CFB Preview: Oklahoma State at Texas

KICKOFF: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
GAMEDATE: 9/26/15
SITE: Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, Texas
TV: ESPN
SERIES: Texas enjoys a 24-5 advantage in the series with Oklahoma State. Since taking over as the Cowboys coach, Mike Gundy stands 3-7 against the Longhorns after last year’s 28-7 loss.
RANKINGS: Oklahoma State 24th

KEYS TO THE GAME

Oklahoma State must avoid the notion it will start Big 12 play with a layup on its trip to Texas.

Sure, Texas has struggled. The Longhorns lost big at Notre Dame to begin the season, were badly outgained in yardage in a victory against Rice, and then missed a late extra point that sealed a loss to Cal. The problems contributed to the firing of athletic director Steve Patterson and place considerable heat on second-year coach Charlie Strong.

Still, that desperate component could lead to a Texas uprising when Oklahoma State visits.

“I don’t know if it matters that (Texas) is down,” sophomore offensive tackle Zachary Crabtree said. “When you look at the past, they still have athletes, they still have good players. I’m from the state of Texas, about two-and-a-half hours from Austin. I got boys down there playing that I know, and they’ve got a lot of guys down there.”

The Cowboys, however, should have an edge in confidence.

Their defense forced seven turnovers in a 69-14 rout of Texas-San Antonio last Saturday. In addition, running back Chris Carson hit his stride and played up to expectations following his celebrated transfer from junior college. Carson gained 104 yards, with two touchdowns, and the Cowboys rushed for 217 yards as a team.

The Longhorns, meanwhile, were left searching for positives in the loss at Cal, and coach Charlie Strong found one in quarterback Jerrod Heard’s 45-yard ramble for what would have been a tying touchdown had kicker Nick Rose not shanked the extra point.

“The amazing performance by Jerrod was just unbelievable,” Strong said. “You see the loss and you don’t want that to be overshadowed because he played an unbelievable game.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Cowboys

–QB Mason Rudolph became one of six Oklahoma State passers to throw for 400 yards in a game when he recorded 401 yards in the win over Texas-San Antonio. The sophomore ranks in the top 10 nationally in passing yards, yards per completion and yards per attempt, and he ranks 12th with a .689 completion percentage.

–WR David Glidden is a veteran who was part of Oklahoma State’s Big 12 championship team in 2011. Capable of breaking big gains anywhere on the field, Glidden leads the Cowboys with six explosive plays (20-yard gains or better) and leads the team in receptions (42) and receiving yards (283).

–DE Emmanuel Ogbah ranks third in the Big 12 and 15th nationally in sacks (3.5). He also has six quarterback hurries and has had at least one sack in nine of his last 11 games.

Longhorns

–QB Jerrod Heard gave Texas fans some solace following a stinging 45-44 loss to Cal. Although the Horns lost after failing to convert a PAT to tie it, Heard was phenomenal, rushing for 163 yards and three touchdowns and also passing for 364 yards.

–WR Daje Johnson continued to be a difference-maker for the Horns, catching five passes for 145 yards. His return potential forced Cal to kick away from him, and the Bears averaged only 33 yards per punt as a result.

–DE Shiro Davis posted Texas’ only sack against Cal, dropping Bears QB Jared Goff for a 14-yard loss. Davis added another tackle for a loss of three yards, making the most of his five total tackles.

Sports Xchange

KICKOFF: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET GAMEDATE: 9/26/15 SITE: Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, Texas TV: ESPN SERIES: Texas enjoys a 24-5 advantage in the series with Oklahoma State. Since taking over as the Cowboys coach, Mike Gundy stands 3-7 against the Longhorns after last year’s 28-7 loss. RANKINGS: Oklahoma State 24th KEYS TO THE […]

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