Texas a Live Dog vs Oklahoma State

Texas Longhorns

Rainman M.

Thursday, October 19, 2017 4:13 PM GMT

Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017 4:13 PM GMT

Texas (3-3) hosts #10 Oklahoma State (5-1) this Saturday at 12:00 PM ET. Oklahoma State opened as 6 point favorites, but that number has been bet up to 7.

 

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Texas vs #10 Oklahoma State

In TCU's defeat of Oklahoma State, they uncovered a recipe for slowing down the Cowboys' elite offense.  They made the Cowboys one-dimensional by stopping their run game, limited big passing plays, controlled time of possession and penetrated the backfield.

Texas excels in these respects against quarterback- or pass-centered offenses, because their defense customarily features extra defensive backs, while their front seven can still apply pressure to the quarterback. Whereas they allowed a combined 75 points against Maryland and Kansas State's run-heavy offenses, they covered against USC, Oklahoma and Iowa State. The Longhorns reduced Oklahoma to 12.3 yards per pass, USC to 7.8 and Iowa State to 5.0.  

Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando can utilize various packages in order to mask the source of defensive pressure, which can come from any part of his defense.  The speed and tackling efficiency of Texas' linebackers and defensive backs maximize their potential in Orlando's aggressive scheme. The versatility of coverage and blitzing abilities of linebacker Malik Jefferson and strong safety DeShon Elliot is most conducive to Orlando's creativity, which will be seminal to keeping Oklahoma State one-dimensional on offense and in harder passing situations.  Texas ranks 28th in allowing 3.6 yards per carry and 5th in allowing offenses to convert 26% of their third downs.

Whereas they failed to cover in their opener against Maryland because they created little pressure in the backfield, the Longhorns are averaging 3 sacks per game in the last 3 games, which amounts to ranking in the top 20. They covered in each of those games.  As Orlando's players better conceptualize his complex style, they come with momentum against a Cowboys offensive line whose chemistry is impaired by injuries and position-switching. Orlando has the added advantage of not having to prepare for a mobile quarterback.  While accounting for Mayfield's ability to run, Texas missed sacks and committed mental lapses, but still contributed to his worst game of the season.

In Texas, as in TCU, the Cowboys meet another deep secondary stacked with physical talent.  Texas' secondary enjoys size and length, which will create more pressure for Rudolph to pass accurately.  Their defense also showed grit in adjusting and helping to overcome a 20 point deficit last week vs an Oklahoma offense that is balanced and runs a lot of confusing misdirections and disguises. Oklahoma State is 40-2 since 2008 when they win the turnover battle. Texas, however, leads the Big 12 with 9 interceptions.

The dual-threat quarterback Sam Ehlinger led Texas with 278 pass yards and 110 rush yards against Oklahoma. He is a threat in the air with the short passing game that compensates for the weakness of his offensive line. Against Oklahoma State, he can count on the superbly talented and well-sized circus-catch amassing receiver, Collin Johnson, to snap out of his inconsistency, re-earn his place atop the depth chart and make the kind of impact that he did vs USC.  Running back Chris Warren out of the backfield and other receivers, a number of whom are young but talented especially in the open field, can step up. Ehlinger also excelled on the ground when coverage was strong or in designed run plays such as the misdirection.  Ehlinger helps his defense by, like TCU, controlling time of possession. Texas ranks 20th in the category. 

The Verdict

Texas has rewarded bettors through their ability to achieve stronger pressure and limit quarterback-centered offenses. Their ability to force interceptions, control time of possession with Ehlinger, limit the opposing run game and opponents' third-down conversion will also be decisive against Oklahoma State on our NCAAF Picks.

Free NCAAF Pick: Texas +7Best Line Offered: at Heritage
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