Now that the turkey and Bedlam hangovers have begun to dissipate, it’s time to turn our sights on the Cowboys’ final home game of 2020.
Let’s look at four things to know ahead of OSU’s matchup with Texas Tech.
1. OSU is Slipping Against Tech Lately
Mike Gundy has owned Texas Tech during his tenure, going 11-4 including a 9-0 streak from 2009-17. Currently only Kansas has lost more times (12) to Gundy among Big 12 teams.
But the Cowboys have dropped two-straight to the Red Raiders with an upset Big 12 opener in Stillwater two years ago followed by that abysmal five-turnover letdown in Lubbock a year ago.
The Cowboys will be motivated to get that Crimson taste out of their mouths from Bedlam and Tech could oblige. The Red Raiders are just 3-5 on the season with their only conference wins being at home against Baylor and West Virginia. Tech has yet to win a road game in three tries.
2. Red Zone TDs Are Crucial
OSU has not been very good at finishing once it gets deep into enemy territory so far in 2020.
Against OU last week, the Pokes scored just one touchdown on four trips to the red zone, totaling 13 points. That accounts for 15 points left on the field. That wouldn’t have made the difference in Bedlam alone, but that game looks a lot different late if OSU’s offense is able to match Sooner TDs instead of settling for 3. The Cowboys would have been down just 6 entering the fourth quarter.
OSU enters the Tech game dead last at 41.4 percent (only four teams are lower in the FBS). Conversely, among Big 12 teams, Texas Tech is T-3rd scoring touchdowns instead of field goals on 66.7 percent of its red zone trips.
But the Red Raiders are last in the league TD percentage allowed in the red zone allowing 67.5 percent. Let’s hope that helps the Cowboys finish some of those extended drives in the end zone.
3. Take Care of the Ball
The Cowboys sit at No. 8 (-4) in the conference in turnover margin, but just below them, and ahead of only Kansas (-6), is Texas Tech at -5. Neither team has necessarily been careful with the football, but the good news — at least for OSU — is that neither has been very good at dispossessing opponents.
When you look at the raw TO numbers for the Big 12 there is a straight through line dividing the two halves of the league in forms of forcing TOs. Six teams that have forced either 11 or 12 turnovers and four have much fewer takeaways. Both OSU and Tech are on the lesser side.
12 Takeaways — Baylor, Texas, West Virginia, Iowa State
11 Takeaways — Oklahoma, Kansas State
7 Takeaways — Texas Tech
6 Takeaways — Oklahoma State, TCU, Kansas
Whether or not that means we see a clean game on Saturday remains to be seen, but if the Cowboys can hold onto the tock, they should be in pretty good shape to move to 6-2 and enjoy their Senior Day activities.
4. A Strange Senior Day
It’s unbelievable how quick these come in the year. The Cowboys still have have two more road games remaining on their regular season slate but this Saturday could potentially be the final home game for 22 seniors.
It’s unclear exactly which seniors will take up the NCAA on its COVID eligibility extension that gives fall and winter sport athletes an additional year. Junior Chuba Hubbard is assumed to be headed to the NFL following this year, as is senior wideout Tylan Wallace.
He all but announced his intentions on Twitter.
It’s important to point out that taking part in Senior Day exercises does not preclude a player from returning, and abstaining does not mean a player is coming back.
Here’s just some of the big name seniors that could be playing their last game at BPS: Tylan Wallace, LD Brown, Teven Jenkins, Rodarius Williams, Malcolm Rodriquez, Amen Ogbongbemiga, Dillon Stoner, Calvin Bundage, Landon Wolf, Cam Murray and Logan Carter.