Considering their remaining schedules, Oklahoma State and Texas would be well-served to knock the other one off this weekend. Both teams look to become bowl-eligible Saturday when the Cowboys host the Longhorns. Oklahoma State won five straight after dropping a 37-31 decision to defending national champion Florida State in the season opener, only to get blown out by three teams in the top half of the Big 12 (TCU, West Virginia and Kansas State) before last week’s open date.
The Cowboys will wrap up the regular season with road contests against No. 6 Baylor and No. 24 Oklahoma, putting the pressure on them to defeat the Longhorns for the fourth time in five years in order to guarantee themselves a bowl bid. Texas opened 2-4 under first-year coach Charlie Strong and faces a similar win-now predicament since the Longhorns close their season Nov. 27 at home versus No. 5 TCU. The Longhorns enter this contest on a bit of a roll, however, winning three of their last four after defeating then-No. 25 West Virginia 33-16 last weekend.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, Fox. LINE: Texas -2.5.
ABOUT TEXAS (5-5, 4-3 Big 12): The Longhorns are averaging 234 yards and three touchdowns on the ground during their two-game winning streak after failing to crack 200 yards in any of their first eight contests with just 10 rushing TDs. Johnathan Gray posted his first 100-yard day of the season (101 yards on 10 carries) against the Mountaineers while Malcolm Brown added 90 more on 20 attempts to move into 11th place on the school’s all-time rushing list (2,593). The pass defense, which ranks 14th in FBS, is allowing 184.4 yards and has not surrendered a score through the air in three consecutive contests for the first time since 2001.
ABOUT OKLAHOMA STATE (5-4, 3-3): Sophomore defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, who leads the conference in sacks (nine) and tackles for loss (14.5), has been on a tear over his last four games, compiling six sacks and 10.5 TFLs. Big 12 all-purpose yardage leader Tyreek Hill stepped in for Desmond Roland (death in family) in the Cowboys’ Nov. 1 loss to Kansas State and gave the Cowboys their first 100-yard rushing effort of the season, which was also the first one the Wildcats had allowed to that point. Hill also has two of Oklahoma State’s four non-offensive touchdowns this season, adding to the Cowboys’ 29 such scores since 2010 (second-most in FBS).
1. The Longhorns hold a 23-5 advantage in the all-time series and have won seven of the eight games played in Stillwater.
2. The Cowboys, who are on their first three-game slide since 2005, have committed at least two turnovers in each of their last six games.
3. Texas has won two of its three Big 12 road contests this season and eight of its last 11 such games overall.
PREDICTION: Texas 31, Oklahoma State 24