A 24-21 victory on Saturday over the Iowa State Cyclones moved Oklahoma State to 4-0 on the season and 3-0 in conference play, keeping them at the top of the Big 12 standings. This weekend, the Cowboys host the Texas Longhorns, who have had some struggles already as they sit at 3-2 on the season.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the Cowboys are 3.5-point favorites over the visiting Longhorns, which is fitting considering how close Oklahoma State has played teams so far this season. The defense has been incredible for the Pokes, but the offense has consistently struggled, so this will be yet another good test for the brightest orange in America.
The ugliest orange in America, as I like to refer to the burnt orange of the Texas Longhorns, has a few studs on the roster, however, and Cowboy fans should be aware of their names before kickoff on Saturday.
Sam Ehlinger, QB
This is the obvious one. You don’t have to be a fan of a team in the Big 12 to know who Sam Ehlinger is. Nationally known as a guy who is incredibly tough, Ehlinger is a dual-threat quarterback who is capable of making big plays for his team. At 6’3″ and 225 pounds, he’s a power runner who has a solid arm as well.
His toughness aside, however, Ehlinger is not exactly a winner. In his 4th season in Austin, Ehlinger has played in 41 games, starting all but 3 of them. As a starter, he has a record of just 23-15, including a 1-2 record against Oklahoma State
Statistically, Ehlinger is having the best season of his career so far, which isn’t saying a whole lot, but the Cowboy defense should be aware of his ability to break out of the pocket and run while still being able to find the open receiver.
Joshua Moore, WR
Sam Ehlinger isn’t thought of as the greatest passer in college football, but at just under 300 yards through the air per game, he’s not afraid to let it fly. His favorite target is wide receiver Joshua Moore, who has hauled in 21 catches for 328 yards.
While Ehlinger does a solid job at spreading the ball around his receiving corp, the number that pops out about Moore is that of Ehlinger’s 17 passing touchdowns, 6 of those have been caught by Moore, twice as many as the next guy in line.
this catch 🤯
Oklahoma State’s defensive backs have done a pretty fantastic job all season long, allowing just 176.0 passing yards per game, good for 16th in the country. The Cowboys have allowed just 3 passing touchdowns through 4 games, and they have limited their busted plays, so as long as they keep a close watch on Moore, they should be able to contain him from breaking loose for big gains.
Joseph Ossai, LB
The Longhorn defense has not exactly been playing at a prolific level like in years’ past. Through 5 game, they are giving up just over 32 points per game and 383.4 yards per game.
Still, even in the rough years there are bright spots, and linebacker Joseph Ossai is definitely a shining light for the Texas defense. A junior, Ossai has played in 32 games, starting in 20 of them, and he has grown into a leader for the Longhorns.
So far this season, Ossai is averaging 6.8 tackles per game (T-13th in the Big 12) and 1.3 tackles for loss per game (T-2nd in the Big 12). He has also forced 2 fumbles this season. Primarily a pass rusher, Ossai is a legitimate pass defender, making him a threat all-around.
If the Cowboys want to get anything going on Saturday, which they desperately need to, especially considering the tough schedule ahead, then quarterback Spencer Sanders needs to be aware of Joseph Ossai’s location on the field at all times.