Heading into the contest on Saturday, the Oklahoma State Cowboys game plan remained clear — force Sam Ehlinger to win the game by throwing the ball consistently. Sticking to the assignment, the defensive front seven kept the Texas Longhorns’ rushing attack in check. Refusing to allow a single player to gain more than 57 yards from the line of scrimmage during regulation allowed O-State to key in on third downs.
Collectively the defense only surrendered 2-of-15 third-down attempts to the Texas offense during the initial 60-minutes of play. It led to much success in all facets as the visiting team was limited to 277 total yards of offense. In addition, one could argue that the Longhorns scored a mere seven points on the Cowboys smothering defense.
Simply put, Spencer Sanders may have posted career numbers of 400 passing yards and four touchdowns through the air. However, the signal-caller also accounted for three of the four turnovers in regulation. Coughing the ball up twice and throwing an interception, the turnovers turned into 21 points for UT.
In addition, a few missed lane assignments on a kickoff led to a 100-yard return for an extra six points on the scoreboard. That’s a grand total of 27-of-34 points accounted for by the number of miscues.
That number alone proved too steep a hill to climb. Needing a field goal to force overtime, Oklahoma State squandered all momentum late before falling 41-34 in a single OT period.