LEROY: Rudolph, OSU prevail against improved Tech defense



Texas Tech: The Red Raiders twice settled for field goals with first downs inside the Oklahoma State 5.

Oklahoma State flirted with disaster all night. He completed 22 of 41 passes for 398 yards with two touchdowns but allowed two interceptions.

Oklahoma State started off the game with an early 7-0 lead with 11:15 remaining in the first quarter. During the bye week, coach Mike Gundy's squad must clean up some of the issues that popped up against the Red Raiders. Combine those misses with a Rudolph interception that was returned 95 yards by Texas Tech defensive back Damarcus Fields for a touchdown, and the Cowboys came away empty-handed on three separate red zone trips, which almost cost them the game.

It was a game as entertaining as it was expected to be, with several players - including Oklahoma State running back Justice Hill (164 rushing yards) - looking like the difference makers at various points. "We played defense when we had to, but on the offensive, we just didn't finish the deal".

This was Texas Tech's first national game of the year.

OSU took the lead on their next possession, with Rudolph scrambling and finding Jalen McCleskey wide open in the back of the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown to make it 21-14 Cowboys with 3:49 to play in the first half.

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Texas Tech defender DaMarcus Fields (23) intercepts an OSU pass and sets sail for a touchdown in Saturday night's Big XII contest in Lubbock. He caught a 14-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter that put Oklahoma State up 7-0.

After a missed 18-yard field goal by Oklahoma State, Tech started on its own 20-yard line.

Oklahoma State drove the length of the field but was forced to settle for a field goal attempt after Rudolph was stuffed on third and goal from inside the five-yard line.

While the Cowboys had a respectable showing defensively - they held the Red Raiders to just 384 yards, 203 below their average coming into Saturday's game - it wasn't without mistakes. In that drive, Shimonek threw an interception that was caught by redshirt junior Jordan Brailford.

If third-year Tech defensive coordinator David Gibbs can hold Cowboys quarterback Mason Rudolph and one of the nation's best wide receiving corps to under 50, the Red Raiders will have a chance to establish themselves as a contender - yes, a contender - in the Big 12. In fact, they reached the red zone on every possession in the first half but couldn't find much separation on the scoreboard. The Red Raiders had already defeated quality opponents like the Arizona State Sun Devils and Houston Cougars.

"We lost. It doesn't feel good at all", Shimonek said.

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