It is crazy to think the biggest worry for Oklahoma State entering Saturday’s game at Texas is underestimating the Longhorns. However, the surprising No. 10 Cowboys will head to Austin as the favorites against a reeling Texas team. Here is how they stack up:
OSU Running Game vs. Texas Front Seven
Texas was embarrassed at Kansas State last weekend, 39-14, and the amazing part was how it was done. The Wildcats ran the ball right through heart of the Longhorns defense, combining for 261 yards and all five touchdowns.
They were so confident in the run game that they only threw the ball four times the entire game, which amounted to only nine yards. Any time you get blown out while giving up less than 10 yards through the air, there is something wrong with your run defense. Kendall Hunter will exploit it.
OSU Passing Game vs. Texas Secondary
Although most of the Longhorns roster has been a disappointment, it still features one of the best defensive backfields in the country. Aaron Williams and Curtis Brown are both NFL-caliber corners and they lead a lightning quick secondary. This unit only yields 132 passing yards per game to opponents, good for second in the country behind only TCU.
However, they have not faced anyone with the firepower of this Cowboy offense, which put up 41 points against a more talented Nebraska defense earlier this season. Expect big days from the star players and the Cowboys to be right around their average of 46 points per game.
Texas Running Game vs. OSU Front Seven
The Longhorns run the ball with a variety of players, but none with much effectiveness. The most telling statistic, which goes a long way to explaining their offensive woes, is that they have zero 100-yard rushing games from a player this year.
Kendall Hunter has seven 100-yard rushing games by himself, including two games with more than 200. Look at it this way: Cowboy backup running back Joseph Randle has more rushing yards than any Longhorn player. Texas will struggle to move the ball on the ground.
Texas Passing Game vs. OSU Secondary
Turnovers have plagued the Longhorns offense all season, ranking third to last in the entire country with a -1.33 turnover margin. The main culprit is quarterback Garrett Gilbert, who has thrown 14 interceptions and only seven touchdowns.
Compare that to Brandon Weeden, 26 touchdowns and only nine interceptions, and it is clear why Texas has been stagnant. Gilbert has been digressing all year, having his worst game to date last week with five interceptions.
The Cowboys secondary may not shut down teams through the air, but they are opportunistic and have a knack for making big plays.
Strictly looking at the numbers, there is nothing to suggest that Texas has a chance in this game. However, some Cowboys fans are worried about this game, and with good reason. Playing in Austin has not been a pleasant experience for Oklahoma State in the past, having lost 10 straight games there.
Although they are not as talented as previous Longhorn teams, they can rise to the occasion, evidenced by their win at Nebraska earlier this year. With that being said, if the Cowboys prepare and execute their game plan, they should be heading back to Stillwater with a win.
Oklahoma State 41-24