Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Eyes of Texas still gaze north of Red River
After picking up their first loss of the season last week against the Oklahoma Sooners, the Texas Longhorns turn their eyes north of the Red River again for a home game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Saturday at 3:30 Eastern on ABC.
Oklahoma State arrives in Austin ranked sixth in the AP Poll. The Cowboys lead the Big 12 and are in the Top 5 in the FBS in five offensive categories: scoring (51.4 points per game), total offense (577.4 yards per game), passing offense (431.2 yards per game), 20-plus yard passes (31) and turnover margin (+10).
The Cowboys are looking to start 6-0 for just the fifth time in school history but the third time in the last four years. This is the seventh time that Oklahoma State has been unbeaten heading into a game against Texas. The Longhorns handed the Cowboys their first loss of the season in all six previous instances, including the only time in Big 12 play (2008).
Oklahoma State has won seven straight road games. That’s the third-longest active streak in the FBS, and includes a win in Austin last year.
The Cowboys are riding a hot-streak against opponents from the Lone Star state. Last year, they swept the four Big 12 Texas teams for the first time since the conference was formed in 1996. Going back to 2009, they have won six straight games against Big 12 teams from Texas.
Last year’s game is the only time that the Cowboys have been able to beat a Texas team led by Mack Brown. Brown’s Longhorns are 12-1 against Oklahoma State and are averaging 38 points per game. The Longhorns have controlled the ball throughout the series, outgaining the Cowboys by an average of 132 yards while forcing 14 more turnovers.
The Longhorns under Brown have also been successful after the Red River Rivalry. Texas is a perfect 13-0 after playing Oklahoma, winning by an average of 20 points per game. Six of those wins have been against Top 25 opponents, including last year’s win at Number 5 Nebraska.
Through the first six weeks of the season, 2011 is shaping up as the year of the comeback. Iowa, Houston and Nebraska have already set records for the largest comeback in school history. Oklahoma State didn’t break the school mark, but the Cowboys rallied from a 20-3 deficit to beat Texas A&M in September.
If the Longhorns fall behind early in the game, they could join in the comeback parade. Three of the largest deficits Texas has overcome came in games against Oklahoma State. The school record was set in 2004, when the Longhorns rallied from a 28-point deficit in the second quarter to win 56-35.