after that. They moved the ball pretty effectively," said Gundy. "They flashed up the halftime statistics and it was 400 and some yards at the half, I believe, and I wasn't too fired up about that.

"When you get into league play you're going to play good teams. You're going to have to be consistent in each game, you're going to have to take care of the football, you're going to have to be sound in special teams. There's no doubt they can move the ball on offense, and we can move the ball, so it should be a good football game," continued the OSU head coach.

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