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Texas Offensive Preview: The Last Chance

Oklahoma State has had a rough year, and the season comes down to really the last home game. The Longhorns of Texas are on an upswing and could come and take a win in Stillwater if the Cowboys continue to play poorly.

Tyrone Swoopes has improved as the season has gone on.
Tyrone Swoopes has improved as the season has gone on.
Erich Schlegel

The roller coaster is still on the downhill slope, with really, no signs of going back up.

That small glimmer of hope comes this weekend in Stillwater as the Longhorns come to Boone Pickens Stadium.

The Cowboys (5-4, 3-3) have their best chance of the remaining schedule to clinch a bowl bid with a sixth win on Saturday. It will not be easy though, for the Longhorns appear to have found their stride with new coach Charlie Strong. The Longhorns (5-5, 4-3) grabbed a big win against West Virginia last weekend, a Mountaineer team that handled the Pokes for the majority of the contest in Stillwater.

The strength of the Longhorns' game comes from the defense, but there are some weapons on offense that Cowboy defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer has likely had his eyes on, all week in preparation.

Longhorn quarterback Tyrone Swoopes has been hot or cold this season, but has looked dangerous when playing at his best. Last week against West Virginia was one of Swoopes' worst outings of the year, so that should give the Cowboy defense some confidence going against the inconsistent quarterback.

The key to beating Swoopes is making the still young QB make tough decisions. That means bringing pressure on the ends from Emmanuel Ogbah and company and playing solid coverage on down-and-long plays. If Oklahoma State can force several third-and-long situations and execute, which has been easier said than done in previous weeks, the Cowboys should be able to cause Swoopes to make a mistake or two.

The two headed beast of Johnathan Gray and Malcolm Brown will be a huge part of Strong's game plan against the Cowboys. The Horns will challenge James Castleman and Ofa Hautau along with the linebacking corps early on with a physical downhill attack with the two top-flight runners.

If the Cowboys can keep the tandem from averaging four yards a carry, then the possibilities for Swoopes will shrink further. Jaxon Shipley and John Harris are the receiving threats for the Horns and both are good for at least 5 receptions a game. Meaning players like Ramon Richards and Tre Flowers have to start moving up the learning curve. If those two can shore up their coverages and not allow the big play, the game will be on the shoulders of the OSU offense. Not exactly what you'd want to put all your hope in, but it is what it is.

This game unfortunately is going to continue the losing skid for the Cowboys. The streak will extend to four as the Cowboys will look to take in a game at the new shiny stadium in Waco against the Baylor Bears. It doesn't get any better from here.

If the Cowboys can't squeak out a win against the Longhorns, hopes for another bowl appearance are going to be close to slim and none.

Final Score: Texas 28-Oklahoma State 17