Halftime update: Texas Tech 28, Oklahoma State 14

November, 8, 2008
11/08/08
10:08
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Defense wasn't expected to be prominently featured tonight at Jones AT&T Stadium.

And it hasn't been, except for a couple of stops midway through the first half and another one at the end of the half that has been the difference in Texas Tech's 28-14 halftime lead over Oklahoma State.

Tech defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill has cooked up a defensive game plan that has limited Oklahoma State standout receiver Dez Bryant to one catch. And that reception didn't come until the next-to-last play of the half.

After fumbling on his first possession, Graham Harrell rebounded to direct four-straight scoring drives to lead Texas Tech's offense in another nationally televised performance -- making Heisman Trophy voters take notice. The Red Raiders have ripped through Oklahoma State's defense on scoring drives of 80, 70, 97 and 72 yards.

Harrell's proficiency in hitting his second and third options has been profound as he finished the first half by completing 25 of 31 passes for 262 yards. Michael Crabtree has gotten off for six catches, but he's also done a good of working with his running backs as both Shannon Woods and Baron Batch have three receptions apiece.

Some of Harrell's success has been because of the miniscule pressure that Oklahoma State has been able to generate. Tech has averaged 7.6 yards per snap as it has rolled up 312 yards.

Tech's secondary has come up with several big hits in the secondary that has kept Zac Robinson from being successful on vertical routes. The Cowboys have been at their best when they've been able to lean on the running of Kendall Hunter, who has produced a game-high 72 yards.

Oklahoma State needs a fast start and an early stop defensively to jump back into the game. Cowboys have shown little since the first drive to indicate they will be able to clamp down Harrell and the Red Raiders.

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