LUBBOCK -- Scratch those concerns about No. 2 Oklahoma State lacking a championship-caliber defense. At least for the time being.
And forget about the possibility of these Cowboys being too uptight to seize a historic opportunity Saturday in Jones AT&T Stadium.
OSU manhandled Texas Tech on both sides of the ball, holding the high-scoring Red Raiders without an offensive touchdown during a 66-6 rout that established all kinds of historic precedents.
The Cowboys' triumph will go into the Red Raiders' record books as the most lopsided loss in Tech history, replacing a 56-3 setback against Nebraska in 2000. The 66 points mark the most scored by a Tech opponent, eclipsing Oklahoma's efforts in a 65-21 victory in 2008.
Above all else, OSU should score a perfect "10" with pollsters involved in the BCS process for the way the Cowboys reached 10-0 for the first time in school history.
At the end of the day, OSU left nothing to nitpick while destroying Tech with its passing game (423 yards, five TDs by Brandon Weeden), its ground game (183 yards, three TDs by Joseph Randle), its special teams (one touchdown) and its defense (no points allowed).
If not for a 37-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Cornelius Douglas, the Red Raiders would have been shut out because their offense generated no points to accompany a season-low 270 yards.
OSU's offensive explosion was expected. The defensive domination... not so much, considering the Cowboys (10-0, 7-0 Big 12) ranked 110th in total defense among 120 FBS schools entering Saturday.
"This was a huge step for our defense," said linebacker Caleb Lavey, one of many Cowboys who exhaled deeply when Kansas State ran out of time near the OSU goal line during last week's 52-45 triumph. "We started a lot faster and kept our foot on the gas all the way to the last second."
It proved to be more than the error-prone Red Raiders (5-5, 2-5) could handle while wrapping up their first winless campaign in Lubbock against conference opponents (0-4) since 1984. Seth Doege threw for a season-low 169 yards and the Raiders never moved the ball past the Cowboys' 23-yard line in 16 possessions.
"Our kids lost confidence, for whatever reason," said Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown. "Once we struggled early, we didn't bounce back."
The Red Raiders also contributed to their own demise when Ben McRoy mishandled a second-quarter kickoff, teammate Kenny Williams redirected it toward the end zone and OSU's Josh Stewart recovered it for a touchdown that helped the Cowboys build a 49-0 halftime lead.
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said he was proud of how his players handled the pressure when facing an opportunity to post the school's first 10-0 record and remain in control of their destiny in the BCS national championship race.
"There is pressure each week. You can just feel it," Gundy said. "I think it is our responsibility to manage it... and our guys just keep rolling. I would much rather have this pressure than sitting around and having a tough season and trying to find a way to win enough games to keep your head above water."
Gundy praised his team's effort across the board and said the defense "tackled as good as we have in any game" this season. Just don't count on it happening every week, said defensive coordinator Bill Young, citing his players' comfort level in defending the Tech offense -- a close cousin of what OSU runs in practice -- as a major factor in Saturday's result.
"We can't make any statements," Young said. "We know we may come out and not even show up next week. You never know. Anything can happen in this conference."
Not in the estimation of Cowboys defensive end Cooper Bassett, who viewed Saturday's defensive stranglehold as a sign of things to come and a reason for naysayers to "give us a little bit more respect as a defense."
A lifelong OSU fan, Bassett said having a 10-0 record is something he would "hope and pray for" while growing up. But he never envisioned it until Saturday, when it became a reality. Now?
"It's amazing," Bassett said. "We appreciate it. We're not going to take it for granted. But we're not satisfied yet. We're going to keep going until we're 13-0."
With more performances like Saturday, that just might happen.
Jimmy Burch, 817-390-7760