The No. 7 Texas Longhorns went up three scores in the first quarter and never looked back, cruising past the Oklahoma State Cowboys to close out their time in the Big 12. With more games to play on championship Saturday, Texas needed to score some style points as they lobbied for a shot in the College Football Playoff and relied on the offense to do that.
1. Quinn Ewers can play championship-level football
When the chips were down and Texas needed to play a big game, Texas needed Quinn Ewers to deal and he did just that. It was a literal career day for him, tossing four touchdowns in the first half and finishing the day with 452 yards, Ewers set personal and conference game records on the way to hoisting the Big 12 Trophy and the MVP championship belt. Opening the game with 12 consecutive completions and three touchdowns, including two red zone touchdown passes, a struggle area for Texas throughout the season.
In a week when the college football playoff committee referenced another quarterback’s completion percentage as a ranking consideration, Ewers’s performance was magical.
2. Texas can find the ground game from multiple sources
The Jonathon Brooks injury, who got to be on the field for the Victory Formation, could have spelled disaster for an offense that was rolling up until that point. The Texas running back room has embraced the “next man up” mentality and kept the offense rolling in his absence.
Two weeks ago it was CJ Baxter, last week it was Jaydon Blue, this week — as the running game struggled — senior Keilan Robinson was explosive and paced the ground game. In the second half when Texas was trying to bleed the clock dry and move the ball on the ground, Oklahoma State clamped down on the run. That’s when Robinson shined, finding a crease and showing off his elite speed, rushing for 68 yards on his two second-half carries.
3. The Longhorns have a legitimate case for the College Football Playoff
While the Longhorns wait to find out their postseason fate, there’s little argument that in the last two weeks, they’ve done everything they could to make their best case for the CFP.
One of the biggest questions that was asked of Texas was about the late-game meltdowns and letting teams back into games. For two weeks, when style points seemingly mattered, Texas put nails in the coffins of not only the games but two persistent hindrances to what the Longhorns wanted to accomplish. While the loss in Red River took control out of their hands for their path to the CFP, the Longhorns definitely have a case to make for their place among the four best teams in the country.