Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 game in our Oklahoma State vs. Texas preview and prediction.
3:00 p.m. October 31st, 2020; Boone Pickens Stadium; Stillwater, Oklahoma
TV: FOX (Joe Davis and Mark Helfrich)
Radio: Cowboys Network (Dave Hunziker); Longhorns Radio Network (Craig Way);Sirius 138, XM 199
Spread: OSU (-3.5)
Fun Fact: Saturday’s game marks the 35th meeting between Oklahoma State and Texas, with UT holding a 25-9 all-time advantage in the series. OSU, however, has won seven of the past 10 meetings and four of the past five.
QB Sam Ehlinger
I’m a HUGE Sam Ehlinger fan. I love watching him play. He gives a 200% effort for the team all the time. It’s not surprising that Texas goes as Sam Ehlinger goes. Only an above average passer but with rushing skills like a running back he tends to do a lot of damage with his legs and is very difficult to defend. Although with the rest of the team having a tendency to be dysfunctional a lot falls on his shoulders. The big question for me is Sam feeling the pressure? With Texas already having two losses the Big 12 Championship game is going to be hard to get to, and losing another game would basically make it impossible. On top of that falling to 3-3 isn’t acceptable in to the Longhorn fans and boosters, and the seat under Herman has to be getting warm. Add in the weirdness of the whole “Eyes Over Texas” thing and there’s a lot going on for the leader of the team to be thinking about. If doubt and disappointment don’t creep in Ehlinger is good enough to beat anyone on the schedule if he ends up losing focus the entire season could spiral out of control.
QB Spencer Sanders
For the first time since week one I don’t have to wonder about a quarterback for Oklahoma State! Spencer Sanders showed why there is no quarterback controversy in Stillwater despite the rumors last week. In what was basically his first action of the season he played extremely well and almost rust-free against Iowa State. He did throw two interceptions, a problem of his last season, but while one was a terrible throw to a receiver he stared down from the snap the other was just an excellent play by the defense. What really sets him apart from now-for-sure backup Shane Illingworth are Sanders’ legs. He added 71 rushing yards and a score on the ground against the Cyclones. Sanders playing mistake-free and using his sprinter’s speed are the key to Oklahoma State competing for a Big 12 Championship and possibly a playoff spot this season.
The Cowboy line started the season being plagued by retirements, dismissals, and injuries but they seem to have gotten a little better every game. Which is good because Texas has some dudes on the defensive line. If there is one thing Texas and Tom Herman do well all the time it’s recruit, and they will always recruit better than OSU. The running game for the Cowboys has picked back up the last few weeks with Chuba Hubbard finally looking like himself, and the return of Sanders should help that, but look for Texas to use all those recruiting stars and the speed that comes with them to try to slow down the rush attack and force Sanders to throw. If the offensive line continues to improve the Pokes should be okay, but if they don’t play well it could be a long day.
Talent or development? Texas always has more talent than almost anyone they play, especially Oklahoma State who seems to recruit below where they should. But the boys up in Stillwater are pretty good at taking a 2 star guy and getting 4 star results whereas for the last decade or so it seems like Austin takes 5 star guys and turns them into 3 star performers. This season seems to follow that same trend where with the exception of quarterback and special teams OSU seems to have the better group at every position across the board. For Texas to truly be back they need to start asserting their will against the teams they have a large talent gap against, which in the Big 12 is every team not named the Sooners. The Cowboys have won seven of the last 10 versus the ‘Horns, and four of the last five. Mike Gundy is 2-1 versus Tom Herman. That just doesn’t make any sense. So who wins this year, the recruiters or the developers?
Oklahoma State 34 Texas 21
After watching Oklahoma State’s defense completely control Iowa State last week I’m going to trust them to stop everyone they play until they give me a reason to think they can’t. If you take away Breece Hall’s two long runs (one that came on a fluke play were an OSU defensive end actually threw an ISU tight end like a doll into the linebacker that was supposed to fill the gap Hall sprinted through thus taking him out of the play) the Cyclones did almost nothing against the Pokes. Overall I feel like Iowa State is a better offense than Texas although I’d trust Ehlinger to win me a game over Purdy. I again think the Cowboy defense holds up its end of the bargain and the offense finally comes to life with Sanders back at the helm. Look for Tylan Wallace to have a big game after being average last week. If Texas gets a few breaks I believe Ehlinger can make it interesting but if the lead gets to 14 the fight will come out of the Longhorns during this bizarre season.
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