Gerald Goodridge News9.com/NewsOn6.com
No. 6/7 Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-0, 2-0) at No. 21/22 Texas Longhorns (4-1, 1-1)
2:30 p.m. CST
Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, Texas
|Passing||Brandon Weeden |
166-219, 1,880 yards, 15 TDs, 6 INTs
|Case McCoy |
35-53, 451 yards, 2 TDs
|Rushing||Joseph Randle |
90 carries, 498 yards, 8 TDs
|Malcolm Brown |
84 carries, 399 yards, TD
|Receiving||Justin Blackmon |
46 receptions, 534 yards, 6 TDs
|Jaxon Shipley |
29 receptions, 369 yards, 3 TDs
Oklahoma State: OL Jonathan Rush (out, knee); FS Johnny Thomas (out, academics).
Texas: LB Demarco Cobbs (probable, arm); LB Chet Moss (questionable, back); WR John Harris (doubtful, foot);
Where to find it…
On TV: ABC-HD
On Radio: Cowboy Radio Network
What you need to know…
After giving up a touchdown on the opening drive against Kansas, Oklahoma State was hands-down dominant in a 70-28 win over the Jayhawks. After that, Oklahoma State scored on eight consecutive drives, scoring 56 points in the first half, including one drive orchestrated by the second-string players. The Oklahoma State defensive starters forced three turnovers, two interceptions and a fumble recovery, resulting directly to 21 points and shifting the momentum. If the Cowboys can leave Austin with a win, Mike Gundy will be the first coach to lead the Cowboys to two 7-0 starts in his tenure at OSU and back-to-back 6-0 starts in school history.
Texas is in the middle of a rebuilding cycle, trying to bounce back after a 5-7 season that saw major shakeups in the coaching staff. The Longhorns started 4-0, but ran into a buzz saw in Dallas against the more experienced Oklahoma Sooners, losing 55-17 in the Red River Rivalry. Texas gave up more than 360 passing yards and three touchdowns, including 122 to Ryan Broyles and will face yet another top-tier passing game.
Who you need to watch…
Ryan Broyles had a field day against the Texas secondary and fans should expect the same type of success for Justin Blackmon against the young Longhorn corners. Despite possessing a different skill set than Broyles, Blackmon's size physicality should give him an advantage against the Texas secondary.
After starting the season with three consecutive rushing performances of more than 100 yards, Randle only managed 23 yards against the Jayhawks. Granted, he had just seven rushes and didn't see playing time past the second quarter. The Texas run defense has been one of its strong points this season, but look for Randle to touch the ball more than 10 times in Austin.
Defenses have forced the Longhorn quarterbacks to throw bad passes, and the Cowboys – and specifically Broderick Brown – have feasted on bad passes. The safety has picked off three passes this season, while Justin Gilbert, Devin Hedgepeth and James Thomas all have two. If the front seven can get pressure on the Texas passers, look for the defensive backs to have a field day.
The quarterback position is the position to watch for the Longhorns, but who will be in the backfield is the big question. Both quarterbacks saw plenty of time in the loss against Oklahoma, but once the game was out of reach the snaps trended toward true freshman David Ash. McCoy has been relied on for passing, while Ash for the option and running plays, but Bryan Harsin and Major Applewhite have been mixing it up as of late.
Despite not getting any starts this season, running back Fozzie Whittaker has been one of the most important players on the Texas team this season. The senior has taken a back seat to younger players in terms of starts and carries, but has taken every opportunity given and capitalized. He leads the team in rushing touchdowns with four and scored Texas' first touchdown of the game against Oklahoma on a 100-yard kick return.
Just like his older brother, Jaxon Shipley has been a big playmaker for the Longhorns, despite being a true freshman. He leads the team in receiving with 369 yards and three touchdowns on 25 receptions. Additionally he has been called upon in many of Bryan Harsin's trick plays, including tossing two touchdown passes.