Texas Longhorns kickoff: What to know about Oklahoma State football

Horns Report

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Longhorns are in a precarious spot, heading into a pivotal home game against No. 12 Oklahoma State Saturday.

Texas spent a lot of physical and emotional energy only to come up short at the Red River Showdown against No. 4 Oklahoma. This week, the Longhorns host another undefeated team from Oklahoma motivated to derail Texas’ season.

No. 12 Oklahoma State is 5-0 and coming to Austin fresh off a bye week. The 2021 version of Oklahoma State is led by its defense rather than the normal, high-flying offense that we’ve come to expect from head coach Mike Gundy.

Ten of Oklahoma State’s 11 defensive starters are upperclassmen. The Cowboys defense ranks second in the Big 12 in yards allowed and third in points allowed per game.

The Oklahoma State offense is focused on the ground attack with Jaylen Warren’s 512 rushing yards through five games. Turnovers have been an issue for the Pokes. Oklahoma State has lost the ball seven times — five interceptions and two fumbles.

Key players to know for Oklahoma State

Texas’ top offense against Oklahoma State’s top defense will be the main matchup to watch Saturday at 11 a.m. Nationally, the Longhorns have a top 10 offense while Oklahoma State’s defense is also in the top 10, according to ESPN’s SP+ ratings by Bill Connelly.

Tyler Lacy and Malcolm Rodriguez are the Pokes players to watch along the front seven. Rodriguez leads the team in tackles, averaging over 10 a game. Lacy is turning into a NFL prospect during his junior season at Oklahoma State. The pass rusher has 1.5 sacks this season and a forced fumble.

In the back end, senior Kolby Harvell-Peel is a do-it-all defensive back with 27 tackles and two interceptions.

While Warren is the engine for the Cowboys’ offense, quarterback Spencer Sanders is the key to Oklahoma State pulling off the upset Saturday. Sanders hasn’t been at his sharpest this season, but his receiving corps is finally healthy at the midway point of the season.

This year, Sanders is completing less than 60% of his passes while throwing five touchdowns and four interceptions in four games. Sanders started using his legs in OSU’s win over Baylor, rushing for 76 yards.

Oklahoma State’s 2021 results

  • vs. Missouri State | Win 23-16
  • vs. Tulsa | Win 28-23
  • at Boise State | Win 21-20 
  • vs. Kansas State | Win 31-20
  • vs. Baylor | Win 24-14

Texas-Oklahoma State series history

Texas has a fairly big advantage in the overall series win-loss record at 26-9, but Oklahoma State has won seven of the last 11 meetings. The Longhorns have won two straight in the series after losing four straight from 2015 to 2018.

Texas won 12 straight games against Oklahoma State from 1998 to 2009.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Sports Headlines

More Sports

Top Stories

More Top Stories

Tracking the Coronavirus

Coronavirus Cases Tracker

Latest Central Texas COVID-19 Cases

Trending Stories

Don't Miss