Texas vs. Oklahoma State score, takeaways: No. 12 Cowboys ride defense in second half for comeback win
The Cowboys stormed back from 14 points down to remain among the ranks of the unbeatens
No. 12 Oklahoma State stormed back from down 14 points in the second quarter to beat No. 25 Texas 32-24 in Austin on Saturday. The Cowboys defense stepped up in the second half while holding the high-powered Texas offense to just 92 total yards.
Texas had multiple opportunities seal the win in the fourth quarter but floundered each time. Down one point at the Oklahoma State 35-yard line, the Longhorns went four-and-out to turn over the ball on downs and give the Cowboys possession at midfield. Texas later allowed a touchdown to give itself one last chance to tie the game, but Longhorns QB Casey Thompson -- who completed 15 of 27 passes for 179 yards, a touchdown and two picks in one of his worst performances since taking over as starter -- threw an interception.
Oklahoma State running back Jaylen Warren quietly outdueled Heisman hopeful Bijan Robinson, especially in the second half. The speedy Warren carried the ball 33 times for 193 yards to set up several of Oklahoma State's key scoring drives. Robinson carried the ball 21 times and caught 3 passes for 173 all-purpose yards and three scores.
With the win, Oklahoma State has now beaten three AP Top 25 ranked opponents in a row for the first time in program history. Texas, Baylor and Kansas State were all ranked No. 25 in the poll. Oklahoma State moves to 6-0 and should enter the top 10 on Sunday.
Texas, meanwhile, is 0-5 in the weeks after playing Oklahoma in the past five seasons. The Longhorns drop to 4-3, including 0-3 against all three ranked opponents on the schedule. The loss also gives Oklahoma State a key tiebreaker while pushing for a Big 12 Championship Game appearance come December.
Oklahoma State controls Big 12 destiny
After winning all three nonconference games by just one score, it seemed improbable that the Cowboys would have a shot at the conference crown. But after moving to 3-0 with three straight wins over then-ranked opponents, Oklahoma State has wrested away control of the Big 12 title game race.
The Sooner State pairing of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are the lone undefeateds remaining in the Big 12, with both holding a tiebreaker over Texas heading forward. The Cowboys also have cemented tiebreakers over Kansas State and Baylor, two of the other top contenders. Oklahoma State will be underdogs against Iowa State and Oklahoma to close the year, but the Cowboys can afford both losses and still have a chance at the Big 12 title.
For the second consecutive week, Texas blew a big lead against a ranked opponent. Last week it was 21 points against Oklahoma as the Sooners overcame the largest deficit in Red River Showdown history. Now it's giving up a 14-point lead to a far less talented Oklahoma State squad at home.
Texas coach Steve Sarkisian leaned hard on Robinson in the first half, but handed him the ball just eight times in the second half. Whether it was because the offensive line wore down, Robinson got tired or playcalling, the Longhorns don't seem to have enough counters to create consistent offense if it's anything but handing the ball to their Heisman contender. The one piece of optimism is that Texas has managed to build up big leads and play well against talented competition. That should bode well for where this team and program can go in the Steve Sarkisian era.
Give Jaylen Warren some respect
O'Colly, the Oklahoma State student newspaper, previously reported that Warren transferred to Stillwater from Utah State after an unnamed current Big 12 coach told him that he didn't have the traits to play power conference football. After his fourth consecutive 100-yard performance, it's safe to say Warren is proving the doubters wrong.
Warren, listed at 5-foot-8 and 215 pounds, carried the ball 33 times for 193 yards in the win over Texas. Despite toting the rock 95 times in the three previous games, Warren ran 20 times in the second half against Texas and had three 20-yard rushes to ice the game. The senior was an unknown entering the year, even in Stillwater. Now, Warren has to be in the conversation of best running backs in the conference.
Even halfway through the season, Texas has yet to settle on a consistent offensive line unit. A handful of different players rotated throughout the game to try and find a workable group, but Oklahoma State's intense front seven kept the unit on its heels. Oklahoma State broke through for seven tackles for loss and three sacks in the win. Even worse, the Longhorns played their worst football in the biggest moments, accumulating just 1 yard -- one! -- in the fourth quarter. Oklahoma State, conversely, posted 170 yards behind a struggling offensive line.
Granted, some of this is the strength of Oklahoma State's defense, easily one of the best in the Big 12. Still, the struggles are bad news for a Longhorns squad that still has to face top defenses Baylor, Iowa State, West Virginia and Kansas State before the season's end. This was only the first test.
Pokes need more from QB
It's a strange experience to watch an Oklahoma State team that leans hard on the run, plays intense defense ... but can't pass the ball at all. Starting quarterback Spencer Sanders completed 19 of 32 passes for 178 yards, but the numbers don't do justice to how much the junior struggled.
Oklahoma State settled for field goals in key spots, and even punted the ball away at midfield because Mike Gundy did not trust his quarterback to make key plays. On a key two-point conversion, Gundy dialed up a bland screen pass that Texas easily sniffed out.
The Cowboys are in the driver's seat to reach the Big 12 title game, but there's little chance they can actually compete with Oklahoma if the quarterback play is going to be a disaster. Oklahoma State has held every team it's faced to 24 points or fewer, but Sanders is the piece clearly holding OSU back.
6-0 ! 🤠— Jarrick T. Bernard (@TheJBnard) October 16, 2021
victory formation— OSU Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) October 16, 2021
Pick!! Stop playing with OSU 🤠— Cade Cunningham (@CadeCunningham_) October 16, 2021
Cut up 7!!!!— Justice Hill (@jhill21_) October 16, 2021
😤— Tylan Wallace (@OfficialTylan2) October 16, 2021
Texas had a chance to get into field goal range, but instead, the Longhorns go 4-and-out to turn it over on downs and give Oklahoma State a chance to ice the game with a first down. Unbelievable failure by Texas to give up a 14-point lead and stall in the game's most important moments.
Moneyyyy on DDDDDD 💪🏾💪🏾💪🏾— LDee B. (@LdeeBrown) October 16, 2021
WE REPEAT THIS DEFENSE IS FOR REAL— OSU Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) October 16, 2021
Texas with a huge break as Oklahoma State kicker Tanner Brown makes a critical mistake by kicking the ball out of bounds on the kickoff. The Longhorns simply need to get into field goal range for Cameron Dicker to attempt a potential game-winning kick.
4Q: Oklahoma State 25, Texas 24
Jaylen Warren is running the heck out of the ball in the game's biggest moments. A 20-yard run by Warren helped spur a critical field goal drive to give the Cowboys a 25-24 lead over Texas with just minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. This is Oklahoma State's first lead of the game, as the Longhorns took the first drive of the game for a touchdown.
Let’s finish 🤞🏾💪🏾💪🏾— LDee B. (@LdeeBrown) October 16, 2021