Junior Daxx Garman has been fairly mediocre this season. The pocket passer has completed just over 50 percent of his passes and has thrown eleven touchdowns and as many interceptions.
Texas’ huge upset win over West Virginia overshadowed Tyrone Swoopes’ terrible game. The sophomore gunslinger completed a dismal 37.9 percent of his passes for just 124 yards.
Until last week, the Texas running game’s Achilles heel was, literally, junior Johnathan Gray’s injured Achilles. His performance against West Virginia confirmed that Gray has finally healed and regained the explosiveness that makes him the most talented back on the team.
Senior feature back Desmond Roland is averaging just 3.9 yards per carry on the season. His backup, junior Tyreek Hill, won gold in the 200-meters at the 2013 Big 12 Indoor Championship, and his excellent patience and receiving skills have helped the junior speedster earn more carries.
The offensive coordinators have been slowly incorporating offensive weapon Daje Johnson into the game plan. The junior could bring a huge boost to this offense with his ability to make plays after the catch. Seniors John Harris and Jaxon Shipley can always be counted on for a solid game.
Elusive junior wideout David Glidden leads the Cowboy receiving corps. The junior has a team-leading 419 receiving yards and has emerged as Garman’s No. 1 target. 6-foot-4-inch sophomore receiver Marcell Ateman also adds a nice downfield threat to the Cowboy offense.
This unit might finally be hitting its stride. Texas produced a 100-yard back for the second consecutive week, and, in recent weeks, Swoopes has had plenty of time to work through his progressions.
Oklahoma State’s inexperienced offensive line has struggled since the departure of Joe Wickline, current Longhorn offensive line coach. The Cowboys have rushed for just 3.7 yards per carry as a team and have already conceded 25 sacks.
Defensive end Cedric Reed resuscitated his draft stock with a career day against West Virginia. The senior notched three sacks — double his season total — forced a fumble and was responsible for a safety. When Reed is playing well, Texas may have the best front four in the country.
The Cowboys’ defensive live does a great job of getting into the backfield. Sophomore defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah has been a nightmare for opposing offensive linemen. The sophomore is fourth in the nation with 14.5 tackles for loss and leads the team with nine sacks.
Jordan Hicks has proven that he is the rock in the middle of this Texas defense. The senior outside linebacker has a team-high 130 total tackles and is showing just how great he can be when he stays healthy for a full season.
Middle linebacker Ryan Simmons is one of just seven Cowboys with at least 13 starts under their belt. The junior has been the leader of the Cowboy defense, accruing a team-high 57 solo tackles and helping hold opposing rushers to under four yards per carry.
Safety Jordan Sterns leads the defense with 69 total tackles, but his signature is the big play. The sophomore has forced two fumbles and blocked two kicks on the season. Junior Kevin Peterson is challenging Diggs for the title of the conference’s best cover corner.
Texas’ secondary looked like a unit headed for collapse. Then, defensive coordinator Vance Bedford moved senior Quandre Diggs from nickel to corner last week. The switch helped hold West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett to a season-low 5.1 yards per attempt.
Special teams have been the strength of this year’s Cowboy team. Senior punter Kip Smith averages 40.3 net yards per punt and is a candidate for the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation’s top punter. The Cowboys have also blocked a conference-best four kicks this season.
Junior kicker Nick Rose badly missed yet another field goal against West Virginia. This unit can reliably be counted on to produce at least one major mistake per game and fail to produce big plays.