IT's Oklahoma State game picks

IT's Bill Frisbie gives you his pick, and the reasoning behind that pick, in Saturday's game between Texas and Oklahoma State.

In Oklahoma State, Texas is finally facing a team that can hold its attention for at least three quarters. After all, the Cowboys 10-0 lead over the Longhorns at the end of the first 15 minutes in Stillwater last season aroused a sleeping giant; it’s improbable triumph over Oklahoma just six weeks later is enough to sound an alarm for any school that is hosting the ‘Pokes.

It is a program that is on the upswing, thanks in no small part to WR Rashaun Woods, who should own all OSU receiving records by the time he graduates. The Texas defense will not face a better receiver during the regular season (with the possible exception of those it faces each day in practice). Then again, Woods will not have faced a faster, stingier defense than he will at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

Woods is averaging eight grabs per game and should get that Saturday, particularly since he is as much a target on low-percentage, screen passes as he is on the deep ball. Expect an inspired defense to bend at time, but not break.

If there has been an area of public criticism levied at a Texas defense that still hovers around the top three spots in most NCAA statistical categories, it is the charge that its aggressive playmakers tend to over pursue. The feeling here is that the area most in need of repair (relatively speaking) is the pass rush. Of course, the front line has been thinned by injuries and it’s critical that DT Marcus Tubbs has returned to the lineup. (Equally as important is the re-emergence of DE Kalen Thornton.) Despite his heroics against OU, this is QB Josh Fields first start against a Big 12 opponent, and the sophomore needs to get dirt on his uniform, early and often.

Certain players tend to match up well against certain teams, and OSU was RB Cedric Bensons breakout game last season. He’ll make the most of his 20 some-odd carries before head coach Mack Brown rests him for Oklahoma next week. Enter freshman lightning bolt RB Selvin Young, whose fresh legs and ability to bounce outside should put the finishing touch on an improving Cowboy team that could win six games this year (despite its brutal slate to open league play).

Texas 38, OSU 14.

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