#6 Oklahoma State vs #22 Texas
I can’t remember the last time Oklahoma State was ranked in the top 10 and Texas was ranked outside the top 20 at the 6 week mark in the college football season. If and when that has ever happened, this Saturday marks the first time in a long time for that occurrence.
Oklahoma routed Texas last week, but many of the Sooners points came on big plays and defensive touchdowns. The Texas Defensive Line did a pretty good job on Saturday. At halftime they had surrendered only 11 rushing yards on 7 carries. They did get penetration on passing plays, but it seemed like every time they got through Landry Jones (Oklahoma QB) was either taking a 3 step drop or throwing a Quick Slant on a 1 step drop. There were not a lot of 5 step drops, and pretty sure there were no 6 or 7 step drops. Don’t think I saw many Bootlegs either.
The Texas Secondary got torched. No other way to describe it. They seemed to bite on every pump fake, every play action, and any slight resemblance of a running play caused them to come crashing to the line of scrimmage. I still am shaking my head and wondering why they were doing this, given how effective their run defense was in the first half.
Landry Jones picked apart the Longhorns Secondary, and I don’t see many reasons to believe that Brandon Weeden won’t do the same thing to the inexperienced Texas Defensive Backfield. Weeden is currently completing 75.8% of his passes and boasts a 165.0 Passer Rating. Outstanding numbers and exactly what you need to beat this Longhorns team.
OK State is coming off a trouncing of Kansas in which they scored 70 points and ran 600 total yards through the slot machine otherwise known as the Kansas defense. To me though the most impressive stats from the 26 year old Weeden's day was going 8 for 12 on third down conversions and throwing zero interceptions on 49 pass attempts. These were the most impressive stats of the day in my opinion.
As far as youth, inexperience, veterans, and leadership goes, Oklahoma State clearly has the advantage. Texas starts 3 true freshman and 5 sophomores on offense and 6 sophomores and 1 true freshman(nickel back who sees a lot of time) on defense. So of 22 positions Texas has 15 true freshman/sophomores starting, which is 68% of their starters. Oklahoma State on the other hand starts 9 Seniors/Juniors on Offense and 6 Seniors/Juniors on Defense. So Ok State starts 68% Seniors and Juniors, exactly the inverse of Texas.
Very anxious for this matchup as Oklahoma State won last year and that was the first win by the Cowboys in this series for at least 10 years, if not longer. Might be time for OK State to return the favor in regards to a decade plus of victories by the Longhorns.
3 Keys to the Game:
1. Can Texas overcome poor secondary play after getting blasted by Oklahoma and deal with the precision like passing game of Weeden?
2. Can the under rated Texas Defensive Line get enough pressure on Weeden on 5 step drops to make a difference and disrupt the Cowboys rhythm on offense?
3. Can the veteran leadership of Oklahoma State trump the youth and inexperience on Texas' depth chart on both sides of the ball?