Oklahoma St.-Texas Preview

Before last season, Oklahoma State spent many fruitless years

searching for ways to beat Big 12 rival Texas, especially on the

road.

Judging by each team’s most recent game, the sixth-ranked

Cowboys appear to have a good chance to stay unbeaten Saturday by

recording consecutive wins over the No. 22 Longhorns for the first

time in school history.

Oklahoma State has won three times in 25 matchups with Texas

dating back to 1916, claiming just two victories in 16 trips to

Austin. The Cowboys, however, used their high-powered offense to

register a 33-16 win there Nov. 13, their first road victory over

the Longhorns since 1944.

To help his team snap a 12-game skid in the series, Brandon

Weeden threw for 409 yards and a touchdown to Justin Blackmon, who

had nine catches for 145 yards. Oklahoma State also ran for another

three TDs while building a 30-point lead before the fourth

quarter.

The Cowboys compiled 532 yards in that win, including 308 in the

first half.

“When you have played at a high level like we had over the last

few years, having so many close games and not being able to get

over the hump, it made it a good win for our team and the

university,” coach Mike Gundy said.

The Cowboys (5-0, 2-0) enter this matchup first in the nation

with 51.4 points per game and second in yards per game (577.4) and

passing yards per game (431.2). Weeden’s average of 376.0 passing

yards per game is second in the FBS, and he’s thrown 15

touchdowns.

Six of those have gone to Blackmon, and the reigning Big 12

offensive player of the year also has 46 receptions for 534 yards.

Joseph Randle has run for 484 yards and eight TDs while replacing

Kendall Hunter, who scored two touchdowns during last year’s win in

Austin.

Jeremy Smith scored Oklahoma State’s other rushing TD in that

game and has reached the end zone in nine consecutive contests.

Behind that offense, Oklahoma State has won seven straight road

games, the third-longest active streak in the nation and

second-longest in program history behind an 11-game run from

1943-45.

“I really just enjoy going on the road and playing. I think it’s

fun to go into other people’s places and use that negative energy

or the vibes and use it positive in our way,” Weeden said.

The Cowboys, seeking their first-ever consecutive 6-0 starts,

head out on the road after one of the best performances in school

history, a 70-28 rout of Kansas last Saturday. Weeden, who turns 28

on Friday, completed a record 85.7 percent of his passes (24 of 28)

and had five TDs before being pulled just before halftime. Oklahoma

State’s 70 points, 10 touchdowns, 56 first-half points and 35

first-quarter points matched its modern-era records set in 1973

against Southern Illinois.

The Cowboys also forced four turnovers, giving them 14 takeaways

in their last three games.

“Some days, things just work, you know? You hit a golf ball and

it hits a tree limb and bounces back in the fairway,” Gundy

said.

Texas, meanwhile, had virtually the opposite experience last

weekend in a 55-17 loss to Oklahoma in Dallas. The Longhorns had

five turnovers – three returned for touchdowns – during their worst

loss since a 65-13 defeat to the Sooners in 2003.

Until the final three minutes, Texas’ only touchdown was on

Fozzy Whittaker’s school-record-tying 100-yard kickoff return.

“The Oklahoma game is behind us, so now it’s Oklahoma State,”

linebacker Emmanuel Acho said. “We’re not worried about anything

else. We just know we’ve got to go out and get this victory.”

To earn that win, the Longhorns (4-1, 1-1) will once again rely

on quarterbacks David Ash and Case McCoy to lead their offense. The

two combined for four turnovers in the loss to Oklahoma, with Ash

throwing a pair of interceptions and McCoy fumbling twice.

“That game was so extreme from the adversity standpoint,”

offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin said. “Neither one of them gave

up, neither one of them hung their head. I can live with that.”

Oklahoma State will face Texas for the second time as a top-10

team. The Cowboys, No. 7 at the time, fell 28-24 in Austin during

the previous such matchup in 2008 against the No. 1 team in the

nation.