Texas Tech Red Raiders
CONFERENCE RECORD: 2-5
NEXT OPPONENT: Iowa State (2-7, 1-6)
LOCATION: Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK
BETTING LINE: OSU -12.5
Oklahoma State Cowboys
CONFERENCE RECORD: 6-1
NEXT OPPONENT: TCU (5-4, 3-3)
FINAL LINE SCORE
TEXAS TECH STATS
TOP PASSER: Patrick Mahomes, 34/51, 344 Yards, 3 TDs
TOP RUSHER: DeMarcus Felton, 10 Carries, 77 Yards
TOP RECEIVER: Jonathan Giles, 5 Receptions, 77 Yards
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Justin Phillips
PLAYER STATS: 14 Tackles, 9 Solo Tackles, 1 Sack, 1 TFL
Up to this point, Justin Phillips had been nothing more than decent linebacking depth with the potential to become a serviceable starter. Now, I don’t know what he is after he filled in for injured starter Chad Whitener and put the defense on his shoulders and wreaked havoc against one of the best offenses in the entire country. After a successful onside kick by Texas Tech it looked as if the Red Raiders were going to tie it up late in Stillwater, then two plays later Justin put his helmet on the ball and forced a key fumble to flip the field and keep the red hot Tech offense from taking it down a short field. On top of that, he had one of only two Cowboy sacks and 14 tackles to lead the defense. Without his vision to fly all around the field and bring down receivers and running backs alike and the aggressiveness to force a fumble and a sack, Oklahoma State would’ve almost certainly lost.
OKLAHOMA STATE STATS
TOP PASSER: Mason Rudolph, 20/28, 395 Yards, 2 TDs
TOP RUSHER: Justice Hill, 18 Carries, 126 Yards, 1 TD
TOP RECEIVER: James Washington, 6 Receptions, 158 Yards, 1 TD
TEXAS TECH POSITION GROUP RATINGS
OFFENSIVE LINE: 7
Once again, the running game was forced to make something out of nothing, and although that was mostly the result of good play from the Pokes D, the O-Line did not help. Neither Mahomes nor Felton could make much progress on the ground because there was always a defender in the backfield quickly.
TIGHT ENDS: 10
Texas Tech’s roster does not feature a tight end.
RUNNING BACKS: 3
In the absence of Da’Leon Ward, most expected the running game to fail spectacularly. While people were not entirely wrong, the running game did well with what it was given, and Felton may have won his starting job back after averaging 7.7 yards per carry.
Every time Texas Tech takes the football field, Patrick Mahomes has another chance to show off his skills. With the sheer talent he’s shown, it’s hard to believe the Red Raiders are in dire straits if they wish to reach a bowl.
WIDE RECEIVERS: 2
Once again, the Red Raiders spread the wealth in the passing game, as 11 players caught at least one pass, with 7 of those players recording at least one reception of 10+ yards. All of them showcased good hands and explosiveness against an iffy OSU defense.
DEFENSIVE LINE: 6
Typically, the men in the trenches play the worst defense on a terrible defense. However, I did see flashes of talent throughout the day, and a lot of the running game OSU produced was helped by fantastic blocking.
Instead of the D-Line, THIS group played the worst defensive football today. Lots of easy short to medium range passes, plus poor coverage in the running game doomed the linebackers and ultimately helped doom the whole team.
Mason Rudolph had a very efficient day. The kind of day that impresses NFL scouts. However, this secondary did a lot to slow down his receivers, even if they ultimately couldn’t stop Washington and McCleskey. The dropped pick by Johnson was also devastating.
SPECIAL TEAMS: 9
The precise reason this game ended in regulation with a Texas Tech loss. While the first onside kick was clutch by Barden, Hatfield missed a PAT (something he does far too often) that could have sent the game to overtime, and the Red Raiders were forced to take a crushing loss.
Stupid mistakes still appear to be much less common than earlier in the season. Kliff Kingsbury is coaching one of the most underachieving teams this year. As such, even though he’s doing a decent job he’ll need to show improvement these final two weeks and heading into 2017.
In a back and forth affair, the Pokes kept their Big 12 aspirations very much alive, and it was thanks to an impressive performance from their offensive stars. Together, Rudolph, Hill, Washington, and McCleskey were the perfect combination of efficiency and explosiveness. In individual drives, the Cowboys deliberately went down the field and scored often. However, these scoring drives occurred in spurts, and the offense went cold in the fourth quarter and almost let the Red Raiders get the game to overtime. They were bailed out by Texas Tech mistakes, in particular a fumble in the fourth quarter when Tech had momentum, and of course the missed extra point.
While the Red Raiders took the loss, and nobody likes to talk about moral victories, this game does show that Tech is likely better than their 4-6 record indicates. Mahomes played business-as-usual, which means very impressive. While 5,000 yards is still in reach for the season, Mahomes surely is more focused on the tall task of reaching a bowl. To ensure a bid, Texas Tech needs to defeat Iowa State and a Baylor team that’ll very likely be without Seth Russell. Not a gigantic task at first glance, but both games will be away from Lubbock against teams better than their record suggests.
For Oklahoma State, the future still looks bright. They also need to win out to reach their ultimate goal of a conference championship, and they also have to face two games away from Boone Pickens Stadium. With almost no senior stars, if everybody stays next season could be a 2011-level success for the Pokes. However, they still have their eyes on a Big 12 title and a Sugar Bowl berth for the second straight season in 2016. These aspirations were helped by a win today, and Bedlam continues to look like a better and better matchup as time continues.
OKLAHOMA STATE POSITION GROUP RATINGS
OFFENSIVE LINE: 1
Mason had forever in the pocket every time Tech rushed less than 5 but looked a bit overwhelmed by blitzes, as they allowed Rudolph to get sacked twice. They also blocked for 210 yards on the ground which sounds impressive until you remember it was against one of the worst run defenses in the country.
TIGHT ENDS: 7
Zac Veatch had the only catch for 18 yards but both him and Blake Jarwin provided quality blocking by setting the edge for Justice Hill on outside runs and destroying the second level in between the tackles.
RUNNING BACKS: 3
No running back averaged under 7 yards per carry and Justice Hill went crazy for 126 yards and a touchdown on only 18 carries. Chris Carson looks fresh after returning from injury and him and Justice might currently be the best one-two punch in the conference right now.
Other than leading his receiver into a safety and very nearly throwing a terrible interception, Mason was just about flawless for the third week in a row. After going 20/28 for 395 yards and three total touchdowns, Mason Rudolph’s draft stock continues to skyrocket.
WIDE RECEIVERS: 4
4 receivers had 4+ receptions and 50+ yards so the balance and depth was impressive. Once again James Washington proved that he’s the man with 158 yards including one spectacular 82 yard touchdown reception.
DEFENSIVE LINE: 8
They let a team known for only passing the ball rush for 159 yards and only got to the quarterback once. Not their best showing but certainly not their worst.
Justin Phillips just careered and carried the entire defense. Other than him they kept dropping way too deep into coverage and allowed the play to develop beneath them far too often.
For some reason they were in cover 3 for the first time all year, which worked early on but after about 3 drives was figured out and schemed against. They returned to cover 3 again late with Ramon Richards sliding from corner to safety and it worked fairly well against the prolific Tech passing attack.
SPECIAL TEAMS: 10
Ben Grogan was as reliable as ever on senior night and Zach Sinor should win the Heisman for his contributions to OSU’s field position.
Glenn Spencer had a good plan early, using cover 3 to eliminate the deep ball but didn’t make the adjustments needed as the defense began to get shredded underneath the safeties. His pass rush was unimaginative and ineffective allowing Pat Mahomes to jump outside and pick up easy yards with his feet every time the pocket got crowded. Meanwhile Gundy managed the clock to perfection in the closing seconds, making sure there was no possibility of weirdness losing them the game late.