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Previewing the Oklahoma State Game...

Game 2:  Texas Tech (0-1, 0-1) at Oklahoma State (1-0, 0-0)
Date:    Saturday, September 7, 1996
Kickoff: 11:30 a.m. (CST)
Site:    Texas Stadium (65,846)
Series:  Tech leads 12-8-3

By Garrett McKinnon

IRVING, Texas - Trying to get back in the win column will be the primary focus Saturday when the Texas Tech Red Raiders face the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Texas Stadium in Irving at 11:30 a.m. (CST).

The Red Raiders (0-1) are coming off a disheartening loss to No. 21 Kansas State in Manhattan last Saturday. Tech trailed 21-3 in the fourth quarter, but rallied to trail by the score of 21-14 with minutes to go. A final drive came up short inside the KSU 20-yard line, though, and the Raiders had their first loss of the young season.

The Cowboys (1-0), meanwhile, are coming off a victory in the first overtime regular season game in NCAA history, a 23-20 win over the Southwest Missouri State Bears.

In that game, the Cowboys rallied from a 17-10 deficit to tie the game at 17 apiece and force overtime. The Bears scored a fieldgoal on their first OT drive, but the Cowboys responded with a touchdown to win the game.

"Instead of getting down about giving the game away, they (the team) came back. I am proud of that," said OSU head coach Bob Simmons.

Even though the Raiders lost their game on the scoreboard, the team racked up some impressive statistics, both offensively and defensively.

The Tech defense limited the Wildcats to just 160 total yards of offense, including minus-12 yards rushing. On offense, the Red Raiders gained 392 yards against the `Cats, the third-most against K_State in the last 13 games.

Tech leads the overall series with the Cowboys 12-8-3, including a 31-15 win in Stillwater in 1989. The Cowboys have a streak of their own going, though, having compiled a record of 13-4 in the last 17 neutral-site games in which they have played.

"It's going to be business every Saturday. There won't be any easy ballgames," said Texas Tech head coach Spike Dykes.

Players to watch:

*Tech I-back Byron Hanspard needs only 30 yard rushing to catch former Tech All-American Donnie Anderson and move into fifth place on the all-time school rushing list.

*OSU redshirt-freshman quarterback Chris Chaloupka will likely make his first collegiate start Saturday. Chaloupka subbed for the injured Tone' Jones during the SWMSU game, completing five passes in 12 attempts for 110 yards and a touchdown. Jones' injury was listed as day-to-day earlier in the week.

*The Tech linebacking quartet of Robert Johnson, Anthony Armour, Eric Butler and Jody Brown (who plays the Raider position, a combination linebacker/safery in Tech's 4-4 defensive alignment) compiled 32 tackles, three sacks, defensed four passes and recovered a fumble agaisnt Kansas State.

Game 2: Texas Tech (0-1, 0-1) at Oklahoma State (1-0, 0-0)

For any football team, playing the Cowboys in Dallas is an unwelcome, overwhelming and intimidating task. Fortunately for Texas Tech football fans, their beloved Red Raiders are not facing Texas Stadium's regular inhabitants -- affectionately known as "America's Team."

Nevertheless, the Red Raiders face a difficult challenge today when they play the rapidly-improving Oklahoma State "Cowboys," the Big 12's and Division I-A's first-ever overtime winners. The new South Division rivals square off for the 24th time today. Tech leads the series 12-8-3, having won the last meeting in Stillwater, 31-15, in 1989.

Early-season mistakes on special teams and execution problems kept the Red Raiders from claiming one of the school's biggest wins last week at Kansas State before a rowdy KSU Stadium crowd of 43,143. The 21st-ranked Wildcats sealed the first-ever Big 12 win when Mario Smith broke up Zebbie Lethridge's fourth-down pass to Donnie Hart with less than a minute to play.

"We missed four field goals and had a high snap," said Texas Tech head coach Spike Dykes, whose team rallied from a 21-3 deficit with 12:51 left. "It's a shame it had to come down to that."

The 21-14 loss spoiled an outstanding Tech defensive effort, considering KSU had a mere 13 yards total offense in the entire second half. Defensive coordinator John Goodner's unit limited KSU to minus 12 yards rushing for the game. It was the fewest yards allowed by the Red Raider defense since holding SMU to minus 13 in 1992. Overall, Tech limited Kansas State to 160 yards total offense, the fewest by the Wildcats since they gained 124 against Boston College in the 1994 Aloha Bowl.

"I thought our defense played well, Dykes said. "We had a little spell before the half, but overall I felt we played good, especially in the second half. We should have some courage and poise."

Considering the outstanding play of the entire defense, Dykes and Goodner were hesitant to single out individual players. However, the Red Raiders had to be pleased with the performances of defensive end Tony Daniels and cornerbacks Tony Darden and Cory Turner. Daniels missed all of last season with a knee injury, Darden was playing corner for the first time and Turner, who covered All-American Kevin Lockett most of the day, was getting his first significant playing time.

Offensively, Tech ran a school-record 103 plays and gained 392 yards against last year's No. 1 defense. Heisman Trophy and Doak Walker Award candidate Byron Hanspard hit the 100-yard mark (115) for the seventh consecutive game. The junior tailback suffered an ankle injury late in the third quarter and was limited to only one carry in the fourth. Lethridge completed 16 passes for 190 yards, including a 14-yard scoring strike to Sammy Morris.

Dykes is optimistic heading into the second week of the season. After all, his team went down to the wire on the road against one of the nation's top teams despite a bad snap, two fumbles lost and a blocked field goal.

"If we go into the tank after this game," Dykes said, "there's something wrong with us. We just can't expect to win with those kinds of mistakes. I'm proud of our team, however, and we'll be a good team before it's all said and done. We've to get our heads up and get ready for Oklahoma State."

OSU, which had a flurry to the finish last season, is off to a good start. All-America running back David Thompson, frustrated most of the night in gaining only 42 yards, broke loose for a 13-yard touchdown run in a 23-20 victory over Southwest Missouri in the first-ever Division I-A regular-season overtime game. The overtime rule was put into effect this season in the major-college ranks after being used for more than a decade in the lower divisions.

"I like the effort of the team, not quitting under the adverse conditions," OSU coach Bob Simmons said. "For a young ballclub we made a lot of mistakes in this ball game. Fortunately, the mistakes didn't cost us because we had a lot more character and were able to come back and pull this ball game out."

From a school that has been blessed with the likes of Barry Sanders and Thurman Thomas, Thompson is another in a long line of talented OSU rushers. He gained 1,509 yards last season, averaged 125 a game and went over 100 yards six times.

Fellow tailback Andre Richardson, who gained 26 yards Saturday, had 705 in 1995. He also scored four touchdowns and averaged 6.1 yards a carry.

"Oklahoma State has one of the most explosive teams we've seen in a long time," Dykes said. "They've got two outstanding runners and we're going to have our hands full trying to stop them."

OSU's 4-8 mark last season did not adequately represent the improvement the Cowboys displayed on a weekly basis. Oklahoma State, playing a demanding schedule, lost only by five points to Kansas, six to Kansas State and by 13 to Colorado. Simmons' team played .500 over the last six games, shutting out arch-rival Oklahoma along the way.

Quarterback Tone Jones started all 12 games for OSU last season. Last week the senior completed 11 passes for 138 yards. Backup Chris Chaloupka, subbing for the injured Jones in the fourth quarter, completed five passes for 110 yards and also connected on a scoring strike to Jack Golden. Overall, Oklahoma State threw to six different receivers in the opener, including four times to Golden for 56 yards and one TD.

Defensively, Oklahoma State's Cowboys return six starters and 18 letter winners. The defense is anchored by defensive end Jay Grosfield and outside linebacker Louis Adams. R.W. McQuarters heads a list of three starters back in the secondary.

Texas Tech (0-1, 0-1) vs. Oklahoma State (1-0, 0-0)

Series: Texas Tech Leads, 12-8-3

Head Coaches:

Texas Tech -- Spike Dykes (Stephen F. Austin, '59), 56-48-1, 10th Year

Oklahoma State -- Bob Simmons (Bowling Green, '71), 5-8, 2nd Year

  • Texas Tech is playing in Texas Stadium for the first time since a 9-7 loss in 1985 to SMU.
  • The Red Raiders and Cowboys last met in 1989, a 31-15 Texas Tech win in Stillwater. OSU has won two of the last three meetings, including a 45-42 win in Tokyo, Japan during the '88 campaign.
  • The Red Raiders have next week off, then face the SEC's Georgia Bulldogs on Sept. 21 in Athens, Ga. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2 beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Statistical Matchup

Texas Tech 
TTU                              Opp 
14      First Down Rushing         2 
11      First Downs Passing        7 
27      Total First Downs         10
193     Rushing Yards Per Game   -12 
199     Passing Yards Per Game   172
392     Total Yards Per Game     160 
8-47    Penalties/Yards         5-42 
2       Turnovers Per Game         1
14      Points Per Game           21
Rushing     Att   Yards    Avg   TD 
Hanspard    21    115      5.5    0
Ervin       10     68      6.8    0
;
Passing         A-C-I     Pct   Yards   TD
Lethridge     47-16-0    34.0     190    1
Receiving     No   Yards    Avg   TD 
Mitchell       3      69   23.0    0
Morrris        3      33   11.0    1 
Hart           3      30   10.0    0
Oklahoma State 
OSU                              Opp 
6       First Down Rushing         6
11      First Downs Passing       11 
17      Total First Downs         17
101     Rushing Yards Per Game   118 
248     Passing Yards Per Game   193
349     Total Yards Per Game     311 
5-35    Penalties/Yards         7-40 
1       Turnovers Per Game         2
23      Points Per Game           20

Rushing     Att.   Yards   Avg   TD 
Thompson     24       42   1.8    1
Jones         7       33   4.7    0
Passing      A-C-I    Pct   Yards   TD 
Jones      21-11-1    52.4    138    1
Chaloupka   12-5-0    41.7    110    1
Receiving   No   Yards   Avg   TD 
Golden       4      56  14.0    1

Last Week

Despite an outstanding defensive performance that limited the Wildcats to minus-12 yards rushing and just 160 total yards of offense, Texas Tech lost a tough 21-14 decision at Kansas State. Jaret Greaser's 53-yard field goal with 2:27 left in the game brought Tech to within a touchdown and a KSU fumble game the Red Raiders a final chance at tying the game in the final minute. Quarterback Zebbie Lethridge led Tech to the KSU 21-yard line before a fourth-down pass to Donnie Hart was broken up to end the drive.

Linebacker Eric Butler filled the shoes of the departed Zach Thomas with two sacks and cornerbacks Corey Turner and Tony Darden limited KSU's talented receiver Kevin Lockett to five receptions. Junior tailback Byron Hanspard rushed for 115 yards in just three quarters of play before sitting out the fourth quarter due to an ankle injury. Back-up tailback Adrian Ervin rushed for 68 yards on 10 carries after Hanspard's injury. The Red Raider offense set a school record in running 103 plays in the game.

"Our defense played well. We had a little spell before the half, but overall I felt we played good, especially in the second half. We showed some courage and poise. It's going to be business every Saturday. There won't be any easy ballgames. We've got a lot of football left" &emdash;Spike Dykes

The Coaches

Spike Dykes &emdash;Texas Tech head coach Spike Dykes is 56-48-1 in his 10th year at Texas Tech. He has led the Red Raiders to three-straight bowl appearances and five-straight seasons of no lower than second-place finishes in the Southwest Conference. A 1959 graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University, Dykes has coached eight All-Americas and 60 all-conference selections and his offensive squads have set 59 individual or team school records.

Bob Simmons &emdash;Oklahoma State coach Bob Simmons has compiled a 5-8 record in his second season in Stillwater. A 1971 graduate of Bowling Green, Simmons served on Bill McCartney's staff at Colorado for seven years and was assistant head coach for the Buffalos for two seasons. Simmons led Oklahoma State to their first Big Eight win since 1992 last season and the first shutout win at rival Oklahoma since 1945.

Injury Report

Here are the major injury questions following the Kansas State game:
Byron Hanspard - mild ankle sprain, probable
Eric Butler - moderate ankle sprain, probable
Cody Patton - fractured fibula, out for undetermined time
Donnie Hart - concussion, out for OSU

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