In this segment, Oklahoma State expert Andrew Glover answers some questions to provide a deeper look at the Cowboys before Saturday's game.
Andrew Glover is a sports reporter for the Stillwater NewsPress in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He covers Oklahoma State and Stillwater area high school sports. His work can be viewed at www.stwnewspress.com. Before working in Stillwater, he was a sports reporter for The Pampa News in Pampa, Texas, from 2009 to June 2012. In 2011, he won third place in Sports Writing from the Panhandle Press Association for his clips from 2010. He graduated from Texas Tech in 2009 with a BA in Broadcast Journalism.
1) Oklahoma State has yet to announce the starter for this Saturday's game. Tell me a little bit about Lunt and Chelf. What can each of these guys do, what can one do better than the other?
The Red Raiders will have to slow down junior running back Joseph Randle if they expect to win Saturday.
Glover: "Both Wes Lunt and Clint Chelf have had success on the field. Lunt won the starting job in the spring and got off to a good start. He completed all 11 passes in OSU's season opening victory against Savannah State. Against Arizona, he went 37 of 60 for 436 yards with four touchdowns. Lunt suffered a knee injury against Louisiana that caused him to miss four games. One of Lunt's best attributes is he has a good arm and can throw the deep ball. His weakness is he doesn't always make the best decision in throwing the football. He has had three interceptions returned for touchdowns and threw three picks in losses at Arizona and Kansas State. Chelf started the season as the third string quarterback behind freshman J.W. Walsh and Lunt. After Lunt got injured against Louisiana on Sept. 15, Chelf became the backup. Most of Chelf's experience came against Kansas State where he threw for 233 yards and one touchdown, leading Oklahoma State on a second half rally. In his first start last week against West Virginia, Chelf threw for 292 yards and four touchdowns. Chelf has two major strengths over Lunt and that's his experience and mobility. Lunt is purely a pocket passer but Chelf moves around in the pocket and can get receivers open. Chelf has been in Oklahoma State's system for two years and has a good understanding of the offense. Walsh is also a possibility to start. He played most of the game against Louisiana and started Oklahoma State's first three conference games. Walsh's strength is he is a dual threat and has broken some big runs. That can also be a hazard because Walsh never slides and is suspect to taking a big hit. Walsh suffered a kneecap injury in the first quarter against Iowa State that has sidelined him for OSU's last three games."
2) Talk about Joseph Randle, what makes him so good and what kind of day do you expect him to have against the Red Raiders defense who has been suspect against the run as of late?
Glover: "What makes Randle so good is that he is a hard-nosed runner and will fight for those tough yards. He understands the blocking scheme and will follow his blockers. He is dangerous if he gets one on one with someone in the secondary. Tech will struggle if they aren't able to bring him down on contact. Randle has racked big numbers on tough defensive lines. Against Texas, he rushed for 199 yards and broke a 69-yard touchdown run. Against TCU, Randle rushed for 126 yards."
3) Who are the other leaders of this OSU offense and what can each of these guys do?
Glover: "The Cowboys have a solid group of wide receivers. They may not have the big playmaker like they had with Blackmon but they have several guys who can catch the ball. Junior Charlie Moore has really stepped up in conference play, scoring a touchdown in his last five games. Moore is good at coming with a key catch in crucial situations and can get past the defense with the double move. OSU's receiving corps has been injury riddled this season as it lost Tracy Moore and Isaiah Anderson to injury and this has led to younger players stepping up. Sophomore Josh Stewart has been one of those players. Stewart has great speed and is dangerous in the open field. His speed has allowed to be utilized in the running game on reverses. The sophomore has made several catches near the sideline and can take it to the house at any time. Running back Jeremy Smith is a solid second option to Randle, referred to as running back 1A by coaches. Smith is good at weaving through defenders and can also pick up the short yardage. His output has limited due to injury but last week he rushed for 34 yards and a touchdown."
4) Tell me about the defense, who are the leaders of this defense and likewise, are there any "weak links" or less experienced guys - back ups filling in because of injury, etc. that Tech could take advantage of?
Glover: "Oklahoma State has a solid linebacking corp in Alex Elkins, Shaun Lewis and Caleb Lavey. They do a good job of lining up the defense and bringing down opposing ball carriers. The defensive front seven has a lot of experience with three seniors, four juniors and two sophomores. In the last few games they have done well in getting pressure on the quarterback. That group is led by seniors Nigel Nicholas, Cooper Bassett and Ryan Robinson. But sophomore defensive tackle James Castleman has really stepped up and is good at clogging the middle. The secondary has been led by Junior Daytawion Lowe, who has picks in two of OSU's last four games. The secondary has also been a thorn in the Cowboys' side as its struggled defending the deep ball."
5) What do you think Texas Tech will have to do if they expect to win this game?
Glover: "Tech will have to limit Oklahoma State's running game. When opposing teams have done this, the Cowboys' offense has struggled. This was evident in games against Kansas, which the Pokes won 20-14 and Kansas State, which OSU lost 44-30. The Red Raiders can't allow Oklahoma State to make big gains in the passing game. This means, they have to stick with Charlie Moore and Stewart and get pressure on whoever the quarterback is. Offensively, Tech has to have a running game to go along with the pass. Against Iowa State and TCU, the Cowboys were able to limit the opponents' rushing output and were able to get after the quarterback,"
6) What is your prediction? How do you think this game plays out?
Glover: "For starters, I don't see this game being as lopsided as last year. I think both offenses will have success and put points on the board. The last four games in Stillwater have been decided by a touchdown or less. So, I see this game coming down to a kick, which I think Oklahoma State's Lou Groza semifinalist Quinn Sharp will make in a 34-31 OSU victory."
7) Mike Gundy's name has been mentioned as one of the top targets for the job at Arkansas and is one of the hotter names in the coaching world right now. Do you think there is any chance he leaves Oklahoma State? Why or Why not?
Glover: "Honestly, I haven't heard much talk about Gundy's name being mentioned in Arkansas. My personal opinion I don't see him leaving Oklahoma State. He agreed to a long term deal in January and I think he wants to keep building the program."