Three and Out: Oklahoma State survives mistakes, tops Texas Tech
Oklahoma State hadn’t lost to Texas Tech in Stillwater since 2001 entering Thursday night’s Big 12 matchup. That streak remained intact as the No. 24 Cowboys won their 25th straight home game over an unranked opponent with a 45-35 victory over the Red Raiders.
Here are three thoughts from the contest:
1. This wasn’t pretty football
The stat sheet got a little ugly. Oklahoma State and Texas Tech combined for 26 penalties and nine turnovers, and both programs kept the other in the game with miscues.
The mistakes were especially glaring for the Red Raiders, who ran 90 plays, but committed 16 penalties. Though quarterback Davis Webb threw for 374 yards – 274 in first half – and four touchdowns, he tossed two ill-advised interceptions, including a terrible throw in the red zone in the second quarter. Texas Tech’s defense wasn’t perfect, either. In fact, it was often atrocious. A pass interference flag on Austin Stewart in the third quarter gave Oklahoma State a first down on a drive that led to a touchdown. In all, the Red Raiders were extremely undisciplined on both sides of the ball.
Texas Tech’s comeback bid stalled in the fourth quarter when Webb left the game with an injured shoulder. ESPN reported a dislocated shoulder on his non-throwing arm, but coach Kliff Kingsbury opted to keep Webb sidelined.
“They said they were confident that [Webb’s shoulder] may just come back out again if they put him out there,” ESPN's Sam Ponder reported during the broadcast.
Texas Tech better hope Webb’s injury isn’t serious. Patrick Mahomes, who stepped in for Webb in the final period, doesn’t look like a long-term answer for Kingsbury. But even if Webb returns, he and the offense will have to be more efficient with the football.
2. Texas Tech’s secondary was invisible
Texas Tech’s defense hadn’t performed well against the run this season. The Red Raiders had allowed almost 300 rushing yards per game entering Thursday, but it was Oklahoma State’s passing game that ultimately defined this matchup.
Cowboys' quarterback Daxx Garman, in for an injured J.W. Walsh, looked stellar as he picked apart the Red Raiders’ secondary. He finished with 17 of 31 for 370 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. He even ran in another score. Texas Tech simply couldn’t stop the Cowboys’ big plays, and eight of Garman’s 17 completions went for 28 yards or more. That included touchdown tosses of 33, 39, 47 and 50 yards.
Garman isn’t even Oklahoma State’s No. 1 quarterback, and Texas Tech had no answer for his offense. What happens when the Red Raiders face even better passing attacks this year against West Virginia, Oklahoma and – gulp – Baylor?
3. The Cowboys should feel comfortable with Garman
While the injured Walsh watched from the sidelines, his backup looked pretty comfortable as the go-to passer.
Garman put on a big performance to extend Oklahoma State's win streak to three games. He wasn’t afraid to air it out and found success with the long ball, especially to receiver Marcell Ateman (six catches for 130 yards). Garman wasn’t flawless. He threw two interceptions. But he was prolific enough to keep Texas Tech’s defense guessing.
Walsh reportedly could miss the rest of the year with a foot injury. It’s hard to tell what Garman could do against tougher Big 12 defense, but he showed plenty of potential in Thursday’s win. That’s good news for the Cowboys' offense.