Head-to-Head History: Oklahoma State

Payne Williams, Senior Sports Reporter

No. 20 Texas enters this weekend as the favorite in its matchup against No. 11 Oklahoma State. While the Cowboys ran the table in the 2010s, the Longhorns boast a 26-10 all-time record against their Stillwater foes.

Texas also holds a 9-2 road record against Oklahoma State, however, its most recent away victory in 2020 came on one of the program’s most memorable defensive stands.

Unranked Texas entered that Halloween matchup as heavy underdogs to No. 6 Oklahoma State as the undefeated Cowboys looked to continue their College Football Playoff bid. However, a spectacular defensive performance from junior Joseph Ossai gave the Longhorns one of their most exciting wins in recent memory.

Ossai was everywhere in his best collegiate performance. The outside linebacker recorded three sacks on his way to six total tackles-for-loss and had his hand in multiple Cowboy fumbles. In a game where Texas didn’t see its first lead until the final four minutes of regulation, the Longhorns needed all 60 hard-fought minutes and more from Ossai.

Oklahoma State owned the Longhorns for most of the game, and the momentum was on the Pokes’ side for nearly the entirety of regulation. Redshirt sophomore Spencer Sanders and the Cowboys were driving down the field to start the fourth quarter when running back LD Brown fumbled and Ossai recovered, after forcing a fumble in the first half.

Texas’ resulting drive would take 15 plays and consume over seven minutes of the fourth-quarter clock. Senior Sam Ehlinger ended the drive on fourth down with a touchdown pass to sophomore Jake Smith. The Longhorns had their first lead of the game.

Both offenses stalled on each of their following drives, but a closing field goal by Cowboys’ kicker Alex Hale sent the game to overtime with both teams knotted at 34-34.

Texas scored its first touchdown in overtime but needed a defensive stop to keep the previously electric Sanders out of the endzone. On fourth down for Oklahoma State, Sanders dropped back to pass, but Ossai rifled around the right tackle chasing Sanders out of the pocket and sacked him. Ossai finished the game as Texas’ leading tackler in the 41-34 overtime win.

The Texas defense will need another stellar performance this weekend if they hope to slow down Mike Gundy’s offense. The Cowboys are ninth in the nation in offensive points, scoring an average of 45 points per game. The Longhorns will have their hands full, but with many playmakers across the field, the Texas defense could see another Ossai-level performance Saturday afternoon.