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Oklahoma State football: OSU-Texas game has Big 12 title implications after all

We'll examine this game from several angles throughout the upcoming week. But here are some early storylines for Saturday's showdown in Austin.
Oklahoman Published: November 10, 2013

BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, gmizell@opubco.com

STILLWATER — Before the season began, it was easy to point to Oklahoma State's mid-November trip to Austin to face Texas as a game with plenty of Big 12 title implications.

By early October, that prediction sure seemed silly. The Cowboys' had just been upset at West Virginia and were sputtering on offense, while the Longhorns appeared to be in a free fall after losing to BYU and Mississippi, firing defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and needing a late (and controversial) touchdown to beat lowly Iowa State.

Six weeks later, this contest again has huge stakes, with Texas undefeated in conference play and OSU in control of its own championship destiny.

We'll examine this game from several angles throughout the upcoming week. But here are some early storylines for Saturday's showdown in Austin.

Quarterback castoffs? Not anymore

Two quarterbacks who have been passed over for the starting job on multiple occasions will get to lead their teams in a big-time game.

Clint Chelf got two series in the Cowboys' opener against Mississippi State, then was replaced by J.W. Walsh for four games, then took over for an ineffective Walsh in the second quarter against TCU and re-earned the starting job. Case McCoy has stepped in for David Ash, who has not played since Sept. 21 because of a head injury.

Neither signal-caller has been particularly spectacular, as McCoy has completed 59.5 percent of his passes for 1,417 yards, eight touchdowns and six interceptions and Chelf has completed 50.7 percent of his throws for 1,025 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions.

But OSU is 4-0 since Chelf took over, while Texas is 5-1 with McCoy as the starter.

The injury bug

Texas suffered two big blows Saturday at West Virginia, when defensive tackle Chris Whaley (knee) and running back Johnathan Gray (Achilles) were both lost for the season. That adds to a growing list of key injuries for the Longhorns, who are missing Ash and top linebacker Jordan Hicks (Achilles).

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