As we enter the 7th week of college football we find ourselves in rarefied air. Oklahoma State is the big 5-0 for the first time since, well, last year. Wait? So, this means the Cowboys are 5-0 two years in a row? Well when was the last time that happened*.
As we prep for a showdown in Austin with the
5-0 and top 10 4-1 and barely ranked Longhorns, we find ourselves wondering what we're up against. I'm here to fix that. Before we begin looking hard at what the stats tell us (never believe what the stats tell you), lets look at a few series notes.
Texas owns our testicles all time, as we are 3 and 22, ouch. We are also 2-14 all time in Austin (but we've won one out of the last one there). This is the first time, ever, that OSU enters the game against Texas as the higher ranked team. And, finally, for the second time in the last 3 games, Oklahoma State will be featured on ABC in the 2:30 slot (thanks for breaking the streak Kansas, dickheads).
Now then, what about this years Texas Longhorns? (I'd like to offer a 3 Limey salute (7 shots per Limey =21 shots) to former Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert, shine on you crazy diamond. Or fuck off, either way) This year's team sports a dynamic duo of quarterbacks (say that with a straight face, and then check our my man Yachoff's excellent primer on those two) David Ash and Colt McCoy Lite, as well as two new coordinators (who, were just made Bob Stoops bitches last weekend. I'm gonna stop these little side notes for a while, otherwise we'll be here all day).
Get your party balls out and click the jump, it's gonna be a long one
Lets kick things off with the offense, headed by the "offensive genius" tandem of Bryan Harsin and Major Applewhite. You'll remember Applewhite as that decent quarterback Texas had, who was immediately replaced by that wuss quarterback, who's name isn't worth mentioning, Mack Browns coaching at it's finest. You'll remember Harsin (no, actually you won't, but you'll try) as the man behind the Boise State Miracle over OU. The Longhorn offense has not been as amazing as you would think, considering all those blue chippers, innovative coordinators, and the Longhorn Network.
Currently Texas is averaging 388 yards per game, 172 on the ground, 216 through the air. Between all quarterbacks this year (there have been a few), Texas has thrown 6 TD's and 4 int's. That's an important stat, as the Cowboys have picked the ball of 10 times this year. Yeah, you read that right, 10 picks through 5 games. Skeet Skeet SKEET! (damn I miss Dave Chapelle). The Cowboys have also 4 fumble recoveries. We are, quite possibly, the most opportunistic defense ever to grace Lewis Field wearing the Orange and Black. Back to Texas, neither of their top two running backs (Malcolm Brown, Fozzy Whittaker) have cracked the 100 yard a game average, coming in at 76 and 37, respectively. This speaks more towards the UT offensive line, which has given up 15 sacks this year. To put that into context, the OSU offensive line gave up 13, for the entirety of last year.
Does Fozzy scare you?
So, what do we know so far? Well, Texas can't protect the quarterback well, they can't run block well, and they love to give the ball away. Can they catch? Well, we all know they have at least one receiver, since we know where there is a baby McCoy, there is a baby Shipley. I'm talking of course, of Jaxon Shipley (you know what Longhorn fans, fuck you for this. Another round of McCoy to Shipley, right now Herbstreit is beating off thinking about that phrase). Baby Ship has 25 receptions on the year, a few TD's, and a few hundred yards. And he leads the team (but would only be good for third on our team, and he'd be in a fight for that spot). Behind B-Ship the only other receiver with more than 10 receptions is Mike Davis (we have 6 receivers with over 10 receptions).
I think I know all I need to know to make some informed observations about the UT offense.
Observation number 1:
They're not very good. 3 of their games were against opponents who's total defense was ranked 90th or worse (and BYU was 54th), and after this weekend it will be 4 of 6 (Remember UT fan's, Sam already put yo punk ass' in it's place with that stat bullshit, so don't bring that here), yet they still have an offense outside the top 50 (and are 9th in the Big 12). Also, as I alluded to earlier, we are a very opportunistic defense, so when McCoy and Ash make their mistakes we will capitalize on them.
Observation number 2:
We can stop their run game. I've seen many comments from delusional Longhorn fans that believe the key to beating us is run, run, run, run some more, and then run again. That won't work, and I'll tell you why. Outside of B-Ship, we don't have to respect any other UT receiver, and will be able to commit 9 to stop the run if they choose to go that rout. Their O-line is porous, and we should be able to get linebackers in the backfield, (and if you sneeze on Ash he fumbles), so I'm not worried about their run game at all.
Observation number 3:
When you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks. I believe that part of their problem is the rotating quarterback system. They don't bring in Ash for a change of pace, they bring him in because they still don't know who should be their starter. Neither player can get in a rhythm, and the mistakes should continue.
Okay, now that we're done with that let's move on to the defense. What, you didn't think we we're going to split these into two did you? Hell no, time to go big baby.
Last year the Texas defense was the strength of their team, this year, not much has changed. UT has the 24th ranked defense in the country (but, as you may already know, round here we don't give two shits about statistics). They only allow around 100 yards per game through the air, but that stat is overblown due to the craptastic offenses they've faced, outside of the goon's that is (who managed to light bevo's ass up for 367 yards). The D-line has been decent, until they faced a good offensive line (again, goons), and they were then held to only one sack, and were only in the backfield for about .43 seconds.
I'm not going to spend as much time on defense as I did on offense, because we know what our O can do, and I see no reason to believe it won't keep it up this week. We all saw what the red horde did last week, and we have a better line, better running backs, better receivers, and a better quarterback (I had to harness my inner beergut there, but no one will actually convince me the Stache is better than Weeden). The only players who we need to look out for in my opinion would be Emmanuel Acho (leading tackler and sack artist), a linebacker, and in the secondary Blake Gideon and Adrian Phillips, who have 3 interceptions between them (which is only 7 short of our secondary, who our receiver face daily in practice).
What are my final thoughts on the Longhorn D? Well, they were unable to get any consistent pressure on the Stache last week, and we have a better line, so I would be very surprised if Weeden doesn't have all the time he needs. Along with that, I don't see if they'll be able to slow our run game down. We've said it so many times, but the Randle/Smiff combo is so damn hard to slow down. Let me throw a stat at you, Mack Brown has never lost the game after the Red River Shootout. Let that soak in for a second. Now then, if I'm a UT fan I'd like to forget that stat, because we broke streaks last year, and I think we'll break that one this year. How confident am I? I will be utterly disappointed if we don't win by at least 30. Fuck, I'll be crushed if we don't win by 30. I'll hold off on a pick until Royal puts that up Friday, but just know, my confidence is at an all time high (setting my self up for pain if we lose. But we won't, so screw that line of thinking).
*Forgot about the question, didn't you? Well the last time we started back to back season 5-0 was 1944-1945, when we went 17-1 those two years.