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Five Reasons Texas Tech Will Lose :: Oklahoma St. Cowboys Edition

This weekly feature considers five reasons why Texas Tech will win and five reasons Texas Tech will lose to each opponent. Check back tomorrow for "Five Reasons Texas Tech Will Win :: Oklahoma St. Cowboys Edition".

Reason #1 :: Which Team Will Show Up: It was just 3 weeks ago in that this Texas Tech defense gave up 321 yards to a TAMU offense that was about 30th in the country in rushing offense. This week, the Red Raiders face off against the 20th best rushing offense in the country and the majority of the carries are being split between 3 players: RB Keith Toston (155 att. for 882 yds), RB Beau Johnson (74 att. for 297 yds) and QB Zac Robinson (76 att. for 203 yds). The Texas Tech defense would be well served to look back at that TAMU tape and remind themselves that simply rushing up the field without containing Robinson will be a huge mistake. In other words, it can happen.  Granted, the Red Raiders didn't have the luxury of having DE Brandon Sharpe fully healthy for that game, but the key is that the same team that showed up against Kansas St., Nebraska and Kansas needs to show up on Saturday.

Reason #2 :: Defensive No-Names: Quick, name one starter for the OSU defense. You could probably say that CB Perrish Cox and possibly is known amongst college football enthusiasts and I think you could have said that Patrick Levine is a familiar name, but the Oklahoma St. defense is getting the job done quietly. Sure, they've had their bad games, including the Houston game where the defense gave up 512 total yards and the Texas game where the offense struggled with turnovers and attempting to keep pace with the Longhorns, but relatively speaking, the defense has been pretty good. Donald Booker, Ugo Chinasa and Richetti Jones are leading the pass rush, but as a unit this group is average. The same goes for TFL, where the team is again fairly average in this area and is led by Lucien Antoine, Donald Booker and Richetti Jones. The team leader in interceptions is linebacker Patrick Levine with 4, while Perrish Cox and Terrance Anderson each have 2. OSU's defensive coordinator Bill Young is doing an excellent job of stopping the run, as the defense has given up less than 100 yards for the past 4 games (Missouri, Baylor, Texas and Iowa St.), and despite what you may read, stopping the run is traditionally a good sign for a defense.

Reason #3 :: Replacing Playmakers: A program has depth if a team can lose it's 2 most imporant players and still only have 2 losses for the year. The loss of WR Dez Bryant and RB Kendall Hunter have been huge for the Cowboys, although it's not as if schools do not have to replace players all the time. The production is slightly off from last year (about 80 yards a game from 2008), but without a player on the outside, or a play-making tight end to help loosen the field, this offense has really been very efficient and pretty good for most of the year. It's not as explosive, but the cowboys are still averaging almost 200 yards rushing a game and WR Hubert Anyiam isn't as explosive as Bryant, but he's shown the ability to have big games, including 119 yards against Mizzou.

Reason #4 :: Pass Defense: In OSU's 7 wins this year, they are holding opponents to a 105.00 passer rating, 10 interceptions and 7 touchdowns. The Cowboys sit right behind the Red Raiders in passes defended and have 11 interceptions, 45 passes broken up, which is good for 56 passes defended for the year. OSU has the athletes to play good pass defense, pressuring receivers and creating turnovers. Much like Texas Tech, the Cowboys have slowly but surely improved the type of athlete. The difference between these two schools is that OSU has not yet found a defensive lineman that opposing teams must account for during the game, but perhaps that's further testament to Young's ability to coach in that he's having success without a standout player along the front four. Make no mistake that defensive coordinator Bill Young and the players are taking this game personally, after what happened last year and after the Houston loss:

On if the Oklahoma State players feel challenged to stop the pass after the Houston game: "I certainly hope they feel that way. We all feel that way. Our coaches and players, we all feel that way. We didn’t play as well as we needed to against Houston and it’s an opportunity to bounce back and show that we can do that and it’s going to be a tremendous challenge for us because they are the ones that invented the offense that Houston ran."

Reason #5 :: No Sacks: The Texas Tech pass rush versus the Oklahoma St. offensive line is truly an interesting matchup. The Cowboys have only given up 4 sacks . . . for the year, which is good for 1st in the nation. The Red Raiders are tied for 3rd in the nation in sacks. The Oklahoma St. offensive line begins with LT Russell Okung who may be the best offensive lineman in the country, certainly the Big 12. You would expect that this is a matchup between DE Brandon Sharpe and perhaps DE Daniel Howard goes up against Okung in the hopes that the Red Raiders can get Sharpe matched up against RT Brady Bond, who is good, but not as good as Okung. This matchup makes me nervous because I do think the offensive line does an outstanding job of protecting the quarterback and getting a positive push on opposing defensive lines. In fact, the Cowboys are 1st in the conference in tackles for loss allowed at 3.22 (the team closest to the Cowboys is Iowa St. at 4.40).