3 Essential Keys to Victory for Texas Tech

Texas Tech opens Big 12 play against Oklahoma State 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla. The following are three essential keys to Texas Tech pulling off the upset.

It’s the obvious number one. Texas Tech gave up 428 rushing yards to Arkansas. Two running backs for the Razorbacks went over the century mark. Alex Collins went over 200. The front seven was atrocious. Oklahoma State doesn't have the same kind of attack Arkansas does. Make no mistake though, the Pokes have three talented running backs who can still destroy Tech’s defense. Oklahoma State has a young, inexperienced line. Tech must take advantage of it and then show it knows how to tackle.

The Cowboys punt unit can be good at times. Every once in a while, Kip Smith either gets a punt blocked or shanks it. His only punt against Missouri State traveled a whopping 18 yards. Smith had more punts in the UTSA game and did fine, with the exception of a 16-yard punt late in the game. In fact, it is noted as the game goes on, Kip Smith’s punts get shorter and shorter. The more punts forced, the better field possession Tech will have later in the game.

Turnovers are costly in the Big 12. Texas Tech cannot afford to make mistakes in a hostile Stillwater, Oklahoma environment. The paddles will be out. Tech will want to silence the crowd quickly. If the defense succeeds in the first two goals early, the worst thing that could possibly happen is the offense handing the ball and the momentum right back to the Cowboys.

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