AUSTIN, Texas – Tom Herman has led Texas to 19 victories - including a 12-6 mark in Big 12 action - and two bowl victories in a little over two years, but one opponent has had his number during his time with the school. The third-year coach and his 13th-ranked Longhorns attempt to beat Oklahoma State in Austin for the first time since 2008 on Saturday night when they open conference play against each other.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC. LINE: Texas -5.
Herman's teams have defeated eight of the nine teams in the Big 12 since he took over for Charlie Strong following the 2016 season, but the Cowboys have squeaked out a pair of three-point victories over the last two seasons. However, Texas' struggles in this rivalry extend much further than that, as the Cowboys have won four straight meetings and seven of the last nine - a stretch that includes the bulk of their five-game home losing streak to Oklahoma State. The Longhorns enter the contest with plenty of confidence after routing Rice last weekend, one week after giving No. 5 LSU all it could handle in a 45-38 loss. Oklahoma State averaged 49.3 points while mostly cruising through its non-conference schedule, although the Cowboys fell behind 21-20 at halftime last week at Tulsa before scoring 20 unanswered points to put away the Golden Hurricane.
ABOUT OKLAHOMA STATE (3-0)
Sophomore running back Chuba Hubbard, who leads the country with 521 yards rushing, had over 100 yards on the ground just over 3 1/2 minutes into the game last week, eventually finishing with a career-high 256 yards and three scores en route to winning Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors. The Cowboys also boast the conference's top receiver in Tylan Wallace, who leads the Big 12 in receiving yardage (390), yards per catch (26) and receiving TDs (six). Their contributions have made life easy for quarterback Spencer Sanders, who has thrown for seven touchdowns versus one interception and ranks third among FBS freshmen with a pass efficiency rating of 181.8.
ABOUT TEXAS (2-1)
Sam Ehlinger ranks 11th in FBS with 318.7 passing yards per game and is one of only three FBS quarterbacks with at least 11 TD passes who have yet to throw an interception. Devin Duvernay tallied six receptions for 60 yards against Rice and is tied for first in the country with 27 catches, although he took a back seat last week to freshman receiver Jake Smith, who paced the team with 75 receiving yards and two scores. Texas is expected to get receiver Collin Johnson (hamstring), center Zach Shackelford (foot) and linebacker Joseph Ossai (shoulder) back against the Cowboys after each of them missed all or part of last week's win.
1. Since Mike Gundy became the Cowboys' coach in 2005, Oklahoma State has produced 104 individual 100-yard rushing efforts. Over that same span, Texas has 17.
2. The Longhorns have topped 38 points in each game in 2019, matching the number of times they did so all of last season.
3. Wallace has at least one receiving touchdown in eight of his last nine games and multiple scores in four of his last seven.
PREDICTION: Texas 41, Oklahoma State 31