Who will be the X-factor in Saturday's game against West Virginia??
Dom Espinosa. I know that is not the name you were expecting but he is as important as anyone in this offense. On the defensive side of the ball it will come down to Jackson Jeffcoat, because if Geno Smith has more than three seconds on average to throw the ball, Texas is toast.
Sean! Question - Have you heard Mack or Manny mention what they may do to slow down WV's screen game? Obviously, getting pressure on Geno is key, just wondered if you'd heard or have any thoughts. Thanks!
What Maryland did to slow down WVU was put five on the line of scrimmage and rush four. WVU could never get a hold of what they were doing and thus struggled. The debate is whether Texas has faith enough in their DBs to go man to man. If I were a betting man, I'd bet that was what WVU is hoping for because they like the matchup.
Sean, there have been articles written saying that Texas was at the top of Ricky Seals-Jones' list at the time we pulled out of the race. This makes no sense to me. If Mack was #1 in the mind of the best player in the state, wouldn't it be worth putting up with the "circus"?
I don't think Mack Brown ever wants to put up with the circus. While I have read and heard reports that Texas was his No. 1, that would only make me more frustrated. Besides the fact that it is easy to save face and say Texas was No. 1 when the whole thing is over, one question still remains -- If Texas was No. 1, why break the pledge in the first place? AND if they were No. 1, why not pledge to them before Texas dropped his recruitment?
Predictions on Gray in the game?
Call me crazy but I think Gray goes over the 100-yard mark. I am also operating under the assumption that Texas will win this game. Texas needs Gray to step up this week, and if he can handle the blocking and play a normal portion of the offensive plays he will answer the bell.
If we drop 6 or 7 in coverage, any worries about Buie running wild?
I don't know if WVU is going to run wild either way. WVU will have a ton of success if Texas cannot apply pressure to Geno Smith with the front four. I'm really looking forward to see how Texas will hold up and they run a large amount of man to man coverage.
Are Texas Coordinators getting too creative? I know that both Harsin and Diaz are supposed to be innovative and nonconventional, but I feel like their schemes are better fitted for smaller programs with lesser athletes. Whenever Ash was allowed to play from a pro-style set dropback, he and the UT offense looked unstoppable. But Harsin always insisted on some trick plays, the most memorable one being a jet/fly sweep to Goodwin on a 2nd and 1 for a loss of 5 yards. If we are a power football team on a 2nd and 1, we should just line up on i formation to just pound it twice for the first down.While our tackling issues can't be on Manny Diaz alone, the schemes also raise questions: 1) are we rotating the linemen too much? it is a trend and a good strategy to rotate linemen, but we rotate them every play and so they have to sprint off to the sideline almost every down and that seems to be actually making the tackles more tired (by 2nd quarter, all of them were on their knees and took 1-2 seconds to start moving after the snap) and 2) is Diaz running a 4-0-7?? often times it seemed like there was nobody home in the middle of our defense. Instead the linebackers were too busy faking blitzes and then getting caught up in an awkward cover formation where the middle was completely empty, leaving out cornerbacks to be the first ones to tackle RBs, which they cannot do.
Sometimes plays work and sometime they don't. While I have been one to say that Harsin does not need to be cute on offense (statue of liberty against Wyoming) there are reasons that he did that, like getting it on tape and diluting the practice time of upcoming opponents. With the style of offenses in the Big 12 if you do not rotate linemen, your guys will get tired quick, and tired guys give up big plays.
with Hicks, Brown, and Moore all out how impressive of a win would this be?
It will be a huge win for them if they can pull it off only because you know they will be better down the line. The RB position will be fine and Moore will be missed, but they have depth there. Hicks is the big loss and it will effect the Texas defense.
Sean, if David Ash has a great game, do you think this puts him into the post-season awards conversation? (Maxwell, O'Brien, etc.)
He is coming from so far off the radar that it will take more than that. Seeing as how I think Texas could run the table if they beat WVU, I'll say yes but it still creeps me out to type it. Ash has to have more than a couple of games. I guess we can assume that if he does it against WVU, he will doing it going forward even if those defenses are better.
The most points a Mack Brown team has given up at home is 41 (K-State, 2007). Will this still be true after tomorrow?
I've said that if Texas can hold WVU in the 30s they will win the game. I have projected that Texas will win the game. I'm still scared to death of the 41 because I still think Texas can win if WVU scores 41. So my hunch is based on yes!
Will our front four get enough pressure to disrupt Geno's passing lanes?
That is the 1,000,000th question and my short answer is yes they will. If these DEs want to live up to their All-America billing, they'd better get a ton of pressure on Geno.
Can we expect more nickel read-2 as a base package from Manny which seemed to work very well against Tech, or will we see more disguising blitzes which seemed to confuse Cobbs and Santos last week?
More of the former. The blitz will need to be used sparingly. The blitz leaves Texas open to big plays downfield, and that is not the exposure you want when you're playing Geno Smith.
How many rushing yards do you predict that Texas will get in this game?
I think Texas will get between 250 and 300 yards. That would keep Geno Smith and that WVU offense off the field and score points for Texas.
Sean, the winner of this game could easily go undefeated the rest of the season. With FSU's weak schedule, what is the chance there is a BIG 12 team in the BCS national championship?
There is a scenario where a Big 12 team and an ACC team are in the championship game. Alabama is really good, but I don't think anyone would be surprised if they took one on the chin during the season or in the SEC championship game.
If David Ash doesn't make any big mistakes I think a Longhorns victory pretty much comes down to missing fewer tackles. Can a problem like missed tackles be corrected enough over a week of practice?
Yes it can because these same players could tackle last season. I'm sure the defense will come into this game plenty mad and ready to prove a point.
With Texas giving up so many big plays, what gives you any confidence that they can slow down WVU's offense? How many points does UT have to score to win this one?
I think Texas has to score in the 40s to win this and play outstanding defense to defend that effort. This team knows how to play defense and they know how to tackle, they have just not done it every single play.
I believe that Jeffcoat and Okafor can decide the outcome of this game with pressure on smith. But if that doesnt happen do you think Diggs, Byndum, Vaccarro and the rest of the secondary can handle these talented recievers in man coverage? (God knows Diaz likes his man coverage)
No. If they can't get pressure on Geno Smith, nobody in the country can stay with these receivers for a long period of time. Baylor gave Smith 5 and 6 seconds to throw the ball. Texas will be toast, too, regardless of who they have back there if they give him that long to throw.
Thanks everyone, and I'll see you back here next week.