Troubles in Stillwater

Justin Laney writes about the Red Raiders and their recent struggles in Stillwater, but how they can turn it around.

As Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville and his Red Raiders travel to Stillwater, Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon, the average Tech fan realizes that the Red Raiders haven't won a game in Boone Pickens Stadium since 2001.

There is no doubt that Tech has played in some competitive battles there every single game, but it was just never enough to steal a victory.

In that fateful 2001 game, the Red Raiders spanked the Pokes 49-30. But Tech has not had a victory there since. In 2003, BJ Symons and the Air Raid offense had to come back from a huge deficit, which ultimately fell short after a late interception by the late Darrent Williams to seal the OSU victory.

In 2005, Tech went into Stillwater ranked No. 13 while the Pokes were 0-5 in Big 12 play. The game was tied 17-17 midway through the 4th Quarter and then Oklahoma State engineered a game winning drive that lasted 6:20 to seal the game.

In 2007, we all remember the game winning pass that was dropped in the end zone by Tech standout Michael Crabtree as Texas Tech fell 49-45.

And finally, in 2009, the Red Raiders could not seem to get any offense going and fell yet again to the Cowboys, 24-17. As pointed out above, all of these losses have come down to the wire.

Coach Tuberville talked about the atmosphere in Stillwater and what his team should expect.

"Yeah, the sidelines different.  It's very narrow," Tuberville said. "I've been in the stadium one time to speak at a clinic years ago when Jimmy Johnson was there back in '83, '84.  My understanding is they've built quite a bit on to it.  It's noisy.  It's loud.  We'll have to work on some things and make sure we communicate well with.  And their students and fans do a good job. Just talking to a lot of the other coaches that have gone in there, I usually call to make a few calls to find out what they think.  That's pretty much their thoughts of the crowd noise and the sideline is a little bit intimidating."

However, this isn't just a one-sided topic.

Before 2010, Oklahoma State had their struggles in Lubbock over the years as well. In fact, before that win, the Pokes had not won in Lubbock since World War II.

It's no secret that this is going to be a tough game for Tech, but a fast start is key. If Seth Doege and the offense can get it going early and often, we could be in for quite the offensive shootout.

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