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Week 4 Gridiron Spotlight: Raiders’ and Cowboys’ clash could ease Cougars’ loss

Texas Tech scored 63 points against Houston, but if it does the same against Oklahoma State, it would make Houston’s defense look a little better. | Thomas Dwyer/The Cougar

After losing a high-score affair against Texas Tech, Houston is undefeated no more. As noted previously, it was crucial for the Cougars to avoid a loss in order to ensure an NY6 bowl game.

As a result of its loss, Houston will need to see Texas Tech replicate that result against the No. 15 Oklahoma State Cowboys. Every time the Red Raiders manage to knock off a ranked opponent, it makes the Cougars’ loss look more acceptable.

That could be difficult, however, as ESPN currently has the Cowboys listed as a two-touchdown favorite in Saturday’s game.

This game is intriguing because the Cowboys’ offense is virtually identical to the Cougars’. The Cowboys are No. 6 in both total yards and yards per game. The Cougars are No. 7 in both categories.

Oklahoma State is No. 10 in total passing yards and No. 12 in passing yards per game. Houston is No. 9 and No. 10 in those two categories, respectively. In addition, the Cowboys score just one touchdown more per game than the Cougars.

While the offenses of the Cougars and Cowboys are nearly mirror images, the defense of the Cougars is closer to that of the Red Raiders. The Cougars and the Red Raiders each have atrocious defensive rankings, coming in at No. 100 or worse in almost every significant defensive category.

Combining a lackluster defense with the offensive firepower that the Cowboys possess, the Red Raiders can reasonably expect a box score similar to its game against the Cougars.

Since both teams average more than 52 points per game, this game will come down to which defense can get a stop. What separates the Cowboys from the Cougars and Red Raiders is their defense. The Cowboys are in the top 40 in every category except passing yards allowed and passing yards allowed per game.

This is where Texas Tech will have a chance to pull off the upset. The Red Raiders’ offense is one of the best in the nation at gaining yards, especially through the air.

The Raiders’ starting quarterback, freshman Alan Bowman, has completed more than 70 percent of his passes this season for almost 1,200 yards with eight touchdowns and no interceptions. For Texas Tech to have a chance in this game, Bowman will need to be at his best.

Not only will it be an exciting game, it can have a real impact on the perception surrounding UH throughout the nation.

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