T. Tech-Oklahoma St.
He's gotten plenty leading up to this one even though the Cowboys appear primed to move on without him.
The 17th-ranked Cowboys, who had their best rushing game of the season after officially losing their star receiver, look to avenge an embarrassing loss to the Red Raiders as the Big 12 rivals meet Saturday night.
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made
Bryant believed he merited as much publicity as the Red Raiders' Michael Crabtree prior to a matchup in
Crabtree, now in the NFL after being drafted 10th overall by
Bryant has a chance to be a top-10 selection after deciding last week he plans to enter the 2010 NFL draft. He disclosed his intentions after the NCAA rejected a final appeal by Oklahoma State (7-2, 4-1) to reinstate the All-American, who has missed all but the first three games due to an investigation for his offseason meeting with former NFL player Deion Sanders.
Bryant admitted that he lied to an NCAA investigator about the meeting and later apologized.
"This year didn't go the way I wanted it to," Bryant said. "It was so hard. And to be honest, I had my head down at times. But the NCAA has made their decision. And I respect that. And now I've made mine."
The Cowboys are coming off the first game in which they knew Bryant would not be back, running for a season-high 331 yards in a 34-8 win over
Kendall Hunter made his biggest contribution since spraining his right ankle in the second game of the season, running for 47 yards on nine carries. Hunter is complementing Keith Toston, usually his backup.
Toston has carried the load while Hunter missed five games, rushing for 206 yards and three TDs versus the Cyclones and 891 yards on the season.
"I don't think there's any question he's not running like he was in the middle of the season last year, but he was able to compete and to not feel enough pain to not want to be in the game running, so that's a good sign," Gundy said.
Hunter was one of the few bright spots against Texas Tech (6-3, 3-2) last year, rushing for 112 yards and scoring twice on 17 carries.
The Cowboys have won the Big 12 rushing title the last three seasons, with Hunter gaining a league-best 1,555 yards in 2008, and they're first this year at 196.0 per game.
Texas Tech averages a conference-low 74.7 yards on the ground, but it got an outstanding performance from Baron Batch to beat
Batch has 10 rushing touchdowns, one shy of
The Red Raiders were set at quarterback in that contest as Graham Harrell passed for six scores, but they've been shaky at that position this season.
Steven Sheffield continues to nurse a broken foot. Freshman Seth Doege got his first start against
One-time starter Taylor Potts replaced Doege in the second half and went 11 for 19 for 94 yards.
"The biggest thing is we're just waiting for that one guy to realize how easy it really is to play quarterback," coach Mike Leach said. "Once that happens and we're able to go out there with great tempo, then we're going to be in great shape."
It's unclear which quarterback will start this week for the Red Raiders, who have won four of five following two straight losses to ranked teams. Their defense, which has struggled at times, made a statement with six sacks against one of the nation's most potent offenses.
Texas Tech held the Jayhawks to 258 yards and forced four turnovers after losing its previous game 52-30 to Texas A&M on Oct. 24.
The Red Raiders have lost their last three visits to
Posted: 11/10/09 3:26PM ET