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Oklahoma State vs. Texas Football Prediction and Preview

Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Texas Longhorns Football Prediction and Preview

Longhorns try to bounce back versus another squad from the state to the north

While the Texas Longhorns were suffering a staggering collapse last week against the Oklahoma Sooners, the Oklahoma State Cowboys were enjoying the week off. Will that matter when the teams square off in Austin on Saturday?

The stakes are high for both teams. The Pokes (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) enter the game undefeated and hoping to earn their first-ever berth in the Big 12 Championship Game. For Texas (4-2, 2-1), the matchup offers a necessary step back towards a possible rematch with OU in December.

Here’s what to watch in a must-win situation for both teams.

No. 12 Oklahoma State at No. 25 Texas

Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 16 at 12 p.m. ET
Spread: Texas -5

When Oklahoma State Has the Ball

Long known for a prolific aerial attack, OSU has evolved into a ground-and-pound team. The Cowboys are running the ball on more than 63 percent of their plays this year. Head coach Mike Gundy’s confidence in the run game has been bolstered by the emergence of running back Jaylen Warren, who is averaging about 4.5 yards per carry.

Texas would probably prefer to put the game in the hands of OSU quarterback Spencer Sanders. Now in his third year as a starter, Sanders continues to turn the ball over at an alarming rate. Meanwhile, you won’t find a Tylan Wallace or Justin Blackmon at receiver on the 2021 OSU squad.

UT attacked Oklahoma’s running game last week more aggressively than most observers expected. Look for a similar defensive game plan from the Horns this week.

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When Texas Has the Ball

Texas’ productive running game isn’t a secret nationally. But quarterback Casey Thompson and wide receiver Xavier Worthy showed everyone against Oklahoma just how dangerous the Longhorns' passing game can be.

Thompson threw for 388 yards versus the Sooners, and Worthy hauled in nine catches for 261 yards and a pair of scores. Matching that pairing with a ball carrier Bijan Robinson gives the Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian a well-rounded offense at his disposal.

This week, they will find an equally well-rounded defensive unit across the way. The Cowboys rank in the top 10 nationally in run defense, surrendering 2.8 yards per carry. They’re also in the top 25 in pass defense with a passer rating of 112.5.

Final Analysis

The soft factors at play in this game point to an Oklahoma State upset, don’t they? The Cowboys are better rested, while the Longhorns’ collective state of mind can’t be too strong after they just blew a 21-point lead to their biggest rivals. The visitors also have revenge on their minds following UT’s improbable win in Stillwater in 2020.

For OSU to win, Sanders has to take advantage of the opportunities presented through the air when the Horns dedicate extra players to stopping the Cowboys on the ground. If he can connect with one of his wideouts a time or two on Saturday, it will open up some extra space for Warren and others to run. That’s not asking too much of a veteran QB.

The oddsmakers have good reason to like UT in this spot, but the hangover effect after a big game is no joke. If Sarkisian can get his Texas team up for this game, he’ll have passed an important coaching test.

Prediction: Oklahoma State 31, Texas 28

Podcast: Week 7 Preview & Predictions + Picks Against the Spread

— Written by Allen Kenney, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Kenney is the founder and editor of and host of the Blatant Homerism Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @BlatantHomerism.