2. Texas still has systemic problems.
This assessment seems on the mark. Despite having one of the best running backs in the nation in Bijan Robinson, Texas has choked away leads of at least 14 points in its past two games, both losses. Robinson had by the far the best performance of an opposing player against OSU this season, totaling 173 yards from scrimmage and scoring three touchdowns in the 32-24 loss to the Cowboys.
New Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian became the fourth Longhorns boss to lose to Gundy in the past decade, joining Mack Brown (2013), Charlie Strong (2015), and Tom Herman (2017). Despite all of their supposed talent advantages, its high school recruiting prowess, and its resources, the Longhorns are 4-8 against the Cowboys since 2010.
After scoring early in the third quarter to go up 24-13, the Longhorns next six drives ended in four punts, a turnover on downs, and an interception after a net gain of 14 yards. It’s a hardly inspiring look for a team that now has three losses before the end of October.
1. This is the worst OSU offense under Mike Gundy.
These thoughts might have floated through your mind midway through the third quarter as the Longhorns opened up a 24-13 lead.
Up to that point, the Cowboys looked listless on offense and struggled to move the ball with any consistency. Their only visit to the end zone was an 85-yard pick-six by Jason Taylor II in the second quarter, and two trips inside the Texas 10-yard-line came up only with field goals. Sanders overthrew several important throws, and his receivers dropped a couple of passes.
But the OSU offense kicked into gear behind Jaylen Warren, who had 154 rushing yards in the second half alone. Sanders evaded the Texas pass rush to find wide receiver Brennan Presley for a seven-yard touchdown pass to nearly tie the game, and OSU wore the Longhorns down in the fourth quarter to escape Austin with the win.
OSU still doesn’t have a prolific offense, but it has a punishing ground attack behind Warren and a revamped offensive line. The Utah State transfer has 659 rushing yards and four touchdowns in his last four games alone.