The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake: September 26th

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 A-J Media Carlos Silva, Jr. writes that Texas Tech will face a tough Oklahoma State squad:

“I think, as a team, we played better together each week. And that was kind of our goal preparing for conference,” Kingsbury said of how he evaluated his team’s non-conference performance. “We know the competition will ramp way up this week when you have a top-10 type opponent coming in in Oklahoma State. But, I was proud of the way we fought. … We found a way to win some close ballgames. So, hopefully, that can build some confidence moving forward.”

The No. 15-ranked Cowboys (3-1 overall, 0-1 Big 12) are looking to bounce back following a loss to TCU last weekend.

Oklahoma State still got a productive performance from quarterback Mason Rudolph, who set a school record with his fifth straight 300-yard passing game. Rudolph, who elected to return for his senior season, is ranked second in total passing yards (1,533) in the country.

 Statesman’s Suzanne Halliburton also has a Big 12 notebook that focuses a bit on Texas Tech:

Will the Cowboys right themselves? They’d been considered a contender for a national playoff spot until the Frogs hit town. The loss dropped them from sixth to 15th in the national rankings. Gundy said Monday he’s told his team “it’s all about the next game.”

Or will a confident Tech be in control?

“I don’t know if I’d say advantage, they’re still a very good football team,” said Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury. (They’ve) scored a ton of points on everybody and a lot of yards. So we’ll have our hands full. I’m not sure, exactly, the status of their O-line or who they’re going to start on Saturday. But from the tape I’ve watched, whoever they put in there has played at a high level. With those running backs and the quarterback and that skill, we’re going to have our hands full regardless.”

 A-J Media’s Carlos Silva, Jr. has a Big 12 notebook from yesterday’s conference call, and the talk yesterday was TCU:

“They’re really, really, really good,” West Virginia head coach Dana Holgerson said when asked of his first impressions of TCU. “That was a good win for them. It’s hard to win in Stillwater. They did it convincingly. … They look like a top 10 team to me, and it’s going to be fun to prepare for them for a couple of weeks. We’re going to need everyday we’ve got.”

Along with the rest, the Horned Frogs head into the break touting the country’s best third-down conversion percentage at 63.2 percent and hold the top rushing offense and top rushing defense in the Big 12.

All of that could be null and void, though, if TCU is unable to keep racking up wins.

“If our group can’t figure out that they’ve still got eight really tough ballgames left, then we’ll be surprised,” Patterson said. “But we’ve been talking about this since January, about how tough this schedule is going to be — going on the road as many times as we have. … Everybody in this league is doing what they’re supposed to do. It’s supposed to be: every week’s gotta be a war.”

 Miscellaneous . . . ESPN’s Jake Trotter has his Big 12 power rankings and has Texas Tech #5 . . . Heartland College Sports’ Pete Mundo has his Big 12 rankings and also has Texas Tech #5 . . . Sports On Earth’s Matt Brown had both Keke Coutee and Dakota Allen as part of his All-American Team of the Week . . .

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