By Jake Nichols & Adam Meave
The Texas Longhorns finally took back their home on the Forty Acres from the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Horns killed the streak of five consecutive losses at home, and four straight losses against the Cowboys.
The Pokes started the game with a 13-play, 6-minute drive that ended with a field goal.
Texas grabbed the lead with a Duvernay six-yard touchdown on the first play of the second quarter.
Spencer Sanders overthrew Jelani Woods three plays later which resulted in an interception. Only his second of the season. Texas capitalized on the turnover with a Jake Smith touchdown catch.
Both teams would trade touchdowns before half to leave the Pokes trailing 21-20.
Oklahoma State turned down two field goal opprotunities in the second half that would turn out to be enormous.
Gleeson and Co only found the endzone once in the back half of the game coupled with a third Ammendola field goal.
The Cowboys had hope when a second muffled punt was coughed up by Texas with less than four minutes to play.
Hubbard would find the endzone eight plays and two game minutes later.
After an onside kick attempt was up for grabs, it was finally recovered by the Longhorns.
On a third down and long play Elingher faked the handoff to Ingram and rolled back to his right and ran it for the first down giving the Horns the victory.
Key Plays Of The Game
11:39 1st [OKST 3rd & 6 on TEX 27] – Spencer Sanders finds WR Wolf deep into Texas territory. Downed at Texas 3 yard line. Texas would end up making a huge defensive stand, holding the Cowboys to only 3 points.
15:00 2nd [TEX 1st & Goal at OKST 6] – Sam Ehlinger finds Devin DuVernay for a toe-tapping touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone.
14:15 2nd [OKST 1st & 10 at OKST 45] – Spencer Sanders overthrows his wideout, interception Texas by backup safety Montrell Estell shifting momentum with Texas leading 7-3.
5:31 2nd [TEX 4th & 3 at TEX 28] – Roschon Johnson lines up in shotgun next to Ehlinger, takes the hand-off on a zone read, stuffed behind the line by OK St defensive line. Turnover on Downs.
3:14 2nd [OKST 3rd & Goal at TEX 8] – Spencer Sanders lined up in shotgun, takes snap on QB draw, breaks tackle behind the line of scrimmage and walks in for 6. Texas’ lead diminished to one point.
5:38 3rd[TEX 1st & 10 at OKST 25] -Texas now down by two, OK St 23-TEX 21, a double reverse play back to Sam Ehlinger, who finds TE Cade Brewer deep down the sideline who rumbles into the end zone for 6.
1:45 4th[OKST 3rd & 10 at TEX 13] – From the pistol, Chuba Hubbard takes a hand-off wide left to front left cone for a touchdown to bring the game within 6.
1:24 4th[TEX 3rd & 9 at TEX 48] – Sam Ehlinger play action fake left, rolls out to the right on an RPO, he tucks the ball and turns the corner carrying the ball up the field for a game-clinching first down. Texas would then finish the series in the “Victory Formation”.
Key Stats of The Game
8-14 (57%) Third Down Conversion – Texas completed more than half of their third down conversions. Oklahoma State ranks 117th in the country in defensive third down conversions, and it was one of the differences in this one.
3 Yards Per Carry – Cowboy running backs averaged 3 yards per carry on 38 attempts.
37 carries, 121 yards (3.3ypc) , 2 TDs – Chuba Hubbard finished with over 100 yards and two scores, but the Texas defense made him work for every foot on every touch. The Cowboys didn’t want Hubbard anywhere near 40 touches, but the Longhorns forced them into using Hubbard more than intended.
20 Redzone Offensive Plays – Out of the 20 offensive plays ran in the redzone by Oklahoma State, only 4 were passes.
5 Total Turnovers – The Longhorns lost the turnover battle 3 to 2 including two of those on punt returns, the difference in the turnover battle was OK St inability to turn theirs into touchdowns and Texas’ defense’s ability to keep the Cowboys out of the end zone.
14.1 Yards Per Catch – Sam Ehlinger and his wideouts put on a show. Not only did the receiving corps average 14.1 yards a catch, four different receivers found the end zone against the Cowboys defense.
12 Receptions – Even with the wide distribution, Devin Duvernay showed out again with 12 receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown.
Cowboys Players Of The Game
Spencer Sanders [19 of 32 for 268 yds, 2 INTs, 18 Car for 109 yds, 1 TD] – Sanders played lights out on Saturday night. He is a true freshman and that showed at times, but there is no denying his talent, and he’s going to be a problem for the rest of the Big 12 for some time.
Kolby Harvell-Peel [9 TOT, 1 INT] – Harvell-Peel was all over the place making plays for the Cowboys. He was at the right place at the right time in the third quarter as Sam Ehlinger’s pass was deflected in the air. Peel came down with it and gave the Cowboys a change to close the gap. A chance that was not capitalized on.
Longhorns Players Of The Game
Sam Ehlinger [20 of 28 for 281 yds, 10 Car for 70 yds, 4 TDs, 1 INT] – Sam Ehlinger once again lead his team in commanding, comfortable fashion. He never looked flustered, if anything, slightly perturbed at conservative play calling while leading by only 13. He threw and ran all over the field and came up with huge plays all day long.
Devin Duvernay [12 Rec for 108 yards, 1 TD] – The Devin Duvernay Show set up in Austin once again on Saturday night. From the slot, in motion, it didn’t and doesn’t matter. All he knows how to do is produce.
Caden Sterns [12TOT, 10 SOLO, 1 TFL] – Unfortunately, it looks like Sterns could possibly miss the rest of the season after landing awkwardly on a pass defend. MRI later this week. His performance however was outstanding. Left the game twice for injuries, and still racked up 12 total tackles, 10 solo tackles and a tackle for a loss. He wasn’t intercepting every throw, but he was huge in run support against Chuba Hubbard and locking down Levi Wallace.
Keaontay Ingram [21 Car for 114 yds, 5.4 ypc, 0 TD] – Ingram has reminded us again why he is RB1. The workhorse. Averaging over 5 yards a carry and also had a reception for 26 yards, in which was more impressive to watch than it is to read.
Remaining Thoughts for Oklahoma State
Spread Offense or Wishbone? – Oklahoma State ran the ball 56 times compared to 33 pass attempts. Les Miles would be proud, but no one in orange and black was happy. After the game, Gundy explained that Texas forced them into the run by putting a safety over Tylan Wallace.
First Down Run – This goes to the above, but the Cowboys ran the ball 28 times on their 37 first down plays. Not exactly a balanced attack. Time for Gleeson to open up the offense.
Tackling needs to improve – Gundy isn’t big on a lot of contact in practice, but they should focus on tackling and wrapping guys up this week. Keaontay Ingram is not an easy guy to bring down, but the Pokes continued to allow yards after contact. It’s hard to get stops at that point. The Pokes showed no improvement at getting off the field on third down than in their first three outings. Texas converted eight of their 14 third downs.
Remaining Thoughts For Texas
Injuries Are At Mission Critical Levels. Before the game, Texas was down to just one scholarship running back with a third string quarterback transitioned into a running back to help provide some depth. The secondary has also been beaten like a Congo drum, and things got worse on Saturday.
Caden Sterns had to leave the game twice for injuries, the second time he wouldn’t return which looks devastating since he landed awkwardly on the sideline and was down holding his knee. Also, corner Josh Thompson will miss time to a fracture in his foot from Saturday night. Star corner Jalen Green suffered a dislocated shoulder in the game. If he chooses rehab over a brace, it’s 10-12 weeks of rehabilitation.
If that wasn’t bad enough, linebacker Marcus Tillman Jr was injured on Saturday night’s opening kick-off, which is rumored to be an MCL strain. The Horns have a bye week this week, but most of these injuries need a lot more than a week to heal. That’s not great for a secondary that was already without two starters in DeMarvion Overshown and BJ Foster.