Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 game in Austin, Texas in our Texas vs. Oklahoma State preview and prediction.
Date: Saturday, October 21, 2017 | 11:00 A.M. CT | Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, Texas
TV: ABC (Steve Levy, Brian Griese, and Todd McShay)
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network (Dave Hunziker, Dave Holcomb, and Robert Allen)
Radio: Longhorn IMG Radio Network (Craig Way, Roger Wallace, and Quan Cosby)
Satellite Radio: Sirius (132); XM (99); Internet (969)
Internet Radio: http://okla.st/osutunein
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Mason Rudolph, quarterback
Rudolph is throwing for an insane average of 395 yards a game this season but that number is helped by his ability to throw the deep ball to his stable of speedy receivers. With the talent and athletes the Longhorns have on the defensive line and in LB Malik Jefferson the deep ball may not be an option. The Cowboy offensive line is struggling with injuries and may not allow the time for anything to get going down field. Rudolph has struggled with accuracy when forced to throw quickly his entire career. If his tendency to throw high returns there will be plenty of opportunities for the Texas secondary to make game changing interceptions.
Marcell Ateman, wide receiver
While everyone gushes over teammate James Washington (for good reason) Ateman is having a pretty damn solid year in his shadow. With 568 yards and four touchdowns on just 29 receptions he’s become the Cowboy offense’s safety valve when they NEED a first down. He continues to build a case to play on Sundays next year by using his size to go up and over defenders for jump balls, shed tackles, and block downfield for his teammates. Against the fierce Longhorn pass rush the 6’4” 220lb receiver might be a frequent target for Rudolph on quick tosses to the sideline.
Malik Jefferson, linebacker
Leading the team in tackles this season with 54 (37 solo), the junior also has six tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and four quarterback hurries. Jefferson can play a huge role both rushing Mason Rudolph and helping to contain the Cowboy running backs. Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando should test OSU’s beat up offensive line early and often. A player the caliber of Jefferson should be able to feast against such pass heavy opposition
Chris Warren III, running back
For some reason Tom Herman hasn’t used Warren as much as everyone else on the planet thinks he should. At 6’4” and 250 lbs the junior is a battering ram at running back who also possesses surprising speed for his size. Borrowing a page from TCU’s win in Stillwater a player like Warren can be a game changer against the Pokes. By grinding out tough yards and controlling the time of possession he can help keep the Cowboy offensive stars watching from the sidelines
Oklahoma State Cowboys
If Oklahoma State can win Saturday it would be the fifth straight victory for the Cowboys in Austin. No other team has beaten the Longhorns on their home field more than three consecutive times. If Mike Gundy wants to keep his teams’ historic streak alive he needs to make sure his team is ready to play its best game of the year to date. OSU has rolled to victory against four outmatched teams and shot itself in the foot against TCU and Texas Tech, losing the former and winning the later. Texas may not be as good overall as TCU or have the offense that Texas Tech has but physically they are better than both. It sounds like a cliche but the Longhorns are the best 3-3 team in the country and they are capable of beating anyone they play. The Cowboys need to play a clean game and not commit the stupid penalties, turnovers, and mental mistakes that plagued them against the Horned Frogs and Red Raiders If they want to beat a hungry Longhorns squad.
Texas is back! But then they aren’t again. But all of a sudden they are back again! Or are they? The fans are desperate for Texas to get back to being Texas but there are still growing pains on Tom Herman’s team. There are only a handful of programs in the nation that can match the Longhorns athlete for athlete any given day. Oklahoma State isn’t one of them but after playing average football for more than a few years all that burnt orange talent is having to learn how to win again. Depending on which games you’ve watched this year Texas has looked terrible or great or average. Sometimes all three for different stretches of the same game. Which team shows up on Saturday? The Cowboys have had their ups an downs as well but still scored 31 points and put up 499 yards in their worst outing of the season. Texas needs a solid game from both sides of the ball, especially the defense, as an underdog at home.
Oklahoma State 38, Texas 31
The Longhorns went to double overtime with USC and fought to the end against OU, both away from home, so there’s no reason to think they won’t put up a fight against OSU in Austin. Unfortunately for Texas the Cowboy offense is better than the Trojan’s or Sooner’s, and unless OSU comes out flat even the talented Longhorn defense won’t contain them enough for their streaky offense to score enough to win. The three big time seniors for OSU in Rudolph, Washington, and Ateman wont blink and play well. Tom Herman’s team fights until the end but comes up short against another highly ranked opponent.