STILLWATER — No team in the Big 12 has torched Oklahoma State’s defense like Texas Tech has since Mike Leach took over in Lubbock in 2000.
In six of the nine meetings between the teams, Texas Tech has scored 45 or more points against the Cowboys. The Red Raiders have passed for 440 or more yards in five of the nine games while earning a 6-3 record against OSU. The Cowboys are hoping to change that trend under first-year defensive coordinator Bill Young. Young coached Kansas’ defense from 2002 to 2007, and the veteran coordinator has a solid resume against Leach’s spread in two games. His Jayhawk defenses held Tech to 30 points in 2005 and 31 points in 2004, but Kansas lost both games. Texas Tech won 31-30 in 2004 and 30-17 in 2005. "We played them close but didn’t beat them,” Young said. "Texas Tech presents a lot of problems preparing for them regardless of your talent.” What those games showed is that Young’s defensive system can handle the stresses the Red Raider offense puts on a defense. In those two games, Kansas forced eight combined turnovers and held Texas Tech to nine of 31 third-down conversion attempts (29 percent). "It’s almost impossible to stop them,” Young said. "You just try to slow them down.” Under Young, the Cowboys have simplified their defense.