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Saturday Morning Preview - Oklahoma State v. Texas Tech

These are always the types of games that I worry about.  I have not watched enough OSU this year to really have a handle on the level of talent OSU brings to Lubbock.  It's the match-up between Tech's defense and their ability to stop the OSU offense.  FWST's John Miller expresses my concerns exactly:

Oklahoma State (6-4, 3-3) has the top rushing offense in the Big 12 and seventh-best in the country, averaging 215.7 yards per game. It is averaging 5.5 yards per carry, second-best in school history.

In its six wins, OSU has averaged 248.8 yards rushing; it has averaged only 166 yards in its four losses.

Texas Tech (6-5, 3-4) has struggled against the top Big 12 rushing offenses this season. It has played four of the top six running teams in the conference and has allowed 227 or more rushing yards three times. Its best performance was last week against Oklahoma (136 rushing yards), but the Sooners were missing their top two running backs.

I generally like have a much better preview for the game, but this week's been a little hectic for myself.  Nevertheless, let's delve into some generic keys to the game:

  1.  I harped on this all year, but the linebackers have to really step up and play well.  
  2.  Setencich has hopefully done his job this week and preached to the secondary that we cannot get beat deep and we cannot give up the big touchdown play.  Don't let the receivers get behind them.
  3.  The defensive line has to continue to pressure the quarterback, but in this game, stay disciplined.  Reid is a very athletic quarterback.
  4.  Consistency on offense.  Much has been made of the struggles the offense has had in three weeks, and I think Harrell is playing his best football, but Tech has to be able to score some points in the second half.  I think at this point, this has to be a pride point with Leach.  He doesn't like teams to out-smart him, I think he'll remedy things this week.
  5.  Let Woods run the ball.  Eight rushing attempts is not going to get it done.  Our friends over at BON mentioned the need for Woods to get the ball a little more, acknowledging that Leach is infatuated with the pass, but eight carries is just not enough.
  6.  As long as we can get one (Hicks) or two (possibly Filani) of the wide-outs to stretch the field, it will keep the defense honest.  Harrell is not afraid to take chances so I'll put this on the WR's to make some plays.
  7.  Please, keep the penalties to a minimum, at the very least no personal fouls.
  8.  The offensive line has been so good the past four games, but there's been a little more pressure on Harrell in the second half.  I'd love to see these guys really step up in the second half and keep the pressure off of Harrell and open some running lanes for Woods.
The print previews:
The Tim MacMahon of the DMN thinks that Tech will win, 38-28.

Tim Griffin of the SEN is predicting a 33-31 Tech victory.

The Chronicle previews the game and notes that OSU's standout WR, Adarius Brown, has really slowed down since his 13 catch 300 yard performance against Kansas (October 14th, or four games ago).

Double T Nation prediction:  Oklahoma State 28, Texas Tech 38.  The last home game of the year should spark something within this team and I hope that the defense has learned from it's previous mistakes.