The Cowboys appear to have a quarterback in sophomore Mason Rudolph. Through three games, Rudolph has completed 68.9 percent of his passes for 947 yards, five touchdowns and just one interception.
Texas struggled against California junior quarterback Jared Goff, who completed 27-of-37 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns. But that’s not too surprising, as Goff is a NFL prospect and the Longhorns lost their two starting safeties — not the best formula to stop someone like Goff.
Rudolph is good, but he doesn’t have the experience that Goff has. He’s still a young quarterback who’s not even through his first full year as a starter. Texas needs to put pressure on him early. An early mistake could be what gets him out of rhythm.
Make Oklahoma State One-Dimensional
The Golden Bears were as balanced as they could’ve been against Texas’ defense, passing for 268 yards while rushing for 280 yards — that’s a recipe for a loss.
The Texas offense will end up in a shooting match with the Pokes unless the defense can make Oklahoma State a one-dimensional team. The Longhorns have to force the Cowboys to beat them either through the air or on the ground. If the Cowboys have their way with Texas in both the passing game and running game like California did, Texas will be sitting at 1-3.
If Texas can find a way to limit one of those areas, it might have a chance to pull off the upset. The Longhorns showed flashes of it when they shut out California in the fourth quarter, paving the way for the offense to rally back. They’re going to need more of that.
Limit Mistakes from Heard
Redshirt freshman quarterback Jerrod Heard was sensational against California. He completed 20-of-31 passes for 364 yards while carrying the ball 24 times for 163 yards and three touchdowns. For the first time in years, there’s excitement at quarterback.
But Heard also had a costly interception and a fumble that bit Texas later. He’s a young quarterback who’s going to make mistakes, but Texas has to be sure to put him in a position to limit those mistakes.