Defensive play is stellar, yet again, in loss to Cowboys.
The Texas defense has held its own in big games against ranked opponents this season, and today they were tasked with trying to do the same against the nation’s #1 team in total offense.
After back-to-back opening drives in which the Texas defense held Mason Rudolph and the Oklahoma State offense in check, the Cowboys struck first, putting the game’s first points on the board by marching 96 yards on 10 plays. Oklahoma State would take an early 7-0 lead courtesy of J.D. King’s 7-yard touchdown run.
The Cowboys knocked on the Texas door again late in the first quarter after running back Justice Hill’s 9-yard gain was extended an additional 15 yards, thanks to a late-hit penalty called on Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson. The knocking ceased as the second quarter began, when Poona Ford forced a fumble on Hill which was recovered by DeShon Elliott.
The Texas offense made the most of the fumble recovery, marching 86 yards on 3 plays, which included a 90-yard reception from Sam Ehlinger to John Burt. The scoring drive was capped by Ehlinger’s 2-yard keeper to tie the score at 7-7 with 13:59 left in the second quarter.
Neither team would add points to the board for the remainder of the second half, and the Longhorns and Cowboys would hit their respective locker rooms tied at 7-7.
The Texas rushing game continued to struggle, tallying just 10 yards on 15 carries in the first half. Todd Orlando’s defensive unit did a nice job of limiting Rudolph and big plays, holding the Cowboys to 213 yards of total offense in the half.
The Longhorns received the ball to start the second half and took their first lead of the game on Josh Rowland’s 22-yard field goal. With 10:42 remaining in the third quarter, Texas held a 10-7 lead over Oklahoma State.
Rudolph and company would threaten to take the lead again, this time early in the fourth quarter, but the Texas defense would come up with a huge defensive stand to force an Oklahoma State field goal attempt. Cowboy placekicker Matt Ammendola made good on a 19-yard attempt to tie the game at 10-10 with 12:31 remaining.
The teams would trade possessions for the remainder of regulation with neither doing enough to put the game winning points on the board.
Oklahoma State would possess the ball first on offense in overtime, settling for Matt Ammendola’s second field goal of the day, this time from 34 yards out. Ammendola’s field goal would prove to be the game winner, as Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger would be intercepted in the end zone by Oklahoma State’s Ramon Richards.
Here’s how the Texas vs. Oklahoma State game ended: pic.twitter.com/o6GOSh8nhj
— Aaron Carrara (@AC_HornSports) October 21, 2017
The Texas defense deserves a tremendous amount of credit for keeping the Longhorns in football games and today’s game was no exception. Oklahoma State averaged 48.83 points per game prior to today’s matchup and today they were held to just 10 points. Mason Rudolph’s offensive attack averages 610 yards per game, while today they managed just 428.
Texas running back Chris Warren was visibly frustrated about the lack of production from the offense, but praised his defensive teammates when asked about them,
“They played well enough to beat any team in the country, and we need to be there to help them.”
The Texas running game struggled again today, totaling 42 yards on 33 carries. With Connor Williams out indefinitely, and Patrick Vahe seeing limited playing time today due to a stomach bug, the offensive line had a difficult time providing run protection. Bluntly put, the Longhorns are seven games into the season and it appears Tom Herman and his staff do not have a solution for getting things going in the backfield.
“So the run game is not good right now. And we need to get the right people in there and rep the right plays and continue to get our guys better…. we’ve got a lot of work to do in the run game, and we’ve got to figure out what we can do before we figure out what we should do.” – Texas Head Coach Tom Herman
Chris Warren’s summation of the Texas offense hit the nail on the head.
“I think we’re too one-dimensional and we’re too predictable.”
When asked why they’re too predictable, Porter had this to say.
“Because we don’t have a running game.”
The Longhorns (3-4, 2-2) will head to Waco next weekend to face the Baylor Bears (0-6, 0-3).
- With the win today, Oklahoma State becomes the only team in the country to defeat the Longhorns five straight times in Austin.
- Oklahoma State became bowl eligible by beating Texas.
- The Longhorns participated in their 3rd OT game of the season and have fared 1-2 in those contests.
- Today’s game snapped a 35-game streak in which Oklahoma State has scored 20 points or more.
- Three Longhorn defensive players had career highs in tackles today (Gary Johnson 8, Kris Boyd 13, Malik Jefferson 14).
- John Burt’s 90-yd reception in the second quarter was the longest non-touchdown reception in school history.
- Sam Ehlinger made his fifth start of the season for the Longhorns and completed 22 passes for 241 yards. Ehlinger has now totaled 1,419 passing yards on the season.
- Chris Warren lead the team in rushing with 33 yards on 12 carries.