Week five for the Texas Tech Red Raiders pits two Mr. Texas Football players against each other in the Jones; Jett Duffey and Oklahoma State’s Spencer Sanders. On paper this game has all the makings of a shootout, but we’re not convinced with that terminology anymore. Two teams with two new identities; who better to ask than Micah Allen of our SB Nation sister-site Cowboys Ride For Free?
1) Oklahoma State has been on a really good tear lately. The blemish on their record is a close close loss to Texas in Austin, but after beating Kansas State it seems like a promising season for the Cowboys. What’s the mood or expectation for Oklahoma State fans going forward through the conference?
(Micah): I would say cautiously optimistic. From what I’ve seen everyone knows that we’ve still got work to do and no one is expecting us to make it to the conference championship. But, everyone is seeing things that they like from this team and enjoying the ride.
2) Texas Tech and /Oklahoma State are actually quite balanced in their head-to-head record, with the Red Raiders snapping a nine-game win streak last year in Stillwater. How does this game fit into Oklahoma State’s goals for the season? Is there possibly a little revenge in mind with Tech’s unclear situation?
(Micah): I would say they’re trying to just get the Cowboys in and out of Lubbock with minimum damage. They’re trying not to look ahead to the week off they’re getting and take care of business. I feel like no matter what the players and coached say, there’s always a little bit of extra motivation when someone came into your house and beat you the year before. How much an impact it has on them though I can’t say. The players know that this isn’t the same team that beat them in Stillwater last year and that there’s an opportunity there.
3) Oklahoma State is top-10 in the country for total offense, but the overall production has been decreasing as the year goes on. Who are the key players that makeup this Cowboys offense and just how much does Chuba Hubbard mean to the success of this team?
(Micah): Without hesitation, I’m gonna say the three-headed monster of Hubbard, Sanders and Wallace. When those 3 are on their best game, our offense just looks better. When talking about Chuba, Texas was the closest to “corralling him” and we lost that game. Now I’m not gonna go as far as to say that’s the sole reason because that would be silly, but if Chuba had just been able to get through one opening and get some distance that’s a game-winning touchdown with a made extra point.
4) On the flip side of that: Texas Tech is at its weakest offensive potential in recent memory. Jett Duffey has been named the QB1 after an embarrassing outing by Jackson Tyner, but Duffey proved he’s a little better than expected. Currently Oklahoma State is ranked 98th in rushing defense and 82nd in passing defense. Does dual-threat nature of Duffey’s game give you any grief ahead of this match up? Who are the key players for the Cowboys’ defense that we should become familiar with before Saturday?
(Micah): I think our defense will be able to keep things under control. They might have some issues in the first half but once they get a feel for Duffey’s game I think they’ll make adjustments. I’m a bit worried about how they’ll keep up at times because when Ehlinger would run in the Texas game it felt like they just gave up at times. Names to know would be Malcom Rodriguez and Amen Ogbongbemiga. They’ve been holding down the fort in the face of a battered front seven. Tre Sterling has been doing big things in our backfield as well.
5) The line for this game is generously in Texas Tech’s favor; Oklahoma State by 10 points. Because this isn’t a night game in Lubbock, do you feel like that may be a little low? Is it right on target? What are the keys to the game for Oklahoma State to avoid the upset? What’s your score prediction?
(Micah): I am the wrong person to ask about betting lines lol. However I see OSU winning by 20 points so yeah that’s low to me. Like I talked about earlier, the key is going to be focus on the task at hand. In addition to that, I think that if Sanders is able to get the ball to his other wide receivers and he perfects his timing to prevent turnovers they’ll be fine. Score prediction 55-35 Cowboys.