OSU Ready For Run Against Big 12's Best

Oklahoma State plays each of the four teams at the top of the Big 12 standings over the next six weeks, beginning Saturday when the 18th-ranked Cowboys go on the road to face No. 15 Texas Tech in Lubbock. OSU has an opportunity to capture its second conference title in three seasons but head coach Mike Gundy said Sunday that his team has its work cut out throughout November and into December.

The Cowboys (6-1 overall, 3-1 in the Big 12) travel to Lubbock to go against Texas Tech (7-1, 4-1) this week before closing out the season with a four-game stretch against Kansas (2-5, 0-4), Texas (5-2, 4-0), No. 5 Baylor (7-0, 4-0) and No. 13 Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1).

"Honestly, we'll have our hands full just winning the next one," Gundy said on Sunday afternoon. "We have to practice good every day and get ready. Hopefully, our game plans are good and our kids are fresh and understand the concepts, and go play hard on Saturday.

"I don't think we're in any position or good enough to look past Tuesdays practice, or really tonight's practice for that matter," he said.

OSU has won four in a row over Texas Tech, including the last two times in Lubbock. The Cowboys routed the Red Raiders 66-6 in 2011 and won 34-17 in 2010.

The encouraging news is that the Cowboys will make the trip to west Texas after finding its running game in Saturday's 58-27 victory over Iowa State. The Cowboys finished with 342 rushing yards for their best performance in the run game since the first game of the 2012 season against Savannah State (395 yards).

Junior Desmond Roland took advantage of his first career start, rushing for a career-best 219 yards and four touchdowns on 26 carries.

"He made some plays. He did a good job of taking care of the football and running down hill and making the first player miss in most cases," Gundy said Sunday when asked about Roland's performance.

Gundy also praised the play of the offensive line: Daniel Koenig, Brandon Webb, Jake Jenkins, Parker Graham and Brandon Garrett. "They played good, not great. They've been average and below average at best in games this year, so there was improvement. They blocked better."

The offensive line will have to continue to block better, the Cowboys running game will need to improve and quarterbacks Clint Chelf and J.W. Walsh must be able to throw the ball down the field if Gundy's team hopes to defeat Texas Tech, Texas, Baylor and Oklahoma while living up to preseason expectations as the Big 12 favorites.

"Well, we've got a look of work. We're going to face some challenges the next month, in particular this week, with teams that have been more effective in moving the ball and scoring points than what we've played, so that will be a real challenge for us," Gundy said.

"Our defense will have to continue to play good football and force turnovers, and we've got a lot of work ahead of us on offense. We left a lot of points on the board (against Iowa State). Then our kicking game has been good, (but) we need to continue to work at that. That's really the approach we have to not. We're not in a position to do anything other than that, and we have to have good practices every day."

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