Five questions facing Texas on Saturday night at Oklahoma State:
1. Will either team be settled at quarterback?
Texas expects Sam Ehlinger to start, but the sophomore was eased back into practice this week. Only time will tell how he looks in his first action since he sprained his throwing shoulder against Baylor. Oklahoma State also has issues at quarterback as some Cowboys fans are wondering if fifth-year senior Taylor Cornelius is the answer. His 16 touchdown passes rank 15th in the country, but he also has been intercepted eight times while completing only 59 percent of his passes.
2. Will Keontay Ingram hit 100 yards again?
When we last saw Ingram, the freshman was running for 110 yards on a career-high 19 carries against Baylor. That was UT’s first 100-yard game of the year. Tre Watson and Daniel Young remain in the mix, but Texas coach Tom Herman said on Monday that “if we got to hand (Ingram) the ball 22 times to win, then we’ll hand it to him 22 times.” Oklahoma State is allowing 142.6 rushing yards per game, but Kansas State’s Alex Barnes had a field day (181 yards, four touchdowns) in the Cowboys’ last game.
3. Will Caden Sterns secure his family bragging rights?
Sterns, a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award whose four interceptions has tied a freshman-class record at Texas, has made a name for himself this season. That won’t matter in Stillwater, though, where Sterns will just be known as Jordan’s little brother. Jordan Sterns starred at Oklahoma State from 2013-16 and was twice an all-conference defensive back. With some of his brother’s former teammates still on the Cowboys roster, can Sterns make a few big plays of his own from his safety position?
4. Will the bye week cool off Charles Omenihu?
It’s arguable that no Longhorn entered the bye with more momentum than Omenihu, Texas’ defensive end who has five sacks over the last three games. One of those resulted in a key safety in UT’s 19-14 win at Kansas State. With Baylor trailing by six points and set up at Texas’ 17 in the final seconds two weeks ago, Omenihu recorded hurries of quarterback Charlie Brewer on the final three plays of a 23-17 triumph. Oklahoma State is allowing 2.86 sacks per game, which ranks 99th nationally.
5. Will Texas avoid giving up an early score?
Texas is allowing 23 points per game. Nationally, only 44 teams entered this week with a better scoring defense. Texas would have even better numbers if the first quarter wasn’t an issue, though. In five of its seven games, Texas has allowed points on its opponent’s opening drive. Four of those were touchdowns. Can the Longhorns hold off an early threat from Oklahoma State with starting cornerbacks Kris Boyd and Davante Davis suspended for at least one series?