Bring on the new kids on the block. Texas will be facing West Virginia in Austin, TX. I must say a very good team. I predicted them to win the Big 12 conference at the start of the season. Well, they are going have to prove themselves this coming weekend. I doubt they will have the same outcome as last week scoring over 65 points and total offense over 800 yards. It all starts with leading Heisman candidate Geno Smith and his receiving weapons Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin. Geno is one of the top rated quarterbacks in college football. He has around 20 touchdowns and no interceptions with a high completion percentage. This offense is better than Oklahoma State which scored on Texas defense at will. West Virginia pretty much has the same offense as Okie State seeing that Coach Holgorsen installed Oklahoma State’s offense.
The Texas defense which has not played a full perfect game for four quarters will have to put pressure on Geno. Jeffcoat and future 1st round pick Okafor can handle the pressure from the outside but the interior line may not , especially without the services of B. Moore. Again, the linebackers most likely will be running around looking lost. Linebacker, Hicks has not been practicing and may need hip surgery. The secondary will have to play the best game of the year, if they plan on winning this game. The defense must play mistake free and take away ball. They must improve on gap responsibilities and tackling. If they continue to give up big plays W.V may score over 100 points.
Coach Diaz has his hands full. Not sure what he might do. I would utilize a blitz package if the team tackling was adequate. He will need to simplify gap resonsibilty for both lineman and linebackers. He has several options in the secondary. I would definetly keep the receivers in front of me. I would also use a nickel back on third down situations and even considering using a sixth DB. The defensive corners must play physical and smart.
Offensively, Texas is fine. The key to winning this game will be run control and minimizing turnovers. They must continue to move the ball around through the air. The line must continue to protect Ash and dominate at the line of scrimmage for the run game. I like the wildcat offense for Texas . It is a delight to watch freshman Gray run it. A very successful formation on 3rd down situations. Like Texas, W.V defense is young and they run a 3-4 defense. A very good run stop team but gives up a lot of yards in the air. They have some talented safeties in Cook and hybrid Garvin. The defensive line is undersized but quick to the ball. They have a problem applying pressure to the quarterback. Corners may be a weak spot in the secondary.
If I was Texas I would stretch the ball down the field on the outside through the air. I would keep Geno off the field by utilizing the run game. Both teams have a good special teams which may be the deciding factor in who wins this game. And wish for luck. Texas will score over 30 points and win the game by three points.
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Written by Don Greene