Win-or-Lose Scenarios for Texas vs. OU

Jillian Kushner

Texas wins if…

The defense can make stops. TCU had 31 first downs and 604 total yards against Texas’ defense. The Texas defense had no answer for senior quarterback Trevone Boykin and the Horned Frogs’ offense. This was the defense’s first real matchup. Oklahoma will be a very similar offense to TCU’s, as Sooners junior quarterback Baker Mayfield threw for 320 yards against West Virginia and averaged 11 yards per pass. This will be another huge test for the Longhorn defense. Like Boykin, Mayfield is a Heisman candidate quarterback. Both rack up hundreds of passing yards in each game. So far on the season, Mayfield has 1,382 passing yards, 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. The deep ball is the Texas defense’s biggest weakness and the Oklahoma offense’s biggest strength.

It can establish the running game. Texas only had 191 rushing yards against TCU, but the running game looked promising, even though Texas could not get the passing game going. The Oklahoma defense allowed more rushing yards than passing yards in the win over West Virginia last weekend. The running game could be the best way for the Longhorns to wear down the Sooners’ defense and make progress downfield. With sophomore D’Onta Foreman and senior Johnathan Gray, the running game could rack up a few hundred yards against Oklahoma. With the weaknesses in the Longhorns’ receiving game, the running backs could change the game in Texas’ favor.

Texas loses if…

It plays like it did against TCU. The near shutout was embarrassing for the Longhorns, as Texas could not get going on any front. The running game amounted to nothing, the passing game amounted to nothing and special teams were far from special. Senior kicker Nick Rose missed two relatively short field goals — one from 39 yards and one from 40 yards. If Texas cannot get on the board with field goals, it’s going to be a long game Saturday. A 40-yard field goal should be automatic for a kicker. Every point counts against a top-ranked team like No. 10 Oklahoma. Missed field goals will not only keep the Horns off the board, but also discourage the team — this is what happened against TCU. The missed points and three-and-outs took all the wind out of Texas. The players looked miserable on the sidelines just watching the time tick away. At the Cotton Bowl, momentum will be everything.