Texas Tech hex

(left) Tech quarterback B.J. Symons points to Wes Welker, one of his favorite receivers, earlier this year. Symons has a gang of pass-catchers he can count on week in and week out. The Red Raider offense goes to the air 70 times a game, something the OSU secondary may not be able to handle...again.

If Oklahoma State ever needed revenge, it would be against Texas Tech.


The Cowboys have only one win against the Red Raiders since the inception of the Big 12 Conference. And to make matters worse, OSU's losses haven't even been close.


In six losses Tech outscored OSU 238-77, an average final score of about 40-13.


Unfortunately, this situation doesn't get better for the Cowboys, considering in none of these contest were the Red Raiders ranked. In recent years, a big proponent in the Tech wins was a good passing game versus OSU's horrendous secondary.


"From a defensive standpoint, we didn't play well at all against these guys (last year)," said OSU cornerback Darrent Williams. "We watched film the next day, there was so many little mistakes and guys not playing hard, just going through the motions."


This season, the Cowboys bring a statistically better defense to the field, ranked No. 9 nationally in scoring defense, but questions still loom in the secondary.


OSU held Kansas State to 21 points through three quarters, and a meager 174 passing yards, three interceptions. But in the fourth quarter, whether it be the defense called or a let down from the team, K-State's Ell Roberson lit up the secondary for 158 yards and two touchdowns in the final quarter.


Since losing senior weak safety Elbert Craig before the Louisiana-Lafayette game to a knee injury, the Cowboys' pass defense has plummeted.


Ranked 16th nationally in pass defense going into the game against the Ragin' Cajuns, the OSU secondary gave up 275 passing yards to a team that averaged half of that against teams like Houston, Louisiana Tech and North Texas.


"We've got a lot of things to prove, and we've just gotta have a good game for four quarters," Williams said. "They (Red Raiders) can score 21 points in two minutes. They're a big playmaking team."

Therein lies the dilemma.


In the past two games, the Cowboys have given up 607 yards and four passing touchdowns. In the first four games, they had only allowed 626 yards and four touchdowns.


No doubt they miss Craig.


Those numbers proved good enough to beat teams that rely more on the run – in K-State's case – and can't win a game to save its life – in ULL's instance.


But going against a team that has a coach with a long history of solid passing games in Mike Leach and seems to whip OSU on a whim every season, regardless of record, those numbers won't fly.


TTU quarterback B.J. Symons has already passed for almost 3,000 yards and 27 touchdowns, and he has completed more than 30 passes to five different receivers.In fact, four of those receivers sport more than 450 yards. Yes, if they stay on pace and make a bowl, Tech could finish with four 1,000 yard receivers.


With the numbers and history, this game would seem a foregone conclusion.And while the possibility remains for a waxing, never underestimate a team with confidence in itself – especially at homecoming.


 "A lot more fans will be more into it at homecoming," said OSU cornerback Vernon Grant. "We've just got to stay focused as a team … Look for the win."


But it may take more than focus to run up and down the field with a team that averages about four hours for a game.


A little luck may be in order, or the Cowboys, again, could find themselves on the cursed losing side of what has become a Texas Tech hex.

Along with the freelance work does for GoPokes.com and the O-State Sports Report, Matt Palmer is the OSU football beat writer for the Enid News and Eagle. You can reach Matt at datguy01@hotmail.com



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