Key Matchups and Predictions: OSU vs. Tech

Back on the road again for the Cowboys and I really think that is not a bad thing at all. This team really relishes playing on the road and with the Mike Gundy travel plan of: leave late, get the business done, and rush home; the Cowboys are never gone much over 24 hours.

Actually, with an 11 a.m. start it ends up being right around 24 hours from departure to arrival back at STW. This team relishes the opportunity and the challenge to win games on the road and has won 12 in a row away from Boone Pickens Stadium, including last year's Alamo Bowl. There are less distractions on the road. Most people feel the pressure is all on Oklahoma State with the high BCS ranking, but Texas Tech has helped out there as the Red Raiders will be playing for their seniors on Senior Day and for the Wounded Warriors Project with this being the special Under Armour Wounded Warriors Project Game featuring the special uniforms to be auctioned off. OK, here are the match-ups.

OSU Center Grant Garner and Guards Nick Martinez and Lane Taylor vs. Texas Tech Noseguard Donald Langley and Defensive Tackle Kerry Hyder

This is real easy as Texas Tech is getting pounded by the run game with the Red Raiders allowing an average of 249 yards rushing a game. They have not been able to stop it and a big reason is up front on defense Texas Tech is a little light in the drawers. Tackles Donald Langley and Kerry Hyder are 266 pounds and 260 pounds, respectively. The ends both weigh 256 pounds and the linebackers are 237 and 213 pounds. The Cowboys guard Martinez (310), center Garner (292), and guard Taylor (310) are much bigger and have a "sizable" advantage in this matchup. That trio has also being playing really well. So while the Cowboys aren't a power running team they do have some power in their run.

Advantage: Edge to Garner, Martinez and Taylor

OSU Cornerback Brodrick Brown vs. Texas Tech Wide Receiver Alex Torres

Texas Tech's leading receiver is Eric Ward with 57 receptions for 567 yards and 9 touchdowns, but Alex Torres is still very dangerous with 47 catches for more yards per catch at 585 yards. Torres is capable of going vertical running anything in between and is really good at the tunnel screen, which was a big play in victimizing Oklahoma three weeks ago. While Justin Gilbert is very athletic and has great speed, maybe as fast as any player on the Cowboys roster, it is Brown that is the most versatile of the cornerbacks and why he is a good fit to cover Torres. This should be a fun match-up to watch.

Advantage: Slight Edge to Brown

OSU Wide Receiver Justin Blackmon vs. Texas Tech Secondary

Texas Tech has had injury problems and depth problems in the secondary and in the last couple of weeks since his second half vacation because of a head injury at Missouri, Blackmon has been on fire. The returning All-American has kicked in the afterburners and is playing as well right now as he has all season. My guess is that Tech will try to double him and play a safety on top. Most of the time he still gets open and it helps the other Cowboy receivers like Tracy Moore last week to get open and make big plays. It is simply a bad draw that Tech gets Oklahoma State when they are so banged up in the secondary. Even when everybody is healthy, Blackmon is a load to deal with.

Advantage: Edge to Blackmon

Prediction:

I'm not advocating for the Oklahoma State offense to slow down, huddle up or look to double up possession time, but I am looking at Oklahoma State maybe running the football a little more than normal. The Cowboys can run the ball and the last two weeks Texas Tech has shown they can't stop it.

I know the Cowboys offense, in the words of coordinator Todd Monken is not anything like Texas with the power running game, but when it comes to running the football, the Cowboys have got game. More running, a little less throwing and the Cowboys don't score into the 50's. It's OK because they will get enough to win.

Final Score:

#2 Oklahoma State 41 @Texas Tech 21

Big 12 Predictions

This Week

#21 Texas 34 @Missouri 20

Baylor 48, Kansas 31

@#17 Kansas State 26, Texas A&M 24

Season Record

Straight Up: 45-14

Against the Spread: 31-20

Not all games have point spreads as games versus FCS opponents do not.

Last Week

Straight Up: 4-1

Against the Spread: 1-4

@#3 Oklahoma State 48, #17 Kansas State 24

@Texas 34, Texas Tech 28

@Iowa State 42, Kansas 20

@#7 Oklahoma 38, Texas A&M 14

Missouri 41 @Baylor 31


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