Keys to the Game

Wes Maulsby

Home field Disadvantage
Under Mack Brown, Texas is 12-1 against the Cowboys, averaging almost 38 points a game with an average margin of victory of 19 points a game. Texas’ average margin of victory is actually higher on the road than at home in this series. The Longhorns’ average road margin is 21.5 points, while their home margin is 15.2 points per game. And the only loss for Brown in the series is at home in last year’s 16-33 contest.

Home and Home
Because of a scheduling quirk that came about with the conference shrinking from 12 to 10 teams, Texas will play Oklahoma State at home in consecutive years. This is the first time this has happened since the 1961 and 1960 seasons. Texas played Tech in those games, and won 17-0 in 1960 and 42-14 in 1961. In 1943, Texas lost at home to Southwestern, 7-14. The next year, Texas won the same game at home 20-0. And you have to go back 90 years for the last time that Texas to the same team at home in consecutive years. In 1921, Texas lost to Vanderbilt, 20-0. The next year, Texas lost to Vanderbilt again, 20-10.

The Hangover
Mack Brown has never lost the game following Oklahoma, having a record of 13-0 in those games. Six of those wins came against ranked opponents. The average margin of victory in those games is just more than 20 points, but that average drops to 12 against ranked teams. But only twice has Texas faced a team ranked in the top 10 in that week: beating Nebraska 24-20 in 1999 and beating the Huskers again in 2009, 20-17. Under Mack Brown, Texas has faced Oklahoma State immediately after Oklahoma one other time, rolling to a 45-17 win against the cowboys in 2001.

Comeback Boys
Three of Texas’ four-largest comebacks in history have been at the expense of the Cowboys. The first and largest of which came in 2004. Texas trailed 35-7 with 1:21 left to go in the second quarter. The Longhorns then reeled off 49 unanswered points to win the game emphatically, 56-35. It didn’t take long for a repeat performance: the next year, Texas trailed by 19 in the second quarter in Stillwater, but the Longhorns again took advantage of a strong second half to tint he game. Vince Young led Texas to 35 second-half points to down Oklahoma State. Following in Young’s footsteps, Colt McCoy again found a way to dash the hopes and dreams of the Cowboys by coming back from being down 21 points in the second half. With a little help from Jamaal Charles, Texas scored 24 points in the fourth quarter to keep the Cowboys waiting for their first win against Texas since Brown took over.

Offensive Explosion
In the 13 games under Brown, Texas has averaged 480.5 yards per game against Oklahoma State. That is the highest yards per game average Texas has against any of the former Big 12 South teams. Twice Texas has totaled 600 or more yards and has exceeded 500 yards in five more games. By comparison, in Texas’ 13 games from the 2008 season, Texas averaged 475.8 yards per game, which stands as the second-largest average in Texas history. Texas has had obvious success against the Oklahoma State defense, but it’s two lowest offensive outputs have come in the last two meetings, where Texas averaged 316.5 yards per game.