Texas Wins If:
Oklahoma State has been gashed defensively this year. The team is coming off of a performance where they were dismantled by Baylor senior quarterback Seth Russell, who threw for 387 yards and four touchdowns. In the Cowboys other loss against Central Michigan, they also surrendered similar numbers to the opposing quarterback, giving up 368 passing yards and four touchdowns. Thus, the formula seems clear for the Longhorns to pull out a win in Stillwater: take advantage of the Cowboy’s porous passing defense.
Texas certainly has the talent to do this. Freshman quarterback Shane Buechele has been impressive this season, highlighted by his shredding of the Notre Dame secondary in week one. A similar performance would go a long way in defeating the Cowboys. Buechele is coming off of his worst outing of the season, in which he threw for less than 200 yards and completed only 57.6 percent of his passes.
Texas will also need more production from their receiving corps if they want to be successful. In the loss to California, sophomore receiver Jerrod Heard failed to back up his two touchdown performance against UTEP, catching only two balls for ten yards. The team’s leading receiver—sophomore John Burt—also struggled, as he was held to only 36 receiving yards.
The Oklahoma State defense should provide plenty of opportunities for Buechele and his receivers to get back on the right track. If the passing game is able to capitalize, then the Longhorns will be leaving Stillwater with their third win of the season.
Texas Loses If:
The Longhorns suffered their first loss of the season to California because they were unable to stop the Golden Bears’ vaunted passing attack. This weekend in Stillwater, Texas will be facing another passing oriented team. Through four games, Oklahoma State ranks 10th in the country in passing yards per game.
If the Longhorns do not show improvements this week in the secondary and are unable to slow down the Cowboys’ passing game, then they will suffer their second loss of the season.
The Cowboys junior quarterback Mason Rudolph hasn’t put numbers as profound as California’s Davis Webb, but he has nonetheless been impressive through four weeks of football. He’s completing more than 60 percent of his passes, and has thrown six touchdowns to only two interceptions.
Two weeks ago against Pittsburgh, he put forth a dominating performance, amassing 540 yards through the air.
The Longhorns were gashed by Webb and Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer. They have shown an inability to stop the big play through the air. Kizer threw for five touchdowns against the Longhorn’s defense, and Webb threw for four.
Texas cannot expect to come out victorious against Oklahoma State if they allow Rudolph to have the same kind of success.