Here’s a look at five key matchups for Saturday’s game between No. 12 Texas and Oklahoma State.
Texas RB Keaontay Ingram vs. Oklahoma State run defense
It’s too easy to examine Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard’s impact against the Texas defense. Hubbard is the nation’s leading rusher with 521 yards in three games and has scored seven touchdowns. Those yards came against run defenses ranked 115th nationally (Oregon State), 105th (Tulsa) and lower-level McNeese State. Ingram hasn’t had a breakout game yet. He’s averaging 5.3 yards per carry. The Cowboys’ run defense ranks 81st nationally. Texas coaches fed Ingram early and often against Rice. They’ll likely do it again this week.
Oklahoma State WR Tylan Wallace vs. Texas secondary
Texas benched its two starting cornerbacks for the first half, and Wallace just went hog wild. He finished with 10 catches for 222 yards and two touchdowns. To prove that was no fluke, Wallace had 10 catches for 220 yards and two touchdowns against Oklahoma. Two identical performances against the league’s top two teams. UT cornerbacks Jalen Green and Kobe Boyce have been wildly inconsistent thus far, and the safeties have left holes open over the middle.
EDGE: Oklahoma State
Texas WR Devin Duvernay vs. Oklahoma State S Kolby Harvell-Peel
Duvernay’s move to slot receiver this season could not be going any better. The senior has a team-high 27 catches for 269 yards and three touchdowns. Both Duvernay and Jake Smith have an uncanny ability to find open space in zone coverage, catch the pass and then make people miss. Harvell-Peel has 18 tackles, a forced fumble and two pass break-ups this season. He made a critical stop to help OSU win the Liberty Bowl and another sack to wrap up a win against Tulsa.
Texas DT Keondre Coburn vs. Oklahoma State C Johnny Wilson
Obviously, a strong center is the key to any strong offensive line, and Wilson is no exception. Wilson, a 6-foot-3, 300-pounder from Midland, has started 25 games the last two seasons. He’s between left guard Marcus Keyes, who has 40 career starts on his resume, and right guard Bryce Bray, a redshirt freshman. Coburn got his first sack last week against Rice and now has serious confidence. The Texas coaches have continually praised Coburn, believing he’s a future star in the middle. This will be his first extended action in a charged-up Big 12 game.
EDGE: Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy vs. Texas’ flawed past
Gundy owns Texas. He’s 7-2 against the Longhorns since 2010. He’s beaten Mack Brown, Charlie Strong and Tom Herman this decade. The Cowboys haven’t lost in Austin since 2008. That’s truly incredible. “The past few years don’t have any reflection on what this team is going to do and has done so far,” Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger said. The Horns refused to get baited into talks about why the Pokes have been so successful. All they focus on is dead ahead, Saturday night. Texas is favored by six.
Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.