Texas Football: 5 reasons why the Longhorns can dominate OK State

Xavier Worthy, Texas football
Xavier Worthy, Texas football /
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Texas football and head coach Steve Sarkisian have already met one of their big goals this season by making an appearance in the Big 12 Championship Game and reaching double-digit wins during the regular season. But Texas can take the season to further heights if it comes out on top against the No. 18 Oklahoma State Cowboys and longtime head coach Mike Gundy at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, on Dec. 2.

Texas is a heavy favorite against Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship Game. After opening as an 11.5-point favorite against Oklahoma State for the Big 12 title game last weekend, Texas has moved up beyond a two-touchdown favorite as of Nov. 30.

No. 7 Texas football has plenty of reasons why it could dominate No. 18 Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship Game

The Longhorns have momentum entering the Big 12 Championship Game after dominating the Texas Tech Red Raiders to reach an 11-1 (8-1 Big 12) record to round out the regular season. Texas beat Texas Tech 57-7 on Black Friday in the final Big 12 game at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

Oklahoma State (9-3, 7-2 Big 12) had a comeback win against the BYU Cougars to reach the Big 12 Championship Game in pretty spectacular fashion in Stillwater last weekend. Gundy and the Pokes were down 24-6 to BYU at halftime in that game. But Ollie Gordon and Oklahoma State came alive in the second half to rattle off a double-digit comeback for a win in double overtime.

Texas has the decided edge in this matchup on paper. But Gundy and Oklahoma State never made this easy for the Longhorns in the history of these two teams meeting as Big 12 foes.

Here are five reasons why the Longhorns can dominate the Pokes in the Big 12 Championship Game on Dec. 2.

Texas’ speed in the receiving corps easily outpaces Oklahoma State’s in the secondary

Texas should have all their key players active for the Big 12 Championship Game against Oklahoma State this weekend. That’s obviously important because Texas is at its best on offense when redshirt sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers is getting the ball into the hands of his best playmakers in the receiving corps and at tight end.

This game is a chance for standout junior receivers Xavier Worthy and Adonai Mitchell to gash an Oklahoma State defense prone to giving up the big play this season. Oklahoma State ranks 129th in the FBS in explosive passing plays allowed for 20+ yards this season (per CFB Stats).

The issue for Oklahoma State in giving up explosive plays is the inability of the safeties to keep opponents from getting over the top on them in the passing game. Oklahoma State has a few safeties, namely senior Trey Rucker and sophomore Kendal Daniels, who are good at coming downhill and playing physical football.

But Oklahoma State’s starting safeties are slower than most Texas has faced in the Big 12 this season. That has led to Oklahoma State’s safeties giving up more receiving yards, explosive plays, and receiving touchdowns in conference play than any other team in the Big 12.

It’s up to Ewers to hit the deep shots in this game to take advantage of the ability to get Worthy and Mitchell behind the Oklahoma State secondary for explosive plays.

Oklahoma State doesn’t have the speed and ability at corner to shut down Worthy and Mitchell in one-on-one man coverage. And the safeties haven’t been super effective when they’re asked to shadow over the top in pass coverage.

If Ewers can connect on just a handful of deep shots in this game, Oklahoma State could get behind fast on the scoreboard this weekend.