OSU-Texas Tech: Key Matchups

Robert Allen's key matchups as the eighth-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys (8-1) take on the second-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders (9-0) Saturday afternoon in Lubbock, Texas. Kickoff for the nationally televised game (ABC-TV) is scheduled for 7 p.m. (Central time).

Oklahoma State center David Washington
and guards Andrew Lewis and Steve Denning
vs. Texas Tech nose tackle Colby Whitlock
and defensive tackle Richard Jones
This is a pride match up as Whitlock, who starred in the win over Texas with the safety on the first play tackling Ogbannaya in the end zone and the pass rush he helped get on Colt McCoy, is from Noble, Okla., and was not really recruited hard by the Cowboys. Whitlock has turned out to be a good one and Jones is not bad.

The Cowboys are excellent on the offensive line and this trio will do a solid job on Tech's inside defensive line. Lewis is becoming an outstanding offensive linemen, Washington is a veteran and will do whatever is needed to win, and Denning is the strongest of the offensive linemen. The Cowboys need their balance, to run and to pass in order to win.

Advantage: OSU - The Cowboys are too good here and since officials never call holding on Texas Tech they can't call it much on OSU either. Both offensive lines are likely to win the night giving offensive stars a chance to shine. Both sides will get down and dirty so it should be fun to watch.

OSU wide receivers Dez Bryant
vs. Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree
I know they will not play head to head but the ABC crew will be comparing, contrasting, and keeping score all night, so why shouldn't we? It could be a good barometer as to who wins the game as both players are so demonstrative on their respective teams. You know, so goes Crabtree then so goes Tech, and the same with Bryant.

Advantage: Even - This one is impossible to predict as both teams have solid secondaries to do battle with the other's star pass catcher. Bryant has the advantage of being involved with special teams and returns. Crabtree is big and physical, but so is Bryant. Crabtree is very fast for his size, but so is Bryant. The winner here could be decided by which team's quarterback plays better and is more accurate on the night.

OSU quarterback Zac Robinson
vs. Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell
What did we say, it could be decided by which quarterback is on for the night. No doubt about it, these are two different quarterbacks as Harrell is a throw it guy that runs only to buy time to throw and doesn't have to do that very often.

Robinson is a Joe Montana-type guy that is going to do what it takes to help his team win. There is no right answer here as both are good, but by the end of the night there will be a right answer for the night.

Advantage: Impossible to tell as both are good, both are good in big games. Harrell has more experience, but Robinson is the better all-around athlete. Leach calls Robinson a "tough guy" and really likes that in him, but Leach won't trade Harrell for Robinson. Gundy calls Harrell a student of the game with his dad being a coach. He says Harrell is extremely smart with a strong, accurate arm. He did say he wouldn't trade him for Robinson. No trades, but there will be a winner.

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