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Texas

at

Oklahoma State

Big 12

College Football Pick

10/1/16

We thought Texas was good after an opening win over Notre Dame, but that doesn't mean much anymore. And after a recent loss at California, that win means close to nothing. But Big 12 play begins this week for the Longhorns and anything can happen. Oklahoma State already has two losses and is hoping to find some consistency. The Cowboys are a -2.5 point home favorite.

There's zero trust in the Texas defense at the moment, hence the over/under of 71 points. They gave up 50 to Notre Dame and then another 50 at California two weeks ago. Sure, both are good offenses, but they are similar to everything that's in the Big 12, OK State included.

That said, the Cowboys have had issues of their own, namely that loss to Central Michigan. Maybe it was a fluke, but they still only scored 27 points against a MAC team and then last weekend got just 24 points at Baylor. If OK State wants to win this game, they know they'll need to score more than that.

The Cowboys won this game on the road last year, but it was by no means easy. They actually almost gave it away as Texas had two defensive touchdowns, but then a late special teams miscue by the Longhorns gave OK State a late field goal to win 30-27.

The main difference for this year's Texas team is that they can actually move the ball on offense. Freshman QB Shane Buechele has been better than anything Texas had a year ago, granted he still comes with his faults. Buechele had just three passing TDs in the two games the Longhorns combined to score 90 points in. They've been able to move the ball a lot better on the ground through D'Onta Foreman and Chris Warren III, both of whom went for 100-plus yards at Cal.

All this said, Texas hasn't seen a good defense yet. Right now, it looks like Notre Dame and Cal may have two of the worst in the country, at least in power conferences. Oklahoma State isn't stout by any means, but they're at least more competent than previous opponents.

On the other side, it's the same story for the Cowboys. They still can't run the ball, getting 3.4 yards per carry as a team with Justice Hill and Rennie Childs leading the way. As usual, they probably won't get much in this game and will rely on quarterback Mason Rudolph as much as Cal relied on Davis Webb when they beat Texas.

Rudolph threw for 290 yards in the meeting last year, but also had those two costly picks. If he can play safe and not turn it over, OK State gets the immediate edge. But with Rudolph, that's definitely not a certainty.

The Cowboys look like the same team as last season, they just aren't winning the close ones. If that remains the case here, Texas could be on the winning end of another close game between these schools. But backing this Longhorns defense on the road doesn't seem like a smart idea at the moment. Oklahoma State -2.5

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