OSU-Texas Key Matchups & Prediction

Which Cowboys are going to have to make the big plays Saturday night when Oklahoma State attempts to win in Austin, Texas for the first time since 1944? Here are the key matchups and Robert Allen's prediction as No. 11 OSU (8-1) faces Texas (4-5) at DKR Memorial Stadium.

1. OSU Wide Receivers Justin Blackmon, Josh Cooper,
Bo Bowling, Michael Harrison, etc.
vs. Texas Secondary including Blake Gideon and Curtis Brown
It depends on who you ask at Texas for the answer you get on the question of who is the best cover man in the Longhorns secondary. Some say now injured corner Chykie Brown while others say Curtis Brown.

Either way, Texas can cover in the secondary and that is why defensive coordinator Will Muschamp is able to use man coverage and employ so many different looks and blitzes up front. Texas comes after you, but if you can beat man coverage or block multiple fronts then you have a chance to score with big plays. Texas has given up more than normal this season and the Cowboys are huge on creating those monster, explosive plays.

Justin Blackmon isn't the only Cowboys receiver that can dominate man coverage, he is just the one that can dominate it the most.
Edge: Solid Edge to Blackmon and OSU Receivers

2. OSU Offensive Line vs. Texas Defensive Line
Texas is thin up front with two of the backups on the defensive line being true freshmen. Sam Acho is outstanding and Kheeston Randall is also solid.

The Cowboys offensive line is very consistent and confident. This will be a good battle, but you have to really like the way Grant Garner, Jonathan Rush, Lane Taylor, Nick Martinez, and Levy Adcock have been playing. The key is that after three straight weeks of playing defenses that keep it basic, this week they get everything and the kitchen sink.
Edge: Slight Edge to OSU Offensive Line

3. OSU Free Safety Johnny Thomas
vs. Texas Quarterback Garrett Gilbert
There is all kinds of talk about somebody new at quarterback for Texas, but the belief here is that it will be Gilbert back at quarterback again this week. There is a huge investment in Gilbert and taking him out now might put him mentally out of it for his career. He has talent and a lot of the problems aren't his doing.

That said, Thomas is really rolling in the Cowboys secondary and has been a ballhawker. Gilbert would be wise to keep his eye out and throw away from Thomas Saturday night. Thomas should also be extra motivated, as if one needs to be in the Cowboy camp, because he grew up a Texas fan.
Edge: Edge to Thomas

Here are several sobering thoughts about Texas football: the Longhorns have lost five of their last six games, they have lost their last three at home, and in that time they have been outscored on the average 28.6-to-18.2.

These are, all of a sudden, tough times at Texas. All you have to do is watch and you can tell a difference in this Texas team. Another sobering Texas football fact is that, not counting the backup kicker, Texas has 10 true freshmen on its two-deep depth chart. That has to be a record of youthful contributors for the Longhorns.

Oklahoma State has to do two things in order to win in Austin. The Cowboys must come out and start the game solid, not spectacular, but solid. They can't give Texas anything to rekindle their swagger like an early turnover and easy score.

Second, the offense must find a way through the multiple fronts and predominant man coverage out of the Texas defense to score at at least a moderate pace based on what they have done this season. If they do that, the chances of flying home with a win and a 9-1 record are very high.

Texas is really struggling scoring, so out-scoring the Longhorns is a definite possibility. Texas is beat up some with the loss of cover corner Chykie Brown being lost for the season to a broken arm being the biggest loss.

However, this game for the Cowboys is akin to rattlesnake hunting. Be smart, be safe, and you come home with skins. Make a mistake and you can get bit.

No. 11 Oklahoma State 34, Texas 20

Big 12 Predictions
@ No. 20-Missouri 31, Kansas State 23

@ Colorado 26, Iowa State 20

Texas Tech 28, @ No. 16 Oklahoma 24

No. 25 Texas A&M 35, @ Baylor 20

@ No. 8 Nebraska 49, Kansas 6

Robert Allen's Record for the Season
Straight Up: 56-21
Against the Spread: 34-34
Not all games have a spread. Games with Big 12 teams involving FCS teams do not have spreads.

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