By Jason Elmquist
STILLWATER, Okla. —
The Oklahoma State University defense will have its work cut out for a second straight week when Texas Tech comes to Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday.
The Red Raiders offense may be better than West Virginia’s offense the Cowboys just faced — and gave up 34 points to. Tech ranks first in the country in passing offense with 370 yards per contest.
“They’re very similar to West Virginia. They’ll go five wide and their running back is like a wide receiver coming out of the backfield, so they stretch you, open up big gaps in the middle and if you miss a tackle, it’s a big play,” OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young said. “Just a very tough offense to play against — much like ours.”
Like West Virginia’s Geno Smith, Texas Tech has a stellar quarterback in Seth Doege. The senior signal caller is third in the conference in pass efficiency at 159.6 and leads the conference in touchdown passes with 34 — while throwing just nine interceptions and averaging 334.5 yards.
Doege is third in the country in completions per game (29.5), right behind Smith with 31.67 and is also fourth in the country in passing yards per game — also right behind Smith statistically.
“There’s not too much of a difference in style (between Doege and Smith), but the difference is with the weapons they have,” OSU linebacker Shaun Lewis. “Geno Smith has Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey to throw the ball to. The Texas Tech receivers are probably not as big with names, but they’re just as capable.”
While the running game for Texas Tech may not rank as high in the conference, the Red Raiders are still able to churn out an average of 136.7 yards per game on the ground — giving TTU 506.7 yards of offense per game, which ranks third in the Big 12.
“The key is to make them one dimensional. We can’t let them run the ball and pass the ball at will,” Lewis said. “If we can take away one of those elements, it’ll help us out a lot more. What you would like to do is primarily stop the run and expect the pass. That’s what we’ll try to do this week.”
Fortunately for the Cowboy defense, they already have a high-powered passing attack in which they go up against on a daily basis in the OSU offense.
“It’s almost like we practice against Texas Tech. They run an offense like what we do. It’s a good opportunity to keep improving as a defense,” OSU safety Shamiel Gary said.