No. 20 OSU tries to stay unbeaten at Texas Tech

Tommy Tuberville’s Red Raiders face a dual threat Saturday when

No. 20 Oklahoma State comes to West Texas, where the Cowboys are

itching to break a losing streak that dates to 1944.

Undefeated OSU is second in the nation is scoring (52.6 point

per game), has the country’s fifth-leading rusher – Kendall

Hunter’s 140-yard per game average – and has a passing offense (362

yards per game) that’s first in the Big 12 and second


”It is what gives you nightmares,” Tuberville said. ”They are

very good on the offense line being able to shift from a passing

game to being able to run the ball. Maybe the most balanced team we

will see all year.”

Oh, and Cowboys receiver Justin Blackmon leads the nation in

receptions (9.4) and receiving yards (149.6) per game. He had 13

catches for 190 yards in his last game, against


”When the ball is in the air and No. 81 is running for it, I am

ready to put my hands up for a touchdown,” Cowboys defensive end

Richetti Jones said of Blackmon. ”Some of the stuff that he does

is ridiculous,”

What could be ridiculous is the number of points scored on


Texas Tech’s Taylor Potts and the Cowboys’ Brandon Weeden rank

third (330 yards) and fourth (322 yards), respectively, in passing

yards per game. And OSU (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) and Texas Tech (3-2, 1-2)

both have porous defenses.

”It’ll be one of those games where you won’t have an

opportunity to go to the restroom or get a drink or anything,”

Tuberville said. ”It’s going to be a lot of excitement, a lot of

action, and hopefully we can hold our end of the bargain.”

The matchup will be tough on a Texas Tech defense that is doing

a little better against the rush than against the pass. The Red

Raiders are giving up 126 yards a game on the ground and about 279

in the air.

Tuberville wants to see more turnovers forced by his team this

week. The Red Raiders (3-2, 1-2) have eight interceptions and three

fumble recoveries.

They got none the last two games.

”If we are a team that gets zero turnovers we are going to

struggle,” Tuberville said. ”Hopefully we can get out of this rut

and get a few turnovers like we did early in the season.”

In a game like this, Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said, turnovers

will be key.

”Whoever wins that battle will have a great chance to win the

game,” he said.

Texas Tech’s offense found more rhythm last week in their 45-38

win over Baylor. Potts had his best game of the season, throwing

for 462 yards and four touchdowns. At one stage, he completed 15

straight passes and nearly scored on a quarterback option after

running 43 yards to the 1.

Gundy sees a fast Texas Tech offense and one in which Potts is

improving every week. Red Raiders running backs Baron Batch and

Eric Stephens are quick and must be contained, he said.

”Their quarterback is throwing the ball really well and they

have two backs that run well and are physical,” Gundy said.

Cowboys defenders will try to stop Red Raiders receivers from

turning short passes into long gains.

”They are going to spread you out and throw a lot of screens

all over the place,” OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young said.

”One of the issues we had with that kind of offense is that if you

miss a tackle in open spaces they are gone.”

Blackmon has heard how tough it is to play in Lubbock.

”From what I’ve heard, it’s an intense place to play,” he

said. ”The fans are right there on you and it’s just a good

environment for them to play in, but bad for the visiting