The Oklahoma State Cowboys will be bidding to remain undefeated when they visit the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K. Royal Stadium on Saturday night. No. 12 Texas is looking for their first home win over the Cowboys since 2008. Last season, the Cowboys defeated the Longhorns, 38-35 from Stillwater.
“We don’t care about previous records,” said Texas head coach Tom Herman. “We don’t care about what opponents have to say leading up to the game — I mean, all of those things are totally and completely irrelevant. What last year’s score was or what the streak is, none of that matters when the ball gets kicked off at 6:30 (p.m., ABC), so we don’t waste any time on it.”
Offense on a roll
Oklahoma State is coming off season-opening victories over Oregon State, McNeese State, and Tulsa. The Cowboys also started 3-0 last year–including a defeat of Boise State–only to drop their Big 12 opener to visiting Texas Tech. They averaged 49.3 points while mostly cruising through its non-conference schedule, although they fell behind Tulsa 21-20 at halftime last week before scoring 20 unanswered points to put away the Golden Hurricane for a road win.
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Sophomore running back Chuba Hubbard, who leads the country with 521 yards rushing, amassed more than 100 yards on the ground just over three and a half minutes into the game last week, eventually finishing with a career-high 256 yards and three scores en route to winning Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors. The Cowboys also boast the conference’s top receiver in Tylan Wallace, who leads the Big 12 in receiving yardage (390), yards per catch (26), and receiving TDs (six). Their contributions have made life easy for quarterback Spencer Sanders, who has thrown for seven touchdowns compared to only one interception and ranks third among FBS freshmen with a pass efficiency rating of 181.8.
“It helps that we’ve got guys who can support Spencer Sanders,” head coach Mike Gundy said. “He just needs to stay in his world, play his game and distribute the ball based on what our coaches think is best.”
This is a tough conference opener for both teams, and Texas will be especially eager to avoid a second setback in 2019. The Longhorns beat Louisiana Tech, lost a 45-38 shootout against LSU, and then took care of Rice. They will now try to avenge last season’s 38-35 road loss to Oklahoma State.
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Head coach Tom Herman has led Texas to 19 victories–including a 12-6 mark in Big 12 action–and two bowl victories in a little over two years, but one opponent has had his number during his time with the school. The Longhorns are attempting to beat the Cowboys at home in Austin for the first time since 2008 in this Big 12 opener for both squads. Herman’s teams have defeated eight of the nine teams in the Big 12 since he took over for Charlie Strong following the 2016 campaign, but the Cowboys have squeaked out a pair of three-point victories over the last two seasons. However, Texas’ struggles in this rivalry extend much further than that; the Horns have dropped four straight meetings and seven of the last nine–a stretch that includes the bulk of their five-game home losing streak to Oklahoma State. Herman anticipates another tough one on Saturday.
“Scariest environment imaginable,” he said of facing OSU’s offense. “They’ve got the nation’s leading rusher. They’re got a quarterback that can not only throw it to the receiver, but can run. You can’t sell your soul to stop one because they’re so proficient.”
The Oklahoma State Cowboys are:
- 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games after passing for less than 170 yards in their previous game
The Texas Longhorns are:
- 3-1-1 ATS in their last five home games against teams with winning road records
- 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games after passing for more than 280 yards in their previous game
- 5-2 ATS in their last seven games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game