Oklahoma St.-Texas Preview
Next in line for Texas’ miserable season: fast-rising No. 12
The Cowboys (8-1, 4-1 Big 12) roll into Austin with an express
train of an offense and serious payback on their minds after a
12-year losing streak to the Longhorns that includes some
A win Saturday night would also tighten their surprising grip on
first place in the Big 12 South.
That’s where most expected the Longhorns (4-5, 2-4) to be. But
losers of five of their last six games, including three in a row at
home, they’re stuck in last place just one season after winning the
Big 12 title.
”Everybody is enjoying us struggling right now,” Texas coach
Mack Brown said. ”We’ve got to turn it around.”
The Longhorns have been so bad – they trailed Kansas State 39-0
last week before scoring two late touchdowns – that Texas won’t
even get to a bowl game unless they win two of their final three
Oklahoma State players say they won’t allow themselves to
consider Texas’ record. The program has been burned too many times
in a series that Texas dominates 22-2.
In 2004, Oklahoma State led 35-7 in the first half and lost
56-35. In 2005, the Cowboys were up 28-9 before losing 47-28. In
2007, Oklahoma State led 35-14 before losing 38-35.
And in 2008, Oklahoma State’s best team in years came into
Austin ranked No. 6 and lost to No. 1 Texas 28-24. The Cowboys are
just 1-14 in Austin and that lone win came back in 1944.
That kind of history won’t let this group of Cowboys assume
they’ll beat a Texas team that seems to be getting worse every
”There’s not been a game that I’ve played Texas that they have
not come out and played hard-nosed, smashmouth football,” Oklahoma
State senior defensive tackle Shane Jarka. ”There’s no overlooking
Texas at all.”
Texas is a home underdog for the first time since Oct. 23, 1999,
against No. 3 Nebraska, according to oddsmaker RJ Bell at
Pregame.com. The Cowboys might want to note Texas won that game,
and the Longhorns haven’t lost four in a row at home in a single
season since 1956.
Of course, Texas hasn’t won this season since they upset the
Cornhuskers 20-13 back on Oct. 16. That win was supposed to turn
things around, but looks more and more like an aberration in a
season full of home losses to UCLA, Iowa State and Baylor. Last
week, Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert tied a dubious school
record by throwing give interceptions.
Oklahoma State’s rise to the top of the division has been nearly
as big a surprise.
The Cowboys were picked to finish near the bottom of the league
but new offensive coordinator Dana Holgorson’s group is scoring in
bunches behind 27-year-old quarterback Brandon Weeden, senior
running back Kendall Hunter and sophomore wide receiver Justin
Blackmon, who has 1,285 yards and 15 touchdowns this season.
Oklahoma State is averaging 46 points and 550 yards per game.
Both marks are best in the Big 12.
The Cowboys have never won the Big 12 South and they are the
only team in the division with one loss.
”We believe in what we’re capable of,” said Cowboys senior
safety Markelle Martin, one of more than 50 Oklahoma State players
from Texas. ”I felt like if I ever had the chance to beat Texas,
that would be one of the greatest feelings to ever have.”