Oklahoma State at Texas: 3 Keys To The Game

By Jeff Anderton
October 11, 2011 9:31 am
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#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?

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By Jeff Anderton
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Previous Comments (8)

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2 years ago
I'm sure Texas' defense will come out and give a valiant effort. After suffering defeat in the manner that they did last week, I think they'll come out looking to redeem themselves and do everything in their power to assure that the embarrassment wont take place again.
2 years ago
Chris, good point. Mach Brown has never lost the game after the Red River Rivalry. I just don't know if Texas is on the same level as OK State at this point. Texas is so young right now as they start 5 sophomores in their base defense. Then in their sub/nickle package they start 3 sophomores, 1 junior, and 1 senior in the secondary. OK State is just so efficient on offense right now and Texas got almost no pressure on Landry Jones last week. If OK State runs a lot of 1 step drops, 3 step drops, and shotgun quick throws it seems like Texas will be in for a long day. Anything can happen though in a football game, as I'm sure you already know...
2 years ago
I know things go in cycles, but what happened to Texas? Is it a simple as not having a top level QB following McCoy?
2 years ago
JMJ, good question. I think the flop formerly known as Garrett Gilbert was the plan to follow McCoy but obviously that didn't work out so now they are probably a year or two behind at QB. I also think Mach Brown has lost a step or two in recruiting over the past few years. Texas is starting so many underclassmen including 8 freshman and or sophomores on offense alone. Just think though if those kids develop and McCoy becomes a great QB how good they could be in 2 years?? Could be a powerhouse, especially if the Longhorn Network helps to boost recruiting efforts. Can you imagine if these sophomores and freshman stay for their junior and senior years, respectivly, AND they add some 5 star freshman recruits to the mix for that year? 2013 could be big for Texas.
2 years ago
OSU clearly has a potent offense (51.4 ppg), but let's talk about their defense...you know what they say, "defense wins championships" and they rank 75th in the country stopping the run (165 ypg) and 103rd against the pass (272 ypg)...somebody has got to step up on the defensive side tomorrow...
2 years ago
Maybe Mack Brown can ask Big Red if he can borrow Vince Young for a pregame sppech and Young can that call the Longhorns this year's college "dream team."
2 years ago
Jeremy, good points as the OK State defense is average at best. Texas did stuff the run last week so I expect the focus in practice this week to be on stopping the pass and more importantly being aligned correctly pre-snap, and then executing the proper coverage. Manny Diaz talked about some blown coverage last week that led to some big plays, including some key 3rd down conversions. Texas kept fighting in that game last week, regardless of the score, and Mack Brown is 13-0 following the Red River Rivalry, so maybe the young Horns get a little more grow'd up this week. I am actually thinking Texas has a chance in this one, if they can use some creative pass defense and disguise what coverage they are using before the ball is snapped.
2 years ago
Neil, yeah I bet Mack B. would love to have Young back, and I bet some of the Eagles would like to send him back to Texas after making that quote earlier this year. I wonder how many guys on the Eagles team wished he would not have said that.

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