Texas is coming off of a confident win at Ole Miss, and a practice-packed bye week to kick off conference play at Oklahoma State this weekend. Iâ€™ve got to be honest and say that this is one of the biggest games Iâ€™m looking forward to this season. Itâ€™s going to be just as entertaining as its been in past weeks to see the Horns working with the new lineup on the field, but I also want to see what OSU has put together without the big names of Justin Blackmon and Brandon Weeden that fans have grown accustomed to.
Starting with the Horns, big news was announced Friday, that the starting lineup will be without linebacker Jordan Hicks (hip injury at Ole Miss), and more surprisingly defensive tackle Brandon Moore (virus). Moore didnâ€™t travel with the team to Stillwater, OK. Anthony Fera has yet to make his debut as Texasâ€™ starting kicker this season, and that wonâ€™t change this week. Instead the Horns are going with freshman Nick Jordan. Jordan has made less that 45% of his kicks this season. Kickers can ultimately decide a game (just ask Justin Tucker and Hunter Lawrence), so Iâ€™m not all in on Jordon just yet.
The Horns are 22-4 all-time vs. Oklahoma State. The last two wins the Pokes had over Texas were somewhat historical since they represented the first back-to-back OSU victories. Weâ€™re looking to change that “winning streak” today.
David Ash is the most improved player on the field since last yearâ€™s meeting in Austin, TX. Ashâ€™s ability to read coverage, and make quick decisions is going to be a benefit for the offense. The offensive line has been able to provide time for Ash to complete his passes. However, when he runs out of time, Ash makes time with his mobility and speed. Heâ€™s is completing 76% of his passes and has no interceptions on the season. This confidence is going to take him into this match strong.
If anyone should be worried about its QB, itâ€™s Oklahoma State. The Cowboys are back-and-forth between J.W. Walsh and Wes Lunt. Texas tried that last season, and we all saw how that worked out for us. When you donâ€™t have an official leader on the field that can take control of the pace, and take advantage defensive weaknesses, chances of coming up on top are dwindled.
Keys for the game this week:
For Texas, the next four games are essential to overcoming last seasonâ€™s disappointing standing in the Big 12.Â WVU, OU, and Baylor wait in the wings, but it all kicks off with the Pokes in Stillwater, OK.