On Saturday evening, the No. 6 Texas Longhorns (6-1, 4-0) will take the field in Stillwater following a well-timed bye week. Opposite of the Big 12 headliners will be the Oklahoma State Cowboys (4-3, 1-3), a program that hasn’t quite enjoyed as much success throughout its conference slate as its upcoming opponents.
After cruising to a 3-0 record and rising as high as No. 15 nationally, Oklahoma State has since dropped three of its four conference outings, including back-to-back meetings with Kansas State (31-12) and Iowa State (48-42).
With three road trips to come, including one to see No. 8 Oklahoma, and the only other home stand after Saturday coming when Oklahoma State welcomes No. 13 West Virginia on Nov. 17, wins won’t come easily from here on out. Now riding the program’s worst stretch since 2014, the wheels are beginning to come off a bit, but a win over a top-10 Texas team on Saturday could be the outcome head coach Mike Gundy and his team so desperately need.
The Pokes will enjoy the advantage of a hostile home crowd at Boone Pickens Stadium that is expected to be packed to the brim at Boone Pickens Stadium with 60,000 fans for the primetime game, but will it be enough to overcome a Texas team that is as impressive as any in burnt orange and white since 2009?
- The Oklahoma State Cowboys, as always, bring a dangerous offense to the table
Cornelius has been able to move the ball, racking up 2,014 yards and 16 touchdowns through seven games for the Cowboys, but has also struggled with accuracy on deep balls and throwing into situations he shouldn’t, ultimately leading to eight interceptions.
His favorite target this year has been breakout sophomore receiver Tylan Wallace, who stepped into the featured receiver role with the graduation of James Washington. A year ago, Wallacemanaged just seven receptions for 118 yards, a number he eclipsed in the third quarter of the Cowboys’ second game. Through seven games, he’s amassed 718 yards on 40 receptions, which is good enough for No. 11 in the country.
- Texas plans to start Sam Ehlinger at QB on Saturday against Oklahoma State
- Cowboys Ride for Free Q&A: Controlling the ball key for Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State is 4-3 this year, but all three losses came in conference play. Their only Big 12 win was a 48-28 win over the Kansas Jayhawks on the road. Head coach Mike Gundy’s team has struggled to put it all together on offense, especially as of late, largely due to struggles along the line and accuracy issues from quarterback Taylor Cornelius, a former walk on.
- The Longhorn Republic gets ready for a tough road test
- Multiple starters to miss first series of Oklahoma State game
On Thursday during a media availability, head coach Tom Herman announced that senior cornerbacks Kris Boyd and Davante Davis will miss at least the first series of the Oklahoma State game due to a violation of team rules, as will junior wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey.
- Tom Herman says Texas is paying ‘literally zero’ attention to No. 6 national ranking
- Tom Herman and his staff are carefully monitoring the workload of Texas RB Keaontay Ingram
- Freshman safety BJ Foster could be a key to a game that will likely feature a heavy dose of the Lightning package, as Foster is emerging as an elite blitzer and spread buster:
“You’re looking at a whole stretch of teams that are similar — high-octane, spread teams, and to have someone like him who has developed as fast as he has, we feel comfortable playing him on every down. That’s really unique, and we’re really fortunate to have that kid,” Orlando said.
- Junior wide receiver Collin Johnson reflected on his benching for four games last season, a banishment that began against Oklahoma State:
“I definitely learned a lot and I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” he said on Tuesday. “Any adversity that hits my life, I really take it and I grow from it. I try not to complain, I try not to get too down on myself.
“It’s all about moving forward because that’s all I can control. I take what’s in my ability to control and I do my absolute best at that and I let the rest take care of itself. That’s listening to the coaches, showing up to work every day and just taking care of my business.”
How to Watch
TV: ABC (Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor)
Time: 7:00 p.m. Central
Radio: Longhorn IMG Radio Network, TexasSports.com
Online Streaming: WatchESPN
Odds: Texas (-3.0)
Weather: Clear skies, high of 68 degrees