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Pokes Preview: Oklahoma State hosts Texas Tech in home finale

Gina Mizell Published: November 17, 2012

It’s Senior Day in Stillwater, where Oklahoma State will take on Texas Tech at 2:30 p.m. at Boone Pickens Stadium.

Three questions

Who quarterbacks

Have to start with the quarterback question, right? I would be pretty surprised if Clint Chelf didn’t get his second consecutive start. But who knows with this quarterback carousel? All three–Chelf, Wes Lunt and J.W. Walsh were medically cleared to play against West Virginia last week, and their health should have only improved this week.

Which defense is really improved?

OSU and Texas Tech were, statistically, two of the worst defenses in college football last season as far as yards allowed. This season, both units are much-improved. But Tech hasn’t faced an offense as balanced as OSU’s. And the Cowboys still have the tendency to give up the big passing play. Brodrick Brown and Justin Gilbert have played better in recent weeks, but WVU quarterback Geno Smith flat-out missed a couple deep balls last week.

Which team best uses the emotions of the day?

Tech players haven’t been shy about the fact that 66-6 has stuck with them for a year, so they’ll be jacked up for this game. So will the Cowboys, with it being the final home game of the 2012 season and the final home game ever for these seniors. Additionally, it’s the 1-year anniversary of the plane crash that killed women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke, assistant Miranda Serna and program supporters Olin and Paula Branstetter. Emotions will be flowing on both sidelines today. Whichever team channels them the right way could get a big boost.

Three goals

Force three turnovers

Nothing more.

Get Joseph Randle involved early and often

Randle is still the Big 12′s top running back, but he’s coming off two consecutive games where he did not reach 100 yards (43 against K-State, 74 against WVU). He hasn’t had a streak like that this season. Look for him to have a big game against Tech’s middle-of-the-road rushing defense.

Keep special teams special

Last week against WVU, the Cowboys’ special teams were a huge momentum booster. Gilbert’s kickoff return for a touchdown. Two forced turnovers that gave OSU great field position. In an expected shootout, a big play on special teams could really swing the game.

Uniform prediction: Orange helmet (OSU logo), black jersey, orange pants

After going with the gray look last week, I expect we see a lot of orange and black for the home finale. The orange helmets have been a hit with fans, so why not bust them out again at BPS?

Final score prediction: OSU 41, Tech 34

This is different than what I projected in Thursday’s newspaper, but the score for that was too low. I do think Tech covers the spread, though.

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