Texas’ win over Oklahoma State was frankly bizarre. When you’re outgained 530 yards to 287 and go 2/15 on third down typically you don’t feel great about your chances of victory. But Texas did win, thanks to four Oklahoma State turnovers, a Longhorn special teams touchdown, and a lot of veteran decision-making and playmaking by Sam Ehlinger.
Texas’ trip to Stillwater this weekend is going to be its toughest game of the season. There are a number of difficult games and opponents on the schedule, neither K-State nor Iowa State are a cakewalk for the Longhorns and the Sooners never have less talent as anyone, but Oklahoma State might be the best team in the league. Texas was unfortunate enough to draw them in Stillwater on Halloween night.
Vegas’ opening line for the upcoming Baylor game was Texas -10.5. It has since moved to Texas -8.5, perhaps due to a complete collapse of faith in betting Longhorn fans that their head coach has any real control over the direction of the program. When the athletic director is meeting with the players and giving them clear expectations for what’s expected of them after games and it contrasts with public statements made by the head coach days prior, that’s a sign the head coach is essentially a lame duck.
There are a lot of questions and conversations about what is ahead for the Texas Longhorns. The season is in a very bad place after losses to TCU and Oklahoma, a near loss against cellar-dwelling Texas Tech, and looming road trips to Stillwater and Manhattan to play the teams at the top of the standings. Obviously if not for Sam Ehlinger’s heroics when allowed to play with spread spacing and tempo, Texas would have lost to Tech by some margin and been blown out by Oklahoma.
The 2020 season is clearly pretty unique with its own place in history due to COVID and the abnormal scheduling. The Red River Shootout should also be bizarre and interesting due to the limited seating and of course the precarious state of affairs for both teams going into the game.
This week's Notebook begins in East Texas with a speedy tailback, heads south to North Houston to see another dynamic ball-carrier, returns to DFW for a defensive tackle in Lakeview and a safety from Garland. How they fit, strengths/weaknesses, and how they affect their class on the Forty Acres. It's the Recruiting Notebook.