Texas heads north of the Red River to take on Mike Gundy, his mullet, and the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The IT staff looks at how Texas can continue its winning streak and march toward the Big 12 Championship game….
1. What does Texas do to continue its winning ways with a night game in Stillwater?
Justin Wells – Play sound, assignment defense. Force OSU to the air by not letting Justise Hill get cranked up; he’s their best offensive player. Don’t let Gundy and these guys hang around too long. Okie State has little to lose. That’s a scary subject in college football.
Eric Nahlin – Play four quarters, or maybe even three decent ones. K-State just blew Ok. St. out at home and while the transitive property will have Akron beating Bama at some point, Texas can replicate the same issues K-State did and then exasperate them. Just show up and execute the Baylor game plan but more consistently.
Ian Boyd – Texas needs to avoid losing focus when OSU takes their deep shots, when Taylor Cornelius executes their option run game, and when DC Jim Knowles gets exotic in the pass-rush. The ‘Pokes really don’t have the horses to match up if Texas comes in well aware and well prepared to handle their tactics.
Joe Cook – Force Gundy to change quarterbacks. Ian wrote about how Taylor Cornelius isn’t really getting it done at a level Cowboy fans expect, and there are two solid options waiting in the wings to get snaps in Dru Brown and Spencer Sanders. If the Texas defense plays well enough (and the offense scores enough points because of those stops), then that’s a good sign for Texas. They should be ready to face a signal-caller with a different skill set.
Scipio Tex – Put in some blitz beaters running tempo on offense attacking OSU’s freshman safeties. If we’re not willing to take shots on OSU’s aggression, the game can turn into an unneeded grind. Defensively, get into Cornelius’ head with pressure and combo coverages and don’t stake OSU to a two TD lead in the 1st quarter while Boyd and Davis sit. If the DL can disrupt early, Justice Hill can be removed from the game.
2. One player on offense and defense that needs to bring it on Saturday night:
Justin Wells – On Offense: Collin Johnson needs to go CB hunting. On Defense: Gary Johnson needs to go RB hunting.
Eric Nahlin – The offensive tackles versus Braliford, and also Buj. Get the punt off, mate. Charles O. on defense. His ability to play the run and get after the quarterback will come in handy versus a still dangerous Gundy offense.
Ian Boyd – On offense Texas needs Keaontay Ingram to make questions about Sam Ehlinger’s health academic. The Cowboys are vulnerable up the middle for a big day from the Texas back. Defensively a big game from Caden Sterns tending the back end and zeroing in on Cornelius’ deep shots could effectively doom OSU.
Joe Cook – Charles Omenihu. Cornelius struggles against pass rush. Texas has a solid rusher in Omenihu. Nothing that difficult here. On offense, it’s Calvin Anderson and Sam Cosmi. Oklahoma State can get after the quarterback, and with Texas’ QB returning from injury, they should add emphasis to keeping the quarterback’s jersey clean.
Scipio Tex – Offense: Calvin Anderson. Neutralize Jordan Brailford and OSU’s pass rush becomes dependent on blitzes backed by corners on islands and freshman safeties. Defense: Anthony Wheeler has to show up in the box score. OSU will effectively leave him unblocked, double our DL and see if he can block himself with bad reads.
3. Score prediction
Justin Wells – 37-27, Texas.
Eric Nahlin – 34-27, Texas. It shouldn’t be that close, but it could also be a loss.
Ian Boyd – Texas 34-17
Joe Cook – Texas 31-21
Scipio Tex – Texas 31-23
4. Game of the week
Justin Wells – Florida-Georgia is usually fun. The Gators are improved, and the Bulldogs are still pretty great.
Eric Nahlin – I fully want the Big 12 turned to Mt. St. Helens ash, but damned if I’m not really interested in the Tech/Iowa St game. Provide The Template, Matt Campbell and Jon Heacock.
Ian Boyd – The world’s largest outdoor cocktail party should be interesting. Florida has been good this year and Georgia has been vulnerable.
Joe Cook – Cocktail party, but Iowa at Penn State is a good pick as well.
Scipio Tex – Florida-Georgia has a fun atmosphere.
5. Upset pick of the week
Justin Wells – Tech over Iowa State (-4).
Eric Nahlin – Texas Aggie over Mississippi Aggie.
Ian Boyd – I don’t think Clemson is beating Florida State by 17 points.
Joe Cook – Syracuse over NC State.
Scipio Tex – Nothing leaps out to me this week. But I’ll go Kentucky (and their miserable offense) +7 at South Carolina.