LB Caleb Lavey (Sr.)
Coming off of an impressive offensive performance against West Virginia, the Texas offense is feeling good about its ability to put up points. Oklahoma State, though known for its own high-powered offense, has the athletes on slow down this Longhorn offense. The leader of this defense is senior linebacker Caleb Lavey. Lavey leads the Cowboys this season with 68 tackles and is second on the team with 2.5 sacks and three interceptions. Lavey has showcased the ability to do anything that’s needed on the defensive side of the ball and will likely be the key component in marginalizing the Longhorns’ running game. He doesn’t rush the passer very much so Texas should look to keep him blocked at the second level to clear space for Malcolm Brown to lead the charge in leading rusher Johnathan Gray’s absence.
QB J.W. Walsh (So.)
Sophomore quarterback J.W. Walsh got well-acquainted with the Longhorns last season, passing for 301 yards and two touchdowns in the Cowboys’ narrow 41-36 loss. Walsh has passed for a team-high 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns through eight games this season. He is also the third-leading rusher for the Cowboys with 294 total yards and three touchdowns. Walsh is a very mobile quarterback, something the Longhorns traditionally struggle with, and will look to use every part of his game to pick them apart. His five interceptions reveal that he is prone to making mistakes under pressure and Texas should look to swarm him every chance it gets.
WR Josh Stewart (Jr.)
Much like mobile quarterbacks give the Longhorns trouble, diminutive receivers seem to give them just as much trouble. At 5-foot-10 and only 180 pounds, Josh Stewart fits the bill. Stewart leads the Cowboys with 40 catches for 502 yards and two touchdowns this season. The quick junior is also a threat on special teams, returning two punts for touchdowns this season and averaging 18.2 yards per return. Stewart can elude any Texas defender in open space so the Longhorns should look to wrap him up to prevent big gains. He can catch, he can run, and he can make people miss. Stewart will be the main player to look out for in this matchup.