Texas football vs. OK State: 4 reasons the Horns can dominate in Stillwater

Quinn Ewers, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Quinn Ewers, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports /
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Bijan Robinson, Texas Football Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports
Bijan Robinson, Texas Football Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports /

In a couple of days, we’ll see No. 20 ranked Texas football take to the field at Boone Pickens Stadium for Homecoming in Stillwater to face head coach Mike Gundy and the No. 11 ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys. Texas and head coach Steve Sarkisian could establish themselves as one of the legitimate frontrunners to make it to the Big 12 Championship Game this season with a win over Oklahoma State in a high-stakes matchup in Stillwater this weekend.

Sark and the Longhorns come into this big-time matchup against the Pokes with a record of 5-2 (3-1 Big 12), having won each of their last three games. Texas is coming off a close three-point win that came down to the final minute on Oct. 15 at home at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium against the Iowa State Cyclones.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma State doesn’t have a whole lot of momentum heading into Week 8. Oklahoma State boasts a record of 5-1 (2-1 Big 12) following a tough 43-20 double overtime loss in Fort Worth on Oct. 15 at the hands of the No. 13 TCU Horned Frogs.

How Quinn Ewers, Bijan Robinson, and No. 20 Texas football can dominate No. 11 Oklahoma State

Texas is nearly a touchdown favorite over Oklahoma State in this game, which feels weird with Sark’s squad taking on a top-15-ranked Gundy team. Here’s a look at four reasons why the Longhorns could dominate the Pokes in Week 8.

Texas’ interior defensive line has a significant advantage over Oklahoma State’s IOL

The strength of the Texas defensive lies along the interior of the defensive line. This group of four interior defensive linemen in sophomore Byron Murphy, senior Moro Ojomo, senior Keondre Coburn, and senior T’Vondre Sweat are playing the best football of each of their respective careers this season.

Two of the four lowest-graded Big 12 offensive guards in run blocking are from Oklahoma State. The same could be said for the lowest-graded center in run blocking. Oklahoma State is struggling to get off at the point of attack and move any bodies off the line of scrimmage on run plays.

It also doesn’t help that Oklahoma State has had a revolving door at center in the last few weeks thanks to rampant injury issues.

One advanced metric that does an excellent job of illustrating the lack of effectiveness for this Oklahoma State offensive line on plays that need big pushes off the line of scrimmage is opportunity rate. According to Football Outsiders, Oklahoma State ranks 99th in the FBS in opportunity rate (45.6 percent).

That essentially means Oklahoma State is able to pick up at least four yards on a carry where that yardage is available well under 50 percent of the time. This means that the offensive line is probably not doing its job when the ground game tries for a “successful play” more often than not.

The situation for Oklahoma State doesn’t get much better in pass protection when you talk about the pressure that the interior offensive line allows. Oklahoma State is the only team in the Big 12 this season that has given up at least half of the quarterback pressures by way of the left guard or the center.

Oklahoma State’s interior offensive line could have a long day on Saturday against this interior Texas defensive line, which possesses three of the five most effective pass rushers for this position group in the Big 12 this season.