FACTS & STATS: Site: Boone Pickens Stadium (60,000) — Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Television: FOX. Home Record: Texas 3-2, OSU 4-1. Away Record: Texas 2-1, OSU
1-2. Neutral Record: Texas 0-0, OSU 0-1. Conference Record: Texas 4-3, OSU
3-3. Series Record: Texas leads, 23-5.
GAME NOTES: The reeling Oklahoma State Cowboys will attempt to end a three-
game losing streak on Saturday night when they host the Texas Longhorns in a
Big 12 Conference clash at Boone Pickens Stadium.
The Longhorns have been headed in the opposite direction as Oklahoma State
recently, with wins in back-to-back games, including a 33-16 stunning of West
Virginia last weekend. Texas is now an even 5-5 overall, with a bowl berth
well within reach with two games to play.
The Cowboys can still earn a postseason invite as well, but blowout losses to
TCU (42-9), West Virginia (34-10) and Kansas State (48-14) in the last three
games have dashed their once lofty goals. Oklahoma State is playing its final
home game of the season in this one and, with tests against Baylor and
Oklahoma next, this is an important contest for its bowl resume’.
With Texas trending downward in recent seasons, Oklahoma State has been able
to pick up some ground in the all-time series. The Cowboys have won three of
the last four meetings, including a 38-13 triumph last season. However, the
Longhorns still own a comfortable edge (23-5) all-time.
Charlie Strong has not led an offensive renewal in his first season at the
helm for Texas. The Longhorns are next-to-last in the Big 12 in total offense
(360.6 ypg). Even in the easy victory over West Virginia, they had only 351
yards of total offense.
Tyrone Swoopes is the leader from under center, taking the job when David Ash
was lost for the season after the first game. Swoopes has been solid, but not
overly productive. He has completed 57.2 percent of his pass attempts for
1,847 yards and 10 touchdowns, while scattering six interceptions. He only
connected on 11-of-29 attempts against West Virginia, finishing with 124 yards
in the process. It was the fifth time this season he has had less than 200
yards through the air. Swoopes does have 236 yards and three scores on the
ground as well.
The wins Texas has enjoyed recently have largely been built on the ground,
with Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray each producing in the last two games.
Gray picked up 101 yards and three touchdowns against West Virginia, and Brown
added in 90 yards. The previous week, Brown did the scoring (116 yards, two
TDs) and Gray put up 77 yards and a TD. The duo has formed an excellent
combination, combining for 1,170 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.
John Harris and Jaxon Shipley are head and shoulders above the rest of the UT
receivers. Harris has 859 yards and six touchdowns on 50 receptions, while
Shipley leads the squad with 54 grabs, and has turned those into 538 yards and
a score. Marcus Johnson (24 receptions, 290 yards, TD) is the only other
player with more than 100 yards receiving.
Strong’s calling card is his defensive skill as a coach, and he has at least
built a solid unit this season. The Longhorns are allowing only 22.4 points
(third in the Big 12) and 362 yards per game (fourth).
In Oklahoma State’s loss to Kansas State last time out, Daxx Garman didn’t
have much time and when he did, he wasn’t all that effective. The Cowboys’
signal caller finished with only 148 yards and two interceptions on 12-of-23
passing. He was also sacked five times. Garman has as many touchdown passes as
interceptions this season, with 11 of each. He also has tallied 1,883 yards on
54.4 percent passing.
Tyreek Hill had a strong game against K-State, finishing with 102 yards and a
touchdown on 18 carries. Hill is still second on the team in rushing yards
(453), but he is averaging 5.3 yards per carry. Hill has also been an
important part of the passing game, with 249 yards and a score on 23
receptions. Desmond Roland (512 yards, seven TDs) is averaging less than four
yards per carry, but he did not play against the Wildcats.
David Glidden (31 receptions, 419 yards, TD) and Brandon Sheperd (23
receptions, 408 yards, two TDs) are the top pass-catching options, although
both are averaging less than 50 yards per game. James Washington (17
receptions, 267 yards, three TDs) and Jhajuan Seales (15 receptions, 253
yards, three TDs) are tied for the team lead in touchdown grabs.
Oklahoma State is a run-of-the-mill defensive team compared to the rest of the
Big 12, as it allows 423.8 yards and 30.2 points per game, ranking seventh and
eighth in the conference, respectively.
If there is any positive the Pokes can take out of their recent three-game
losing streak, it is that it has come against a slew of strong teams. For
Oklahoma State to get a win in this one, Garman needs to be much more
efficient, which won’t be easy going up against a solid Texas defense.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oklahoma State 34, Texas 27