Oklahoma State→Jacob Lacey, CB: The Cowboys’ best cover cornerback, Lacey will regularly find himself in single coverage. He has an interception in two of the last three games and leads the Big 12 Conference in passes defended with 10 breakups and two picks. →Andre Sexton, LB: Sexton, a converted safety, will be important in multiple facets tonight, primarily when he gets drawn into pass coverage, though his ability to stop the run and chase the quarterback on blitzes will play a role. →Jeremiah Price, DE: He’s not a starter, but Price makes his impact known. He has a team-high three sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss and an interception. His speed will be needed in the pass rush against a Texas Tech line that is second nationally with five sacks allowed, giving up one per every 89.8 pass attempts.
Texas Tech→Brandon Williams, DE: A significant pass rush had been absent from past Texas Tech defenses, but this year’s front four is much improved. Williams is at the forefront, leading the Big 12 Conference with 10 sacks. He’ll try to zero in onZac Robinson, who has been sacked 10 times. →Darcel McBath, S: The rout of Kansas two weeks ago was in large part because of McBath, who had three interceptions, all in the third quarter. In addition to his coverage abilities, the senior secondary leader is a sure tackler in run support. →Brian Duncan, LB: When Ruffin McNeill was named defensive coordinator after the loss at OSU last year, one of his first acts was moving Duncan into the starting lineup. Now a sophomore, he has become a key in stopping the run. By Scott Wright