1. Nothing like it - Oklahoma State has played Savannah State, Arizona and ULL. Outside of perhaps Arizona LB Jake Fischer, not one player from either of those 3 teams would make the two deep on Texas' defense…in particular at defensive end. OSU's biggest worry is slowing down Texas two stud DE -- Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat -- out on the edge. No matter who plays QB for the Cowboys, he better "feel" the rush that'll get on him quickly and get rid of the football on time. He's seen nothing like this, that's for sure.
2. Playing passing lanes - even with such a tremendous pass rush, Texas' pass rushers may not get into the backfield all that often because of the quick strike nature of the OSU offense. The Cowboys want to throw on rhythm, throw quick and throw hot. Most importantly, it wants to throw NOW. So, Texas drop defenders have to know where the passing "opportunities" are and jump into those passing lanes immediately.
3. Two hammers, one ball - Texas has two stud running backs in Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron. Brown is more of a perimeter threat, while Bergeron loves to dish it out inside. Oklahoma State's run defense is 31st in the nation, yielding 116 yards per game, but not one team it's faced has a pair like this. I don't think Oklahoma State can handle 30 to 35 carries per game of these two.
1. Gilbert and the Bulldog - The Oklahoma State cornerbacks are an interesting duo. Justin Gilbert can fly and is a quintessential cover corner. Brodrick Brown is the exact opposite, more of a zone corner, physical and willing to hit, tough as a $2 steak. With those two on the perimeter, Texas won't get a soft corner much in this game and it's imperative that these two make life miserable for Texas QB David Ash, whether in man or zone, and the Texas WR.
2. Diamond Cutters - Oklahoma State's offensive coordinator Jeff Monken has utilized his diamond formation in different forms to run the football right down the throats of opposing defenses. Texas is a different animal altogether, but the diamond, whether used with QB under center or in the pistol, allows Oklahoma State to establish the power game to complement its quick passing game.
3. Candy time - Oklahoma State DC Bill Young has made a habit out of rewarding his charges with candy after creating turnovers. Last year, he was darn near the Easter Bunny as he had to hand it out to the team that was #1 in the nation in turnover margin. This year, not so much. The Cowboys are tied for 105th in the nation with a minus 1.33 margin. Oklahoma State's young quarterbacks need the football back and desperately need additional possessions against the stout Texas defense. That's on Young's 'D'.
I'm not sure any of us really know what we've got with these two squads. In Oklahoma State's loss to Arizona, the Cowboys turned the ball over as much as it put it in the end zone…or so it seemed. Texas hammered three patsies, prior to a bye week to prepare for the Cowboys. I'm not sure I'm ready to buy David Ash completely as more than a game manager, but I know that I don't trust either Wes Lunt or J.W. Walsh to competently and consistently move the football against the Texas defense for a full 60 minutes. At the outset of the season, I went with Texas to win the Big 12, so I'll ride dirty with the Horns in Stillwater.
Texas - 38 vs. Oklahoma State - 27