The road team will attempt to come out victorious for the seventh straight time in the series between the Texas Longhorns (2-1) and Oklahoma State Cowboys (2-2), with the last home victory coming in 2008, when the No. 1-ranked ‘Horns secured a 28-24 victory over the No. 7-ranked Cowboys.
In fact, the Longhorns have won eight consecutive games in Stillwater and have only lost on the road to the Cowboys once in series history (1997). Texas also has a strong history of success in Big 12 openers, winning 16 times in 20 attempts.
Last year, Oklahoma State secured a late victory courtesy of Texas punter Michael Dickson dropped snap and a host of questionable calls by the officials. Fortunately for the Longhorns, crew chief Alan Eck, the architect of that officiating meltdown, moved on to the NFL.
Still, penalties will be a key focus in the game, as the ‘Horns managed to kill four drives in the second half of the loss to the Golden Bears as a result of offensive penalties and have struggled to avoid drawing flags all season.
For Oklahoma State, the key is avoiding turnovers — four against Baylor last weekend contributed to the loss for the Pokes to open Big 12 play.
— A first look at Oklahoma State, which features a playmaking defense:
While the numbers indicate Texas could stockpile yards and points in Stillwater, other statistics provide proof of how disruptive a talented Cowboys’ front seven can be. Through four games, Oklahoma State’s defense has recorded 35 tackles for loss, ranking ninth nationally. And though it’s not the most feared pass rush, the Cowboys have gotten to opposing quarterbacks nine times this season, while the rush defense is allowing only 3.5 yards per carry.
— Winning against the Cowboys is critical for Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong because his team is showing signs of being poorly coached:
Besides the defense, other problems still linger. Fans continue to see signs of poor coaching, including regression among certain players, poor in-game management, and reckless penalties — problems that have plagued Strong’s tenure in Austin and are usually signs of bad coaching. In fact, the ‘Horns rank No. 123 nationally in penalty yards per game.
— Young safeties DeShon Elliott and Brandon Jones are seemingly teasing increased roles in posts to Twitter.
— Our Oklahoma State site manager is worried about the Smash Brothers and the 18 Wheeler:
D'onta Foreman and Chris Warren are NFL-caliber running backs and they weigh more than a few of our linebackers. They aren't the fastest, but goodness, they run hard.
If they are able to get to the second level of the defense, guys have to be ready to come up and help because one guy isn't bringing them down. Those guys scare me, but Tyrone Swoopes also seems to play well against Oklahoma State, and the 18-Wheeler package has been pretty successful so far.
How to watch, listen, and stream
Time: 11:00 a.m. CT
Commentary: Mike Patrick will be on the call while Ed Cunningham joins him in the booth for analysis. Jerry Punch will be on the sidelines.
Radio: 104.9 The Horn; Austin Radio Network (local radio affiliates); Longhorn IMG Radio Network (statewide radio affiliates)
Online Streaming: WatchESPN
Weather: 75 degrees, mostly cloudy
Odds: Texas (+3)
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