Defending pass-attack is OSU's biggest concern

Tech's Kliff Kingsbury may have a cannon for an arm, but the OSU defense is hoping to take charge of the field in Lubbock.

In games against Texas A&M and Missouri, Texas Tech quarterback Kliff Kingsbury completed nearly 50 passes. In College Station, he went 49-59-1 against the Aggies, and against Mizzou, he launched 70 passes – completing 49 – with no interceptions.

 

Seventy times he went to the air. Seventy times the Tiger defense couldn't get a hold of the ball.

 

Oklahoma State offensive lineman Jason Russell said in order to win the game against Texas Tech, the Cowboy offense must make sure the Red Raider offense sees limited time on the field.

 

"We plan to establish the run and keep our defense off the field so we don't have to pass-rush 60 times a game," Russell said.

 

When OSU travels to Lubbock this weekend, it will be prepared for the pass-attack that seems to baffle all the other Big 12 defenses. OSU head coach Les Miles said his team will watch countless hours of film and practice fine-tuning its pass-rush skills.

 

Kingsbury isn't an easy guy to contain, and in 10 games this season he is averaging 52.5 passes per game.  Not only does he send the football flying, but his 67.8 percent completion rate indicates he nearly always has an open target.

 

 "We are going to have to start tackling the football and tackling those receivers," Miles said. "If it is a two-yard reception it should be a two-yard gain; If it is an eight-yard reception it should be an eight-yard gain. It is the broken tackles and the run-aways that we can't have – that will be an emphasis in this weeks practice."

 

Miles said Kingsbury will keep the OSU defense on its toes with his ability to pass with or without defenders in his face.

 

"They have a good scheme," Miles said. "This is Leach's third year, and they are real comfortable in what he asks them to do. Kingsbury is a talented trigger-man – He knows where he is going with the ball and he is an adequate scrambler."

 

Vernon Grant, a true freshman who perhaps saved the Cowboys with his interception in the end zone last week against A&M, said he is confident in OSU's defensive ability to defend the pass.

 

"We have a great pass rush, and we feel if our big guys can do their job in the front, we can do our job in the back," Grant said. "Their quarterback will cause us to step up a lot, but it will only make us better."

 

Russell said the main goal of the offense is to keep the clock running, and to take advantage of the options the Cowboys will have on the ground.

 

"We've gotta keep our defense off the field and we have got to come out and run the ball for four quarters," Russell said. "If we lack like we did last week, we will play the third quarter and you never know what will happen."

 


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