The 19th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys are taking on the 7th-ranked Texas Longhorns in the Big 12 Championship Game Saturday at noon in Dallas. Texas finished the regular season 11-1, and Oklahoma State finished 9-3.
Texas’ Strong Season
Texas had a strong regular season, going 11-1 with a notable win on the road at 8th-ranked Alabama 34-24. Quarterback Quinn Ewers put together a solid season throwing for 2,709 yards, along with 17 touchdowns and five interceptions. Xavier Worthy was the favorite target for Ewers. He caught 67 passes for 883 yards and five touchdowns.
Since star running back Jonathon Brooks tore his ACL in their 29-26 win over TCU, running backs Keilan Robinson and Jaydon Blue have stepped up. Blue rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown against Texas Tech, and Robinson had two touchdowns. One of his touchdowns was a 95-yard kickoff return.
Oklahoma State’s Turnaround
Since starting the season 2-2, Oklahoma State won seven of its last eight games to finish with a 9-3 record. Their most notable win in this stretch came at home against Oklahoma 27-24.
Clinching a spot in this game was not easy for Oklahoma State. They beat BYU 40-34 in overtime at home.
Running back Ollie Gordon II has absolutely stolen the show on offense for the Cowboys. He has rushed for 1,580 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Quarterback Alan Bowman has thrown for 2,808 yards and 10 touchdowns. However, he has thrown 11 interceptions on the season as well.
How Both Teams Look Defensively
Texas ranks 27th nationally in defense, giving up 325 yards a game. Linebacker Jaylan Ford leads the team in total tackles on the season with 88, and defensive end Ethan Burke leads the team in sacks this season with 5.5.
On the contrary, Oklahoma State has not been as strong defensively this season as Texas. They rank 112th nationally in total defense, giving up 423.2 yards per game. Linebacker Nickolas Martin leads the team in total tackles this season with 120. He is also tied for the team lead in sacks with linebacker Collin Oliver. They each have six on the season.
What’s at Stake for Each Team
Texas is looking to win the conference for the fourth time, and possibly get its first berth in the College Football Playoffs. To make it, they will have to win this game, and they have to hope a lot goes right in the other games to have a shot.
Oklahoma State is looking to win the Big 12 for the 11th time in school history, but they are looking to win this game for the first time. They are looking to secure a 10-win season for the first time since 2021 and for the second time since 2017.
To win this game, Texas will have to contain Gordon II on the ground. They will also have to make sure the Ewers-to-Weaver connection is on point.
Oklahoma State’s defense will have to play its best game of the season for them to win. Offensively for the Cowboys, Gordon II will have to continue his domination on the ground.
Kickoff is set for noon on Saturday from AT&T Stadium.