Oklahoma State defeated Tulsa and wrapped up its non-conference portion of the schedule a perfect 3-0. The Cowboys get thrown in the deep end to start conference play next weekend at Texas. There are a few things Oklahoma State will need to do better if it expects to beat Texas.
1. Spencer Sanders
It wasn’t a horrible day by any measure for Sanders against Tulsa. It wasn’t a good day either though. He completed 12 of 22 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown, along with an interception.
Sanders was letting his deep passes hang up in the air too long. This gave defenders time to catch up to receivers who were having to slow down to make a play on the ball. Even Sanders readily admitted it wasn’t his best game, and he will have to play better if OSU is going to have a chance at beating Texas.
Much love for my teammates they always have my back even at my worst✊— Spencer Sanders (@SpenceSanders) September 15, 2019
The defense responded well after a rough stretch in the first half. OSU allowed Tulsa to put together long touchdown drives back-to-back to go into halftime down 21-20. That was the end of the scoring for Tulsa.
The longest drive Tulsa was able to put together in the second half only went for 33 yards. However, Texas has weapons. Tulsa... does not. Don’t get me wrong, it was encouraging to see the defense put together stop after stop in the second half, but they will probably need to force and turnover in the Texas game and put consistent pressure on Sam Ehlinger.
3. Penalties and Turnovers
Oklahoma State was penalized nine times for 80 yards and lost two turnovers against Tulsa. As mentioned above, the Cowboys weren’t able to force any turnovers of their own. That will not fly in Austin.
Texas is beatable. Not just for LSU and top 10 ranked teams alike. Texas can be had in Big 12 play, but the margin for error is slim. Forcing turnovers and keeping the Texas offense off the field will be the easiest way for Oklahoma State to win.