Ja’Tavion Sanders is a matchup nightmare for Oklahoma State’s 3-3-5 defense down the seams
The biggest matchup nightmare the Longhorns have on offense in this game is All-Big 12 junior tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders. Texas should be able to attack the seams in the intermediate and deep passing game to take advantage of some matchup discrepancies against Oklahoma State’s linebackers and safeties with Sanders down the seams and between the numbers.
Oklahoma State just doesn’t have enough defenders to take all of the threats Texas has in the receiving game away in the title game. They’ll probably shade Worthy with a safety, which is a common first move by opposing defensive coordinators against Sark’s offense.
Getting Sanders downfield in one-on-one matchups against slower defenders in coverage could be a nightmare for the Oklahoma State defense. Especially if Texas gets the ground game going early with true freshman running back CJ Baxter Jr. and sophomore Jaydon Blue, Sark can call some play action to get Sanders open down the seams.
Sark can also motion and/or line Sanders up out wide to add another layer to confuse this Oklahoma State defense pre-snap.
Another big point of emphasis for Sanders and the Texas tight ends in this game is blocking. Texas needs consistent blocking efforts from Sanders and junior tight end Gunnar Helm. Sanders hasn’t always held up his end of the bargain in blocking assignments in Big 12 play, as he’s allowed three sacks in pass pro.
Helm has been solid, though, as Texas’s most reliable blocking tight end on the two-deep.