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Scouting the opponent: Longhorns powered by Robinson

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NCAA Football: Texas at Oklahoma State

Oct 31, 2020; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Texas Longhorns tight end Cade Brewer (80) makes a reception against Oklahoma State Cowboys safety Tanner McCalister (2) during the second quarter at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Scouting the opponent takes a look into OSU’s opposing matchup and formulates a scouting report.

Oklahoma State was close to being the only undefeated team in the Big 12 until the Oklahoma Sooners came back and won against, ironically, the Texas Longhorns. Regardless, the Cowboys got the chance to rejuvenate over the bye week and take on an explosive Longhorns offense.

Debatably college football’s best RB

Bijan Robinson is a do-it-all back and multi-faceted talent who is the engine to this offense. Robinson possesses a strong, compact frame along with a perfect blend of power, elusiveness and burst. On the season, Robinson has rushed for 789 yards and eight touchdowns on 6.3 yards per carry. He has also pitched in 11 receptions, 169 yards and two TDs as a receiver.

Casey Thompson stabilized the QB room

Hindsight really is 20/20. After Hudson Card won the starting job to start the season — and struggled — Casey Thompson took over after two games and flourished. Thompson is a dual-threat QB who can still sit in the pocket and throw bombs. Despite not starting the first two games, Thompson still leads the Big 12 in passing TDs with 14. The redshirt junior will lead the nation’s fifth-best scoring offense on Saturday.

An electric WR1

Xavier Worthy has been tantalizing this season. The true freshman has track speed to absolutely burn you down the field. He’s dynamic with the ball in his hands and gains separation with regularity. Worthy leads the Big 12 with 531 receiving yards and six touchdowns. With second-leading receiver Jordan Whittington on the shelf for a while, Worthy will be bookended by Joshua Moore, Texas’ leading receiver last season.

A “flexible” 4-2-5 scheme

The Longhorns’ base set is a 4-2-5, but it’ll often look like a 3-3-5 or even a 2-4-5 with only the defensive tackle and nose tackle playing with their hand in the dirt. Texas reloaded with some transfers in the front seven, and the backside of this defense stays strong with cornerbacks Josh Thompson and D’Shawn Jamison with safety B.J. Foster.

The defense needs to be better

There is little to complain about with Texas’ offense, but the defense has been susceptible. Missed tackles have been a huge issue for the Longhorns to this point, which was evident in their game with Oklahoma. On the season, Texas ranks 79th in scoring defense and 97th in total defense.

sports.ed@ocolly.com