Tech's Hanson ready to challenge Woods

Cornerbacks from eight different teams haven't been able to contain OSU's Woods yet, but Joselio Hanson is ready for his turn.


Deception and trickery have their place in football, but Texas Tech cornerback Joselio Hanson figures this is not the week he'll have to deal with it.

There are streaks and then there are streaks, and Rashaun Woods has one of the more eye-catching in the Big 12 Conference. The Oklahoma State wide receiver has caught at least four passes 19 games in a row and at least two passes in the past 26 games.

"They throw him the ball most every time, from what I see," Hanson said Tuesday. "So when you're on him, you've really got to be ready, because he's going to get the ball. He does all kinds of routes. Every route that you can think of, he does."

By most barometers, Woods seems to do them all well. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound junior is an all-America candidate with 64 catches for 889 yards and seven touchdowns. He's Tech's problem this week in a 1 p.m. game Saturday at Jones SBC Stadium.

Tech football

• What: Oklahoma State at Tech

• When: 1 p.m. Saturday

• Where: Jones SBC Stadium

• Records: OSU 4-4, 2-2 Big 12; Tech 6-4, 3-2 Big 12.

• Line: Tech by 81/2

The trouble is, even when other teams know what's coming, they've had a tough time handling Woods, who's Tech linebacker Geremy Woods' first cousin. OSU's Woods made 80 catches for 1,023 yards and 10 touchdowns a year ago. Three of the touchdowns came in a 49-30 loss to Tech.

The Red Raiders built a 35-10 lead late in the third quarter of last year's game in Stillwater, Okla., so a good portion of Woods' 10 catches for 109 yards — and all three TDs — came with the Cowboys in catch-up mode.

Still, Tech defensive backs coach Dave Brown said Woods "made a very deep impression on us."

"He runs precision routes," Brown said. "He catches the ball with his hands very well, and he's a gifted athlete. I've seen him jump up and get the ball. I've seen him come behind the cornerback to get the ball. He's just a really fine player."

The progress of Oklahoma State's young running backs might have made Woods' job easier this season by diverting some attention. Junior tailback Tatum Bell rushed for 182 yards against Nebraska and 142 yards against Texas A&M, and sophomore tailback Seymore Shaw had three 90-yard performances in the first five games of the season before getting hurt.

Woods says things such as his streak aren't what matters. Oklahoma State (4-4 season, 2-2 Big 12) is trying to end a streak of four straight losing seasons, and progress toward that isn't happening quite fast enough for Woods.

"I guess it would make me feel better if we had won some more games," Woods said. "For the most part, how I do personally is not something I think about during the season."

Even so, Woods continues to work to get better. He said he's a more well-rounded player than he was when he first went to OSU after an all-state high school career at Oklahoma City Millwood.

"Early, I was lacking in blocking probably," he said. "I couldn't block anybody when I was young. But I got in the weight room, did that aspect and got better blocking."

Catching passes is how Woods earns his keep, though. He presents a matchup problem many Saturdays, and this week will be no exception. Hanson, at 5-9, admits he'd rather face speedy receivers his size than line up across from Woods and give up 5 inches in height.

"He's a pretty tall guy, pretty big, pretty strong," Hanson said. "I'm a little guy. I've got to try to get physical with him, hold my ground."

When Tech head coach Mike Leach was at Oklahoma, the OU staff tried to recruit Woods for the Sooners. Leach says there are receivers bigger than Woods and faster than Woods, but not many as productive. He marvels at Woods' body control and ability to go get the ball when it's in the air.

"As I watch film, he's one of my favorite guys to watch," Leach said, "because I just think he's a heck of a player. And very possibly — I don't know who's the best receiver in the league — but he's certainly one of them. There's no question."

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