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Game Preview: Longhorns do-or-die against Oklahoma State Cowboys
(Texas Longhorns/Instagram)

The up-and-down Longhorn season will face a tough test Saturday, as Texas will travel to Stillwater to face arguably the best team in the conference—undefeated #6 Oklahoma State.


This season has been one of the most turbulent college football seasons ever for the Texas Longhorns. Between COVID-19 precautions, "The Eyes of Texas" controversy, and the lack of consistency and discipline on the field, Longhorn fans didn't think this season could get much worse. With Head Coach Tom Herman on the "uncomfortably warm" seat, the news of #1 quarterback and recruit in the 2022 class Quinn Ewers de-committing from Texas late Wednesday night makes Saturday's game all that more important for Herman and his staff.

The Texas offense has been running efficiently under Herman and Offensive Coordinator Mike Yurcich. Senior Quarterback Sam Ehlinger has thrown for 17 touchdowns and rushed for seven more. Ehlinger is second in the conference in passing yards and the Longhorns offense is second in yards per game trailing only 3-2 Oklahoma Sooners. Texas averages the most points per game in the conference, but all those pretty offensive stats don't tell the whole story with the Longhorns.

The 3-2 Longhorns have looked like one of the most inconsistent teams not only in the Big 12, but college football. The defense is bottom third in the conference allowing 32 points per game and being a middle of the road defense against the rush and the passing attacks of opposing teams. That's why fans have pinpointed this weekend's game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys as the do-or-die game for Herman and his Longhorns.

For Texas, they face an Oklahoma State defense that is statically the best in the conference. They have been able to hold opponents under 12 points per game on average and have shot up the AP Polls to #6 in the country after their win over Iowa State last weekend.

The defense, lead by senior linebacker Malcom Rodriguez and junior cornerback Kolby Harvell- Peel have a balanced defensive scheme, one that Head Coach Mike Gundy has built up over the past few seasons. It also helps that the Cowboys have one of the more experienced defensive units in the conference—experience that breeds confidence.

On the offensive side of the ball, Oklahoma State is one of the rare Big 12 teams that has done more running the ball than throwing it. Junior running back Chubba Hubbard is one of the more difficult backs to bring down in the conference because of his size and ability to allude tacklers. Sophomore quarterback Spencer Sander is more of a game manager than a big arm quarterback like the Longhorns defense has struggled with earlier in the season, so if the Texas defensive line can stop the run game they will have a good chance of keeping this one close.

Oklahoma State has won seven of the last ten meetings against the Longhorns and have a roster full of talented players, most of who are from Texas and were never even recruited by Herman or the 'Horns. This is a game of an undefeated Cowboys vs. a Longhorns roster that is playing for a chance at the Big 12 championship, or at least for their head coaches job.

The Longhorns will play at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on FOX.

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