Texas Longhorns Preview: Oklahoma State Cowboys

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This Saturday evening, the 12th-ranked Texas Longhorns host the Oklahoma State Cowboys in their BIG XII conference opener. Texas leads the series at 24-9, however, they have lost the last four years in a row. The Longhorns’ current longest losing streak at home is to Oklahoma State. Meaning that the last time Texas beat the Cowboys in Austin was in the 2008 season. Oklahoma State is currently unranked but was one of the top teams receiving votes outside of the Top 25 this week. Three of the last four meetings were decided by three points or less. Let’s take an in-depth preview of Oklahoma State at Texas.

What to Expect from Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State (3-0) brings a big-time offense with a three-pronged attack. Freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders from Denton, Texas is the third leading rushing quarterback in the nation. On the receiving end is All-American junior Tylan Wallace who leads the country in receiving yards. Wallace has a total of 390 receiving yards this season. Adding even more power to the offense is junior running back Chuba Hubbard. With 521 rushing yards, Hubbard ranks first in the FBS this season. Despite being unranked, the Cowboys have one of the top offenses in the nation. With 547 total yards per game so far this season, their offense is ranked 12th in the FBS.

The State of Texas

Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger currently has 956 passing yards in his first three games. This is the most of any Longhorn quarterback over the last 15 seasons. He stands at fifth overall for the school in passing touchdowns at 47. Ehlinger surpassed Vince Young’s passing touchdown record last Saturday. He is currently tied at fourth for most touchdowns in the FBS this season. Ehlinger has 12 touchdowns, behind Jalen Hurts, Justin Fields, and Tuo Tagovailoa with 13. Texas has allowed 330 passing yards per game so far this season, placing their pass defense at 125 in the FBS. However, this includes a game against a powerful LSU offense.

Comparing the Numbers

Oklahoma State’s Tylan Wallace leads the Big XII in yards after catch with 212. Second, in the conference is Texas receiver Devin Duvernay with 131 yards. So far this season, Texas has averaged 44 points per game to Oklahoma State’s 49. Opponents’ points per game is nearly even at 24.0 and 23.7, respectively. Texas has 498 yards per game to Oklahoma State’s 547. As mentioned above, Texas has struggled on defense, allowing 417 yards per game to the Cowboy’s 387. Oklahoma State, however, has not yet played a ranked team.

Expectations and Predictions

Head Coach Tom Herman announced earlier this week that Zach Shackelford, Joseph Ossai, and Collin Johnson are all “probable” to play on Saturday after suffering injuries last week against the Rice Owls. Defensive backs BJ Foster (hamstring) and DeMarvion Overshown (back) will still be out this week. Texas regained some depth at running back last week with the return of Daniel Young. The Longhorns open as a seven-point favorite at home this Saturday. I expect they will break the streak against Oklahoma State with a high-scoring, heavily-offensive game. It will likely come down to who can stop the passing game. While Texas showed some weaknesses in their secondary against LSU, their coverage looked more promising against Rice. The Owls were only allowed to cross the 50-yard-line once, occurring in the fourth quarter with the Longhorns’ second and third-string players on the field. I predict Texas opens their conference play with a 48-35 victory.

Main Photo Credit:

HOUSTON, TX – SEPTEMBER 14: Texas Longhorns center Zach Shackelford (56) prepares to snap during the college football game between the Texas Longhorns and the Rice Owls at NRG Stadium on September 14, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)