Dissecting the Oklahoma State Game

For most of the season, the Oklahoma State Cowboys have been a victorious but somewhat lackluster team. Sure, they are 6-1, but they gave up 35 points to UTSA, were ambushed by a weak West Virginia team in Morgantown, and barely slipped past another lackluster team, Kansas State, in Stillwater. Last week They went to Ames, Iowa and torched Iowa State 58-27.

Key Oklahoma State Stats
CATEGORYSTATISTICNATIONAL RANK
Scoring Offense38.922
Punt Return Yards Per Return17.536
Yards Per Punt39.28109
Field Goal Percentage53.8109
Penalty Yards Per Game55.485
Turnover Margin+1.297
Interceptions Per Game1.866
Rushing Yards Allowed Per Attempt3.2213
Pass Defense Efficiency102.747
Yards Allowed Per Kickoff Return15.974


For most of the season, the Oklahoma State Cowboys have been a victorious but somewhat lackluster team. Sure, they are 6-1, but they gave up 35 points to UTSA, were ambushed by a weak West Virginia team in Morgantown, and barely slipped past another lackluster team, Kansas State, in Stillwater. These were not the sorts of performances the college football world had grown accustomed to from Mike Gundy's program over the last few seasons.

But last weekend, just in time for a showdown with Texas Tech, the Cowboys Big 12 opponents had come to know and fear, showed up. They went to Ames, Iowa and torched Iowa State 58-27 in a game that was every bit as lopsided as the score indicates.

But does that result prove that OSU is back in top form? Difficult to say. Iowa State may have had the heart knocked out of them by close losses to Texas and Texas Tech, for on the succeeding trip to Waco, they were mauled by the Baylor Bears 71-7, and then succumbed to Oklahoma State by another embarrassing margin.

The Texas Tech game could be the acid test for the Cowboys. The Red Raiders will be the best opponent OSU has faced thus far, and they'll be facing them in a raucous and rumbling environment.

But there are positive signs for the visitors. Just like the Oklahoma Sooners, who took down Tech 38-30 last week, the strengths of Oklahoma State are running the football and defending the pass. Against Iowa State, Desmond Roland had a 217-yard rushing performance, which may have been the most impressive by a Big 12 back this season. And as is always the case with such ground explosions, the offensive line was the key. Cowboy blockers simply stampeded the Iowa State defense.

Tech's defense, which has shown weakness, especially against the run, in its last two outings against West Virginia and Oklahoma, will have its work cut out. Opponents averaged 230 rushing yards against Tech the last two weeks. The Red Raiders will need to do better to be certain of a win against Oklahoma State.

Tech's passing game has been quite strong all season, and if anything, has improved somewhat since Davis Webb took over the reins of the offense. But OSU's pass defense will be every bit as challenging as what the Red Raiders faced in Norman. The Cowboys are No. 6 nationally in interceptions, No. 7 in pass defense efficiency, and No. 8 in passing yards allowed per play. In short, Webb and company may not face a better pass defense all season.

If it all sounds terribly daunting for the Red Raiders, that is because it is. Nevertheless, Tech faced a similar team in a hostile environment last weekend, and had a legitimate shot at scraping together a victory. In Lubbock, look for the Red Raiders to close the deal.

The Final Call: Texas Tech 36 Oklahoma State 35

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