OSU football: 3-2-1 kickoff for Cowboys vs. Texas Longhorns
Here’s a look at some of the key players and major questions when No. 6 Oklahoma State hosts Texas at 3 p.m. Saturday, televised by Fox:
3 players to watch
Kolby Harvell-Peel: Texas coach Tom Herman called him the best safety in the Big 12 earlier this week, and the OSU junior will get a chance to show it, whether he’s helping stop the run, blitzing the quarterback or covering receivers downfield.
Dillon Stoner: The OSU receiver has yet to break loose for a big game yet this season, but he tends to show up at his best in crucial games like this one.
Sam Ehlinger: A one-man show on offense, the Texas quarterback has thrown for 17 touchdowns and rushed for seven more. That’s 24 of the 28 touchdowns Texas has scored this season.
2 big questions
Can the Cowboys defend the pass with primarily man coverage? Coordinator Jim Knowles’ defense is at its best when the secondary is left alone in coverage, and the defensive line and linebackers are allowed to roam up front. That will allow for better quarterback pressure and more bodies to contain the run.
Will Chuba Hubbard find room to run? Hubbard earned some of his hardest yards against Texas last year, but the Longhorns aren’t as stout on the defensive front this season. Texas is giving up 130.4 rushing yards and has allowed nine touchdowns on the ground. Hubbard is averaging 128.3 yards per game in Big 12 play.
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1 wild prediction
Ehlinger’s rushing total will be less than 30 yards. The Texas quarterback has rushed for 293 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 58.6 yards per game, but with good QB pressure and some sacks — the Longhorns have given up two per game — look for the Cowboys to limit his total rushing yardage, even if he gets away for a few big gains here and there.
Scott Wright, Staff writer