The Longhorns open up conference play tomorrow against the undefeated Oklahoma State Cowboys, and are looking for a repeat of last year with a trip to the Big XII Conference Championship. The Pokes present a big challenge for Texas, as the Longhorns have not beaten the Cowboys since 2014. Furthermore, the Texas has not beaten the Pokes at home since 2008. The Texas defense will have its hands full trying to stop Oklahoma State’s high-powered offense featuring Spencer Sanders, Tylan Wallace, and Chuba Hubbard. This has the potential to be a shootout, but Texas is confident in its offense to get the job done. Here’s how our staff sees Saturday’s matchup shaking out:
Oklahoma State has owned the Longhorns over the last decade, winning seven of the last nine including five straight at DKR. The Pokes have a potent offense led by redshirt freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders and the nation’s leading rusher in Chuba Hubbard, and have the ability to give defenses fits. In a loud environment at DKR, Spencer will be pressured and will have to protect the ball.
Texas has an experienced Sam Ehlinger who will prove to be the difference maker in this game, but an inefficient secondary will be tested again. The Longhorns win the turnover battle which is the key to victory in this Big 12 opener for both teams.
Expect a shootout in Austin, with Texas taking care of business to end the drought against Mike a Gundy and the Cowboys.
Prediction: Texas 45, Oklahoma State 41
This is going to be a fun matchup. Mike Gundy is one of the most underrated coaches in the country, and he again has Oklahoma State playing at a high level despite breaking in a redshirt freshman at quarterback. Chuba Hubbard and Tylan Wallace are legit, but the Oklahoma State defense is suspect at best. I like Sam Ehlinger and the Longhorns in a shootout.
Prediction: Texas 42, Oklahoma State 35
It’s not every year that we get a game this scary this early in the season, but here we are. The Pokes bring one of the more electrifying offenses in the country into Austin on Saturday night, as they seek their first 4-0 start since 2015. On the other side, Texas will bring in an explosive offense of their own with a few key pieces returning from injury with Collin Johnson and Daniel Young expected to play. For the Longhorns to pull this off the up-and-down secondary will have to have a great night against Wallace, who is already up to 390 yards and 6 touchdowns on the season. On the offensive side, the Longhorns almost have to score 45+ to secure a shot at a win. A loss in this game would be devastating to the 2019 season and the long-term growth for the program, but I think the Horns pull it off in dramatic fashion late in the ballgame. Expect Keaontay Ingram to have a big night alongside Sam Ehlinger, who will improve his Heisman resumé once more on Saturday night.
Prediction: Texas 52, Oklahoma State 48
Oklahoma State is the type of team the Longhorns have to take care of in the Big 12 this year. Grabbing the early lead here will be important for Texas since they aren’t very accustomed to playing from behind and coming out unscathed. If Sam Ehlinger comes out of the gates hot, Texas can get the quick jump on the Cowboys and control the pace the entire way. Ehlinger is the key to Texas winning. Facing a redshirt freshman QB, Spencer Sanders, will help the Longhorns in the end. Sanders tosses two key picks and Ehlinger and the Texas secondary guide this team to a huge win to open conference play.
Prediction: Texas 31, Oklahoma State 30
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