Opposing player to watch: Michael Orakpo

The Red Raiders must neutralize Orakpo and the rest of the Texas State linebackers.

Dennis Franchione is a defensive guru. His Texas State Bobcats have won their two games by a total of 50-18.

Texas Tech has put up more points in one game than Texas State all season. If the Bobcats want any chance to win, they must go with what they know best.

The Bobcats are best at the linebacker position. Texas State has a strong defensive core that forces turnovers and produces tackles for losses. Linebacker Michael Orakpo is the man Texas Tech needs to keep blocked Saturday when the Bobcats step into Jones AT&T Stadium.

Orakpo is a transfer from Colorado State where he earned All-Mountain West Conference honors. If you the name rings a bell, you are correct. Michael is the younger brother of former Texas Longhorn All-American and Nagurski Trophy winner Brian Orakpo.

This season, Orakpo has racked up 13 tackles, 12 of those being solo. He has 1.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss. He can force turnovers too. Orakpo has forced two fumbles in two games. If he's not the one in the statbook, he can still cause mischief. Southern Mississippi threw two interceptions during Texas State's 22-15 win in Hattiesburg. Without those two picks, Texas State might have a loss.

Texas Tech has two true freshman who have contributed in major ways this season. With a young offensive line, the running backs and wide receivers will need to step up. Rashad Fortenberry is the lone senior of the five bodyguards. Texas State must put pressure on the quarterbacks and Michael Orakpo is the best guy to do that. Without pressure, Texas Tech throws and scores all day long.

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