Texas Tech has not made its name running the ball.
It is that simple, the Red Raiders have been a passing program for as long as most can remember and the man in charge of it all now is a product of that style.
Kliff Kingsbury, with all the Ryan Gosling look-alike jokes and statements about him being too good looking, was signed to an absurd contract extension and has yet to show why Texas Tech gave him such a vote of confidence. The offense though is still there, but it is a shell of its former self.
Last season, the Red Raiders had the best tight end in college football, he may have not won the Mackey Award, but Jace Amaro was in a class of his own last season. He was the sole reason that Tech had the success it did last season. There was a carousel of quarterbacks that created inconsistency at times, and the defense as per Tech tradition was mediocre at best.
Amaro is now a New York Jet and the Red Raiders do not have a marquis receiver for Davis Webb to throw to. Webb is an exceptional young quarterback, but without the receiving weapons that Red Raider fans have seen come through Lubbock in the past, it will be hard for this team to outscore opponents because the defense can't stop anything it seems.
Oklahoma State's defense has been a pleasant surprise this season. It plays the same hard-nosed defense that Glen Spencer introduced last season, but without the household names. The one thing that has been missing this season has been forcing turnovers. After starting out hot with multiple turnovers in the Florida State game, the Cowboys have only had one turnover. That one being the game-ending pick six by Ashton Lampkin. This is a trait that Oklahoma State defenses in the past have made their names with, and will need to pick up again on Thursday.
The key to winning the night on the defensive side for the Cowboys is again, simple. Put pressure on the quarterback Davis Webb, and try to create turnovers and takeaways. Tech will score some points, and that can be scary since the Cowboys offense has looked anemic at times with Daxx Garman taking snaps, but with arguably the best young defense in the Big 12, the Cowboys should be able to take care of business and move to 3-1 on Thursday night.
Ashton Lampkin is the player to watch in this game on defense. He had the late pick six last game, and has been needing a confidence boost all season. He was the same player that had copious defensive holding and pass interferences called against him in the FSU game. Kevin Peterson will lock up one side, but Lampkin could be the one that allows Tech to stay in this game if he plays poorly.
It will be a frustrating game on Thursday, but the final score will read something like 34-17. Not a blowout like some might think after watching Tech in its first few games, but a win nonetheless for the Throwback Thursday Cowboys.