… If the Longhorn running game sustains its success. Over the past two games, running backs – senior Malcolm Brown and junior Johnathan Gray – combined for 192 rushing yards against Texas Tech and 191 yards versus West Virginia. If the running game can be as efficient against Oklahoma State, the Longhorns will win.
… If the offensive line continues to improve. Throughout the season, the offensive line has been ravaged by injuries and suspensions and has struggled to cope at times, but it appears as if the line has finally taken a decisive step in the right direction. With the improvements in the line’s play, the running game has finally taken off and will be a key to Texas winning its game against the Cowboys. If the line keeps getting better, Texas will have a shot at taking down the Cowboys and securing bowl eligibility.
… If Texas can get off to a hot start. Texas’ fast start against West Virginia was big. It set the tone for the game, and, if the Longhorns can replicate that fast start, they will be in a good position to beat Oklahoma State.
… If the defense has a strong performance. The Longhorn defense played a good game against the Mountaineers. Texas held West Virginia to a 17 percent third-down conversion rate. The Mountaineers average 34.1 points per game, but Texas held them to only 16. Additionally, the Longhorns forced two turnovers. If the defense plays as well as it did against West Virginia, it should ease the Longhorns past Oklahoma State.
… If sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes performs poorly. If Swoopes throws a few interceptions or isn’t able to find a rhythm against Oklahoma State, it will be a long night in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
… If the running game is stuffed. If Texas is unable to run the ball effectively against the Cowboys, it won’t have a shot at winning and will put its bowl hopes
… If Oklahoma State is able to penetrate Texas’ defense. If the Longhorns allow the Cowboys to get into an offensive rhythm, Texas will not beat Oklahoma State.
… If Texas’ special teams continue to make mistakes. If Texas’ kickoff and punt units struggle again, and Nick Rose continues to miss field goals, Texas will struggle Saturday.