Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Big 12 Upset Alert: Week 3
By David Ubben
The Big 12 schedule is pretty awful this week, but here's the game with the highest likelihood of going the way nobody expects.
My pick: Texas at Ole Miss
The Longhorns go on the road for the first time this season, and will arrive in Oxford, Miss., as 10.5-point favorites. Texas should win, but there's no doubt about it: the Longhorns are untested to this point in the season. Slow starts against Wyoming and New Mexico don't cost much, but Texas must play well against Ole Miss or risk the upset.
The Longhorns are loaded with youth -- quarterback David Ash, running backs Joe Bergeron and Malcolm Brown and receiver Jaxon Shipley are all sophomores. To their credit, they all played well on the road in 2011. Texas dominated in wins over UCLA and Iowa State.
The Longhorns' road warriors also won a game at Texas A&M in one of the toughest atmospheres in recent Big 12 history to close the season. The lone road losses of the season came to Missouri and Baylor.
But this is a new year and a new Ole Miss team, complete with more dynamic weapons, most notably juco transfer quarterback Bo Wallace. Texas thought enough of him to briefly recruit him last January, but eventually backed off and Wallace went to Ole Miss. Through two games, he's completed 76 percent of his passes for 438 yards, five touchdowns and just one interception.
Last Saturday, he tossed two touchdown passes longer than 50 yards in a 28-10 win over UTEP, the same UTEP team who gave Big 12 favorite Oklahoma fits for three quarters in its season-opening loss.
By no means is Ole Miss a great team, but the Rebels are capable of knocking off Texas, especially considering the Longhorns don't have an offense that can hang 40-50 points at will, and know the scoreboard will be lit up every week. Who knows how big the margin of error is for the Longhorns' playmaking defense?
One or two busts in the secondary? One or two Ash interceptions or Brown and Bergeron fumbles? It'll be a ball game.
Texas will win if it takes care of business. If it starts slow again? Or if turnovers and defensive miscues become factors?
Prepare for the upset.