Texas Cowboys Look Forward To Return Home

STILLWATER – Markelle Martin is having an All-Big 12 type season at strong safety and could probably be helping a University of Texas team that has lost three games in a row for the first time in Mack Brown's 13 years as head coach. But the Oklahoma State standout never received a scholarship offer from the Longhorns. Neither did Kendall Hunter, nor Brodrick Brown. How about you, Lane Taylor?

"Nope. Not a letter, not a questionnaire, not anything," said Taylor, the starting right guard for a Cowboy offense that ranks third nationally in passing offense, total offense and scoring offense.

Taylor, Martin, Brown and Hunter are all native Texans who will be returning to the Lone Star state as the 10th-ranked Cowboys (8-1 overall and 4-1 in Big 12 play) face the Texas Longhorns (4-5 and 2-4) on Saturday night at DKR Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas.

Oklahoma State has nearly 50 scholarship players from the state of Texas on its roster, and most of them did not receive offers from the Longhorns.

"There are so many guys from Texas, it's like me playing against Oklahoma," said Cowboy quarterback Brandon Weeden. "I followed Oklahoma and I've been around the (Bedlam) rivalry for a long time. It's the same thing with those guys in they want to beat Texas."

The Cowboys last victory over the Longhorns came in 1997 – when many of OSU's current players were in first or second grade (unless, of course, you're a 27-year-old quarterback and then you were in the eighth grade) – and Texas owns a 12-game winning streak in the series.

Oklahoma State's last win in Austin was in 1944.

"We've never beat Texas, and Gundy has never beat Texas," said Brown, referencing the 0-10 record that Oklahoma State's head coach has against Big 12 South rivals Texas and Oklahoma.

The sophomore cornerback was not recruited by the Longhorns coming out of Westfield High School in Houston. Did Brown even receive a letter from the Texas staff? "I don't remember. I probably would remember. Texas is one of the school's around the nation ... it's a big school. If I had gotten a letter I probably would remember.

"I never really was a Texas fan. I'm just ready to go down there and compete, just like I know everybody else on this team is ready to go down there and compete. I know they're going to come into this game, coming off a loss to K-State, and they'll come into this game ready to play. They're going to give us their best shot and we're going to give them our best shot," Brown added.

Texas has been ranked anywhere from No. 1 nationally to No. 14 entering its games against the Cowboys in the past five years (No. 2 in 2005, No. 4 in 2006, No. 14 in 2007, No. 1 in 2008, and No. 3 last season). Gundy's teams – and Cowboy fans – have viewed the games against the Longhorns as an opportunity to make a statement, only to fall short each time.

"I see where they have the pressure on their shoulders to get this win," said starting defensive tackle Shane Jarka, another native Texan not recruited by the Longhorns.

"I think they want to win after coming off the hard time they've had this season. Knowing that we're going to have the target on our back, and they're used to having the target on their back, and knowing how we wanted to go in there and get the win so bad ... I think it's going to be a dogfight, especially since we're playing down there. There's no point in overlooking Texas because they are a very talented team."

Martin says the Cowboys have too much on the line to not be ready to play Saturday night.

"A lot of the players on this team may have thought we should have been recruited by them but for whatever reason we weren't, so it gives us an opportunity to show that could have been those players that they could have been looking for. I think there is a little bit added on to this game for us," said Martin.

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