Saturday, November 18th, 2023 3:00 p.m. CT; TDECU Stadium, Houston, Texas
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network (Dave Hunziker, John Holcomb Robert Allen); KPRC 950 AM (Matt Thomas, David Klingler, Adam Wexler)
Records: Oklahoma State (7-3, 5-2); Houston (4-6, 2-5)
Rankings: Oklahoma State, No. 24; Houston, not ranked.
Series History: Houston leads series, 10-9-1.
Last Meeting: Houston 45, Oklahoma State 35, 2009
Line: Oklahoma State (-7.0)
Fun Fact: Both head coaches have trouble against the opponent historically. Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy is 1-2 against Houston, while Houston coach Dana Holgorsen is 2-5 against the Cowboys, one of his former employers.
OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS
RB OLLIE GORDON II
Gordon’s Heisman candidacy may have been severely dented after the team’s performance against UCF, but he can still have an impact on Oklahoma State’s season. All they can do is keep winning and hope the tiebreakers go their way, and relying on Gordon is the way to go. For the season Gordon has 1,250 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. He remains the leader in the country in every major rushing category — and that’s after gaining just 26 yards against the Knights.
LB COLLIN OLIVER
The junior from Oklahoma City is a bad man and he’s having a career season. He has 60 tackles in 10 games, with 11.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. While he’s not approaching the 11.5 sacks he put up in 2021, he already has more total tackles in 2023 than he did in 2021 and 2022 combined. He’s also set a single-season high in quarterback hurries with five. The Cowboys have a solid, well-balanced defense, but Oliver is the engine that helps make it go.
WR SAMUEL BROWN
It’s safe to say that the redshirt sophomore is building on his 2022 season, during which he caught 41 passes for 471 yards and four touchdowns. Entering Saturday, he’s emerged as Houston’s leading receiver, with 59 catches for 776 yards and three touchdowns. Now that Matthew Golden is out of the season due to injury, the Cougars are likely to throw more work Brown’s way. He could certainly help them in the scoring department. Golden shared the team lead with six touchdown receptions.
DL NELSON CEASAR
If you’re not keeping track of this guy, then you’re not aligning your defense right. Ceasar is the guy on this unit you have to track, as he goes into the game leading the Cougars with 9.5 sacks in nine games (you can probably calculate that average). Odds are he’s going to meet your quarterback at some point in the game. He also has 40 tackles, along with 12 tackles for loss.
OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS
So … everyone remembers what happened last week, right? Don’t like Gundy bringing his dogs to the Monday press conference or the Big 12’s insane tiebreaker rules debate distract you from the fact that the Cowboys were atrocious against the UCF Knights last week and they fumbled the chance to control their own fate for the Big 12 Championship Game. That’s the only storyline that matters in Stillwater — can the Cowboys win their final two games and get some help (unless the rules have changed) to get to Arlington?
The only storyline that really matters for Houston this week is whether the Cougars can win their final two games and get to bowl eligibility. The Cougars went 8-5 last year and went to a bowl game for the third straight year under Holgorsen. They are at risk of ending up the same record they had in his first season in 2019 — 4-8. There isn’t much speculation about Holgorsen’s job, but a win over the Cowboys would certainly help quell any questions.
PREDICTION: Oklahoma State 41, Houston 24
Oklahoma State is ticked off and they’re going to take out their frustrations on Houston. This won’t be pretty.