With the offseason additions, added experience and more depth, the Red Raiders are improved on that side of the ball.
Penalties are one of the big issues for Texas Tech three games into the season. Patrick Mahomes went down with an injury in last season's game, forcing Shimonek into action. "It's going to come down to the end".
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The Red Raiders had a chance to take their first lead since 14-7 but advanced only to their own 37 before punting the ball back to Oklahoma State with 3:21 remaining. The Red Raiders had already defeated quality opponents like the Arizona State Sun Devils and Houston Cougars.More news: Air France Passenger Plane Makes Emergency Landing in Canadian Goose Bay
Now comes a stiffer test - perhaps the most daunting defensive test in the league.
Barden booted a 24-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter to hold Oklahoma State's lead to four at the break.
"On any given day", Kingsbury said, "they can score 70 on you". The Red Raiders briefly seized complete control of the game when Marcell Ateman was ruled short of the line to gain on a 3rd-and-10 completion at the Texas Tech 10-yard line, but a replay review handed him a first down, and Rudolph tied the game again one play later on a toss to running back Justice Hill.
"Pass interference calls here or there", Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer said. "But I thought we did a great job of when it did get down there we tightened things up, able to force some field goals and turned them over one time".More news: Takeaways from the Lions' 14-7 road win against the Vikings
In a twist, much of Tech's identity this season may revolve around its defense.
"A couple of times we were misaligned", Kingsbury said.
And a team like Kansas State, which has always been built around keeping opposing offense's off the field, will also have a better defense to slow down the Oklahoma State offense. "You can see that they are understanding what he's about, they are understanding the way we practice and scheme and hopefully that continues to pay off". Where the Red Raiders excel is in turnover margin, where they rank second nationally. Not to mention they've also had success with their running game this season, which makes them even more unsafe.
Kingsbury said he liked the fight his team showed, though. That game could prove pivotal should the Big 12 have a team in the playoff conversation.More news: President Trump doesn't let up on criticism of San Juan mayor
The goal was to get one of Oklahoma State's supreme outside targets - Washington or Ateman - in a favorable man-to-man situation against a Texas Tech corner. Its defense has not been stifling; it has been opportunistic, as was the case early Saturday night.
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