Following last week's devastating loss to No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 25 Texas is on a mission to bounce back in its second straight matchup against a ranked team when it plays host to No. 12 Oklahoma State in an early matchup Saturday. The Longhorns surrendered the biggest lead in the history of the Red River Showdown against the Sooners, blowing a 21-point lead in a 55-48 loss. Texas sits at 4-2 with both losses coming against ranked opponents.
The Cowboys are one of eight remaining undefeated programs left in the Power Five and 13 in the FBS. After struggling in nonconference play and winning three matchups by a combined 13 points, Oklahoma State has found its rhythm in conference play against Kansas State and Baylor – both of which were ranked at the time – and held the Bears to just 280 yards and 3.7 yards per carry.
Texas holds a 26-9 advantage all-time against Oklahoma State and has won two straight games. However, Oklahoma State holds a 7-4 advantage over the past decade with three of the four losses coming by just one score.
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Texas vs. Oklahoma State: Need to know
Big 12 title implications: This matchup could have a pivotal impact in the conference title race. Six Big 12 teams are sitting tight with one loss or fewer in conference play, meaning the race for the Big 12 Championship Game will be fierce. An Oklahoma State win would give it a tiebreaker over Texas, while a Longhorns would keep them within striking distance of the top spot with an easier schedule on the back end.
Stingy defense: Oklahoma State is known for its high-flying offenses under coach Mike Gundy, but the defense has become the premier unit for the Cowboys. The Cowboys hold teams to just 305.2 yards and 18.6 points per game, trailing only Iowa State among Big 12 teams. Oklahoma State has playmakers at every level and are as well positioned to counter Texas' playmakers as anyone.
Capitalizing on talent: When Steve Sarkisian took over at Texas, he mentioned being comfortable leaning on top talent. So far, the Longhorns have reaped the benefits. Through six games, star running back Bijan Robinson has already touched the ball 136 times, 35 more instances than he touched the ball than the entire 2020 season. Against OU, freshman receiver Xavier Worthy had nine catches for 261 yards and 2 touchdowns. Keeping the game simple is part of why the offense has improved dramatically despite losing playmakers to the NFL.
How to watch Texas vs. Oklahoma State live
Date: Saturday, Oct. 16 | Time: 12 p.m. ET
Location: Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium -- Austin, Texas
TV: Fox | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Texas vs. Oklahoma State prediction, picks
Texas has put up big offensive numbers but struggled in the trenches against better competition. Oklahoma State is built to muck up the game and cause trouble for fast-paced offenses. For Texas to win this game, its defense has to step up and make plays, which has been a problem all season. Coming off a bye week, the Cowboys should be healthy and prepared to take advantage of UT's miscues, especially after the Longhorns' emotional loss to OU. Prediction: Oklahoma State (+5.5)
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