A deeper look inside Texas’ 13-10 overtime loss to No. 10 Oklahoma State:
Why Texas (3-4, 2-2 Big 12) lost
Well, it wasn’t because of the defense. The Longhorns actually forced Oklahoma State into conservative mode. But they couldn’t take advantage of prime turnover opportunities — two dropped interceptions and two failed shots at fumble recoveries in the second half — and again couldn’t run the ball, even though they were working against the seventh-rated run defense in the Big 12. There were chances to take the lead in the fourth quarter. Texas just couldn’t put together a drive. The running game was a no-show, even against the seventh-rated run defense in the Big 12. Texas is now 1-2 in overtimes games and 0-3 vs. ranked teams this season.
Why Oklahoma State (6-1, 3-1) won
Well, it wasn’t because of the offense. At the very end, it came down to taking advantage of a freshman quarterback’s bad decision. Had Sam Ehlinger thrown it away on that final play in overtime, Texas could’ve tied it up with a chip-shot field goal. The Cowboys — an offense that thrives on big plays — had only one and still didn’t generate any points on that drive. Mason Rudolph finished with less than 300 yards and there wasn’t a 100-yard receiver. Yes, the Cowboys have the No. 1-ranked offense in the country. But they didn’t hurt the Longhorns; Texas has played seven games, and Rudolph had the third-best passing day, Justice Hill (33 carries for 117 yards, a 3.5 average) had the second-best rushing day and that 66-yard pass to Marcell Ateman was the second longest against the Longhorns so far.
The Eyes of Texas
The Longhorns kept their eyes on three specific Cowboys — Rudolph, the country’s second leading passer who burned Texas for 392 yards and three touchdowns last year; Washington, a native Texan coming off a six-catch, 235-yard performance against Baylor and averaging 25.9 yards per catch; and safety Tre Flowers, Oklahoma State’s leading tackler and also a playmaker in the secondary (two interceptions, five pass breakups).
How did they do?
Rudolph was 25 of 38 for 282 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions. His nation’s best streak of 300-yard games ended at seven.
Washington had 4 catches for 32 yards. His longest grab was 14 yards. Still, he extended his streak of consecutive games with a catch to 39, which is the second-longest active streak in the country.
Flowers finished tied for the team lead in tackles, with 7. He also had a pass breakup.
It’s been awhile since John Burt did anything. His 90-yard catch and run down the UT sideline set up the Longhorns’ only touchdown and is the longest pass play of at least the last two years. It was the 10th longest play in school history.
Breckyn Hager easily had his best game of the season, finishing with two sacks and a quarterback hurry. He lined up on both ends as well as in the middle of the line, and made a beautiful move on OSU’s left tackle on one of his sacks.
Plays of the game
Offensive play of the game: With Oklahoma State in the red zone, Texas defensive tackle Poona Ford wrapped up running back Justice Hill and caused a fumble that Deshon Elliott recovered. Two plays later, Ehlinger connected with Burt, who shook a receiver and raced 90 yards to the OSU 2.
Defensive play of the game: On third-and-4 from the OSU 6 in overtime, Ehlinger expected to see wide receiver Jerrod Heard in the back of the end zone and lofted the ball in the left corner, only to see Richards all alone instead. The Cowboys’ strong safety intercepted it to end the game.
This and that
Holton Hill was the star of the secondary, playing the key role in checking Washington, OSU’s All-America candidate. He also had a key pass breakup in the end zone.
Both of Hager’s sacks killed promising Cowboys drives.
OSU’s first possession of the third quarter ended with a goal-line stand led by Poona Ford and Hill; the Cowboys had to settle for a game-tying field goal.
You can’t say the Longhorns didn’t have their chances. Texas’ five drives of the fourth quarter went punt, punt, punt, punt and then end of regulation. There was only one first down in there.
Against the league’s seventh-best run defense, Texas managed only 42 yards on the ground on 33 attempts although that number is skewed by three sacks for a loss of 48 yards. Still, the rushing attack produced next to nothing.
On deck: Baylor
Oct. 28, McLane Stadium, Waco (11 a.m., ABC, ESPN or ESPN2)
The post Third and Longhorns: Inside Oklahoma State 13, Texas 10 (OT) appeared first on Hook ‘Em.
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