Texas and Oklahoma State play in Stillwater on Saturday (noon ET, ABC), and the game should be pretty good under any circumstance. The Cowboys are about a field goal favorite at home, and the day will feature a brutal OSU defensive line against a dangerous Texas offense.
The stakes are high because both teams enter the game with losses – one for Texas, two for Oklahoma State. Dreams of winning the Big 12 will be in trouble with a conference loss on Saturday.
But both teams have something in common: they've been hurt by refs in crucial moments this year.
1. Oklahoma State lost to Central Michigan in Week 2, because officials incorrectly gave the Chippewas an extra down. Then the Chippewas hit on a 51-yard, lateraled Hail Mary.
2. Texas lost to Cal in Week 3, and the Longhorns probably would’ve lost even if there hadn’t been late-game shenanigans. A Cal running back dropped the football before running into the end zone for a game-sealing touchdown, and Texas picked it up about three seconds later.
But officials ruled there was no "immediate recovery," thus letting Cal keep the ball.
But wait! There's more!
3. In last year's Cowboys-Horns game, Texas got a rough deal from the refs (even though other Big 12 fans found that concept hilarious). For just one example of many, here's a video of a Texas defensive lineman, wearing No. 95, getting flagged for defensive holding for, uh, some reason.
Here's the bizarre defensive holding call again. Watch 95 get double teamed, flagged for nothing. pic.twitter.com/hBA0NPHumx— Max Olson (@max_olson) September 27, 2015
This is a nice matchup, regardless of recent problems with the zebras.
The Cowboys are field goal favorites. Las Vegas has set the scoring over/under for the game at a cool 71, the fourth-highest of the week behind Kansas-Texas Tech, Notre Dame-Syracuse, and Oregon-Washington State.
The quarterback battle is nice, with Oklahoma State sending Mason Rudolph against the two-headed Texan monster of Shane Buechele (to throw) and Tyrone Swoopes (to run).
Both teams have lots of speedsters, and neither defense has looked equipped to deal with the other’s offense. The teams combine to average over 80 points per game and give up over 60. That’s how it’s going to be.
Someone will exit Saturday looking pretty good, especially if it’s Texas making its way to 3-1. The Longhorns’ best win of the year, in their opener against Notre Dame, is plummeting in value. Oklahoma State’s best win so far came against Pitt, so the Cowboys could really use this boost, too.