Oklahoma State is looking to become the first team to win 5 straight games in Austin. Fun fact: the Cowboys are already the only team to win 4 straight in the tea-sipping capital of Texas. UT was embarrassed on its home field to start the season, but hasn’t allowed more than 27 points in regulation since the Terps went for 51. That span includes games against USC and Oklahoma, which means we can probably consider the “real” Texas defense the one we’ve seen the past five games. This all begs the question; can Oklahoma State win a game played in the 20s?
Most people will probably pick the Cowboys to score in the 30s, some even in the 40s. OSU is certainly capable of doing so, but it would be a deviation from the norm for the UT defense.
It’s all going to start up front. The injuries on the Cowboy offensive line are well documented, which doesn’t bode well against a strong Texas front. Expect Gundy and Yurcich to use much more of the diamond formation to give the offensive line some help. Justice Hill even took a few direct snaps in short-yardage situations against Baylor to give the Cowboys an extra blocker.
Texas may actually have more problems on the o-line than Oklahoma State. Saturday will be an opportunity for the OSU front seven to have a big impact. It will be important for the pass rushers not to get too far up the field, which would open running lanes for Ehlinger.
The Cowboys will have to be better at getting off the field on third down. Teams will continue to copy TCU’s strategy of playing ball-control to keep the OSU offense on the sideline. The Frogs were able to do that because they went 11-19 on third down. Oklahoma State ranks 112th nationally in third-down defense. The Cowboys must get stops on third down if they expect to make it five straight in Austin.