Know Your Enemy: Oklahoma State Cowboys

For many Red Raider fans, there’s been a sense of disdain for the Oklahoma State Cowboys growing over the past decade or so.

Imitating nearly every game day tradition that Texas Tech has put into place (Raider Power -> Orange Power, Guns Up -> Pistols Firing, Masked Rider -> Spirit Rider etc) has irked Tech graduates since they joined the Big 12 in 1996.

For as exciting and back-and-forth the Texas Tech-Oklahoma State football rivalry had been for its first 36 match ups (where Tech led 21-12-3), the past five years have been forgetful for the Red Raiders. Tech has lost five in a row with a combined score of 235-95 in favor of the Cowboys to set the all time series at 21-17-3 with the Red Raiders winning.

The Tommy Tuberville era failed to produce even one competitive game against Mike Gundy’s Cowboys. In last years contest, OSU went up 21-0 and the Red Raiders couldn’t quite make a comeback, falling 34-52 in Lubbock. This year, the team will travel to Stillwater to take on a very young and inexperienced OSU squad. The problem is, Tech is young as well and they’re coming off a week and a half stretch where they got manhandled by Arkansas and also lost their defensive coordinator.

Oklahoma State 2014 Stats

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Texas Tech 2014 Stats

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At first glance, it looks like the Cowboys really aren’t all that impressive in any single category so far this season, but they are at least average or better in all of them.

Conversely, the Red Raiders have a solid passing game (which is expected out of the Air Raid system) but its not nearly as potent as it has been in years past. The running game is actually fairly effective at 170.3 ypg, but the defense is just absolutely atrocious at 36.7 ppg, nearly last in the nation.

Thursday night games are often much different than the regular Saturday match ups. Fans have to travel to to the college town after a work day and there’s something about Thursday night games that create chaos within the college football landscape. With a mid-season defensive coordinator change, a defense that has been gashed on the ground and an offense that seems to leave a lot of points on the board, its hard to see the Red Raiders come out of Stillwater alive, but crazier things have happened.

As we stated earlier today in “Stats that Matter”, Texas Tech will have a lot to overcome to win this game. It starts with winning or at least tying the turnover battle, and limiting the Cowboys rushing attack to force inexperienced quarterback Daxx Garman to throw the ball. The Red Raiders won’t have to play a perfect game to win, but they will have to play better in every category tomorrow than they have in their first three games of the 2014 season.

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