Opponents to watch: Hubbard, Harvell-Peel star for Cowboys

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Photo Credit: Courtesy of Oklahoma State Athletics

Fresh off snapping a two-game losing streak last weekend, the Longhorns will face their toughest test of the season when they travel to Stillwater to face off against No. 6 Oklahoma State. The Cowboys are 4–0 on the season and are second in the Big 12 standings. A win for Texas would mark a signature performance for head coach Tom Herman and may even buy him some more job security. A loss will lead to increased grumbling among a Texas fan base that is impatient with the team’s progress.

Here are four Cowboys to watch for Saturday:

No. 30 Chuba Hubbard — Running Back
One word comes to mind when describing redshirt junior Chuba Hubbard: dynamic. The reigning 2019 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year has picked up right where he left off last season, averaging just under 120 rushing yards per game along with picking up five touchdowns on the season. Hubbard was projected to be a 2020 NFL Draft pick last season, but he chose to stay at Oklahoma State for a chance to win the Big 12 title. The Canadian running back is not much of a receiving threat out of the backfield, but he is the undisputed workhorse for the Cowboys offense. The Texas defense only gave up 64 rushing yards to Baylor last weekend, but the Longhorns will have their hands full trying to contain Hubbard.

No. 2 Tylan Wallace — Wide Receiver
A 6-foot, 190-pound speedster, Tylan Wallace is one of the most-feared receivers in the country because of his ability to take the top off a defense. The leading receiver for the Oklahoma State offense, Wallace is averaging 16.7 yards per catch. Last season, the senior out of Fort Worth, Texas, was named a second team All-Big 12 performer despite missing half of conference play with an injury. The scariest aspect of Wallace’s game is that he is always one play away from blowing open a football game. Herman and the Longhorns found out this the hard way in 2018 when Wallace exploded for 222 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Look for Texas to shadow Wallace throughout the game with over-the-top safety help to ensure he doesn’t get behind the defense. 

 

No. 31 Kolby Harvell-Peel — Safety
A 2019 first team All-Big 12 performer, Kolby Harvell-Peel is the defensive leader for an Oklahoma State defense that is giving up 12 points per game. The safety out of College Station, Texas, is leading the team in interceptions with two so far this season. He has also broken up two passes. A true junior, Harvell-Peel is a part of one of the top safety tandems in the Big 12 with redshirt junior Tre Sterling. The duo has been integral to the Cowboys holding opponents to 176 passing yards per game through the first four games of the season. This defense, however, has not yet seen a quarterback as mobile and talented as senior Sam Ehlinger this season.

No. 3 Tre Sterling — Safety
Tre Sterling, the other half of one of the top safety tandems in the Big 12, is no longer in the shadows of fellow defensive back Harvell-Peel. The safety out of Sunnyvale, Texas, is leading the Cowboys defense in tackles with 28. While he hasn’t registered an interception this year, Sterling has found ways to impact the run and pass games. He is a big reason that Oklahoma State is the No. 2 defense in the Big 12 so far in the early season. The Cowboys as a team, however, have not yet faced a team built like the Longhorns yet, who are the No. 2 offense in the Big 12.