Numbers Don't LIe:
So maybe they aren't as bad as Kansas, but they are one poor showing away from their averages being worse than that of the sad and pathetic looking Jayhawks. (No offense Kansas, you guys were great last weekend in light of everything) SIX TOUCHDOWNS A GAME. That is about what the Fighting Goslings are giving up each game. This is their NINTH game too, so the average is pretty sturdy in its place at this point. That is a crazy number to be giving up. The story of this game will be if Mason Rudolph can play a clean road game. He hasn't fared too well on the road this conference season, throwing under 300 yards each time and only scoring a touchdown or less in the air. Rudolph has also been errant at times with his passes. The Red Raider does capitalize off of opposing teams turning the ball over, but that goes back to its prolific offense. The Red Raider defense is plus-4 in turnover differential.
It's a Culture:
When was the last time Texas Tech had a stout defensive unit? I'm not even sure Pepperidge Farm could remember. After some digging in the mental file cabinet and substantial googling, I remembered/found that from 2004-2005, the Tech defense was a top-20 scoring defense team in the country. Mike Leach was the man back then. That era from 2004 to 2008 was probably the greatest four year stretch in Tech history. Tech historians may prove me wrong. That is the only time in the last 15 years that has happened though. The offensive gurus have dominated the head coaching position in those 15 years and it comes as no shock that defense took a backseat. I mean, it still is the Big 12. There are some inklings that Tech may soon return to that stout form though. Their recruiting has substantially improved on that side of the ball, the biggest recently coming by the name of Breiden Fehoko, a top defensive tackle prospect. It takes 11, not one so the Red Raiders won't be raiding anyone defensively unless the opponent hands it to them.
Could it Finally Happen?:
We all know about the ineptitude of the Oklahoma State running attack this season. There has been a nice disguise with J.W. Walsh scoring red zone touchdowns on the ground, vulturing potential Rudolph scores. The thing that escapes the Cowboys time and time again is running efficiently. This could also be known as averaging four yards per carry across the entire team. That has been the standard for a long time, for all teams and the Cowboys have struggled to reach that mark only doing it only once in conference play, last weekend against Kansas. Enter Texas Tech. The Red Raiders are giving up 280 yards per game on the ground. That is a number that the Cowboys have yet to get within 50 yards of, and that came against UTSA. From here on, if there is an opponent that allows Oklahoma State to run at will like the stats suggest Tech will, then it would be hard to pick against the Cowboys ever in that situation.
I once was terrified of this game. The locale of course, Halloween and the potential of a night game. It seems a lot more favorable now and I have the sneaking suspicion this may be the game that everything finally comes together and my perpetual heartburn with this team will be over for at least one weekend. Cowboys win by a final score: 34-17