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"Hit the Reset Button": Key Points from Sarkisian's 10/31 Press Conference

The bye week for the Longhorns has come and gone, yet the effects of it last.
Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian mentioned how he wanted to utilize the bye week and said today that the team "took advantage of last week in one, getting healthy... two, starting some preliminary game planning on Kansas State and three, really working on our developmental players". He also touched on being able to go out and do some recruiting while also giving his players the chance to "hit the reset/recharge button.. 
Looking ahead to the Kansas State game on Saturday, Sarkisian was asked if he'd ever been to Manhattan (Kansas), if he watched the Oklahoma State versus Kansas State game over the weekend and about some of their big-time players, such as RB Deuce Vaughn and QB Adrian Martinez. Sark said he has been to Manhattan more than once and almost went to school there, while mentioning how there's "a lot of integrity in the way they go about their business." With the game last Saturday, he said he watched the game with his son and noticed how the Wildcats "capitalized on the opportunities they got in the game" and took advantage of their crowd and the momentum they created.
With Kansas State's key players, Sarkisian noted that the team is "preparing for both" Kansas State quarterbacks in their planning: "whichever guy plays, they're both good players... we got to be ready for both". For Deuce Vaughn, Steve mentioned how he's "got a great body and balance control... yet he has the versatility to take it the distance." Vaughn has 6 total TD's this season along with over 1,000 total scrimmage yards. Overall, Sarkisian stated that "from a coaches perspective, I would much rather that the outcome was that way rather than the other way around going to play that opponent... I think to a man anybody that watched the tape that got their attention". The Wildcats defeated the Cowboys on Saturday 48-0. 
Looking at his team as a whole, Sarkisian mentioned how he thought all of the younger players had improved throughout the past week or so and mentioned names like RB Jaydon Blue, QB Maalik Murphy and many others who have "all made steady progress." Later being asked about the offensive line and the run game, Sarkisian stated his confidence in his team to be able to run the football and mentioned how he has "a lot of belief in those guys" on the offensive line, in the tight end group and everyone who helps in the running department. He also blamed himself for some of the running plays called in the loss to Oklahoma State two weekends ago, stating he "would've liked to have maneuvered the runs a little bit better...". 
The Longhorns, who are currently favored in Saturday's game at Kansas State, are looking for their first true road win of this season. Will the bye week and hitting that "reset button" allow them to accomplish this, or will the Wildcats keep on rolling? 

Longhorns Recruiting Road Trip: Week 9 & 10

As October comes to a close, the Texas high school football regular season's days have become numbered. During week eight of the season, I travelled to north Austin to catch Round Rock Stony Point's game against Westwood, and watched 2023 four-star wide receiver Braylon James and 2023 four-star running back Cameron Cook. The following week, I made another stop at a Westlake Chaparrals football game as the second-ranked team in the state looked to silence Bowie's chances at a district title.
Week 9: 
Last time I was able to cover a Stony Point game was in October of 2021, a game in which now TCU commit Cameron Cook was not able to get much going on the ground. However, last year I did not leave the stadium disappointed as his Cook's potential was still able to shine through. This year, in week eight's game, Cook showcased why he has offers from programs such as Texas and Southern California as the senior running back galloped his way to 250 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. The Horned Frogs pledge illustrated multiple traits on the field, such as his cutting, open field running and stiff arm capabilities.
In addition to Cook, Stony Point fields another talented recruit in Notre Dame pledge Braylon James, who transferred to Stony Point from Del Valle during the offseason. While the Tigers were not in a hurry to throw the ball, James was still able to come away with a big 36-yard touchdown reception on a pass from senior quarterback Skylar Hausenfluck.
Ultimately, thanks to Stony Point's two stars, the Tigers were able to run away to an easy 45-21 victory over Westwood.
Week 10:
Following this year's Red River Showdown matchup between Oklahoma and Texas, the rumor mill has been working overtime with 2023 four-star defensive end Colton Vasek. The 6'5.5" defensive end has been a key focus in recruiting for the Longhorns, despite of the fact that Vasek is currently committed to the Oklahoma Sooners. Evidence of Texas's recruiting efforts, on Friday, Longhorns defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski was in attendance at Burger Stadium to watch Westlake in action. Of course, Vasek would not leave the game empty-handed as he was able to tally a sack on Friday, his tenth of the season.
Besides Westlake's stifling defense, junior quarterback Paxton Land has looked to settle in for the Chaparrals under center as he was able to throw for 322 yards and four touchdown passes against the Bowie Bulldogs. Additionally, 2023 three-star wide receiver Keaton Kubecka had another impressive performance for the Chaparrals as he amassed 151 receiving yards and two touchdowns on nine receptions. And, while Kubecka had a flashy performance, 2023 four-star wideout Jaden Greathouse, as always, had another game in which he hauled in two touchdown receptions.
Due to Westlake's all-around dominance on Friday night, the Chaparrals were able to run away with a 45-0 victory over Bowie, even despite of a slow start.
Extra Point:
With just one week left in the regular season, the excitement for the playoffs is building as this season seems to be there for the taking for any playoff-caliber squad. Unfortunately for Stony Point, it looks like they will be on the outside looking in as they are positioned just outside of their district's playoff race. While, on the other hand, Westlake looks poised to make a run at their fourth championship in-a-row.
These past two weekends have been filled with recruiting misses (on some level) for the Longhorns, regardless of how picky the coaching staff wants to be on that front. Adding insult to injury, these recruiting misses are happening within the Austin-area, just miles away from the Forty Acres. Although, of course, the University of Texas is not for everyone and Steve Sarkisian's staff currently has the fifth-ranked recruiting class in the country, with recruits coming from all over - ranging from California to Florida to New Jersey.
Miles Logged:
54

"Mow Your Own Lawn": Key points from Sarkisian's 10/24 Presser

Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian usually opens up his conferences with a game recap... but today was different. He started by apologizing to Longhorn nation for not singing The Eyes of Texas after the game concluded and said "it was not intentional... was obviously upset by the way the game ended and literally walked off the field... it will never happen again... it was just a mistake on my part". He wanted to make clear as well that it had nothing to do with the players and that they just followed Sarkisian off the field. Returning back to the usual conference pattern, Sarkisian then touched on how the team couldn't find rhythm in the 2nd half and had too many "self-inflicted wounds" again. 
Throughout the conference, Sarkisian reiterated that the bye week the Longhorns have is needed and that they are "banged up". This is referencing players like DB Anthony Cook who, according to Sarkisian, has a broken arm and is "week-to-week". He also emphasized that they are going to utilize the bye week in 3 key ways: getting healthy, working on the development of young players and understanding the opportunity the team has moving forward. He is also encouraging his players to "take a step back" and reflect and spend time with their families/loved ones. Sarkisian mentioned other key themes for this week, and assumably the rest of the season, like consistency, overall execution and even "mowing your own lawn" to "take care of our own business". 
Sarkisian was then asked about specific performances by the special teams unit, Quinn Ewers, and if he thought about putting in QB Hudson Card at some point. "I feel good about what we are doing kicking wise" says Sarkisian, and mentioned how well kicker Will Stone played with tough wind on the kickoffs. Also added that punter Daniel Trejo and their gunners have been very effective. With Quinn, Sarkisian believes that "the precision wasn't right... it's not just him, it's as a group" and that Ewers will be working on his reads this week in practice. Regarding replacing Ewers with Hudson Card on Saturday, Sarkisian stated that he "didn't consider it very strongly in the game" and says the QB position gets "way too much credit when things go good and gets way too much blame when things don't go good". 
Sarkisian reiterates how he loves the team's style of play but mentions how they are "still a work in progress". Going into their bye week, let's see if Sarkisian and the Longhorns can change that. 
Twitter: @RSwantkowski 

Road Woes Continue: #11 Oklahoma State deals Sarkisian, #20 Texas 41-34 loss

Photo credit: BRYAN TERRY/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY NETWORK
If you can't win on the road, you won't be playing in Dallas in December.
Steve Sarkisian was 1-4 in true road games in his first season as head coach at Texas.  Then Texas Tech in Lubbock "happened" in the Longhorns' first Big 12 game this season, dropping that record to 1-5.  To say that Texas and Sarkisian needed a win on Saturday in Stillwater would be an understatement.  Exorcise the demons, Get the monkey off the back...whatever the cliché is, it was likely applicable to Texas' challenges related to winning on the road under Sark's watch.
Unfortunately, that misfortune didn't change at Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday as the Longhorns lost to Oklahoma State for the second consecutive season, falling to 1-6 on the road under Sarkisian.
Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers struggled mightliy, failing to connect with his receivers for the better part of the day.  Ewers ended the day with a dismal 19-49 performance that went for 319 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw three interceptions.
Penalties were also a thorn in the Longhorns' side all game, as they were hit with 14 of them for a total of 119 yards.  
Yes, you read that correctly.
Oklahoma State had zero penalties. 
Undisciplined football can paralyze a team and today it reared its ugly head in Stillwater.
While it was mostly gloomy for the 'Horns, there was a bright spot.  All-American running back Bijan Robinson rushed for 140 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries and tallied his sixth consecutive 100+ yard game on the ground. He showed yet again why he's one of the best to play the position in college football today.
Oklahoma State kept their conference championship hopes very much alive with the come-from-behind win over the Longhorns.  Quarterback Spencer Sanders started slow but finished red hot, despite playing with a dinged up shoulder. The redshirt senior threw for 391 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 43 yards.
Cowboy tailback Dominic Richardson rushed four times for 24-yards and three touchdowns to lead the Pokes in scoring.
The loss was a shot to the gut for a Texas team that was hoping to win its fourth straight and keep them in contention for a Big 12 Championship.  Those hopes may be on life support now as the team lost its second conference game and appears to be in search of what used to be a once prolific offense.
GAME RECAP
Quinn Ewers threw his third interception of the season on the game's opening series, giving the Cowboys the ball in Texas territory.  The Texas defense held the Pokes to a field goal, giving Oklahoma State an early 3-0 lead.
Bijan Robinson then put Texas on the board with a 42-yard rushing touchdown which capped a four play, 71-yard scoring drive to give Texas a 7-3 lead with 12:01 remaining in the first quarter.
The Cowboys answered on the ensuing possession, marching 75 yards downfield and retaking the lead on Dominic Richardson's 4-yard rushing touchdown.
Trading a pair of possessions in which Texas turned the ball over on downs and Oklahoma State punted, speedy Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy gave the Longhorns a 14-10 lead following a touchdown pass from Quinn Ewers.
After one quarter of play, Texas held a 14-10 advantage over Oklahoma State.
The Longhorns' special teams got in on the action when Morice Blackwell blocked Tom Hutton's punt.  Two plays later Bijan Robinson hauled in another Quinn Ewers pass, this time for a 41-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 21-10 in favor of Texas.
Benefitting from an unnecessary roughness call on Texas defensive back Anthony Cook, the Cowboys trimmed the 'Horns lead to 21-17 with Dominic Richardson's second rushing touchdown of the game.  Richardson's 1-yard score capped an eight play, 75-yard drive by Oklahoma State.
Following Keilan Robinson's 38-yard kickoff return, the Longhorns continued to fight the penalty bug (at that point 8 penalties for 60 yards) and were forced to settle for a Bert Auburn 37-yard field goal.  
With 8:04 left before halftime, Sarkisian and Texas clung to a 24-17 lead.
Oklahoma State looked to even things up on the next drive and almost did.  Spencer Sanders led the Cowboy offense 62-yards downfield before being picked off in the end zone by Texas defensive back Ryan Watts.
With 5:15 left on the halftime clock Ewers and the Longhorns looked to add to their lead.  Texas tight end J'Tavion Sanders kept the drive alive with a critical third down reception.  On the next play Roschon Johnson took a Ewers handoff 52-yards into the Oklahoma State end zone.
The onslaught of scoring continued, but this time it was the Cowboys' turn.  Jaden Nixon romped downfield for a 51-yard run to setup an eventual Dominic Richardson touchdown, his third of the game.
Oklahoma State ended the half missing a 48-yard field goal attempt which gave Texas a 31-24 lead at the half.
The first points of the second half came at the 2:10 mark in the third quarter with Bert Auburn's 33-yard field goal, his second of the day.  With the three, the Longhorns increased their lead to 34-24.
Oklahoma State kicker Tanner Brown answered Auburn's field goal with one of his own, this time from 40 yards out.
After three quarters:  Texas 34, Oklahoma State 27.
Ewers and the Texas offense continued to sputter, leading way to an impressive Oklahoma State drive that included 12 plays for 66 yards and drained 4:53 off the clock.  The drive ended with Spencer Sanders throwing his first touchdown on the day to Brennan Presley to even things up at 34-34.
Oklahoma State took their first lead of the game since the first quarter with a little over three minutes remaining.  Bryson Green took a Spencer Sanders pass 41 yards, shaking off Texas defensive backs, into the end zone.  
Oklahoma State 41, Texas 34 at that point.
Texas had an opportunity to try and tie things up with a minute left on the game clock but Quinn Ewers was intercepted for the third time in the game, solidifying Oklahoma State's 41-34 win.
The loss drops Texas to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in Big 12 play and still leaves them a win away from bowl eligibility.
Texas enjoys a bye next week before heading to Manhattan, Kansas to face the Kansas State Wildcats on November 5th.
 

Game Day: #20 Texas vs. #11 Oklahoma State in Stillwater

University of Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian is o-fer in his last four true road games.  Saturday's game is one he needs to win, not just to get the monkey off his back, but to keep his team in the hunt for a Big 12 Championship.  Whether it's in Stillwater or in Austin, the matchup between these two programs is always bold, full of energy, and full of offense.  Expect Saturday's contest to be no different.
Texas begins a two game road stretch, with a bye week in between, facing Oklahoma State at Boone Pickens Stadium.  The Pokes lost their first game of the season last week at Amon Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, but Mike Gundy's team is still very much in the hunt for a Big 12 Championship.  Texas has had trouble winning on the road under Sarkisian, which was emphasized by the team's loss in Lubbock to an unranked Texas Tech program.  A win is a must-have for both programs if they intend on appearing in Dallas in December in the league's title game.
Oklahoma State is facing quarteback uncertainty with starter Spencer Sanders nursing an ongoing shoulder injury.  Texas is facing a game in hostile territory and needs to prove that they can win in such an environment.
Gundy's Cowboys have won their last twelve games inside Boone Pickens Stadium and the Longhorns face a tall task in ending that streak.
What: #20 Texas Longhorns (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) vs Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-1, 2-1 Big 12)
Venue: Boone Pickens Stadium
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
When: Saturday, October 22nd, 2022
Time: 2:30 p.m. (CST)
TV: ABC
All-Time Series: Texas leads Iowa State 26-10
Last Meeting: Pklahoma State defeated Texas 32-24 (10/21/2021 - Austin, TX)
Relevant Information:
Scouting Report: Oklahoma State Cowboys Staff Predictions: #20 Texas vs. #11 Oklahoma State "Poise and Composure" Key Takeaways from Steve Sarkisian's 10/17 Press Conference Longhorns Recruiting Road Trip Week 8 DISCUSS THE TEXAS vs. OKLAHOMA STATE GAME HERE

Longhorns Recruiting Road Trip: Week 8

Last weekend, following my trip up north for the Red River game, I decided to cover a game which was sure to garner the attention of many across the Central Texas area. The selected matchup? A top twenty-five showdown between #2 Westlake and #16 Dripping Springs which featured star players such as 2023 four-star defensive end Colton Vasek and 2023 four-star quarterback Austin Novosad.
Entering Friday's game, both teams were undefeated and were looking to distance themselves in the district title conversation. Additionally, the lights were going to be bright in Dripping Springs as coaches from Baylor and Texas A&M were roaming the facility as well. However, the real talk of the town heading into the game was surrounding Colton Vasek's recruitment, as the 6'5.5" defensive end, who is committed to joining the Oklahoma Sooners, is being heavily pursued by the Longhorns and Texas pledges such as Arch Manning.
Early in Friday's game, Vasek was making his presence felt as he blasted a Dripping Springs running back behind the line of scrimmage, setting the tone for the night. In fact, the district matchup proved to be quite the defensive slugfest, at least through halftime, as the Westlake Chaparrals kicked themselves to a 9-3 lead.
In the second half, Westlake running back Jack Kayser started to break through the walls of the Dripping Springs defense as his elusive running led him to account for 157 all-purpose yards and a touchdown on the night. Moreover, Westlake junior quarterback Paxton Land had himself a solid night as he started to find his groove in the second half and made some crucial plays, such as a 23-yard touchdown rush which gave the Chaparrals a 22-10 lead in the fourth quarter. Along with his legs, Land added 246 passing yards and a touchdown with his arm.
At receiver for Westlake, the duo of Keaton Kubecka and Jaden Greathouse continues to shine as the pair combined for 156 receiving yards. Kubecka, a Kansas commit, did a solid job of keeping the Chaparrals moving on offense while it was impressive that Greathouse, a Notre Dame commit, had a relatively quiet game, for his standards, and still managed to tally five receptions for 70 yards.
On the other sideline, Austin Novosad had himself a decent performance until a disastrous fourth quarter which he would probably like to forget. The Baylor pledge made his fair share of impressive throws which moved the sticks but it just was not his night as the Chaparrals were able to intercept Novosad three times in the fourth quarter, which led to a late 29-10 runaway victory for Westlake.
Extra Point:
With a solid start to their on-the-field performance thus far, the Longhorns find themselves in a reasonable position in Vasek's recruitment. Of course, it does not hurt that Texas was the Red River Showdown's victor this season... however recruiting comes down to more than one game. Worth noting, following his game against Dripping Springs, Vasek was in attendance for Iowa State's game against the Longhorns on the Forty Acres. This, somewhat of a surprise visit by Vasek, certainly bodes well for Steve Sarkisian and the recruiting staff as it indicates Vasek's continued interest in the Longhorns. Additionally, Arch Manning was also present at the game on Saturday and made his rounds with Vasek as well.
Furthermore, the Westlake defensive end was able to account for seven tackles and a sack against the Tiger last Friday. The Texas legacy is an almost picturesque prototype of the edge rusher position, and would make for a huge recruiting victory for the Longhorns if they were able to flip his pledge down the road.
Miles:
50

Staff Predictions: #20 Texas Longhorns @ #11 Oklahoma State Cowboys

It is homecoming weekend in Stillwater, Oklahoma and the #11 Oklahoma State Cowboys hope to celebrate it with a win over the #20 Texas Longhorns.  The biggest question mark heading into the matchup between these two ranked programs is the health of Cowboy quarterback Spencer Sanders, who is nursing a lingering shoulder injury.  Following the Pokes' first loss of the season last week to the TCU Horned Frogs, head coach Mike Gundy did not provide any injury updates relative to Sanders' health.  Should Sanders play, he will likely play with a tender shoulder.  If not, second on the depth chart is redshirt freshman Gunnar Gundy, Mike Gundy's son.
The Longhorns pulled out a 24-21 gritty win over the Iowa State Cyclones last weekend in Austin thanks to a forced fumble by Texas defensive back Anthony Cook.  Texas running back Bijan Robinson rushed for 135 yards and tallied his fifth consecutive 100+ yard rushing performance.  The offense as a whole played well but struggled at times to get things going in the passing game.  A tough run defense held things together for the Longhorns, allowing just 74 yards on the ground to the Cyclones.
Saturday marks the 37th matchup between the two programs, with Oklahoma State beating Texas eight of the last twelve times including two of the last three in Stillwater.
Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian still needs to prove he can win a big-time true road game, as the team has lost four straight.  Conversely Oklahoma State plays golden inside the confines of Boone Pickens Stadium and has won their last twelve home games. 
Does Texas have the maturity, focus and effort to put an end to the Pokes' home winning streak?  
The last team to beat the Cowboys at home was the Longhorns on Halloween in 2020.
The HornSports Staff weighs in with score predictions and thoughts on the game's outcome.
Jameson McCausland (6-1)
Texas has lost their last 4 true road games under Steve Sarkisian. While the Longhorns have been able to improve in a lot of different areas this year, the big elephant in the room is still their inability to go on the road and win a game, and it was magnified after failing to win the conference opener in Lubbock. Oklahoma State is a good football team, but the Cowboys are banged up in several spots and have looked vulnerable the last few weeks. For Texas, they have to find a way to clean up the coverage issues that plagued them last weekend and get off the field on third down. If they can do that, the path to a victory becomes pretty clear.
It's tough to give this team the benefit of the doubt because every time there is a step forward there seems to be two steps back, but I'll pick Texas in a close one that will give Steve Sarkisan his biggest win since he arrived in Austin.
Score Prediction:  Texas 35, Oklahoma State 31
Aaron Carrara (6-1)
Texas hits the road this weekend in the first of two consecutive road games against solid football teams. Steve Sarkisian needs to get the road woes off of his back and Stillwater offers an appropriate venue to do so.  Cowboys quarterback Spencer Sanders may be playing with an injured shoulder, and the Texas defense has proven they can stand tall to the task of stopping the run.  Boone Pickens is a hostile environment for opponents and there is a reason Oklahoma State has won 12 straight there.  It will be a challenge for Quinn Ewers and the Texas offense to stay focused but in the end I think the Texas running game seals the win for Sark and company.  The high winds will likely be an issue in the game and a stout ground game will yield big results for the 'Horns.
Score Prediction:  Texas 41, Oklahoma State 35
Devon Messinger (6-1)
On Saturday, the Longhorns will make the trip up to Stillwater to face an Oklahoma State Cowboys team that is firmly placed in the upper tier of the Big 12 Conference.
Despite rumors about Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders' health status, you should fully anticipate the redshirt senior to be on the field, giving it his all against the Longhorns. Furthermore, thanks to a plethora of receiving threats, expect a high-scoring affair on Saturday as the Cowboys will test Texas's secondary depth following their shaky performance against the Iowa State Cyclones. However, more importantly, keep your eyes on Sanders' legs as they might prove to be the game's x-factor if he is healthy enough to put his body on the line in the running game.
For Texas's offense, the duo of Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson will have to continue to be the unit's motor. Moreover, the Longhorns should have matchup advantages, such as the possibility of Jordan Whittington or Ja'Tavion Sanders being covered by a linebacker. As a result, quarterback Quinn Ewers should be able to spin the rock - it's just a matter of being efficient and smart with the football.
Score Prediction:  Texas 41, Oklahoma State 34
Ryan Swantkowski (5-1)
The Longhorns go on the road this weekend to Stillwater for only their 2nd (!) true away game of the year. It's their 8th game. Their first away game ended up in the loss column as they fell to Texas Tech in overtime. Their ability to win on the road, along with the status of QB Spencer Sanders, are the 2 biggest questions that will be answered come Saturday. 
Looking at the Cowboys, they are coming off a hard-fought 40-43 overtime loss to TCU in Fort Worth last weekend. Offensively (with Sanders at QB) the Cowboys are averaging over 45 points per game and have playmakers like WR Brennan Presley that keep the offensive consistency going. Defensively for Oklahoma State, it's been a bit of a different story. They are giving up just under 28 points per game and over 437 yards per game while ranking outside the top 100 overall defenses in the FBS. 
For Texas, QB Quinn Ewers will make his first away start of his career. The rest of the offense around him seems to all be healthy and ready to roll come Saturday. Defensively, the Longhorns continue to impress as they have only given up 15 touchdowns all season and are allowing just over 18 points per game. Yet, the question remains: can Texas win on the road? 
My answer for this week is yes. With Spencer Sanders possibly not playing (shoulder) and the Longhorns at full strength with Ewers at the helm, I see Texas keeping their win streak alive. 
Score Prediction:  Texas 44, Oklahoma State 37
TFloss32 (6-1)
Last week’s struggle with Iowa State can be viewed as a win-win scenario for Texas. Get the victory despite an underwhelming performance riddled with mental errors, but use that as a wake-up call for a big match-up in Stillwater that will go a long way towards determining a berth in the conference championship. There’s no doubt that this team is talented and the culture has improved by leaps and bounds not even two full seasons into Sark’s tenure, but a huge boulder in front of that next major step forward is the program’s road woes. The Horns are 1-5 away from DKR since Sark was hired, and they’ve only beaten two ranked teams on the road since 2017.  I believe Texas is the better team going into this game, but for the sake of predictions I’ll fade their chances as the visiting team until they prove otherwise. The focus and killer mentality required to close dangerous Big XII road games evaded both the coaching staff and players in Lubbock last month, and the burnt orange faithful need to see in order to believe. The recent line movement could be a hint that that Spencer Sanders is not expected to play due to shoulder issues, but I’m counting him in. 
Score Prediction:  Oklahoma State 38, Texas 34
Mitch Lovell (6-1)
Quinn Ewers has a bounce-back performance against a better matchup and the Texas defense shows up in a much-needed road win before the bye week.
Score Prediction:  Texas 42, Oklahoma State 28

Scouting Report: Oklahoma State

(Photo: USA Today)
The only thing standing between Texas and a much-needed bye week is a trip to Stillwater to face Oklahoma State. The Longhorns, who squeaked out a 24-21 win over Iowa State this past Saturday, will be facing a Cowboys team coming off a double-overtime loss to TCU in Fort Worth. Let's take a look at what to expect from Mike Gundy's squad.
Offense
QB Spencer Sanders is in his 4th season as the starter and has played a ton of college football. He has a 1-2 record against Texas for his career, getting his first win in Austin last year. Sanders, who is battling through a shoulder injury that limited his practice time leading up to the TCU game, is completing 58.5% of his passes on the season with 13 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He has been turnover prone in previous seasons and is taking care of the ball better this season, but he still has a tendency to force passes into tight windows and can be erratic in the intermediate passing game. Sanders is not afraid to use his legs either, leading the team with 8 rushing touchdowns.
RB Dominic Richardson has carried a heavy load in the running game, tallying 108 rushes for 427 yards and 5 touchdowns. No other running back on the roster behind Richardson has more than 16 carries. Richardson's longest run of the year is only 19 yards.
Oklahoma State does not have a single receiver who dominates the majority of targets. 4 receivers have caught at least 16 passes, led by Brennan Presley's 30 receptions. Slot receiver John Paul Richardson led the team in receptions against TCU and will be a player to watch considering Texas' struggles in defending the middle of the field.
The Cowboys OL has struggled to open up holes in the running game all season but have done a good job of keeping Spencer Sanders upright in pass protection. LT Caleb Etienne has been a welcome addition from the junior college ranks while RT Jake Springfield is in his 3rd year as a starter. Something to watch closely is the health of C Preston Wilson, who missed the TCU game with a right leg injury.
Defense
Defensive coordinator Jim Knowles departed for Ohio State following last season and Gundy opted to pluck Derek Mason from Auburn to replace him. The core of the defensive system has remained in place, but the Cowboys have struggled to replace several key starters who were drafted or opted to transfer.
Texas would crawl over broken glass to have the depth Oklahoma State does at edge. Tyler Lacy, Brock Martin, Trace Ford and Collin Oliver are all plus pass rushers who will test Kelvin Banks and Christian Jones for the full 60 minutes. The good news for the Longhorns is the defensive tackles for the Cowboys are average at best and teams have had success running ball right at OSU. 
OSU had to replace both starting linebackers off of last year's squad and the unit has taken a noticeable step back. Junior college transfer Xavier Benson and Mason Cobb are suspect run defenders. 
In the secondary, safety Jason Taylor is the player to watch. He had a pick-6 against Casey Thompson last year in Austin and is a good all-around player. Fellow safeties Thomas Harper and Sean Michael Flanagan are both new starters who have taken their lumps throughout this year. Corners Jabbar Muhammad and Korie Black are new starters as well and have let receivers get behind them at times.
Overall
This squad certainly does not compare to the team that won the Fiesta Bowl last year, but the presence of Spencers Sanders and a good pass rush will keep Oklahoma State in every game in this conference. Defensively, the Cowboys have taken a noticeable step back but they have some individual players who can be dangerous. On offense, the health of Spencer Sanders and the ability of Texas to cover in the backend loom large on the outcome of this game. Mike Gundy always has a few tricks up his sleeve for the Longhorns so Texas has to be ready to survive the early surge on the road and settle into their gameplan as quickly as possible.
This should be a fun one in Stillwater.

"Poise and Composure: Takeaways from Sarkisian's 10/17 Presser

Sarkisian started off Monday's press conference, as he does all the others, with a quick recap of his thoughts from Saturday's 21-24 win over Iowa State. He said that the Saturday win was a "culture win" for the team and mentioned how winning the turnover battle (Iowa State with 2 and Texas with none) was important to their success. Possibly the most important thing said by Sarkisian, though, is that he feels like "A year ago, I don't know if we win that game", mentioning how this year's team has an improved culture and composure compared to last season. He went on to mention how Mike Gundy's 11th-ranked Oklahoma State team will "attack you" and that the game is "another great challenge" for the now 20th-ranked Longhorns. 
Throughout the conference, Sarkisian was asked about players such as CB Ryan Watts, RB's Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson and WR Jordan Whittington. With Watts, Sarkisian gave us an injury update and said he was back on the field for practice today while mentioning how he is a "big time player" for them. For Robinson, Sarkisian stated that "what makes him unique is the person that he is" and that he "doesn't leave that person in the locker room, he brings him onto the field with him". For Whittington, Sark states that Jordan "really enjoys playing football" and how he "plays for the love of the game" along with how he plays every snap like it could be his last. This theme carries over to Johnson as Sarkisian believes that whatever he said about Whittington can also be said for Roschon. 
Sarkisian was then asked about Oklahoma State QB Spencer Sanders and touched on how "he's a winner" and how you can see the guys rallying behind him. Sark overall stated that he "loves what he (Sanders) does" and is excited to compete against him. He also mentioned that his team "needs to play better than they did Saturday... to go get this win" 
Towards the end, Sarkisian touched on his team's defense and how the biggest thing he is pleased with on that side of the ball is "our effort". He mentioned how hard his guys are playing and that he loves the "buy-in that they (the players) have given to the coaches". This effort and toughness will need to be shown come Saturday in Stillwater if Texas wants to slow down the explosive Cowboys offense and get their 4th win in a row. 
-Twitter: @RSwantkowski

Longhorns survive the Cyclones, extend winning streak with a 24-21 victory

(Photo: USA Today)
Following their Red River Showdown win against Oklahoma last weekend, the Longhorns sought to extend their winning streak to three-games with a potential win over the Iowa State Cyclones. Despite of their shaky start to conference play, starting off 0-3 with several close losses, the Cyclones came ready to play and nearly pulled off the road upset, falling just short in Texas's 24-21 victory.
Against Iowa State, the Longhorns offense ebbed and flowed as Quinn Ewers found himself in and out of rhythm in a game in which he threw for 172 yards and three touchdowns, completing 65% of his passes. However, despite of the less-than-staggering passing numbers (yardage-wise), Ewers stepped up when he needed to and delivered the final punch of the game with a three-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Worthy which gave the Longhorns a 24-21 lead with 4:43 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Following the Worthy touchdown, his second of the game, Texas linebacker Jaylan Ford and defensive back Anthony Cook forced a huge fumble on Cyclones quarterback Hunter Dekkers, who had marched his team to the doorstep of Texas's end zone. Ultimately, this fumble sealed the game as the Longhorns were able to line up in victory formation after picking up a first down on offense.
Defensively, the Longhorns struggled on Saturday to stop the Cyclones on third downs, allowing Iowa State to convert on 9/15 tries. As a result, Dekkers had a solid performance as the redshirt sophomore quarterback was able to pass for 329 yards and two touchdowns, and also ran for a score as well. Prior to the game, Steve Sarkisian noted that the Longhorns had to limit the damage from Cyclones wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson. However, Dekkers was able to find Hutchinson often on third-and-long as he tallied 154 receiving yards on 10 catches regardless.
However, while Hutchinson certainly was a consistent threat throughout the day, sophomore wideout Jaylin Noel also mightily contributed to Iowa State's offense with two touchdown receptions. Despite of the production from these two wide receivers, the Texas defense came up big when it needed to. This was illustrative on plays such as Jaylan Ford's second quarter interception of Dekkers, which set up the Longhorns with the chance to march down the field with a touchdown drive when they were already trailing.
Meanwhile, while Texas running backs Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson were kept out of the touchdown column, they made a definite impact on Saturday as the two served as the motor for Texas offense. In fact, these two running backs accounted for 242 all-purpose yards against the Cyclones.
Additionally, another unsung hero in Saturday's contest would be Longhorns wide receiver Jordan Whittington, who scored his first touchdown of the season on a 5-yard pass from Quinn Ewers at the end of the second quarter. This touchdown proved to be critical as it provided the Longhorns with a 14-7 lead entering halftime, following a rather sloppy and lethargic first half.
After the game, Steve Sarkisian expressed pleasure in regards to his team's win and stated that: "A year ago, I don't know if we win this game." While Texas's culture seems to be slowly improving under Sarkisian, he and his team would be the first to agree that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.
Next weekend, the Longhorns will travel to Stillwater, OK to face the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Kickoff is set for 2:30 P.M. (CT) and the game will be televised on ABC.
Game Stats:
QB Quinn Ewers: 17/26, 172 passing yards & 3 TDs RB Bijan Robinson: 28 carries, 135 rushing yards WR Xavier Worthy: 8 receptions, 72 receiving yards & 2 TDs LB Jaylan Ford: 8 tackles, 1 INT

Game Day: #22 Texas Longhorns vs. Iowa State Cyclones

After losing their opening Big 12 game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, the Texas Longhorns (4-2, 2-1) have won two straight and look to continue that streak as they host the Iowa State Cyclones (3-3, 0-3) at DKR on Saturday.  The Longhorns handed Oklahoma a 49-0 beatdown in Fair Park last weekend, while the Cyclones lost a close one to Kansas State to the tune of 10-9 in Ames.
For the Cyclones, defense reigns.  Texas will have its hands full with a stout defense that leads the Big 12 in rushing defense, passing defense, total defense and scoring defense.  
The Longhorns boast the 36th best offense in the country right now and are firing on all cylinders behind quarterback Quinn Ewers and star running back Bijan Robinson.  
Saturday's matchup marks the 20th meeting between these two programs and the 11th time they have met on the field in Austin.  The Cyclones own a three game win-streak against the Longhorns and defeated Texas last season 30-7 in Ames.
Kickoff comes early for the second consecutive week at 11:00 AM with the game being televised on ABC.
What: #22 Texas Longhorns (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) vs Iowa State Cyclones (3-3, 0-3 Big 12)
Venue: Darrell K. Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium
Location: Austin, Texas
When: Saturday, October 15th, 2022
Time: 11:00 a.m. (CST)
TV: ABC
All-Time Series: Texas leads Iowa State 14-5
Last Meeting: Iowa State defeated Texas 30-7 (11/6/2021 - Ames, IA)
Relevant Information:
Scouting Report: Iowa State Cyclones Staff Predictions: Texas vs. Iowa State "Rinse and Repeat" Key Takeaways from Steve Sarkisian's 10/10 Press Conference Longhorns Recruiting Road Trip Week 7 DISCUSS THE TEXAS vs. IOWA STATE GAME HERE

Longhorns Recruiting Road Trip: Week 7

This past weekend, ahead of Texas’s Red River Showdown with Oklahoma, I decided to take a trip back to my roots - to Dragon Stadium where the Carroll Dragons were hosting the Keller Indians. Entering Friday’s game, the Dragons were the third-ranked team in the state’s 6A classification, and have historically bettered the Keller Indians, their district foe. However, this year’s matchup would be the provider of a few more heart palpitations than usual for Dragons fans.
Keller vs #3 Southlake Carroll:
Prior to this season, the Dragons were one of the popular preseason title picks for fans and the media alike. However, Carroll will have to prove that they can reach the title game in year number two without Quinn Ewers at quarterback.
Something happened on Friday that seemingly has not happened in many year’s in this regular district matchup… Keller provided the first punch and, more importantly, did not stop firing their hands all night. Indians senior quarterback Tre Guerra did a solid job of staying in the pocket and finding his wideouts on short-to immediate level passes. Additionally, junior running back Cameron Rayford was able to gash the Dragons defense for chunk yardage left and right as well.
Due to Keller’s dynamic duo, the Dragons offense faced pressure to match Keller’s scoring power and did just that. Carroll senior quarterback Kaden Anderson, a Wyoming commit, was efficient when given the chance to throw the football and even made a couple of plays with his legs. Unfortunately, Anderson also happened to sustain an injury on one of his rushes and was on crutches following the game. The status of Anderson will be one to watch for the Dragons.
Along with Anderson, one of the state’s hidden secrets lines up at running back in Owen Allen, who has earned the nickname “Mr. Fall Forward for Five Yards,” from myself. Like most Dragons games, Allen was the workhorse for the Dragons offense and provided an ample amount of firepower – rushing for 230 yards and 3 touchdowns on Friday.
After trailing the Indians at half time, the Dragons stormed back and took a 38-28 lead late in the third quarter. However, later in the contest, after an uncharacteristic fumble from Allen in the fourth quarter, the Indians were given the chance to tie up the game, being down just 38-35. Despite a decent drive late by the Indians, Carroll’s defense finally took a stand as defensive back Logan Lewandowski sealed the deal for the Dragons with an interception in Dragon territory.
Extra Point:
Dragons senior offensive lineman Andrew Perez looks like a skyscraper compared to the rest of the line. Already committed to Colorado, Perez’s recruitment will be one to continue to watch as Signing Day approaches and other schools take notice.
In addition to Perez, Carroll has a trio of talent at the tight end position where they have stashed a number of sizable targets. Unfortunately for me, I did not get to see too many passing plays designed for the trio as they were primarily used as in-line blockers.
Miles:
436

Staff Predictions: #22 Texas Longhorns vs. Iowa State Cyclones

The Texas Longhorns (4-2, 2-1) find theselves back in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll this week following their 49-0 dismantling of the Oklahoma Sooners last weekend at the Cotton Bowl.  They return home to the friendly confines of Darrell K. Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium to welcome head coach Matt Campbell and the Iowa State Cyclones (3-3, 0-3).  It's no secret that ISU boasts the Big 12's best defense, but the Texas offense which ranks 36th nationally in total offense, will certainly test the Cyclones on Saturday.
Longhorn quarterback Quinn Ewers dazzled in his return from injury last week and Bijan Robinson rushed for 100+ yards for the fourth consecutive week.  The matchup of this game will be undoubtedly the Texas offense against the Cyclone defense.
Iowa State's offense has struggled at times this season, averaging just 106 yards rushing per game.  Hunter Dekkers replaced Brock Purdy as the team's quarterback and Dekkers leads a capable passing offense that ranks 52nd nationally and averages 258 yards per game.
Will Texas continue their winning ways and send Iowa State packing with a losing record?  Or will the suffocating Cyclone defense shut down Ewers, Bijan and company and pull off the road upset?
The HornSports Staff gives their thoughts and score predictions on the outcome of Saturday's 11:00 AM kickoff at DKR.
Jameson McCausland (5-1)
I would be lying if I didn't say this game makes me a little nervous. Iowa State has had Texas' number over the last few seasons and Jon Heacock's defense has given the Longhorns a lot of issues. The biggest difference in this matchup from previous seasons is the Iowa State offense has taken a step back. Brock Purdy, Breece Hall and Charlie Kolar are all gone. The Cyclones have struggled to sustain drives and put points on the board.
Offensively for Texas, they will have to be patient and find cracks in the 3 safety defense that Iowa State runs so well. If Quinn Ewers plays at the level he did last week, the Longhorns should be just fine, but if Ewers experiences some growing pains this game gets very interesting.
I'll take Texas in a closer game than many are predicting.
Score Prediction:  Texas 28, Iowa State 20
Aaron Carrara (5-1)
Iowa State's defense is legit but the Texas offense is operating at another level.  And the more the season progresses, the more opportunities Ewers and his weapons have to be a really, really special group.  I think the line in this game is fairly accurate and I think Texas takes advantage of its playmakers on offense and a home crowd advantage en route to a solid win over the Cyclones.  The running back corps will have to work extra hard for their rushing yardage but the passing game does the most damage to ISU in this one.  Hats off to Matt Campbell for the work he has done with the program - he's a great coach that gets the most out of his players.  His defense will make things interesting for the first couple of quarters, but the Texas revenge tour continues with Iowa State becoming the next victim.
Score Prediction:  Texas 35, Iowa State 13
Devon Messinger (5-1)
On Saturday, the Longhorns will look to continue their winning ways against an Iowa State Cyclones team that has an 0-3 record in conference play thus far. However, Iowa State's record may not be entirely indicative of the team's ability, given the fact that the team has lost a handful of games by only a couple of points.
Against the Cyclones, Quinn Ewers and Bijan Robinson will face a decent sized test as Iowa State is currently the eleventh best defense in the country. If Texas finds themselves in a low scoring affair, Iowa State will be a threat as they thrive on defensive slugfests.
Score Prediction:  Texas 31, Iowa State 20
Ryan Swantkowski (4-1)
Texas opens up as a large favorite on Saturday as they take on a struggling Cyclones team who has lost 3 straight games. The Cyclones are also coming off back to back games of less than 14 points scored, yet defensively they only allowed 14 points to an explosive Kansas offense and 10 points to Adrian Martinez and the Kansas State Wildcats. 
For Iowa State, their key to success is the defensive side of the ball. They rank 11th in total defense in the nation and are only allowing 4.81 yards per play. Offensively, the Cyclones have a stud in WR Xavier Hutchinson who already has over 55 catches on the season, 600 yards and is averaging over 10 yards per catch. That being said, their offense outside of him has been quite stagnant as of late and needs a big performance if they want to take down the Longhorns. 
For Texas, they finally have all the pieces back together. After switching around QB's all season, Quinn Ewers seems to be the healthiest he's been since week 1 against ULM and lit up Oklahoma in the 3 quarters he played. Defensively, the Horns are coming off their strongest game of the season, not allowing a single point to the Sooners. This Texas team is coming off an extremely impressive performance on both sides of the ball and looks stronger than ever heading into Saturday. 
Overall, I expect a lower scoring game with both defenses playing at a high level. The key difference here is the explosiveness of the Texas offense that Iowa State just doesn't have. Give me the Longhorns to keep on rolling. 
Score Prediction:  Texas 24, Iowa State 14
TFloss32 (5-1)
It’s difficult to avoid chugging the burnt orange kool-aid that’s overflowing after Texas decimated archnemesis Oklahoma in historical fashion at the Cotton Bowl last weekend. It was up there with the most satisfying performances we’ve ever seen, but this “Revenge Tour” is far from over and a handful of obstacles remain with Iowa State arriving in Austin having won the last three contests.
The “Five-Star Culture vs. Five-Star Players” narrative thrown out by Matt Campbell will once again be tested, but this Texas team is showing real signs of taking immense pride in what they do and being more culturally aligned than in years past as opposed to the annual discussions of coaching changes, transfers and bowl eligibility.
The talk in favor of Iowa State is rooted in Jon Heacock’s defense, which they have been relying upon heavily due to a stagnant offense scoring just 20 points in two weeks, but I simply don’t like this match-up for the Cyclones. Texas’ confidence is growing on both sides of the ball, they’re showing a desire to dominate and they’re more than capable of covering 16 points at home even if there is an early struggle. Basically, I believe Iowa State is running into a buzzsaw that’s starting to warm up and there won’t be many answers for the dudes from Ames.
Score Prediction:  Texas 34, Iowa State 10
Mitch Lovell (5-1)
Quinn Ewers and company face a tough challenge in Iowa State but continue to show growth and pull away in the second half.  The Texas defense flexes and holds a below-average Cyclones offense to a minimum.
Score Prediction:  Texas 38, Iowa State 17

Scouting Report: Iowa State

(Photo: USA Today)
The revenge tour for Texas continues on Saturday as they welcome Iowa State to Austin. The Cyclones are 3-3 overall but 0-3 in Big 12 play following close losses to Baylor, Kansas and Kansas State. Despite the slow start in conference play, Iowa State still presents some difficult matchups for Texas, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Let's take a look at what to expect from Matt Campbell's squad.
Offense
Iowa State replaced longtime starting quarterback Brock Purdy with lefty Hunter Dekkers. Dekkers has had an up and down season, throwing for 1,514 yards and 11 touchdowns but also tossing 6 interceptions, including 3 over his first 3 conference games. Dekkers is fairly accurate in the short passing game, but has struggled to push the ball down the field and is slow to process at times. 
Along with losing Purdy, the Cyclones also had to replace star RB Breece Hall. Redshirt junior Jirehl Brock has taken over as the lead back and has 394 yards on 78 carries to go along with 2 touchdowns. Brock was hurt a few weeks ago against Kansas and was limited last week against Kansas State. If he continues to be limited or can't play, backup Deon Silas will take on a bigger role.
Luckily for Texas, star tight ends Charlie Kolar and Chase Allen are no longer in Ames. Their absence has really hindered the passing attack for the Cyclones. WR Xavier Hutchinson is the only real receiving threat on the Iowa State offense and has a team leading 57 receptions. If Texas can find a way to shut him down, Iowa State might be in for a long afternoon offensively.
Iowa State returned a lot of experience this season on the offensive line, but the results have been mixed. RT Jake Remsburg anchors the unit and C Trevor Downing is also a solid player. The unit has given up 14 sacks on the season and has struggled to open up holes in the running game.
Defense
Defensive coordinator Jon Heacock created the 3 high safety defense several years ago and it has given Texas fits every season since. The Longhorns struggled mightily to block the Cyclones 3-man front in Ames last season and it crippled the offense. The good news for Texas is several key members of that defense are no longer on the Iowa State roster. The bad news is several players returned and Heacock has found a way to plug in new quality starters at multiple key positions.
DE Will McDonald IV lived in the Texas backfield in this matchup last year, registering 2.5 sacks. He is a veteran player with 32.5 career sacks. NT Isaiah Lee is an active player who will test the interior of the Texas OL.
O'Rien Vance has taken over the lead at LB from the departed Mike Rose. Vance has a team leading 32 tackles and is one of the best linebackers in the Big 12. Fellow LB Colby Reeder is a transfer from Delaware and has fit in nicely in Ames, registering 28 tackles and 2 interceptions already this season. 
Heacock shifted around some pieces in the secondary to replace several key departures. Anthony Johnson Jr., who started at corner last season, moved to safety and might be the best part in the secondary. TJ Tampa took over for Johnson Jr. at corner and has a team-leading 3 pass breakups. 
Overall Thoughts
Iowa State could easily be 3-0 in conference play if a few bounces went their way. As usual with a Matt Campbell coached team, they play hard and have a ton of veteran players who have won quite a few games in Ames. The offense has really been holding the Cyclones back, which is good news for a Texas defense that just pitched a shutout against Oklahoma. 
Offensively for Texas, they will have to be extremely patient and execute at a high level against a defensive system that is built to limit explosive plays and force offenses into uncomfortable situations. The Longhorns seem better prepared to face Iowa State than they were a season ago. It will be a good test for a team looking to build on the success of the last few weeks.

"Rinse and Repeat": Sarkisian's 10/10 Press Conference Takeaways

Texas Football Head Coach Steve Sarkisian stated how he "loved the way we played complimentary football" and how he "thought the fans were unbelievable" in his opening comments on Monday, referencing Saturday's blowout victory over Oklahoma 49-0 in Dallas. Sticking with the talk of the fans and the environment, Sarkisian mentioned how DKR Stadium "should be one of the most intimidating places to come play in the country. I think we are getting better at creating that environment".
Sarkisian was asked about the culture and consistency of his program on the inside and said he watches "the intent of our players" and "listens at practice" but overall states how "it's about our actions at the end of the day". Continuing on this theme, Sarkisian emphasized how "Trust equals time plus consistency" for his team and believes that the effort his team is showing is "the highest it's ever been". 
Towards the middle of the presser, Sark was asked about the growth and leadership of key players like Bijan Robinson, Quinn Ewers and others, along with those who played well on Saturday against OU but maybe didn't get the recognition they deserved. Wide receiver Jordan Whittington and RB Keilan Robinson were two names that stood out to him from Saturday's win: Whittington with 97 yards on 5 catches and Keilan with 60 total yards a TD as well. With Bijan, Sarkisian was asked if the star RB was getting enough national credit for his play and stated "probably not... but he would never tell you that... he is an unbelievable player". For Quinn, he mentioned unique attributes like how natural of a passer he is, his calmness, how the moment never really feels too big for him and how coachable Ewers is mid-game. Stated how overall he is very "clear-minded". 
He was then asked about the blocking in Saturday's win by both the WR group and offensive line as well: "we take pride in it" about how well the wide receivers were able to pick up their assignments and preached on how the OL is getting "trialed by fire" with the adversity of playing against many different looks, especially against Oklahoma and having to "prepare for almost two different defenses". Sarkisian loves the overall maturity of the group and says they can "count on these guys to move people when we need to move them". He mentioned how OL Kelvin Banks got a little "feisty" against OU but that he "kind of appreciated" it because it showed his growth of confidence. 
The Longhorns will square off against the Iowa State Cyclones in Austin on Saturday at 11am.  The Cyclones are coming off a tough 10-9 loss to Kansas State last Saturday.
Sarkisian mentioned at the end of the presser that it's time to "rinse and repeat."  Only Saturday will tell if this truly comes to fruition. 

Alright, Alright, Alright: Longhorns dismantle Oklahoma in 49-0 victory

(Photo: USA Today)
The Longhorns entered this year's Red River Showdown as the favored team for the first time in what seems like forever against Oklahoma. This is in large part due to the fact that the Sooners were reeling off of losses to Kansas State and TCU, and were looking to bounce back with a win over their arch rival. However, unfortunately for Oklahoma, Quinn Ewers and the Longhorns had other plans as they dismantled the Sooners in a dominant 49-0 victory at the Cotton Bowl - snapping the team's four game losing streak against Oklahoma.
Prior to the game, it was uncertain how much rust redshirt freshman quarterback Quinn Ewers would have to shake in his first start since the Alabama game a few weeks ago. Besides a few misfires and a poor interception, Ewers was on his A-game for most of Saturday as he tore up the Sooners defense, passing for 280 yards and four touchdowns. Furthermore, the quarterback's rapport with tight end Ja'Tavion Sanders was once again on display as the pair connected on two touchdown passes.
Along with a solid performance from Ewers and Texas's receiving core as a whole, Bijan Robinson also put his stamp on the game, somehow quietly rushing for 130 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday. In addition to Bijan, Keilan Robinson and Roschon Johnson also played a large role in Texas's win as they stepped up in big moments and kept the team's foot on the gas pedal. In what was already evident entering this season, the Longhorns running back room has been a unit that the team has been able to lean on when in need of some magic.
While the offense did their job against the Sooners, some applause must also be given to the Longhorns defense which, at times, bended but certainly never broke. Texas defensive backs Jahdae Barron and D'Shawn Jamison were both able to capitalize on Oklahoma's inexperience at quarterback - as typical starter Dillon Gabriel was a pregame scratch due to an injury which he suffered against TCU - with interceptions. In fact, Jahdae Barron's interception came off of Sooners senior running back Eric Gray, who attempted a jump pass from the wildcat position which was easily picked off.
It was clear that Oklahoma head coach Brent Venables and offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby did not have much faith in backup quarterback Davis Beville, and opted to utilize the wildcat for much of the Red River Showdown. In contrast to Quinn Ewers' play at the quarterback position for the Longhorns, Beville was only able to pass for 38 yards and had a handful of inaccurate passes which inhibited the Sooners offense from getting into any sort of rhythm. Due to the combination of Texas's firepower on offense, coupled with Oklahoma's utter lack of confidence on their own offensive side of the ball, the Longhorns were able to secure the Golden Hat with ease - for the first time since 2018.
Next weekend, the Longhorns will look to extend their winning streak to three games with a win against the Iowa State Cyclones. Moreover, kickoff at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium is set for 11 A.M (CT).
Game Stats:
QB Quinn Ewers: 21/31, 289 passing yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT RB Bijan Robinson: 22 carries, 130 rushing yards, 2 TDs WR Jordan Whittington: 5 receptions, 97 receiving yards TE Ja'Tavion Sanders: 5 receptions, 71 receiving yards, 2 TDs DB Jahdae Barron: 6 tackles, 1 INT DB D'Shawn Jamison: 3 tackles, 1 INT

Game Day: Texas - Oklahoma

The Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners will meet for the 118th time on Saturday at the hallowed grounds of the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas.  While neither team is ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll in this matchup, the first time this has happened in the last 24 years, the stakes are still very high for both programs and their coaches. 
For the Longhorns and Steve Sarkisian, the season goal of a conference championship appearance is still in sight.  They will need to get past the Sooners to do so, which has proven to be a challenge for Texas.  Oklahoma has won 10 of the last 13 meetings and the Sooners have been crowned Big 12 Champions 14 times in the last 22 years. 
The Longhorns held a commanding lead in last year's game only to see freshman quarterback Caleb Williams lead the Sooners to a 55-48 come-from-behind win in the second half.  No lead is safe in this game. The players know it, the coaches know it and the fans know it. 
Texas must find a way to score points in the 4th quarter, something they have had trouble doing this season.  It is trending favorable that the 'Horns will have starting quarterback Quinn Ewers under center for this game after missing the last month rehabbing an injured shoulder.  Ewers shined in the Alabama game before being knocked out of the game, giving the Texas offense a spark it hasn't seen in several years.  
The quarterback position remains uncertain for the Sooners.  Starting quarterback Dillon Gabriel left last week's TCU game with a concussion and his status for Saturday is unknown.  Should Gabriel remain on the sidelines, expect to see Pittsburgh transfer Davis Beville and/or General Booty at quarterback for the Sooners.
Both teams have solid rushing attacks, with the Longhorns' led by Bijan Robinson who has reached the century mark on the ground in each of his last three games.  Oklahoma will utilize a trio of capable running backs in Marcus Major, Eric Gray and Jovantae Barnes.
Oklahoma owns a four game winning streak against Texas and neither Sarkisian nor Venables holds a win as head coach over the other program. 
What: Texas Longhorns (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) vs Oklahoma Sooners (3-2, 0-2 Big 12)
Venue: Cotton Bowl
Location: Dallas, Texas
When: Saturday, October 8th, 2022
Time: 11:00 p.m. (CST)
TV: ABC
All-Time Series: Texas leads Oklahoma 62-50-5
Last Meeting: Oklahoma defeated Texas 55-48 (10/9/2021 - Dallas, TX)
Relevant Information:
Scouting Report: Oklahoma Sooners Staff Predictions: Texas vs. Oklahoma "Red River Week:" Key Takeaways from Steve Sarkisian's 10/3 Press Conference Longhorns Recruiting Road Trip Week 6 DISCUSS THE TEXAS vs. OKLAHOMA GAME HERE

Staff Predictions: Texas vs. Oklahoma

Photo: Ricardo B. Brazziell/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK
Both Texas and Oklahoma enter Saturday's Red River Rivalry with 3-2 records and question marks at key positions.  For the Longhorns, the hope is starting quarterback Quinn Ewers makes his return after missing the last four weeks with a shoulder injury.  The Sooners are in a similar situation with Dillon Gabriel leaving with a head injury in the Sooners' 55-24 loss to TCU last week. Regardless of who starts under center for each respective school, the coaches are preparing for whatevever is thrown at them.
Oklahoma got the better of the Longhorns last year at the Cotton Bowl, defeating Sarkisian in his Texas-OU debut 55-48.  The Sooners have won 7 of the last 10 games between these two teams.
Texas is favored by 8.5 points and has some momentum headed into the rivalry game while Oklahoma has lost their last two games and is 0-2 in Big 12 play.  The Longhorns solidly defeated West Virginia at home last week  38-20 to improve to 1-1 in conference play this season.
Saturday's contest marks the first time since 1998 that neither Texas or Oklahoma are ranked in the Ap Top 25 Poll when playing one another.
Will Texas get star quarterback Quinn Ewers back for the game?  Can Oklahoma pull off the upset over the Longhorns with backup quarterbacks?  Buckle up - if this game is anything like it usually is, throw the records out the window and expect a heavyweight fight. 
Our staff weighs in with thoughts and score predictions for Saturday's big game at the State Fair.
Jameson McCausland (4-1)
Do not fall for the trap. I fully expect Oklahoma to come out ready to play. Brent Venables and his team are desperate. Crazier things have happened in this rivalry than the Sooners winning this game.

With that being said, if Texas plays the way they are capable of playing, they will win. The Longhorns are healthier, have the better defense and the return of Quinn Ewers should open up the playbook offensively.

I expect this game game to be closer than many believe, but I believe Steve Sarkisian will pick his his first win over Oklahoma.
Score Prediction: Texas 31, Oklahoma 24
Aaron Carrara (4-1)
Texas heads into this game with what appears to be a more solid football team, but I'm not buying the notion that Oklahoma won't show up ready to play.  The Longhorns should be able to move the ball on the Sooners and I expect them to score often against a defense that ranks 109th nationally.  This game typically includes big plays and expect to see some on both sides of the ball.  The line has moved up and down over the last handful of days but it is still trending Texas by more than a touchdown.  I think Sark and the team have the advantage on both sides of the ball and win this game by a couple of touchdowns.
Score Prediction: Texas 42, Oklahoma 27
Ryan Swantkowski (3-1)
The game Longhorn and Sooner fans look forward to year after year has finally arrived. The Red River Rivalry will kickoff at 11am on Saturday with the stadium divided in half, the smell of fried food in the air and the nervous energy being felt by all fans around the country. With this game, you never quite know how it will end up. That being said, here's my prediction: 
The Sooners have given up over 1,200 total yards and a whopping 7.5 yards per carry over their past 2 games against Kansas State and TCU. They also had serious injuries to players like DB Damond Harmon and Safety Billy Bowman whose statuses are still unknown. Offensively, the status of QB Dillon Gabriel is still up in the air and RB Eric Gray got banged up in Fort Worth as well. Overall, the Sooners are somewhat depleted on both sides of the ball. 
The Longhorns are highly expected to get QB Quinn Ewers back from upper body injuries he suffered against Alabama. While Hudson Card has gone 2-1 as a starter in his absence, Ewers should provide an upgrade to the Longhorn offense that has been struggling to effectively throw the ball deep down the field. Defensively, the Longhorns held the Mountaineer's high caliber offense to only 20 points and seemed to have that same intensity fans saw against Alabama. 
Even though the Horns should have all their pieces together while Oklahoma just the opposite, expect this game to stay close throughout. 
Score Prediction: Texas 42, Oklahoma 30
Devon Messinger (4-1)
On Saturday, the Red River Showdown will take place at the Cotton Bowl and, for the first time in years, the Longhorns are actually entering the game as the favored team.
For Oklahoma, question marks are plentiful as Oklahoma starting quarterback Dillon Gabriel may or may not partake in Saturday's action thanks to a head injury. Additionally, the Sooners have suffered several other injuries on both sides of the ball, however players such as running back Eric Gray should be ready to roll by the opening whistle.
For Texas, expect quarterback Quinn Ewers to be in the starting lineup for the Longhorns, barring anything unexpected. Additionally, with Xavier Worthy and Ja'Tavion Sanders hitting their groove, as well as running backs Roschon Johnson and Bijan Robinson, the Longhorns have a multi-faceted offense that can pose threats to a Sooners defense that has not looked strong this season. As always when it comes to the Red River game, be prepared for the unexpected.
Score Prediction: Texas 34, Oklahoma 27
TFloss32 (4-1)
As we near the halfway point in the season, this match-up appears to be that of two teams going in opposite directions. The old cliché reminds us to throw everything out the window when it comes to the big rivalry game, but it’s good to see Sark and his players are showing appropriate fear knowing they can’t expect things to come easy against an injured, reeling Oklahoma team. They’re also keenly aware that this game last year was the fork in the road that led to six straight losses and sitting at home for the holiday bowl season. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Dillon Gabriel play on Saturday knowing OU’s history dealing with injuries, but I like Texas to show up to the fairgrounds this weekend with bad intentions and the proper focus to successfully make up for 2021’s letdown. Throw in Quinn Ewers’ return for some extra confidence and the burnt orange faithful should be happy on Saturday night. 
Score Prediction: Texas 42, Oklahoma 24
Mitch Lovell (4-1)
Texas gets revenge from last year's collapse and Quinn Ewers shines in his return.  Longhorn fans leave Dallas with a win in hopes to return to Dallas again in December.
Score Prediction: Texas 45, Oklahoma 21

Longhorns Recruiting Road Trip: Week 6

Last Friday, the Vandegrift Vipers looked to challenge the undefeated Manor Mustangs on the road. Besides from a season-opening loss to an underrated Dripping Springs team, the Vipers have been able to dismantle every team that has been in their way. However, Manor has the athletes to challenge disciplined teams thanks to players such as 2023 four-star running back Quinten Joyner and 2023 four-star defensive end Princewill Umanmielen.
To open Friday's contest, senior USC commit Quinten Joyner showcased why he is one of the top running backs in the state as he broke off a 44-yard touchdown rush. While Manor was able to jump to a quick 6-0 lead over Vandegrift due to this play, Manor's touchdown rush proved to be just about the only highlight for them on Friday night.
At quarterback for the Vipers, senior Brayden Buchanan proved to be adept at drawing Manor's defensive line offsides, which created a few large chunk play opportunities for his team. Furthermore, 2023 four-star offensive tackle Ian Reed and the rest of the Vandegrift offensive line held their own against a talented Mustangs front, particularly excelling on passing plays.
Ultimately, Vandegrift ended up distancing themselves from the Mustangs after seemingly killing them with one thousand five-yard pickups throughout the night. Moreover, senior running back Alex Witt helped to provide the Vipers with a spark as he found the end zone twice on the night, and helped lead Vandegrift to a 34-6 victory.
Extra Point:
Despite of the loss, Quinten Joyner was certainly a fun running back to watch. He had a countless number of broken tackles and was a hard man for the Vipers to bring to the ground. Joyner finished the game tallying 154 yards on 26 carries, along with the big first quarter touchdown rush.
Currently, 247Sports has Joyner ranked as the eight-best running back in the country's 2023 recruiting cycle. The Austin-area product has not received an offer from the Longhorns, who have a pledge from the second-ranked running back in the class, Cedric Baxter Jr.
Along with Joyner, Vandegrift's Ian Reed is another talented Austin-area product who saw his recruitment boom late last season. The 6'6.5" offensive tackle has offers from 29 schools such as Alabama, Ohio State and Texas, however he announced his commitment to Clemson in June. As mentioned previously, the Vandegrift offensive line, led by Reed, did a solid job of keeping Buchanan upright behind the line of scrimmage and will look to power the Vipers through the playoffs in a few weeks.
Miles:
34

Scouting Report: Oklahoma

(Photo: USA Today)
One of the most historic rivalries in college football takes center stage on Saturday as Texas and Oklahoma meet in the Cotton Bowl. The Longhorns enter the matchup 3-2 overall and 1-1 in Big 12 play, meanwhile Oklahoma also enters with a 3-2 record but is 0-2 in Big 12 play.
There are a ton of question marks surround the Sooners this week, specifically on the injury front. Let's take a look at what to expect from Oklahoma on both sides of the ball.
Offense
The most notable injury for Oklahoma was a concussion suffered by starting QB Dillon Gabriel. Gabriel exited the TCU game in the second quarter following the hit and did not return. It is unknown if he will be cleared and available on Saturday. If he is available, the left-handed transfer from UCF will look to build off a solid start to the season (11 TD's compared to 0 INT's). Gabriel has struggled with accuracy at times, ranking 8th in the Big 12 in completion %, and has a tendency to struggle with throws outside the hashes. He also is not afraid to use his legs situationally.
If Gabriel is not available, the Sooners will likely be turning to backup QB Davis Beville. Beville transferred to Oklahoma following 3 years at Pitt where he served as a backup. He struggled in limited action against TCU, completing 7 of 16 passes for 50 yards.
Starting RB Eric Gray is another player who exited the game against TCU due to injury. When healthy, he is a solid RB who has 460 yards and 3 touchdowns on the season. Backup Marcus Major did not travel to Fort Worth due to injury and is questionable for the game against Texas. Freshman Jovantae Barnes saw extended action last week and ran for 100 yards on 18 carries.
Wide receiver is another position that could be potentially impacted by injury. Theo Wease, who ranks 2nd on the team in receiving yards, is banged up and questionable for Saturday. Marvin Mims ranks 2nd in receiving yards in the Big 12 and is having a bounce-back season after a relatively quiet 2021. TE Brayden Willis is a chess piece offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby likes to move around.
Oklahoma returned a lot of experience on the offensive line and the unit has played relatively well through 5 games. Starting RT Wanya Morris was in a sling during the second half last weekend and is questionable at best to play Saturday. If Morris can't go, sophomore Tyler Guyton will likely start in his place. The rest of the offensive line is okay to above average.
Defense
Oklahoma allowed 668 yards to TCU last weekend. The Sooners sprung leaks multiple times at different levels of the defense, allowing touchdown plays of 73, 67, 62 and 69 yards. The Oklahoma defensive line has bounced between a 3 and 4 man front of much of the season. DE Ethan Downs is a promising player who has registered 2.5 sacks on the season. The interior of the OU DL has been suspect for much of the year.
The Oklahoma linebackers have shown flashes but are still searching for consistency. DaShaun White is playing a new position and new middle linebacker David Ugwoegbu has struggled mightily the last few weeks.
In the secondary, an injury to starting safety Billy Bowman looms large. Bowman was becoming one of the better players on the Oklahoma defense. Starting corners Jaden Davis and Woodi Washington did not have good games in Fort Worth, and the Sooners secondary as a whole struggled to defend the deep ball.
Final Thoughts
The amount of injuries for the Sooners makes this game very tough to analyze and predict. It is also tough to know where Oklahoma is at mentally. This rivalry has had some crazy twists and turns, including a Texas team in 2015 who lost 50-7 to TCU the week before going into the Cotton Bowl and beating a OU team who made the college football playoff. One would think that OU will pick themselves up and be ready for a fight, but what the Sooners have shown the last few weeks is alarming. Brent Venables is a good defensive mind who will surely have a trick or two up his sleeve for the Texas offense, but for the first time in over a decade, the Longhorns look like the better team on paper.

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