No. 12 Cowboys eager to pile on Texas

Updated: November 12, 2010, 10:00 AM ET
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas -- Next in line for Texas' miserable season: fast-rising No. 12 Oklahoma State.

The Cowboys (8-1, 4-1 Big 12) roll into Austin with an express train of an offense and serious payback on their minds after a 12-year losing streak to the Longhorns that includes some excruciating defeats.

A win Saturday night would also tighten their surprising grip on first place in the Big 12 South.

That's where most expected the Longhorns (4-5, 2-4) to be. But losers of five of their last six games, including three in a row at home, they're stuck in last place just one season after winning the Big 12 title.

"Everybody is enjoying us struggling right now," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "We've got to turn it around."

The Longhorns have been so bad -- they trailed Kansas State 39-0 last week before scoring two late touchdowns -- that Texas won't even get to a bowl game unless they win two of their final three games.

Oklahoma State players say they won't allow themselves to consider Texas' record. The program has been burned too many times in a series that Texas dominates 22-2.

In 2004, Oklahoma State led 35-7 in the first half and lost 56-35. In 2005, the Cowboys were up 28-9 before losing 47-28. In 2007, Oklahoma State led 35-14 before losing 38-35.

And in 2008, Oklahoma State's best team in years came into Austin ranked No. 6 and lost to No. 1 Texas 28-24. The Cowboys are just 1-14 in Austin and that lone win came back in 1944.

That kind of history won't let this group of Cowboys assume they'll beat a Texas team that seems to be getting worse every week.

"There's not been a game that I've played Texas that they have not come out and played hard-nosed, smashmouth football," Oklahoma State senior defensive tackle Shane Jarka. "There's no overlooking Texas at all."

Texas is a home underdog for the first time since Oct. 23, 1999, against No. 3 Nebraska, according to oddsmaker RJ Bell at The Cowboys might want to note Texas won that game, and the Longhorns haven't lost four in a row at home in a single season since 1956.

Of course, Texas hasn't won this season since they upset the Cornhuskers 20-13 back on Oct. 16. That win was supposed to turn things around, but looks more and more like an aberration in a season full of home losses to UCLA, Iowa State and Baylor. Last week, Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert tied a dubious school record by throwing give interceptions.

Oklahoma State's rise to the top of the division has been nearly as big a surprise.

The Cowboys were picked to finish near the bottom of the league but new offensive coordinator Dana Holgorson's group is scoring in bunches behind 27-year-old quarterback Brandon Weeden, senior running back Kendall Hunter and sophomore wide receiver Justin Blackmon, who has 1,285 yards and 15 touchdowns this season.

Oklahoma State is averaging 46 points and 550 yards per game. Both marks are best in the Big 12.

The Cowboys have never won the Big 12 South and they are the only team in the division with one loss.

"We believe in what we're capable of," said Cowboys senior safety Markelle Martin, one of more than 50 Oklahoma State players from Texas. "I felt like if I ever had the chance to beat Texas, that would be one of the greatest feelings to ever have."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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