As another big Saturday of College Football action winds down, we can settle in with a nightcap in the form of a potential Big 12 shootout. The #6 Texas Longhorns take their 6-1 record on the road to face off with the 4-3 Oklahoma State Cowboys in a game with a current projected total of 61.5 points.
Since opening the season with a disappointing loss to Maryland, the Longhorns have been on an absolutely stellar run which has led to the team rocketing up the polls. The Cowboys have had a cup of coffee in the AP Top 25 this season, but the club is currently just looking to right the ship after back-to-back losses.
Regardless of current records, these two rivals have hooked up for a number of entertaining affairs in recent years, and it looks like we have a chance for another one in a game with a tight spread. Let’s take a look at what both sides are bringing to the table for what should be a fun primetime tilt.
Texas @ Oklahoma State, 8:00 PM EST, ABC
- Texas -3.5 (-110)
- Oklahoma State +3.5 (-110)
- Texas -175
- Oklahoma State +155
- Over 5 (-110)
- Under 5 (-110)
Texas vs. Oklahoma State pick:
Since opening up the season on the aforementioned sour note with a loss to Maryland, Texas has ripped off six straight victories. The highlight of the season has undoubtedly been the squad’s thrilling victory over Oklahoma by a score of 48-45 in this year’s version of the Red River Showdown. Beyond being a big victory in a rivalry game, that contest put Texas on the map as serious Big 12 contenders in 2018.
On the season, Texas is averaging 30.7 points per game while giving up 23. The offense is pretty balanced overall, but glimmers of its desire to be more of a running team continue to emerge. On defense, there’s pretty good balance overall, but the Longhorns just aren’t generating much in the way of pressure. Through seven games, the unit has produced 12 sacks and generated 11 turnovers.
Sophomore QB Sam Ehlinger has been banged up with a shoulder injury, but current signs point to him giving it a go. That said, keep an eye on injury reports heading into the game, not to mention the spread, which will likely move if Ehlinger ends up sitting out. For the season, Ehlinger has thrown for 11 scores and two picks while adding on another six touchdowns on the ground for good measure.
Speaking of the ground game, freshman Keaontay Ingram is emerging as the top option with a line of 66/403/2, but there is plenty of talent to help him out, including senior Tre Watson – 89/340/1. Junior Lil’Jordan Humphrey and Collin Johnson have formed a dynamic pas catching duo, with lines of 42/576/4 and 41/563/5 respectively.
For Oklahoma State, the season started off promising as they rolled to a mark of 4-1, which included a victory over Boise State. The wheels have come off for the team’s past two outings, a 48-42 loss to Iowa State followed by a 31-12 defeat to Kansas State.
The offense is putting points on the scoreboard with an average of 39.4 per contest, while the defense is allowing opponents to put an average of 28.4 up. There’s strength in both facets of the Cowboys offensive attack, while the defense can be best described as balanced. Oklahoma State is first in the nation with 30 sacks on the year, and the defense has also generated nine scores and a defensive touchdown.
Senior QB Taylor Cornelius has the reins behind center, and he has completed 59 percent of his passes for 16 TDs and eight picks. Cornelius also has 190 yards on the ground and four rushing scores on his 2018 resume thus far. Junior RB Justice Hill is the workhorse out of the backfield with 112 carries for 684 yards and seven scores. Sophomore Tylan Wallace is the top threat in the passing game, as he has hauled in 40 balls for 718 yards and four scores.
Looking ahead, Texas has a pair of tough Big 12 matchups up next on the docket, starting with a home game against West Virginia and followed by a road tilt at Texas Tech. The Longhorns close out the regular season with games versus Iowa State and Kansas. For Oklahoma State, the final month brings games against Baylor, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and TCU.
This rivalry has picked up in recent years with Texas holding a mark of 4-6 both straight up and against the spread over the past decade. Oklahoma State is on a three-game winning streak, while the Over has been the correct choice in four of the last 10, but just one of the previous five.
Last year’s contest was a tight low-scoring affair won by Oklahoma State by a score of 13-10. The Cowboys were seven point road favorites for that one in a game with a projected total of 65 points. This year’s spread is tighter while the projected total is lower, and there’s a good chance we have another close contest.
However, low-scoring may not be in the cards again with two high-powered offenses ready to face off. Of course, much depends on the health of Ehlinger. Signs point to him giving it a go, so we’ll assume that will be the case while encouraging you to double check before finalizing wagers.
Quite simply, this is a tale of two teams with different trajectories for 2018. Texas is a team on the rise, a contender for the Big 12 title, and an outside candidate for a spot in the College Football Playoff. We can’t make the same claims about Oklahoma State, but the talent is there for the team to be competitive in all of its contests the rest of the eay.
In the end, Oklahoma State’s defense helps the hosts to keep it close and tight, but Texas does just enough to continue its ascent.
We’ll take Texas minus the points in what should be a quality primetime game.