After getting blown out by Oklahoma State last season, Texas Tech is looking to return the favor.
Doing so, however, could prove difficult in Stillwater, where the No. 23 Red Raiders haven't won in quite some time.
Texas Tech tries to avoid a fourth consecutive loss to the Cowboys, who have yet to name a starting quarterback for Saturday's Big 12 showdown.
While it remains to be seen who Oklahoma State (6-3, 4-2) plans to go with under center, the Red Raiders (7-3, 4-3) are surely just glad not to have to face Brandon Weeden again. The current starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns went 31 of 37 for 423 yards and five touchdowns against Texas Tech last Nov. 12, leading then-No. 2 Oklahoma State to a 66-6 rout in Lubbock.
"It was an embarrassment, I think, for the entire program. I mean, they were probably the better football team last year, but there was no reason that it should have been that lopsided," said the Red Raiders' Seth Doege, whose 86.5 passer rating in that game was the second lowest of his career.
Since a 49-30 win Nov. 10, 2001, the Red Raiders have dropped four straight road matchups in this series. Texas Tech, though, stayed close in each of those games, losing by a combined 20 points.
"Regardless how long we haven't won or regardless how tough it is, I think that's the mindset you've got to have any time you go on the road just because it is tough," said Doege, who leads the FBS with 34 passing touchdowns.
"I really think their stadium and their atmosphere is one of the top in the country. I think for the guys that have been there, they understand that it's going to be a tough place to play."
Oklahoma State beat West Virginia 55-34 last Saturday, improving to 5-1 at home behind an impressive showing from Clint Chelf in his first-ever start.
The junior threw for career highs of 292 yards and four touchdowns while Wes Lunt watched from the sidelines after suffering an apparent concussion the week before.
According to offensive coordinator Todd Monken, Lunt and J.W. Walsh (knee) will both be cleared this week. Coach Mike Gundy, though, is leaving his options open.
"We're not really sure right now. For me to give you any other answer would be unfair," Gundy said. "We haven't been in a situation like this. We hope that we have three healthy players on Saturday. There's a chance that could happen, but we won't know for sure until late in the week.
" ... The only answer I have is that we're going to play the guy who we feel like gives us the best chance to win Saturday and have success."
Whoever starts at QB could have a hard time moving the ball against a Texas Tech defense surrendering 172.3 passing yards per game - 11th in the country. The Red Raiders, though, have allowed averages of 43.3 points and 232.5 rushing yards over their last four games.
Coming off back-to-back losses, Texas Tech gave up a season-worst 390 yards on the ground last Saturday but managed to escape with a 41-34 double-overtime win over woeful Kansas. Doege passed for 476 yards and three TDs, and running back Eric Stephens threw a 3-yard jump pass to Darrin Moore for the winning touchdown.
"I'm proud for this team for being 7-3. That's a long cry from what a lot of people picked us, and we're not (finished)," coach Tommy Tuberville said. "We've got a chance to do even better than that."
Tuberville, who came under scrutiny last weekend after a video clip showed him appearing to use his hand to strike graduate assistant Kevin Oliver in the face, is hoping to have moved on and turned his attention to Saturday.
"It's going to be a tough task," he said, "but we're looking forward to going to Stillwater, it will be my first trip. I've never been there, and I'm looking forward to going to a game and seeing if we've improved."
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