There is a playoff atmosphere around the game this week between Texas Tech and Oklahoma State in Lubbock. Both teams find themselves a game behind Baylor and perhaps the surprising Texas Longhorns who are undefeated in the Big XII conference. The winner of this game controls their own destiny within the conference as both teams still have Baylor and Texas on their schedules while the loser finds themselves possibly two games back and needing a substantial amount of help to win the conference.
Both of these teams are somewhat surprising in how they got here. Neither team came in with a ton of expectations and those expectations went down for the Cowboys when they lost to West Virginia in Morgantown. After playing Mississippi State and winning in the opener, the Cowboys played two weak opponents, so the West Virginia game made them look like a fraud. They bounced back to beat Kansas State, TCU, and Iowa State so there is a sense that this is an opportunity to prove they are for real.
Texas Tech stormed out to a 7-0 record and looked good before they went down swinging against Oklahoma last week 38-30. Getting to play Oklahoma State at home gives them an opportunity to bounce back and get their season back on track as they hope to avoid allowing the Sooners beat them twice by having trouble getting up for the Cowboys.
This game has the makings of a shootout as both teams put up a ton of points, so it could end up going back and forth the whole game. The Red Raiders have, led by freshman quarterback Davis Webb have shown pretty good balance. Nevertheless, the crowning jewel of the offense is their tight end Jace Amaro, who is basically a yoked up wide receiver that is a matchup nightmare.
Meanwhile, J.W. Walsh is the engine that makes the Cowboys offense go as both a pass and run threat along with their running back duo Desmond Roland and Jeremy Smith have led the way for the Cowboys. They are looking to run first, but they can move the ball through the air as well.
Among the games between ranked teams this week, this game has the most on the line with the exception of Florida State and Miami. This may not have the name power of some of the games this week, but it has a playoff feel to it as the loser may be too far behind to catch up in the Big XII.