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Stats that matter: Texas at Oklahoma State

9/25/2012

Number, it's said, rarely lie. With that thought in mind, HornsNation -- with a healthy assist from the ESPN Stats and Info crew -- will dig into the numbers each week and pull three stats that could play a significant role in the outcome of Texas' game. This week the focus is on Oklahoma State and its explosive offense.

No. 1: 24

Oklahoma State leads the Big 12 in plays of 20-plus yards with 24 so far. That is to be expected. The Cowboys are all about getting into space, making a play and throwing it deep. They also played Savannah State, and that no doubt has played into inflating the stat.

Still, OSU's ability to go deep is a concern for Texas, considering the Longhorns have shown susceptibility to the big play.

"There's no great speech needed this week," said defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. "They have our full attention."

No. 2: 12.2

That was the rushing average of backup quarterback J.W. Walsh against Louisiana Lafayette. The dual-threat quarterback replaced the injured Wes Lunt and helped the offense set a school record with 725 yards of offense. Walsh had 73 yards rushing, and that has Texas worried about stopping both the pass and the run.

"Anyone who has the ball and runs fast is a problem," Diaz said. "And then when that guy is the quarterback it’s a real problem, because then you have the decision in terms of how you want to cover them down the field. But then if you cover everybody you have no one covering the quarterback. It affects all kind of things. There will be some issues that he causes."

No. 3: 0

The Cowboys have not allowed a sack in three games. They are one of only three teams nationally that has yet to give up one. Air Force, which primarily runs the ball, and Middle Tennessee are the other two. Texas has allowed two sacks.

While OSU has not allowed a sack, Texas does have seven, including five in the first half against Ole Miss. The Longhorns are starting to get better production from the backup defensive ends -- Reggie Wilson had one of those sacks at Ole Miss -- and will constantly rotate players on the offensive line to keep them fresh against the fast-paced OSU attack.

That philosophy should help Texas get more pressure on the quarterback. But, if OSU goes exclusively with Walsh, Texas will also have to be concerned with containment and not just getting after a pocket passer.