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Oklahoma State Initial Thoughts

I admit to not knowing as much about Oklahoma State as I probably should. Apparently, they have a tall, athletic African American quarterback from Houston. That worked out well for Texas, of course, and so far, it's working out just dandy for Oklahoma State.

He kinda looks Vince-ish, doesn't he?

Longhorn fans should get to know Bobby Reid, as he's just a sophomore and has firmly entrenched himself as the Cowboys quarterback of now and the next two years. Sometimes, with young quarterbacks, the numbers don't do their performance on the field justice. Reid's certainly an exception to that rule. For the season, Reid's completed 59.9% of his passes for 1,616 yards (10.3 yards per attempt) and 19 touchdowns against just 7 interceptions. He's also developed into a better runner since his freshman year, doubling his yards per rush to 4.6. He's now got 311 yards rushing on the season, along with 3 touchdowns, and will be the most athletic quarterback Texas has faced since Troy Smith came to visit Austin.

Like Smith, though, Reid is definitely a pass-first kind of quarterback. In his Monday press conference, Mack Brown noted that while the comparisons to Vince Young are appropriate in some ways, Reid is actually quite a bit further along in his passing skills than Vince was at a comparable age:

I think Bobby is great. And when people compare Bobby and Vince (Young), Bobby is probably ahead of where Vince was at this time. They're are both from Houston, they're both tall, and they're both fast, but other than that, [Bobby Reid] is fourth in the country in passing efficiency and Vince was not that far along at this age.

One would assume that Texas' home field advantage would be significant, but Bobby Reid's actually performing better on the road than in Still water (10 of his 17 touchdowns, and a 15 point improvement in QB rating). I confess to not having seen this young man play more than a few plays, but just judging by the numbers, I'd say Texas has quite a test on its hands. Throw in our well-documented aversion to performing well in TBS night games, and in particular against Oklahoma State on said station, and I'm downright nervous.

The biggest question for Oklahoma State will be whether or not they can slow down Texas' rapidly improving offense. It's here that Texas fans should start to feel comfortable, as the Cowboys have had a devil of a time slowing down opponents on the road. Teams have rushed and passed the ball exceptionally well against Oklahoma State outside of Stillwater, and the odds are that Texas will be able to, as well. Given Oklahoma State's balanced offensive attack (211/220 rush/pass yards per game), the Horns may have their hands full once again.

Of particular concern, of course, is the health of the defense, where starting players have dropped like flies. Lokey is out for the year, Okam and Robison aren't playing at 100%, Tarrell Brown's playing with a broken toe, and Mike Griffin's playing on pure guts and heart. All told, Texas could be in store for another heart-racing, high-scoring thriller. It's no wonder TBS takes the Texas game every chance it gets. We bring the action.

Much more on Oklahoma State throughout the week.