NCAA Football: Texas at Oklahoma State

No. 20 Oklahoma State locked up the No. 2 seed in the Big 12 Championship Game by outlasting BYU in a 40-34 double-overtime victory Saturday. The Cowboys will play No. 1-seed Texas at 12 p.m. ET on Dec. 2 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. 

Both Oklahoma State and Oklahoma remained alive for the Big 12 title game heading into Saturday, but the Cowboys clinched with a win by virtue of a head-to-head tiebreaker. The Cowboys went down 24-6 at the half, but managed to storm back and take the lead in the fourth quarter before the game eventually went to overtime. Oklahoma State forced a fumble the bottom of the second overtime to win the game and eliminate BYU from bowl eligibility. 

The Longhorns have not appeared in the conference title game since 2018, when they lost against Oklahoma. Oklahoma State last qualified for the contest in 2021, losing to Baylor. The Longhorns are seeking their first league title since 2009, while the Cowboys are trying take home the conference crown for the first time since 2011. 

Texas is expected to open as a heavy favorite after running through the Big 12. The Longhorns' only conference loss came at the last second to rival Oklahoma in the Red River Showdown.  Here's what you need to know about the 2023 Big 12 Championship Game. 

Series History

Texas holds a dominant 26-11 advantage all time, but fortunes have flipped since Colt McCoy graduated. Ever since, Oklahoma State holds a 9-4 advantage, including wins in six of the last eight games. In the most recent matchup, Oklahoma State beat Texas 41-34 in Stillwater, Oklahoma, in 2022. Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers threw three interceptions in the loss. 

Keys to the Game

This game will be decided in the trenches. Oklahoma State has relied heavily on star running back Ollie Gordon II during its run to the Big 12 title game, scoring 19 touchdowns since the start of Big 12 play. Texas boasts perhaps the top interior defensive line combo in college football with T'Vondre Sweat and Byron Murphy II, holding opponents to just 85 yards per game, good enough for No. 3 in the nation. 

Texas has undergone transition at the running back position as well after starter Jonathon Brooks tore his ACL. Backups CJ Baxter and Jaydon Blue have each posted 100-yard games since Brooks' injury. 

Stakes for Texas

The Longhorns have gone nearly 15 years since winning a Big 12 championship, a long stretch for one of the most storied programs in college football. Texas never won during the round-robin era and only reached the title game once. Additionally, Texas is the conference's only team still alive for a trip to the College Football Playoff. The Longhorns sit at 11-1 and No. 7 in the CFP Rankings with a head-to-head win over No. 8 Alabama. Leaving the Big 12 with a fourth conference championship would put Texas in a strong position heading into the SEC next year under Steve Sarkisian. 

Stakes for Oklahoma State

Mike Gundy's team came within six inches of a conference championship in 2021, but ultimately fell just short against Baylor. Across the Big Eight and Big 12 conferences, Oklahoma State has just two total conference titles. The previous seven conference crowns came in the Missouri Valley Conference. Winning the Big 12 would put Oklahoma State in a great position to become the conference's top program as it enters a new era in 2024.