Chat with Dave Ubben
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com Big 12 blogger David Ubben will stop by to chat some college football.
Ubben joined ESPN.com in March 2010 after covering Big 12 football for two seasons at the Columbia Missourian and The Oklahoman. Ubben, a native of Springdale, Ark., lives in Dallas.
Send your questions now and join Ubben Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
David Ubben (3:00 PM)
What's up, everybody? Let's get started. What's on your minds today?
Is it just me, or does it seem that Texas' wideouts can get behind the coverage almost at will? Why is this? Technique, play design, defenses paying too much attention to the run?
David Ubben (3:03 PM)
I don't know about "at will." There's no doubt that Shipley, Goodwin and Davis are getting a lot better. Part of it is the defense's necessity of paying attention to the run, too. We saw some nice play design against OSU. That's part of it. The TD pass to Shipley on the wheel route was perfection.
That trick play OSU called on the last play of the Texas game was brilliant. For those who didn't see it, it was a Hook and Ladder with a couple of intermediate laterals to get the ball back to the QB, who then laterals all the way across the field to a man with no one around him. It went for a huge gain, but my thinking is, why not try that on first down? Sure the laterals are high risk, but with 29s left, 75 yards to go,and Texas surely playing their secondary deep, no one is expecting you to win. If they called it on first down, they end up in Texas territory with say 10-15s and 1 or 2 timeouts.
David Ubben (3:04 PM)
Interesting idea. That could have been interesting. The biggest reason is just to extend the game. OSU's regular offense had had a lot of success, and the clock stops on first downs. The probability of a turnover on that crazy play is pretty high, though OSU executed it to perfection. Why run the crazy play if there's still a decent chance your regular offense can get you in position for a hail mary?
Love your weekly chats Dave....True of False, the turnover statistic will tell the story in the WVU/Texas game? I believe that if Geno keeps up the streak of mistake-free football that Texas will get outscored once again.
David Ubben (3:06 PM)
Yeah, that probably helps. Texas has apparently won 58 consecutive games while winning the turnover battle, according to Mack Brown this week. To go a step deeper, I think it breaks down to how much pressure Texas gets on Geno. Maryland got to him all day and though he didn't make mistakes, he wasn't as efficient and WVU's offense couldn't stay on the field. If Texas can run the ball and hold WVU under 40 points, they'll have a decent shot to win.
Aaron (West Virginia )
Two questions for you David. One, how many touchdowns does KSU win by over KU and how do you see K-States game with WVU playing out on October 20th?
David Ubben (3:08 PM)
I picked K-State to pull the upset this preseason. They've definitely got the personnel to make it happen. They'll slow the game down for sure. That's an interesting game. For this weekend, take K-State ... big.
Hey Ubbs...If Tech takes care of OU this weekend will it finally be because they have a good team or will it once again be because OU is down? Don't get me wrong, Id love to be the underdog all year.
David Ubben (3:09 PM)
Nah, if Tech wins this weekend, I'm buying the Red Raiders as an 8-9 win team, maybe more. As for the Sooners? They'll be in serious, serious trouble. It can be both.
In the last 15 years, how many times has TTU scored 24 points or less, and won?
David Ubben (3:10 PM)
Interesting question. I'll have to look that up and get back to you. Very intriguing. Signals some level of change. Check back on the blog later this week.
Ubbs, If WVU beats Texas by 14+ points...do they leap frog K State in the national polls...and more imprtantly in your Big-12 Power Poll, do they become #1?
David Ubben (3:11 PM)
Oh, most definitely. Whoever wins that game is the new No. 1. They'll have a better resume than K-State.
David Ubben (3:12 PM)
Margin of victory doesn't really matter. That's a huge win for whoever gets it, and a better win than anything K-State will have.
Does my defense have a chance at slowing down Geno Smith and the WVU offense?Our offense is started to get some attention, and Texas is 9th in points scored. So we should have a shot to keep up in scoring if the defense gets some stops, right?
David Ubben (3:14 PM)
Yeah, I don't think WVU's going to be stopped by anybody this year. If Texas tackles, it has the personnel to slow them down a bit, but unlike in previous years, Texas' offense can go up against a lot of other offenses and outscore them. May have to do it again this week.
Joe (Fort Worth) [via mobile]
The missed tackles by the Texas D has become very concerning since it's a month into the season and its still not cleaned up. Do you think that the reason it's still not cleaned up, because the level of competition by opposing offenses continues to improve each week or do you think this will continue to be the trend the rest of the year? Also, what is Texas' chance against WVU with a Texas D that cleans up the missed tackles vs. a D which still struggles with the tackling with all else being constant? Thanks Ubbs!
David Ubben (3:15 PM)
It's definitely a concern. It's been an epidemic and it's happened at every level of the defense. This week, Mack Brown said they had 12 missed tackles on seven plays and three of those led to an additional 109 yards of offense. That's huge. There's some level of what you said. Joseph Randle is harder to tackle than a lot of guys in this league. Still, that's step No. 1 to fixing what Texas' defensive issues are. They're 64th nationally in total defense.
David "Ubbenater" Jantz (Gangnam Style)
It appears the Big 12 has at least 2 legitimate contenders in Geno Smith and Collin "Optimus" Klein for the Heisman. Do you think there are any other outside possibilities in the Big 12?
David Ubben (3:17 PM)
Yeah, we'll see as the season goes along. David Ash could get in the mix if he keeps this up. I left him off today because Oklahoma State doesn't have the wins, but if Joseph Randle keeps up his production, he might get into it, too. OSU's got to win 9-10 games, though.
What kind of fight, if any, do you expect KU to put up in Manhattan this weekend?
David Ubben (3:18 PM)
I'll be honest: not much. Bill Snyder loves beating KU, and he's got a team capable of blowing people out this year.
O/U on the Sooners having 35 rush attempts SaturdayI like their chances if they hit this number of carries.
David Ubben (3:19 PM)
Way, way under.
Paul Rhoads (Ames, IA)
Who do I start at QB against TCU, and Why?
David Ubben (3:21 PM)
Steele Jantz. He's going to keep the job, but it's going to be a short leash on Saturday, no doubt. Turnovers simply cannot happen for this team. If they do, he's going to be on the bench.
DTG (somewhere around .500)
Ubbs, Lunt or Walsh? Which one will take us to the promised land?
David Ubben (3:21 PM)
Lunt. There's no debate here.
Out of Techs next 5 ranked opponents what would you say is the best chance for a win and what is the least chance? I'm split on OU or at TCU being the best chance and West Virginia or at Texas being the hardest.
David Ubben (3:22 PM)
Agree. Tech can take either of those teams, but stopping Texas and WVU's offenses will be difficult.
UT/OSU game. Fumble, or no fumble?
David Ubben (3:22 PM)
Fumble, but the ball was at the bottom of the pile and the play was over. No clear possession. Daytawion Lowe reached in too late. Texas should have kept the ball but been called short of the goal line. Odds are high that UT punches it in on the next play. It was the wrong call, but OSU fans are wasting breath complaining about the call.
Ubbs, pretty good job picking last week's games. What is your surprise pick this weekend? UT to hold WVU below 40?
David Ubben (3:23 PM)
You'll have to wait until Thursday for my picks, Mike. Sorry.
Do you think that the weather played a huge factor in the sloppy play for TCU against SMU? Heard it dropped 4 inches of monsoon-like water.. Also, is TCU doing anything special this Saturday for their first Big XII home game vs ISU?
David Ubben (3:24 PM)
Yeah, that was a huge deal. Getting out with a win is all TCU needed to do. It was ugly, but it was a win. The rain was a big factor. The biggest special thing I've seen so far are some shinier purple chrome helmets. They looked pretty nice.
armchair (Wally World Dad)
Will Ash top 350 passing yards against WVU?
David Ubben (3:25 PM)
David Ubben (3:26 PM)
Texas' running game will be much more effective this week. He won't have to.
Geno Smith (50 yards away from the endzone)
Ubbtron, over/under on my stats vs. Texas. 400 yards passing, 4 TD's 0 INT
David Ubben (3:26 PM)
Over on passing. Over on TDs. Over on INTs. Geno throws his first INT this week.
J.J. (Morgantown )
What do you think WV's D biggest weakness is?
David Ubben (3:27 PM)
They've been all over the place, but for me, I'd say coverage has been the biggest issue.
Crab 5 (Lubbock)
What is Tommy Tuberville going to tell his team this week going into the OU game? Do you feel that because Tech is still not getting the respect that they deserve that they will have something to prove? Do you think that the Defense this year is legit or will it get exposed based on what you have seen?
David Ubben (3:29 PM)
Well, here's my deal on Texas Tech's defense: Is it the No. 1 defense in the country? No, absolutely not. Is it much improved? Absolutely. Is it a top 20 defense? Maybe. We'll find out soon. It'll be close. For now, Tech and TCU and Iowa State have had defenses as good as anybody in the Big 12, but they haven't matched up against the Big 12's best offenses yet. We'll find out soon enough.
WreckEm711 (Lubbock, TX)
Hey David, nice job on the predictions this week, your record is pretty good right now isn't it? But enough sucking up to get my question answered! How are you justifying Baylor (2-2) cracking your top 25 over Tech (4-0), despite Baylor really not having any big wins, only big (good) losses? The teams they beat are far from impressive, certainly not as good as Iowa State, and Tech has at least taken care of it's cupcake schedule like a good team should. Lubbock wants to love you Ubbs, give us a chance!
David Ubben (3:30 PM)
Baylor is 3-1, and its win over Monroe is as good or better than Tech's win at Iowa State. It also went on the road and lost to a top 10 team by seven points. That's more impressive than anything Tech has done yet. It's a long season. Let it happen.
David Ubben (3:31 PM)
People want to focus on giving up 70 points. Well good grief, how about the stinkin' offense that hung 63? WVU is the best offense in the country so far with the nation's best player. Scoring 63 in that environment is not easy.
By his senior year can David Ash be on Vince Young's level?
David Ubben (3:32 PM)
Totally different QBs. Ash isn't going to be running for 1,000 yards, but he'll certainly be throwing for more than 3,000. Can't really compare the two.
AustinTX219 (Austin, TX)
Do head coaches help other League head coaches against certain teams in the league? For example would Gundy provide any information to Holgorsen for WV's game against the Longhorns since I am assuming Gundy and Holgorsen are pretty close and Gundy may now have some "inside" information that might help against the Longhorns.
David Ubben (3:34 PM)
Interesting question. On some level, I'm sure. Nothing too explicit, but a lot of these guys' minds work the same way, so it's almost unnecessary. That said, they'd never admit it if it happened.
Can you please discuss the anomaly that was OSU's defense against Texas. They were supposed to get dominated on the ground, but it was the "experienced" secondary that got beat all night. What does this mean for the Cowboys?
David Ubben (3:36 PM)
I was really impressed with Castleman and Barnett up front. Way underestimated them. Great job against Texas' running game until they got worn down late. I don't know what's up with Brown and Gilbert, though. No picks for them and they've looked very average to this point.
droot (Liquor Store)
What are the chances of OU scoring 45 against TTU?
David Ubben (3:37 PM)
Not very good. I'd be very, very surprised if it happens.
Are the WVU defensive inadequacies a coaching problem or just a lack of talent and speed? I am inclined to think the latter. What adjustments should be made for this Sat in Texas?
David Ubben (3:38 PM)
Yeah, some of both. WVU doesn't have a lot of studs on defense. There's no Bruce Irvin on this team. Additionally, they're still learning in a new scheme and playing some pretty good offenses, too.
Kyle (Wilmore, KY)
What kind of numbers do you think Optimus Klein will have to have in order to win the Heisman?
David Ubben (3:39 PM)
I really don't think his numbers are all that important. He's going to surpass what he did last year in total offense quite easily. More than any player in the country, Klein's Heisman stock is tied closely to his team's win-loss record.
If UL-Monroe were in the Big 12, where would you have them in your Big 12 power rankings?
David Ubben (3:40 PM)
Right between Oklahoma State and Iowa State at 8.5
David "Heisman" Ash (Forty Acres)
Based on my play last Saturday night, do you think I'll be getting some attention in the Heisman race?
David Ubben (3:41 PM)
Too early. Gotta keep it going. That goes for anyone in the Heisman race. We've never seen this before from Ash, so it's reasonable to believe he'll trip up at some point. Will he? That's up to him. History favors him to have a rough day or two and be a whole lot better next year.
Why do you still have TCU ranked so high in your Top 25 poll? If TCU had started outside the Top 25, would they have worked their way into the poll based on their performance thus far?
David Ubben (3:43 PM)
Probably not as high, but they'd be close. There's something to be said for playing as badly as TCU has played and still not being in position to lose a single game yet. That'll change quick if they don't play better (like, as soon as this Saturday), but the potential for this team is clear.
McCheez Whiz (Perkins OK)
OState has a more potent offense than WVU. True or False?
David Ubben (3:43 PM)
Tom (West Virginia)
How much of an impact do you think Shawne Alston missing time has had on the WVU run game, as opposed to just facing tougher teams? Do you think they'll be able to go back to being productive on the run with him back on the field against teams like Texas and K-State?
David Ubben (3:45 PM)
It's a good amount of both. It's hurt WVU for sure. I do believe they'll be more productive when he gets back. When is that? Seems like WVU's been pretty quiet on that front.
lizard (Fort Worth)
GP is putting together a pretty good defensive, do you see any holes and if so where?
David Ubben (3:47 PM)
Linebacker is the biggest question. Still very thin. Fields and Maponga are wrecking shop up front. The secondary has been pretty solid. Unspectacular, but good.
TheBigRedSpread (The Great State of Texas)
David, Where are you going Saturday? Austin or Lubbock
David Ubben (3:48 PM)
Find out Thursday morning. You sure it's not Fort Worth or Manhappenin'?
Most impressive Freshman thus far?
David Ubben (3:49 PM)
Devonte Fields, narrowly ahead of the QB combo at Oklahoma State.
Ubben, you dolt! Tech has the best defense in the nation, and is undefeated and you still rank Baylor ahead of them? You're a joke of a journalist, and you should be fired.
David Ubben (3:50 PM)
Baylor's the No. 2 offense in the country. We can do this all day. Ultimately, who have you played, and what have you done against them? It's very, very close, but give me Baylor ahead of Tech for now.
I noticed Stedman Bailey finally made it into the heisman watch. With Tavon and Geno also in the mix is this the first time 3 players from the same team have been on the watch list?
David Ubben (3:51 PM)
I certainly don't remember it. I was pretty surprised to see that.
David Ubben (3:51 PM)
That's it for me today. Thanks everybody. See you next week.
David Ubben (3:52 PM)
Plenty more coverage on the blog since we started chatting. Check it out.