Colt up, Texas down?
Let's jump into the mailbag.
From Kimberley in Denton, TX: How worried should I be as a Longhorn that our defense gave up 39 points and over 500 yards [Thanksgiving] night at Texas A&M? Does that mean we're more vulnerable against Nebraska and ultimately against the SEC champ in the BCS title game?
It does, especially against the SEC champ (right now Nebraska looks too one-dimensional), although I do think we're going to see -- and probably have already seen -- some overreaction to the shootout in College Station. A&M has an explosive offense, but it is very inconsistent because they're still very young. Jerrod Johnson is one of the more gifted dual-threat QBs in the country. Freshman Christine Michael is a special RB and they have a trio of big, fast, young receivers. When they're on, this Aggies offense is very dynamic. Keep in mind the Texas Tech example here. Houston, which leads the country in total offense and passing offense, didn't score 30 points on Texas Tech. UT scored 34 on them, but Texas A&M got 52 on the Red Raiders.
Traditionally, Texas plays some soft coverage, and Johnson was hot and able to hit those gaps, much as Graham Harrell did last season. Also, as was the case last week against Kansas, Texas missed a bunch of tackles and you saw Michael take advantage.
The tackling issues will be a concern because whoever is left on UT's schedule is very physical on offense. The question you have to wonder is, do those teams have the versatility in their passing games to exploit the holes they way A&M did? Maybe, but I don't think there's a such black and white answer. It just depends on how sharp that team's passer is on a given night.
The flip side is both of those SEC teams, and Nebraska too, have a lot more talent on defense than the Aggies and will make it much tougher on Colt McCoy to run the way he did. Same for Tre Newton.
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