Take a look at the drive charts for both teams and tell me what stands out to you? Don't worry I'll wait...
First off, I know OSU has played the likes of Texas Agricultural, Troy, and Washington State and offensively they've looked really good doing it. Hell, with the exception of the Aggie game where it yielded over 400 yards of offense, the Cowboy defense has looked much improved from a year ago. But that's about as valuable as a stripper's money management advice.
I want a true litmus test. No, I don't buy into to the transitive property of football. Team X beats team Y who has beaten team Z, therefore X is better than Z. I think matchups and personnel are far more important than transitive indicators. And the Mizzou/OSU game provides the best matchup/personnel model as it applies to Texas' game with the Cowboys this Saturday.
Getting pressure with 4 allows Texas to play more coverage and avoid big plays.
So back to the drive charts. What jumps out at me on the Okie State side is the dearth of time consuming, multi-play drives. Other than the Cowboy's opening 11 play 74 yard drive, the remaining scoring drives weren't really drives at all. Just products of big plays. The other 3 scoring drives were 2 plays 72 yards capped by a 68 yard run by Hunter, 4 plays 66 yards capped by a 40 yard pass to Davis, and 3 plays 29 yards capped by a 31 yard pass to Davis. Hunter's TD was a nice run that saw him break multiple tackles and then outrun the secondary. Davis' first TD was a blown coverage that HenryJames would have housed, and his second TD was an up for grabs prayer similar to Malcom William's grab.
Hardly the stay on the field and wear you out offenses reminiscent of OU and Mizzou. And I think that'll play well for a Texas defense that bends but doesn't break, and instead tries to force you into a penalty or sack to get you behind the chains. If Texas can avoid the brainfarts in the secondary, I have a hard time seeing OSU consistently moving the ball on this front 7, or dinking and dunking the back four to death. It's not who the Cowboys are.
Flipping to the Mizzou drive chart, and you see quite the opposite. Two 11 play and one 9 play, 80+ yard drives from Mizzou show that this Cowboy defense is susceptible to the methodical wear you out drives Texas excels at. Mizzou couldn't take advantage because of 3 costly INT's, two missed field goals, and horrible coaching move to kick a field goal at the one foot line. As long as Texas can avoid multiple turnovers and find some balance by using its newfound running game, I think the Horns should be okay on this side of the ball as well.
The drive charts from the game in Columbia earlier this month tell us and awful lot. Thoughts?