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OSU Football: Texas Tech Preview

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STILLWATER -

Two explosive offenses meet in Stillwater when the Cowboys host Texas Tech on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT.

Though it’s high-scoring, this series has been one-sided lately with Oklahoma State having won seven-straight and the last five by an average margin of 28.6 points.

The Red Raiders (4-5, 2-4) have also lost four out of their last five this season and need to win two of their final three to become bowl eligible, but don’t count out Kliff Kingsbury’s squad with just a look at wins and losses. Each of the past three games has gone down to the wire with Tech losing by 7 to OU and Texas and winning by a field goal in double overtime at TCU.

Anything is possible when you have a future pro at quarterback.

“Their quarterback is a really good player, as we all know. I think he's a potential first-round pick,” Cowboy coach Mike Gundy said about Patrick Mahomes. “He reminds me a lot of Dak Prescott. When we played Dak at Mississippi State, he was younger at that time, but the style of play, body, strength, speed and ability to run and throw in different positions reminds me a lot of (Mahomes). We've got a great challenge.”

Mahomes leads the nation in passing yards with 3,886 to go with 31 touchdowns and eight interceptions, plus 10 rushing touchdowns. He’s got Tech’s usual stable of reliable receivers, led this year by Jonathan Giles who has 982 yards receiving and 12 scores. Da’Leon Ward has become the lead running back over the past two weeks and has run for 191 yards in that span.

But as prolific as Tech’s offense has been this season, its defense has been dismal. The Red Raiders give up 533.9 yards on average, by far the worst in the Big 12. Of that total, they give up 236 yards rushing, on average.

There’s a better-than-good chance Mike Gundy’s crew will try to pound it on the ground with Justice Hill and Chris Carson. Hill has been quiet the last two weeks and logged just nine carries last week at Kansas State. Part of the reason has been Carson’s return. In three weeks back, the senior has 194 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns.

After being held to one catch against Kansas, James Washington has been on a tear with back-to-back 117-yard games and a pair of touchdowns. Quarterback Mason Rudolph is second in the conference behind Mahomes in passing yards with 2,989 this season along with 22 touchdowns and four interceptions. He was quiet against Kansas as well but in the two games since, he’s accounted for 730 passing yards and nine total touchdowns.

Oklahoma State Player to Watch – Justice Hill has been subdued lately and it’s probably time to let him loose against the league’s worst rush defense.

Texas Tech Player to Watch – Pat Mahomes is phenomenal to watch. He keeps plays alive with his legs and can make monstrous throws on the run. The Cowboys will have to put pressure on Mahomes early and often or this could get ugly.

Prediction – Oklahoma State pulls away in the second half to win 56-44.

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