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Big 12 Battle: Oklahoma State Cowboys at Texas Longhorns

Oct 31, 2020; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Texas Longhorns linebacker Joseph Ossai (46) tackles Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback Spencer Sanders (3) to end the game in overtime at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

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The most intriguing game on the college football board may indeed be this Big 12 battle between Oklahoma State and Texas. The Cowboys are ranked 12th in the country and have quietly put together a perfect 5-0 record to start the season. The Horns come into this game at 4-2 after surrendering a big lead to archrival Oklahoma in last week’s Red River Showdown.

Oddsmakers are expecting Texas to bounce back with a win here at home, as the Longhorns are currently favored by 5.5 points. The points total is currently sitting at 60 so it should be a fairly high-scoring affair. Here’s a closer look at each team and a Best Bet on this matchup.

Oklahoma State Offense vs. Texas Defense

Spencer Sanders has some nice traits as a QB, but he’s got to quit throwing interceptions. The 6-1 210 pound junior has thrown 5 TDs but has also thrown 4 INTs through the first five games of the year. Running back Jaylen Warren leads the Pokes in rushing with 512 yards and 6 TDs. Overall, this Oklahoma State offense struggles to move the ball with much consistency, as they rank 91st in the nation in yards per play (5.0) (teamrankings.com).

Texas’s defense has been a major disappointment so far, as they’ve allowed 29.2 points per game. The Horns are awful against the run, as they allow 5.4 yards per rush. Expect Mike Gundy to try and exploit that weakness on Saturday afternoon.

Texas Offense vs. Oklahoma State Defense

As terrible as Texas’s defense is, their offense has been one of the best in the nation. Junior QB Casey Thompson has shined so far in 2021 by throwing 14 TDs and only 3 INTs. The Horns are averaging over 44 points per game (4th) and 7 yards per play (8th). Tailback Bijan Robinson has run for 789 yards and 8 TDs already this season.

Oklahoma State’s defense has been a nice surprise for this team in 2021. This unit is one of the best in the country against the run, as they’re allowing only 2.8 yards per rush (9th). Linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez is a tackling machine, as he’s registered 54 tackles in only five games. The Pokes are somewhat mediocre against the pass so that’s one area Coach Sark and the Texas offense will try to exploit.

Our Pick: Oklahoma State +3 (1st Half)

We expect the Longhorns to come out pretty flat for this game after the heartbreaking loss to Oklahoma last week (a game that they should have won). That type of loss in a mega-rivalry game is not easy to get over quickly. We think Texas may be in a bit of a fog in the first half so we like Oklahoma State to cover the +3.

Look for Gundy to try and establish the running game in the early portion of the half. If they’re able to do so, the Cowboys may even have a shot at the outright upset. 

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