The Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma State Cowboys both have five wins, and they need six on the season in order to reach a bowl. With tough opponents ahead, this is a crucial game for both programs as they try to make their way into the postseason. Texas plays TCU later in the season, while Oklahoma State plays Oklahoma. This is a time for two teams to seize an opportunity. The Longhorns are 2.5-point college football betting favorite.
The Texas Longhorns Can Win Because…
They are headed in the right direction, and their opponent is not. Texas played its best game of the season last week against West Virginia, winning handily against an opponent that beat Baylor. Texas rushed for 227 yards and took control of the line of scrimmage. West Virginia collected more passing yards, but that was primarily a result of having to throw on almost every down after falling behind, 24-3. The Longhorns owned the first half and used scoring drives of 90, 78, and 52 yards to take that 24-3 lead. Texas’ offense was in shambles earlier in the season, but against West Virginia, the Longhorns’ offensive line fired off the line of scrimmage, supporting an offense that established great run-pass balance. Texas’ defense forced two turnovers and was strong enough that it never allowed West Virginia to get any closer than 10 points throughout the second half. Texas scored a safety to change the flow of that half, ensuring that the Longhorns would walk away with the upset.
The Longhorns are playing well, but Oklahoma State is not. The Cowboys have been a completely different team since quarterback J.W. Walsh got injured. Walsh almost led Oklahoma State to an upset of Florida State in the season opener. Backup Daxx Garman has thrown 11 interceptions along with 11 touchdown passes, and he has completed only 54 percent of his passes. Texas can stop him, and as far as the side goes, the Texas Longhorns are a -2.5 point on the college football odds.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys Can Win Because…
They are playing a team that came alive on offense last week against West Virginia, but Texas still has fundamental problems on offense. Texas averages just over 23 points per game, which is worse than 100th in the nation (out of 128 teams) in scoring. Quarterback Tyrone Swoopes is also a backup, filling in for David Ash, who suffered too many concussions and stepped away from football for good. Swoopes needed a lot of time to get better, and while he’s made improvements, he still averages only 6.33 yards per pass attempt. He has a 57-percent completion rate, and that’s with an approach which seeks to throw short balls, not long ones. Swoopes won’t be ready to be a much better player until next season. This being a road game, one should not expect him to be as sharp as he was against West Virginia. The other thing to note about this game is that Texas is 75th in the nation in rushing yards with 157 per game. If Oklahoma State can hold Texas to that average or lower, the Cowboys should feel that Swoopes will not be able to beat them.
This feels like a 50-50 game, but Texas is moving upward and Oklahoma State is stagnating. Texas is a better-coached team right now with a defense that can smother Daxx Garman. Take the Horns with your college football picks.
College Football Pick: Texas -2.5 at 5Dimes