Are the Texas Longhorns truly back?
Though they lost a narrow one to LSU two weeks back, all signs are pointing to a renaissance in Texas this season for the Longhorns. But Texas will have its hands full this weekend against the undefeated Oklahoma State Cowboys in Austin.
The Cowboys have run the table so far, though they haven’t been tested quite yet. Wins over sub-500 Oregon State and Tulsa along with FCS McNeese State aren’t exactly the quality opponents the Cowboys have been used to in years past. With a Texas team ready to showcase its elite defense against a vaunted Oklahoma State offense, this could be an entertaining matchup after all.
Oklahoma State Cowboys vs Texas Longhorns
Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 7 p.m.
Darrell K. Royal — Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, Texas
*All odds and betting info courtesy of OddsShark and originally posted by BetOnline
Spread: Texas (-6.5 at -110)
Over/Under: 72.5 (O -110 | U -110)
Averaging 49.3 points per game in three games this season, the Cowboys offense has been electric. Most of that damage has come on the ground. Running back Chuba Hubbard has been one of the nation’s most effective backs so far this season and leads the nation in rushing. His 521 yards on 66 carries and seven touchdowns are the most in the FBS.
The problem? Oklahoma State averages under 30 minutes of possession this season. In fact, the Cowboys rank 101st (out of 130) in FBS with just 28 minutes of possession per game this year.
The defense has been a different story for the Cowboys. Oklahoma State has allowed nearly 400 yards of offense per game this season and 10 opposing touchdowns. That’s 77th in the FBS. The red zone has been difficult for opponents at times this season, with Oklahoma State allowing just a 72.7 percent scoring rate inside their own 20-yard line.
While Oklahoma State readies its ground-and-pound attack, the Longhorns have countered with unleashing an aerial assault on offense this season. Texas ranks tenth in the nation with 348 passing yards per game, a credit to quarterback Sam Ehlinger. His 11 passing touchdowns already this season are tied for third in FBS, just one behind the national lead of 12.
As far as stopping the run goes, Texas has faired well. The Longhorns have allowed just 87 yards on the ground per game this season — 24th in FBS. In a conference as offense-oriented as the Big 12, Texas’ defensive prowess could make for a strong season in a difficult conference.
The Longhorns may have the worse record, but it’s no comparison they have an edge in strength of schedule. That said, this will still be a tough game against a much-improved Oklahoma State squad.
The game has all the makings for a shootout that will likely be decided by which team has the ball last and which defense can come up with a stop at a key time.
Pick: Texas will win a close one, but Oklahoma State could cover the spread. As for the over/under, it’s the Big 12, so take the over though it won’t hit until late. Give me Longhorns, 41-35.