Two of the most productive passing offenses in the nation will meet Saturday afternoon when the No. 20 Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-0, 1-0) visit the Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-2, 1-2), as OK State hopes to bring its unbeaten streak this year to six straight games.
The Cowboys are coming off a decisive 54-28 win last week against the Lousiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns. The second best scoring offense in the nation behind the Oregon Ducks was working on all cylinders and will look to continue that dominance against the second-to-last team in the Big 12 South.
Led by junior quarterback Brandon Weeden, who has thrown for 1,610 yards and 18 touchdowns, the offensive unit and head coach Mike Gundy are most likely salivating at the mouth as the Red Raiders’ defense is allowing 31.6 points a game, ranked 98th in the nation.
Weeden has yet to throw below 200 yards in a game this season, and has eclipsed 300 yards in three games. Interceptions have recently become a problem for Weeden, who threw two last week against Lafyette and two more the week before that against Texas A&M.
Of course, when you have a receiving corps. as potent as the Cowboys do, the plan is to throw and throw a lot, so interceptions are inevitable. Sophomore Justin Blackmon has emerged as not only the top wideout on the team, but one of the best in the country. His 748 receiving yards is second most among all FBS receivers. And his 11 touchdowns this season isn’t too shabby either.
Blackmon however may have to shoulder more of the work load on Saturday, as coach Gundy announced earlier in the week that the offense could be without three of their receivers. Michael Harrison, who has only played in two games this year, is out 10 days following surgery to repair a fractured finger.
Oklahoma State could also be without junior Hubert Anyiam (sprained ankle) and junior Josh Cooper (head injury). Cooper, who has become a strong No. 2 receiver, was going to be re-evaluated today before a final decision was made.
And then there is the best running back in college football you’ve probably never heard of, senior Kendall Hunter.
Overshadowed this year by the running success of freshman quarterbacks like Michigan’s Denard Robinson and Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez, Hunter has simply dominated opponets, amassing 700 yards and nine touchdowns this year. He will have a field day against a Red Raiders defense that is allowing over 100 yards rushing a game.
On the other side of the ball, the Cowboys’ defense will have their hands full with a stout Texas Tech passing offense that is averaging 333 yards a game in the air. This could be quite a struggle for the Cowboys’ passing defense, ranked 118th nationally.
Defenders are going to have to keep their heads on a swivle and contain quarterback Taylor Potts (16 TD, 4 INT), running back Baron Batch (276 yards, 3 TD) and a collection of wide receivers, seven of whom who have caught more than 100 yards this season.
Gundy will also have to make sure his boys are entirely focused on the Red Raiders and don’t have their minds drift to the team’s Oct. 23 matchup against the No.5 Nebraska Cornhuskers.
About the Author
Written by Joe O'Connell
I live in Massachusetts and currently write news articles for a local newspaper. I love sports and covered college football while working as sports editor for my college's student newspaper. I am hoping that this blog can help me get back into the swing of things of covering all sports.