Gameday Preview: Oklahoma State

Gameday Preview: Oklahoma State

Rebecca May, BA ’91, Life Member, is a Texas ex-pat living in Oregon while rooting for the Longhorns. An attorney by day, she blogs about college football by night as a regular contributor to gridirongirl. This post contains the opinions of one contributing writer; they do not reflect the views of the Texas Exes’ staff, board, or membership.

Saddle up, Longhorns! The Okie State Cowboys stampede into Austin this weekend for a showdown. Texas comes in 6-0 in the conference, sitting atop the Big 12 standings. The Horns are also ranked again, finally. Okie State wants a piece of that Big 12 championship, and feels they are legitimately still in the running for the Fiesta Bowl. They come in with a 5-1 conference record, their only loss a squeaker to WVU.

Let’s talk about what the Cowboys bring to the table. Remember when they were some of the conference whipping boys? Mike Gundy has done a respectable job of reshaping the program to prominence—two Big 12 championships in three years.

Okie State is by no means a “gimme” game. Vegas oddsmakers favor the Cowboys by a field goal. That’s pretty darn close, folks! Last year, Texas traveled to Stillwater and upset the Cowboys and their weird mascot, 41-36. Look, the Okies are probably going to be a little confused coming to Texas, where they have indoor plumbing, telephones, dentistry, and movies that talk. The Horns should be ready to come out with both barrels blazing. The Cowboys have some playmakers on their team. They began the season with the often-confusing dual QB system, but after JW Walsh did not live up to expectations, the game was turned over to the senior Clint Chelf. He is 77 for 152 attempts, racking up a total 1025 yards.

The two top rushers for OKST are junior Desmond Roland and senior Jeremy Smith. These two have put up some impressive and troublesome numbers. Roland has 109 carries this season for 506 yards and 10 TDs. Smith has 91 carries for 319 yards and nine TDs. That should give Grand-Master-Defense-Magician Robinson something to think about. But well-known wounded spirit animal Johnathan Gray and his counterpart, Malcolm “Touchdown” Brown, both outperformed the OKST rushers in total yards. Ahem.

The Texas secondary must continue to protect against the long ball. OKST’s top two receivers, Josh Stewart and Tracy Moore, are capable of trucking downfield and punishing the opponent’s defense. The Texas offense, with recent injuries, will have to rely on depth and fill gaps. Luckily, that’s one area where folks are itching to step up. Coach Applewhite will have to get more creative this week. We hope to see a lot more of Daje Johnson and Joe Bergeron. Spirit animals can’t be replaced, but they can have back-ups.

Case McCoy needs to have another solid outing, reminiscent of his performance against OKST’s big brother, OU. He must keep turnovers to a minimum. A boring playbook is OK—when it results in scoring and fewer mistakes. Will we see Swoopes? It would be great to get him some snaps and let him stretch his centaur-legs a bit. The Horns need to come out ready to play in front of a home crowd. This end-stretch lineup is a murderer’s row with OKST, Tech, and Baylor. No more flat performances. The Big 12 championship is on the line.

I predict Texas will win in exciting fashion, just not as exciting as last week. It will be close, but I think it will be Texas by seven. The Magic 8 Ball agrees with me. The over/under on the game is 62.5, so someone is expecting a big scoring game. Bet wisely, children.

See you on Saturday! Hook ’em!

Photo courtesy UT Athletics.


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