Share “Oklahoma State football: Weighing Texas'...”

Oklahoma State football: Weighing Texas' chances against the Cowboys

Texas is trying to show it is back after dismantling Ole Miss in its last game. The Oklahoman takes a look at Saturday's matchup.
BY GINA MIZELL Modified: September 23, 2012 at 10:47 pm •  Published: September 24, 2012


photo - Texas' David Ash (14) hands the ball off to Texas' Malcolm Brown (28) in the first half during a college football game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the University of Texas Longhorns (UT) at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman  ORG XMIT: KOD
Texas' David Ash (14) hands the ball off to Texas' Malcolm Brown (28) in the first half during a college football game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the University of Texas Longhorns (UT) at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD

David Ash: Yes, really. Ash still has a long way to go to prove he's a top-tier quarterback in the Big 12, but he's clearly much better this season than during his freshman campaign of 2011. He's completing 76.4 percent of his passes, has not thrown an interception and was named the Davey O'Brien Quarterback of the Week for his performance against Ole Miss (19-of-23, 326 yards, four touchdowns). With Ash efficient and effective, the Longhorns' offense is no longer one-dimensional.

Turnover margin: Last season, this stat would have heavily favored the Cowboys and their ball-hawking defense in just about every game they played. But so far in 2012, OSU has forced just three turnovers in three games and is minus-4 in turnover margin. UT, meanwhile, is tied for sixth in the nation with a plus-six turnover margin, with seven take-aways (including six interceptions) and just one turnover in its first three games.

Enough is enough: OSU went down to Austin and beat UT in back-to-back seasons. The Longhorns will be eager to return the favor in a road environment where they have found much success. UT has won seven of eight games against OSU in Stillwater, with the Cowboys' only victory coming in 1997.

Berry Tramel's take on OSU-Texas

The Cowboys won in Austin two years in a row, and while they did it with Brandon Weeden at quarterback, they didn't blast the Longhorns with the pass.

Oh, Weeden lit up Texas for 409 yards in 2010, completing 29 of 43 passes in a 33-16 victory. But in 2011, Weeden was 23 of 41 for 218 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions in a 38-26 win.

But in 2010, Kendall Hunter rushed for 116 yards on 23 carries. Last year, Jeremy Smith had 140 yards on seven carries, and Joseph Randle had 68 yards on 17 carries.

Now, with Wes Lunt injured and the Cowboys retooling with backup QB J.W. Walsh, OSU's chances this Saturday against Texas are clear. The Cowboys have to run the ball.

If OSU can get Randle and Smith loose, it opens the passing lane for Walsh, who doesn't have the cannon arm of Lunt or Weeden. Walsh needs the ‘Horns to be preoccupied with the run game.

That only happens if the Cowboys prove they can keep running it on Texas. Otherwise, the Longhorns win, and probably easily.

Jenni Carlson's take on OSU-Texas

Don't look now, but Texas might have another star quarterback in the making.

David Ash has been impressive through three games, throwing for seven touchdowns and completing 76 percent of his attempts. A year after he struggled with turnovers, he has thrown no interceptions.

Ash is the biggest concern for Oklahoma State.

Even though the Texas defense was hyped throughout the offseason, it hasn't been as stellar as expected. Last season, the Longhorns didn't give up a touchdown of longer than 20 yards until the last game of the regular season. This season, they've already give up three.

The defense has been up and down.

Ash has not.

The sophomore isn't ready to replace Vince Young and Colt McCoy as the most successful or most beloved of Longhorn quarterbacks, but he is providing reliable, solid play from a position that has been a bug-a-boo the past two seasons for Texas. When OSU last faced a reliable, solid quarterback, it got drubbed at Arizona.

Beware of David Ash, Cowboys.