Oklahoma State has won five straight games since starting Big 12 play with a loss to Baylor, including a hard-fought victory at Kansas State last week. Keep this up, and the Cowboys will likely play in-state rival Oklahoma for the conference crown on the last week of the regular season.
Texas Tech has proved to be the most dangerous team in the second tier of the Big 12, taking OU, Kansas State and Texas down to the wire before falling short. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has battled a shoulder injury all season and gives the Red Raiders a shot to win a shootout just about every time he’s on the field.
Vegas has set the over-under in this game at 90, so whatever happens, expect points a plenty.
Texas Tech at Oklahoma State
Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 12 at 3:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: FS1
Spread: Oklahoma State -13
Three Things to Watch
1. Mason Rudolph’s Hot Hand
Oklahoma State’s field general has joined Patrick Mahomes and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield as the top QBs in the Big 12 this year. During the Cowboys’ five-game winning streak, he has thrown for close to 350 yards per game with 16 touchdown passes and just two interceptions.
Of the teams most likely to stop Rudolph’s momentum, the Red Raiders rank pretty far down on the list.
2. Stoppable Force Meets Movable Object
As bad as Texas Tech is against the pass, the defense is even worse against the run. The Red Raiders are giving up 5.8 yards per rushing attempt, placing them in the bottom five teams in the country.
Oklahoma’s ground game has flickered this season. The Pokes aren’t well positioned to take advantage of Tech’s forgiving D.
3. Pressuring Mahomes
Mahomes has shown plenty of toughness this season while playing through a lingering shoulder injury. Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury probably isn’t keen on finding out what his offense looks like without Mahomes behind center. Count on Oklahoma State trying to heat him up early and often.
Oklahoma State is rounding into form behind the duo of quarterback Mason Rudolph and wide receiver James Washington, one of the best pass catchers in the country. Along with the rest of the Cowboys’ offensive personnel, they will have plenty of chances to pad their stats Saturday against Texas Tech’s pathetic defense.
The Red Raiders have to hope that Patrick Mahomes keeps the offense humming and the defense manages to force a few turnovers in a track meet. Kliff Kingsbury can hope for stops by his D, but that’s a good way to ensure a loss.
OSU is playing well enough right now to think that the Pokes can hold off Tech, even if the Red Raiders bring their A game.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 49, Texas Tech 41
— Written by Allen Kenney, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Kenney is founder and editor of BlatantHomerism.com and host of the Blatant Homerism Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @BlatantHomerism.