Keys to the Game

RaiderPower takes an in-depth look at the keys to the game for the Texas Tech - Oklahoma State matchup, while avoiding the usual common sense analyses. What must the Red Raiders do to get the win against the Cowboys? Come inside to find out.

1. Spy on Bobby Reid.  There's no question that Reid is an athlete, and can take the ball and run with it at any time.  However, make no mistake; Reid is a capable passer as well.  He is currently seventh in the nation in passing efficiency, right up there with the likes of Heisman shoe-in Troy Smith.  Bobby is a true dual-threat quarterback, and is one of those guys who is just designed to beat our conservative schemes on defense.  He reminds me quite a bit of Brad Smith.  Smith was a gamer, and Reid is the same way.  I seriously think that we should just assign a defender to spy on his running abilities.  I would suggest that we blitz, if I thought that there was any chance that we actually would end up trying it out.  If we give Reid a chance to beat us, believe me, he will.

2. Do your job on defense.  There is only one team that has held the Oklahoma State offense under 25 points this year, and that is UT.  If you think that their offense isn't explosive, then you haven't been watching Bobby Reid, Mike Hamilton, Dantrell Savage, Adarius Bowman, and D'Juan Woods.  Hamilton is the back who punished our defense last year, and Savage has come on strong as an RB lately to give them a nice one-two punch to go along with Reid's running abilities.  Bowman is having his breakout year, and D'Juan is still one of the Woodseses, so you know he has talent.  The point is, they have their share of gamebreakers.  We need to know and execute our defensive assignments, and for the love of God, not let their receivers get behind our coverage.  

3. Play football after halftime.  Sadly, this isn't a joke or an exaggeration.  We had the Texas and Oklahoma games in our hands, and then failed to score a point after halftime.  This has been less of an issue defensively, but still an issue nonetheless.  Our offense absolutely needs to punish the Cowboys' defense, which is definitely their weakness as a team.  If Hicks can't go, then I want to Shannon Woods become a huge part of the game to take some of the stress and focus off Filani and Johnson.  Woods is capable of punishing the Oklahoma State defense with his abilities as both a rusher and a receiver, so he needs to get more involved in the offense, especially if we are again Hicks-less.  We need to give the defense time to rest.  I don't want them playing tired in the second half.

4. Get in the end zone.  I hate myself for being such a Captain Obvious this week, but this game really is that simple.  Oklahoma State is going to get their points, so we must answer.  It's not that I think our defense is that porous, it's that OSU's offense really looks to be that good.  That said, we should be able to obliterate Oklahoma State's defense, with or without Jarrett Hicks.  All we have to do is execute and make the most of our red zone opportunities.  A mix of playcalling should work wonders in this one.  We should throw some short passes, then try some runs, then go for a home run or two.  I really believe that we should be able to keep the Cowboy defense on their heels the entire game if we just use the entire playbook, so let's go out there and put on an offensive clinic.

5. Remember what you're playing for.  Again, there are bowl implications on the line in this one.  There should be no problem of motivation in this one, as the Seniors will be playing in front of the home crowd at Jones Stadium for the last time.  (Side note: Anyone who has thrown in the towel on this season and decides not to go to the Oklahoma State game in lieu of watching the Michigan/Ohio State hypefest should question their right to call themselves fans of Red Raider football.  Show up and support our boys.)  This should be one of the more entertaining games of the weekend, as both teams should come to play and put on quite a show.   The fans need to be loud to thank the Seniors for the memories, and the players need to give us one last show to remember them for.

-Trent Wycoff

(Questions, comments, praise, and constructive criticism can be directed to Trent within the forums or through email at

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