Overwhelmed by mental mistakes and poor execution, Texas became its own enemy Saturday afternoon.
After winning six straight conference games, the Longhorns had flashbacks to the beginning of their season, as Oklahoma State overwhelmed them 38-13. The Cowboys were able to handily give Texas its first conference loss of the season, adding another obstacle to the Longhorns’ road to a Big 12 title.
“They won in about every way you can,” head coach Mack Brown said. “They rushed for more yards than us, they won the turnover battle three to one … and they also won the kicking game.”
Once again, the Longhorns started slugglishly as the Cowboys grabbed an early 14-3 lead before Texas could enter the end zone. The Longhorns cut the deficit to four after a strong 75-yard drive, ending with a touchdown run from junior running back Malcolm Brown late in the first half.
Things turned disastrous for Texas with minutes to go before the break, as Oklahoma State drove 67 yards to post its third touchdown of the night. Almost immediately after, senior quarterback Case McCoy threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown, signifying a rough three minutes for the Longhorns.
“It’s unacceptable,” senior defensive back Adrian Phillips said. “We can’t do that against a high power offense like that. They were clicking on all points and we weren’t. Pretty much they showed up and we didn’t.”
Texas and Oklahoma State exchanged field goals to start the second half, but it was all Cowboys from that point on. McCoy and his offense were shut out for the last 30 minutes of play and tallied just 151 yards on the ground the entire game.
The Longhorns gave up 95 yards rushing to Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf, who totalled two rushing touchdowns for the Cowboys. Oklahoma State was able to tally 380 yards of offense to keep its hopes of a Big 12 title alive.
“Give a hand to the Oklahoma State team,” senior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat said. “They played well. They were executing really well. They were doing some stuff and just making good plays and getting good key blocks and getting open and getting into space.”
McCoy threw three interceptions, and this was the first time the Longhorns lost the turnover battle all season.
“The quarterback goes out and throws three picks, you’re not going to win the ballgame,” McCoy said. “It’s very rare that happens. So it’s on me. My team knows it’s on me, and we’re going to get it fixed and go win.”
Texas has experience in regaining momentum after a tough loss. The Longhorns were able to win six straight after losing back-to-back games earlier in the season. Texas still has a small hope of a conference title, but it must win its final two game.
“If there’s nothing to play for, it’s a very difficult thing,” Brown said. “But we’re still in November with a conference championship sticking right in our face. So we’ve just got to go play better.”