Texas will face its second ranked opponent of the season, but one could question how good the Cowboys are based upon the lack of difficult opponents they have faced. Either way, the Longhorns have to be prepared to face the best Oklahoma State team possible Saturday.
Texas is an entirely different team with Jerrod Heard leading the offense. He gives the unit a spark that it has lacked since the new regime came to Austin. But it cannot be solely up to Heard to lead the offense to victory. One of the many playmakers on offense needs to step up and be a reliable option for the first-year starting quarterback.
I don’t know why, but I have an odd feeling this game will go in the Longhorns direction. Maybe I drank the Heard “juice” but I’m picking Texas to pull the upset.
Texas 38, Oklahoma State 35
There will be a lot of points scored in this one, but not as many as there were in the Cal game.
Jerrod Heard will play well, but he won't put up the yards on the ground that he did against Cal.
Daje Johnson will be a factor in the punt return game unlike last week.
Mason Rudolph will continue his surge as one of the better deep-ball QBs in the country on at least one occasion. But the return of Jason Hall and Dylan Haines will be enough to limit those big plays juuuuuust enough.
Texas' defensive front won't look much better in this one, but they will do enough to semi make the Pokes one-deminsional.
Johnathan Gray will have his best game of the season but D'Onta Foreman will still do things that make you wonder if he should be the No. 1 back.
Nick Rose will be needed in this one and redeem himself.
Texas 31, Oklahoma State 27
I have a feeling Texas could get off to a slow start offensively against Oklahoma State.
The strength of the Cowboys' team is the defense.
Defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah is an All-Big 12 player and already has 3.5 sacks. Fellow DE Jimmy Bean, a HS teammate of Texas QB Jerrod Heard at Denton Guyer, already has 3 sacks this season and would love to rain on his Longhorn buddy's coming out party.
Cowboys' DT Vincent Taylor is disruptive. Linebackers Jordan Burton and Ryan Simmons are veterans who anticipate and tackle well. And OSU safeties Jordan Sterns and Tre Flowers are versatile and will come downhill and smack you.
So on a day when a lot of people will probably be expecting Jerrod Heard to just come out and pick up where he left off in the fourth quarter against Cal, it's not likely.
The defense will have to be turned up against a shaky Ok State offensive line and maybe even shake free a turnover to jump start the UT offense. Special teams could help in that department as well.
Then, once the offense gets going - hopefully with a little Daje Johnson running zone read with Heard in that new, two-back set introduced last week (Check out my 5 THINGS TO WATCH posted on the board), it could be a shootout.
Whether it's a shootout may well depend on if the defense finally decides to stop the run this week.
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Texas 35, Oklahoma State 31