Breakdown: Offense

In the first Big 12 match-up of 2007, Oklahoma State takes on Texas Tech in Stillwater, in a game that promises to showcase two offensive powerhouses and has the potential to be one of the highest scoring games of the weekend. With both teams feeling they have something to prove, how do the high powered offenses of Texas Tech and Oklahoma State match up? Come inside RaiderPower.com to find out.

QUARTERBACK
Advantage: Texas Tech

Graham Harrell leads the nation in passing yards and has shown remarkable accuracy and decision making skills this season. OSU Head Coach Mike Gundy has been impressed with Graham so far, stating, "Obviously if he has 51 points a game he looks pretty good.  They do a nice job. I think that the system allows them to put guys in there and continue with what they've done every year. He's playing well.  He is playing better than he was last year in my opinion."

A quarterback controversy is brewing in Stillwater, with last year's starter Bobby Reid getting benched after abysmal performances against Georgia and Florida Atlantic. Midway through the Florida Atlantic game, Gundy replaced Reid with sophomore Zac Robinson, but so far he has not been much more impressive. Look for Robinson to get the starting nod again this game. In the press conference this week, Coach Gundy stated, "Zac Robinson needs to continue to develop in his career.  Somebody is going to have to step in and play center and make calls in this game because Texas Tech is going to come in here and play the game."
 

RUNNING BACK
Advantage: Oklahoma State

Shannon Woods and Kobey Lewis have been splitting playing time so far this year, and while they're both playing solidly, neither one has had a breakout game yet. With the start of Big 12 play, defenses will try to cover the pass better, which should open up the running game for the Red Raiders.

True freshman RB Kendall Hunter has shown his ability to gain yards on the ground and through the air, racking up 182 yards rushing and averaging 7.6 yards per carry and 62 yards on 5 receptions. CB Chris Parker explained that the Tech D is preparing to face OSU's run game. "They have a couple of good running backs and with that, we've got to keep them in line and not let them get a lot of rushing yards against us. They're going to try to use that against us right now, because we have a young defensive line."

 

WIDE RECEIVER
Advantage: Texas Tech

With freshman Michael Crabtree scorching opponents and getting on open seemingly every play, all of the preseason hype about the drop-off the Red Raiders were sure to see at the WR position seems to be unwarranted.

The starting receivers are averaging almost 12 yards per reception, and any of them appear up to the task of stepping up and taking some of the pressure off Crabtree should teams decide to double cover him. QB Graham Harrell is confident in all of his receivers' abilities, saying, "If they try to take away Mike on the outside over there, they're probably going to have to match up one-on-one outside on the other side with Eddie [Britton] and L.A. [Reed]. Those two guys are really explosive players and if they try to match them up one-on-one I think those two are going to have big days."

The Cowboys' WR corps has not been as productive so far this season as many who touted "The World's Greatest Offense" had hoped, but make no mistake, they are a talented group who are itching for their chance to shine. Pre-season 1st team All-American selection Adarius Bowman is a dangerous playmaker with plenty of size and talent. Dez Bryant and Jeremy Broadway are young WRs who are learning the system and have the ability to breakout and make a name for themselves at any time.

 

OFFENSIVE LINE
Advantage: Texas Tech

Tech's O-line has been solid through the first 3 games, giving up only 2 sacks in 178 pass attempts. However, starting center Shawn Byrnes has been battling a nagging ankle injury, and although he is projected to start on Saturday, backup Stephen Hamby may have to replace him if he tweaks it against OSU. The Red Raiders realize they will face a better D-line than they have seen up to this point, with Byrnes explaining, "I know their front four is pretty athletic, they're big guys and they rotate a lot so they're going to be pretty fresh throughout the game."

Oklahoma State took a huge blow to their offensive line when center David Washington went down with an injury.  Washington was a leader on the Cowboy line and he will be sorely missed.  Red Raider freshman Colby Whitlock was given the starting nod at nose guard for Saturday's game and could give OSU's new center fits.


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