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Texas Tech Opponent Prospectus :: Oklahoma St. Cowboys

2010 Texas Tech Opponent Prospectus

Game 1: SMU Mustangs (9.5.10) :: Game 2: @ New Mexico Lobos (9.11.10) :: Game 3: Texas Longhorns (9.18.10) :: Game 4: @ Iowa St. Cyclones (10.2.10) :: Game 5: Baylor Bears (10.09.10) :: Game 6: Oklahoma St. Cowboys :: Game 7: @ Colorado Buffaloes (10.23.10) :: Game 8: @ Texas A&M Aggies (10.30.10) :: Game 9: Missouri Tigers (11.06.10) :: Game 10: @ Oklahoma Sooners (11.13.10) :: Game 11: Weber St. Wildcats (11.20.10) :: Game 12: Houston Cougars (11.27.10)

General Information

Opponent Oklahoma St.
Nickname Cowboys
Location Stillwater, OK
Enrollment 20,831
Conference Big 12
Head Coach Mike Gundy
2009 Record 9-4, 6-2
Starters Returning 4 Offense : 4 Defense
Blogs N/A
Links 2010 Post Spring Prospectus

Join me after the jump for a closer look at the Cowboys.


Statistic Oklahoma St. Texas Tech
Pass Offense 179.46 (99) 386.77 (2)
Rush Offense 187.77 (22) 84.00 (115)
Total Offense 367.23 (70) 470.77 (4)
Scoring Offense 28.38 (56) 37.00 (7)
Pass Efficiency 127.93 (61) 143.79 (19)
Sacks Allowed 0.92 (6) 2.38 (87)
Pass Defense 236.77 (89) 225.62 (73)
Rush Defense 95.77 (11) 126.77 (38)
Total Defense 332.54 (31) 352.38 (49)
Scoring Defense 21.69 (31) 22.46 (41)
Pass Efficiency Defense 111.13 (22) 117.38 (35)
Sacks 2.15 (46) 3.09 (4)
Tackles For Loss 5.92 (50) 6.46 (34)
Turnover Margin 0.00 (60) -0.46 (94)

Top Returners

Category Player
Rushing Kendall Hunter :: 89 Rushes : 382 Yards : 1 TD
Passing Brandon Weeden :: 15/24 : 248 Yards : 4 INT : 1 TD
Receiving Hubert Anyiam :: 42 Receptions : 515 Yards : 3 TD
Tackles Markelle Martin :: 39 Solo : 7 Assists : 46 Total
Sacks Ugo Chinasa :: 6 Solo : 1 Assists : 46 Yards : 6.5 Total
Interceptions Andrew McGee :: 1 INT : 0 Yards : 0 TD

Key Losses and Returning Impact Players

Disclaimer: I'm not an expert on the opponent, but I try my best. If I have something wrong, please let me know and I'll correct or revise as necessary.

Key Losses:

QB Zac Robinson, RB Keith Totson, LT Russell Okung, WR Dez Bryant, LB Donald Booker, LB Patrick Lavine, S Andre Sexton and S Antoine Lucien, CB Perrish Cox

Impact Offensive Player :: RB Kendall Hunter:

Could have chosen between either Hunter or Weeden, but went with who I think should be the impact offensive player. With a new offense, I'm interested to see if Holgorsen will lean on who I think is their best, and most proven, offensive player in Hunter. If it's me, then Hunter gets, at a minimum, 25 touches a game. OSU has been too good running the ball over the years lean on a guy like Hunter.

Impact Defensive Player :: LB Orie Lemon:

When you only have four starters returning on offense or defense, it makes it tough to figure out who will have the most impact, but decided to go with Orie Lemon, who was injured all of 2009, but as a junior, he had 90 tackles 4.0 TFL, 8 passes broken-up, 2 forced fumbles and 1 blocked punt.

Coach Speak:

Head Coach Mike Gundy on developing depth this spring:

"I think we got a lot better. Overall, we stayed fairly healthy. I thought our offense gained an understanding of the system quicker than I would have expected and I think, defensively, players stepped up and made some plays," Gundy said. "The first 15 practices in the fall will be really big for us. We have to become a more physical team. We need more players in all three phases to continue to step up and be leaders, but we certainly expect that."

Spring Chatter:

  • Hunter, A Receiving Threat: RB Kendall Hunter ccaught a couple of passes and there's a chance that he'll be a pretty good receiving threat out of the backfield:
    Kendall Hunter is Oklahoma State's best offensive weapon, and it's not close. New offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen knows this, and so does everyone else. Hunter is going to get the ball in 2010, but I don't think he'll do most of his damage in the running game. He got four catches and four carries in the spring game for 28 and 43 yards, respectively, but obviously that's an extremely small sample size.
  • Weeden, One of the Best: Offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen said that QB Brandon Weeden is one of the best quarterbacks he's coached:
    Holgorsen: "Brandon is better from an arm-strength and accuracy standpoint. I don't think there's any question about that. That gives you something to work with. As coaches, it's up to us to get his thought process right. Right now, I'm happy with it. And the biggest question is, how does he react when the bullets fly?"
  • Weeden Not Worried About Replacing Starters: QB Weeden is not concerned about replacing so many starters:
    Weeden: No, I don’t. I really don’t. Stuff like that I will read but I don’t try to read a whole lot into that stuff. It’s not my nature that I am not into that stuff. I have a lot of work to do but I am looking forward to the challenge. As a team especially, we are replacing a lot of key guys like Dez (Bryant) and Russell, all those guys offensively that have a staple in the past. That is the past and we have to move on and work hard and try to get to the next step. A lot of people are counting us out. I would rather be that guy than to have the bull’s eye on my chest. So hopefully, we can put together good summer workouts, a good camp and go win some football games in the fall.
  • Defense Better Than Expected: Despite replacing all but four starters (this article says that all but two starters return, but most of everything I've read says it's four) there's the thought that the defense could be better than many think:
    Despite replacing nine of 11 starters, OSU’s No. 1 defense did not allow a touchdown to the Cowboys’ No. 2 offense and held No. 2 running back Jeremy Smith to 25 yards on eight carries on Saturday.

    Without a doubt, gaining experience quickly and limiting mental mistakes will be the key to OSU’s defensive success in 2010. Talent-wise, the Pokes match up favorably with last year’s defense, which finished 31st in the nation in total defense.

  • Receivers Catch On: The OSU receivers are relatively inexperienced, but the Oklahoma St. spring game was a different matter:
    Holgorsen said his top four receivers are Hubert Anyiam, Josh Cooper, Justin Blackmon and Tracy Moore.

    "We need those four guys to develop a tremendous amount of continuity with Weeden, and then we need to find four more guys that have a burning desire to beat those four out," Holgorsen said. "Right now, we don’t have guys with a burning desire to beat those four guys out."

    Coach Mike Gundy said he wants at least six receivers to be able to rotate. Holgorsen said his desired number is eight.

    "You need two per position," Holgorsen said, "because I don’t want one guy backing up two different positions. You’re not going to get good at one position if you play two."

    Cooper had seven catches Saturday. Moore and Colton Chelf and five receptions each, and four others had four apiece. Anyiam was out with a broken foot.

    "We need No. 84 out there," Holgorsen said of Anyiam. "He definitely makes us better."

  • All Weeden, All The Time: It's tough not to find an article about Weeden and his claim on the starting quarterback job:
    The redshirt junior finished 22 of 34 for 257 yards and four touchdowns. But, more importantly, he limited negative yardage plays and threw zero interceptions. Both facts showed how far he has progressed in the Cowboys’ new offense under Dana Holgorsen.

    The performance was against the Cowboys No. 2 defense, but the progress Weeden has made mentally is what gives the Pokes’ coaching staff confidence heading into fall camp in August.

    "With him it’s about making good decisions, he can make every throw," Holgorsen said. "That’s why I study his eyes. If his eyes are in the right place, then we will keep getting better."

vs. Texas Tech:

Despite the fact that OSU had one helluva coach help out during their spring, it wouldn't surprise me if the OSU Cowboys have a tough 2010. It starts up front, where OSU will be replacing four offensive linemen, including all-world left tackle, Russell Okung. Replacing three starters along the offensive line can be tough, but replacing four, plus one of the best offensive linemen to come out of your school, you can almost guarantee that there will be some sort of drop-off in offensive efficiency. This reminds me again of Texas Tech having to replace so many offensive linemen after the 2008 season and many Texas Tech fans were not expecting much of a drop-off (myself included), but when you lose talent along the offensive line, it's going to be tough. OSU only gave up 12 sacks all year last year and lost only 29 yards when running the ball. The Cowboys were incredibly efficient last year and I just can't imagine that this same type of success will happen in 2010. That's not to say that I think the offensive line will be awful, but it's just very tough to replicate that type of success when there's so much talent that's being replaced.

The running back position is certainly solid with Totson leading the way and I'd imagine that Weeden will be just fine at quarterback, so long as he can stay upright. The receivers are young and inexperienced. Anyiam broke his foot during the spring (I think) and as a result, didn't get much burn during the spring. Although you had a handful of receivers step up their play during the spring game, I'd still guess that consistency will be a problem for the receiving corps, especially with a new offensive scheme. Consistency is something that almost every team must combat, whether it's players taking plays off simply getting beat, it's going to take time.

Bill Young is a heck of a defensive coordinator and last year's defense was probably one of the best defenses in OSU history. He did a tremendous job last year and his defense was stellar against the run, which is what typically makes or breaks a defense. The problem for OSU is that they're replacing the heart of their defense, sans Lemon and S Markelle Martin. Both defensive tackles, three linebackers, two cornerbacks and a safety, all being replaced this year. I think it's crazy to expect that the Cowboys will be as good as they were last year simply because of attrition.

One other thing that will be interesting to watch is that last year, OSU was very much a ball-control offense, which meant that the defense wasn't on the field as much as other team. Conversely, Houston was one of the worst in the country, 113th in the nation at keeping the ball. Of course, OSU fans will be expecting an up-tick in offensive production, there is something to be said for having a defense that is out on the field significantly more than last year and may not have the depth that they did last year (this is certainly something that Texas Tech fans can relate to).

This has been a series that has been won by the home team, and considering the relatively new offensive scheme, replacing 16 starters and the fact that this game is in Lubbock this year, I'll take Texas Tech. As an aside, I think that both Texas Tech and OSU are on similar paths as programs and I'm really just waiting for one of these programs to take a step up. As mentioned many times before, there's a lot of questions about what Texas Tech will look like offensively and defensively, but experience is a tough thing to replace, which is why I think the Cowboys, at the very least, won't win this game in Lubbock.