Game of the Week: No. 8 Oklahoma St. at No. 2 Texas Tech
Now all they have to do for an encore is move on from that landmark victory over No. 1 Texas and deliver another win over another top-10 opponent.
"I hope it's not [difficult], but you worry," Texas Tech coach
The Red Raiders are in the midst of four straight Top 25 opponents -- having already beaten No. 19 Kansas and the Longhorns -- and they'll meet No. 6 Oklahoma on Nov. 22.
Saturday will be the truest test of how far this program has come under Leach. The last time the Red Raiders faced consecutive games against top-10 opponents was 2002, also their last win against Texas, which they followed up by losing to Oklahoma by 45 points. But this Red Raiders team has already shown a resolve its predecessors were missing, as illustrated by that cold-blooded game-winning drive against the Longhorns.
Bryant, a sophomore, is second in the nation with 117.1 receiving yards per game (60 catches for 1,054 yards and 15 touchdowns). He's coming off a 171-yard, four-TD day in Oklahoma State's win over Iowa State. Bryant has 10 less receptions than Crabtree, but has 133 more yards in averaging 17.57 yards per catch.
The only thing missing from Bryant's game is a big performance against a big opponent. In the Cowboys' win over No. 11 Missouri, Bryant was held to 47 yards, and he managed just 74 in the loss to Texas. He was held out of the end zone in both games.
Crabtree's numbers are down from his record-setting redshirt freshman season of '07, but he's still sixth in the nation at 102.3 ypg and has 15 TDs. The defending Biletnikoff winner also has something Bryant doesn't: a signature moment with his game-winning score against the 'Horns that's being called "The Pass-The Catch-and-The Run."
The blueprint to beating the Red Raiders, at least on paper, would include a dominant ground game that can keep Harrell and Co. on the sidelines. The improvement of the Cowboys' rushing attack would be problematic for Leach, except for the fact that his defense has become drastically better, especially against the run.
Texas Tech leads the Big 12 in total defense. Behind defensive end
If the Oklahoma State ground game can't force the Red Raiders to load up the front, it could also be tough for that vaunted
"Neither one of them seems to have that
"Crabtree, for as successful as he is, he's a little bit rawer in terms of his technique. He's become a great route-runner, but he's still a little rough around the edges. But because he has such great body control, because he's so hard to bring down in the open field, that's what makes him so unique.
"Dez Bryant has very good initial quickness, acceleration, and he is among the better receivers when the ball is in the air. Crabtree is the taller guy [6-foot-3 to Bryant's 6-1], but Bryant is so good at timing his leap and catching the ball at the highest point. That's a little bit of a lost art in all of football, but certainly college football, and he is so good at that."