Week 12 Big 12: Texas at Oklahoma State

    Texas (5-5) at Oklahoma State (5-4) Nov. 15, 7:30, FOX Here’s The Deal: After all of the problems and all of the issues, Texas has won two straight and

    November 14, 2014

    Texas (5-5) at Oklahoma State (5-4) Nov. 15, 7:30, FOX 

    Here’s The Deal: After all of the problems and all of the issues, Texas has won two straight and three of the last four, coming up with an impressive performance against West Virginia to get within bowl eligibility range. While it’s an overstatement to call Texas a hot team, it’s starting to play better – yes, it helps to have Iowa State and Texas Tech on the schedule – and it’s showing promise. With two weeks off to prepare for the Thanksgiving game against TCU, there’s a huge national spotlight moment on the horizon, but it would be really, really nice to take all of the bowl eligibility pressure off with a win over a floundering Oklahoma State. 

    The Cowboys were on a solid five-game winning streak, and then a funny thing happened – they had to play real teams, losing to TCU, West Virginia, and Kansas State. And now there’s a big problem with road games at Baylor and Oklahoma to close up the season, and if it can’t take care of Texas at home, it could be a real problem trying to get a sixth win and a bowl game. The Cowboys have won three of the last four against the Longhorns in the series, and while going to a bowl isn’t that big a deal this year for a program used to fighting for much bigger things, it would be a good win to make it four of the last five to make it a solid stepping-stone to a potentially strong 2015.

    Why Texas Might Win: The Oklahoma State offense has stepped out for a moment. The Texas defense has been a bit erratic, and it’s struggling against the run, but it’s doing a great job over the last two games giving up just 13 points to Texas Tech (no big deal) and 16 to West Virginia (sort of a big deal). Oklahoma State’s offense has been in a steady decline since the schedule has gotten harder, and it’s not scoring with just 33 points over the last three games. How much has the OSU offense stalled? It hasn’t come up with more than 275 yards in three of the last four games. 

    Why Oklahoma State Might Win: For the most part, the Oklahoma State defense has been solid against the run, and if it can slow down what Texas wants to do on the ground, it has a shot to pull this off. Tyrone Swoopes has had his moments, but he completed just 11-of-29 passes against West Virginia last week for 124 yards and a score, and he threw for just 106 yards against Kansas State. OSU has had problems lately with the high-powered, highly accurate passers, but that’s not Swoopes, who’s trying to fight through an ankle injury. The Cowboys will give up 200 yards or so, but they won’t get gouged. 

    Who To Watch Out For: Malcolm Brown has had a quiet season, but he’s starting to get more carries and he’s starting to heat up. The Texas senior had come up with a few nice games, but he’s not coming up with any big carries and he’s not dominating like he should, mostly due to a patchwork offensive line that’s still trying to come together. He finally had his first 100-yard game of the year against Texas Tech a few weeks ago, and he controlled things with 90 yards against West Virginia – his second-highest rushing total of the season. The coaching staff will keep feeding him, and he has to take the pressure off Swoopes and the passing game. 

    What’s Going To Happen: It’s not going to be anything pretty, but Texas will win on solid defense and just enough offense to get by. The running game will be okay, not sensational, but it’ll do enough to overcome the mediocre Cowboy attack. 

    Prediction: Texas 20 … Oklahoma State 17 
    Line: Texas -2.5 o/u: 47.5 
    Must Watch Factor: 5: Foxcatcher – 1: The Comeback … 2.5 


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