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Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State Prediction: Cowboys Look to Stay Undefeated

Pokes have won two in a row over Red Raiders.

The Texas Tech Red Raiders will head to Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater on Saturday to take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys in a crucial Big 12 contest.

Related: College Football Predictions for Every Game in Week 6

It's beginning to look like every game is a must-win situation in a tight Big 12 race. The Red Raiders are 1-1 in conference play after falling to Kansas State last weekend. Mike Gundy's Cowboys are riding high, ranked No. 7 in the country with a 4-0 record and coming off a 36-25 win at Baylor in the conference opener.

Oklahoma State has its sights set on more than a Big 12 title. As it stands, the Cowboys are a realistic contender for a spot in the College Football Playoff. They control their own destiny in that regard, as every one-loss Big 12 champion (since the conference brought back its championship game) has made the CFP.

Before they get ahead of themselves, Gundy and Co. will need to defend home turf against a pesky and dangerous Texas Tech squad.

Texas Tech at No. 7 Oklahoma State

Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 8, 3:30 p.m. ET
TV: FS1
Live Stream: fuboTV (Start your free trial)
Spread: Oklahoma State -9
Tickets: As low as $55 on SITickets.com

When Texas Tech Has the Ball

Quarterback Donavan Smith has put up some decent numbers this season, but he's been a little inconsistent in terms of efficiency and taking care of the football. Smith is among the nation's leaders in passing yards this season (295.2 ypg), but he's also tied for No. 2 in the country in interceptions thrown (seven). Essentially, that means Smith is going to move the ball through the air, and he's not afraid to take risks doing so. That approach is normally frowned upon, but given what Texas Tech is up against this weekend — facing one of the best offenses in the country — Smith and the Red Raiders can't shy away from a shootout. 

Wide receiver Myles Price is Smith's favorite target, and he'll need to have a big game on Saturday for Texas Tech to have a chance. Running back Tahj Brooks is the most dynamic player on the Texas Tech offense, and the Red Raider staff will be looking to get him touches in a variety of ways. Unlike last season, the Oklahoma State defense is near the bottom of the conference in terms of yards allowed. The Red Raiders will have plenty of opportunities for chunk plays, both on the ground and through the air.

When Oklahoma State Has the Ball

Spencer Sanders, one of the most experienced and electric quarterbacks in the country, pilots the aforementioned high-powered Oklahoma State offensive. He is efficient through the air and on the ground, having thrown 11 touchdowns to just two interceptions this season while logging four rushing touchdowns.

Sanders' favorite target is wide receiver Brennan Presley, but the Cowboys' offense does a really nice job of getting a lot of people involved. Five different players have double-digit reception totals so far this season, and eight different players have caught a TD pass. That makes it hard for the Red Raider defense to decide who to take away when defending the Cowboys. 

When Sanders isn't taking off and running with the ball, Oklahoma State will grind it out on the ground with their workhorse back, Dominic Richardson. There's nothing overly impressive about Richardson as a talent, but he consistently moves the ball forward when called upon.

Final Analysis

Both teams (and the oddsmakers) expect a shootout, as the over/under point total for this game sits at 69.5. You'll likely see a lot of fireworks early on with two capable offenses facing lesser defenses. As the game progresses, it feels like Oklahoma State's weapons and depth are eventually going to win out and be too much for the Red Raiders to keep pace with. It might come down to which defense can force a turnover and get its offense an extra possession. If Texas Tech can win the turnover battle, the Red Raiders have a shot of coming away with a road win.

Prediction: Oklahoma State 40, Texas Tech 30

Podcast: Week 6 Preview, Predictions, the Latest in Coaching Changes, and Picks Against the Spread

— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! SBNation and Bleacher Report. He is a three-time FWAA writing contest award winner. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.

*Price as of publication.