No. 24 Oklahoma State (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) at Texas (1-2, 0-0), 3:30 p.m. (ESPN) Line: Oklahoma State by 3
No. 24 Oklahoma State (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) at Texas (1-2, 0-0), 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: Oklahoma State by 3
Series record: Texas leads 24-5
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Both programs took steps backward in 2014 and starting 1-0 Big 12 play would be a big boost of confidence. Texas perhaps needs it even more. Texas hasn't started 1-3 since 1956. The 1993 team lost three of its first five games but sneaked in a tie to start 1-3-1.
Oklahoma State linebackers against Texas' dual-threat QB Jerrod Heard. The freshman set a school record with 527 yards total yards last week against California and was a nightmare for defenders when he extended plays with his feet or took off for a long touchdown. If Cowboy's linebackers can prevent Heard from running for first downs and keep him one-dimensional as a passer, they could frustrate the freshman in his third career start.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Oklahoma State: QB Mason Rudolph. If the game gets into the shootout most expect, Rudolph will have to be able to match Heard touchdown for touchdown. Rudolph has 947 yards passing with five touchdowns. His favorite target is David Glidden, who is averaging 23.6 yards on 12 catches with three touchdowns.
Texas: Daje Johnson, the wide receiver-running back-kick returner who has become a big playmaker all around the field. Johnson is finally delivering on his potential averaging 18.1 yards every time he touches, whether running on jet sweeps or catching the ball on wheel routes out of the backfield. He also has a punt return for a touchdown and California refused to kick the ball to him last week.
FACTS & FIGURES
Texas has dominated the series historically, but the Cowboys have owned the Longhorns in Austin of late, winning three in a row there since 2010 ... Texas hasn't lost its Big 12 opener since 2007 ... Oklahoma State won its three nonconference games by an average score of 42-12 ... The Longhorns rank last in the nation in third-down conversion defense.