The Texas Longhorns have looked very good in the early part of 2012. After a disappointing season in 2011, the Horns have started out this year with convincing home wins against bad opponents. The Horns then went into Oxford and took down Ole Miss at night. Though the Rebels are certainly not an SEC powerhouse – and Vaught-Hemingway Stadium is no Death Valley – that game was impressive in its own right. The Longhorns ran the ball well, threw the ball well, and lit up the scoreboard with a significant amount of authority.
Oklahoma State has struggled a little bit in the early going. After running up a huge number of points against Savannah State, the Pokes took to the road to play a difficult game against a good Arizona team. The Wildcats destroyed them in Tucson, leaving some major question marks about this Cowboy team. Can they score like they did last year? Can they play any defense this season? Will they get consistent quarterback play? These are all questions that must be answered going forward by Oklahoma State if they are going to have a chance to compete in the Big 12.
Last year, this matchup was pretty close. Texas managed to keep it competitive in front of the home fans. They just couldn’t make enough plays to close the gap. The big problem a season ago was the inability to stop the run. Texas let Oklahoma State run up and down the field for a number of long touchdowns. Texas has improved some against the run, so they should have more success in that department this year. One thing is different about this game, though. Texas heads to Stillwater, where Oklahoma State does not make a habit of losing.
The Cowboys demolished nearly everywhere in Stillwater a season ago. They even crushed a decent Oklahoma team there in the final game of the year. Texas has looked good against rough competition, but they have not truly been tested. That will all change this week. The difficult environment and high-flying Oklahoma State attack will prove troublesome for the Horns. Even in its blowout win against Ole Miss, Texas had trouble stopping the big play. If they don’t get that little problem corrected this week, they will walk away from Oklahoma State with another loss in this matchup. If they can fix this issue and keep up the strong running game, Texas might be real this year.
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