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Previewing the Schedule: Can Mike Gundy Continue Texas Dominance Against Tom Herman?



In 2005, Mike Gundy became Oklahoma State’s head coach on the heels of Texas’ most recent national championship. Since then, both teams have an identical record at 104-50. Over the past ten years, Oklahoma State and Texas have been on somewhat different paths. In the last four years, they’ve been headed in opposite trajectories. The Cowboys are coming off back-to-back 10-win seasons and Texas hasn’t had a winning conference or overall record in that time.

Mike Gundy started 0-5 against Mack Brown’s Longhorns but has since gone 5-2. That success is unheard of against UT by an Oklahoma State coach. In fact, before Gundy’s first win in the series (2010), OSU was 2-22 against the Longhorns.

Although he just won his first home game against the ‘Horns last season, Mike Gundy has won the last four trips to Austin. Can he make it five in a row?


When: Saturday, October 21, 2017 at TBD

Where: Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, Texas (Capacity: 100,119)


Last meeting: The Cowboys defeated the Longhorns 49-31 in Stillwater to begin a seven-game winning streak. Oklahoma State’s Big 3 showed out in their first Big 12 win. Mason Rudolph threw for 392 yards and three scores. James Washington had 91 receiving yards and one of those TDs (on three catches). And Justice Hill racked up 135 yards and a touchdown as he continued making himself a household name around Cowboy country


Tom Herman has yet to name his starting quarterback. Shane Buechele is the front-runner at this point but a lot can happen before Week 5.  Buechele came into 2016 hyped like the next Colt McCoy but his career trajectory started off looking more like Case McCoy’s. He’ll have some competition with true freshman Sam Ehlinger, a four-star recruit and the No. 3 dual-threat QB according to 247 Sports.

Whoever takes snaps will do so behind a fairly deep and talented offensive line. Left tackle Connor Williams is probably the best player on the roster and he may be the best tackle in college football. He is the leading returning tackle in PBE (pass-blocking efficiency) according to Pro Football Focus. Imagine if Mason Rudolph started his career behind these types of dudes up front.

As far as weapons go, Buechele and Co. have most of their receiving corps returning, including big-play threat Collin Johnson and quarterback-turned-wide receiver Jerrod Heard. D’Onta Foreman is gone but they return Chris Warren III and Kyle Porter (no relation to ours) at tailback.


Our staff voted three Longhorn defenders as preseason All-Big 12 honorees — and all three are in the Longhorn’s front seven. Linebacker Malik Jefferson is now a junior and could be playing on Sundays in a year. Defensive ends Poona Ford and Malcolm Roach were also productive sophomores who could take the next step under new defensive coordinator Todd Orlando.

The question for the UT’s defense, much like OSU’s, is in their secondary. Texas was in the bottom half of the league in passing defense, scoring defense and opponent’s long passing plays last year. How much of that was scheme? How much of that was inexperience? They played several underclassmen in their secondary last year — much like OSU will do this season. Those players are more experienced now and senior safety Jason Hall should provide leadership to an up-and-coming group.

Key Matchup

Texas was second in the Big 12 last year with 41 sacks and only 7.5 were made by seniors. Oklahoma State, on the other hand was tied for last in the conference, allowing 32 sacks. It’s the one big question mark for the Cowboy offense.

Can the offensive line protect Mason Rudolph from a front seven with a combination of size and speed? They’ve given up three sacks each the last two meetings with UT and the year before, allowed Daxx Garman to get sacked seven times. That trend will need to change if OSU wants to be in control of this one.


This looks to be the first real test for Oklahoma State. A road game in Austin and, depending how the season goes, probably an optimistic Texas team and crowd.

A lot depends on quarterback play. Who is Texas’ QB and how does he play? OSU knows what they have in Mason Rudolph but can the OL keep his jersey clean? With the passing of the guard at both Big 12 bell cows, can Mike Gundy get a leg up against the anointed one, Tom Herman? He needs to.

Summer Prediction

I think Gundy starts off this rivalry the right way. I think Oklahoma State wins the skill position battles and the turnover battle on their way to a 42-35 win.

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