Well, WYO had their crack at Texas this past week and gave
them a good
fight...ultimately falling to Texas 37-17 in a spirited contest
that was only
truly over until eight minutes into the fourth quarter. You can
see a ten minute recap
here, or an abridged highlight
Whether name recognition matters to you or not, the opponent we
face this week
is significant in their depth and in the caliber of athlete that
we line up
against. Insurmountable? No way. But it will take a good gamelans,
ingenuity in the play call and an extreme attention to detail with
execution mechanics (coupled with our skill set) to stay in a
fight with a
generally bigger, generally faster opponent. We could always use a
momentum when the gettin's good...Y'all.
There are three things that are going to help us to prevent this
getting away, but first, I'm going to break down the fire
worth of coverage that this team has to offer in a series of
chronicling both sides of the ball in Longhorn country. If Texas
is going to
play the role of bully in this game, it's time to find out who's
going to be
the #1 on their lists....and it always stars with defense.
First off, Texas will have two general areas to boast on the
defensive side of
the ball. If I have to take one particular to spotlight, I have to
their D-line has to present the most clear and present
danger to the Lobos.
The NFL called him, but he told them no: Alex Okafor
to come back for his senior season this year. Phil Steele
puts Okafor and
Junior DE Jackson Jeffcoat as the #2 & #4
ends for the draft this fall.
The bad news is both of these ends are either consensus or partial
The good news? Texas' big bad, D-line had a grand total of ONE
sack against WYO
last week marked up to Okafor.
Though they did hurry the quarterback steadily, they're starting
slow at the
beginning of the season and so far have only showed potential in
critic's praise. Having WYO running a spread probably seen in the
(Missouri) through Christensen, kept the penetration of the front
conventional methods and not specialized secondary blitzes.
Texas' scheme is varied, multiple in nature, but ultimately rooted
in the 4-3
defense. Expect big tackles in the middle and lots of rotation
during any UNM
series....especially after scouting our rushing totals and
outlook from the Southern game. Whatever we do, they'll have their
star ends in
the game as much as possible to protect the edges if we run to the
Steele and Athlon rate Texas' D-line as 4th & 3rd respectively
unit ratings. Not really a stretch with the three deep filled with
3* and 4*
recruits throughout. If there's a silver lining to this position,
you can find
it with the relatively underplayed underclassmen at defensive
with JUCO's looking for playing time. Brandon Moore Jr.
335 DT JUCO that might fill up the middle in place of sophomores
on the roster
on Saturday and a run inclined line up will probably get the
Texas' secondary is also one of their perpetual strengths with NFL
through out. Carryington Bynum, CB (#20
projected, Steele) Kenny Vaccaro III, SS (#5 projected, Steele) are eligible
this year and Quandre
Briggs, CB, was the Big 12 freshman defensive player of
the year in
2011. They're generally deep and loaded in their three deep with
prospects, returning a hodgepodge of DB's (4) with limited starts
after their true starters.
Steele and Athlon both rank the secondary as the #1 respective DB
units in the
country this year. Holding WYO's spread to 276 yds last week wasn't
stellar (to MWC
standards anyway) but Herron of WYO had a monster game and
claimed two thirds of that total.
Quandre Diggs is listed as a third team All-American @ CB by
though not a consensus.
Tall, fast, and Vaccaro III showed to bring the wood in run
support last week.
You will see him assist on his side of the field next Saturday.
If there's a soft spot on this defense it's in Texas'
please, take it for what it's worth. Steele still puts them as the
linebacker unit in the country. They're only outclassed by a
other BCS schools and almost all of them are prestigious in
They have a top 20 draft prospect in OLB Jordan Hicks and every
guy on their
depth chart is under #50 in their respective national recruiting
could go through their depth chart line by line, but I think this
is pointing towards a bigger point. Disseminating their LB's isn't
going to do
a ton of good aside from what all this information's theme points
towards. Which is:
There's one big point that keeps ringing in all the information
through, and that's being prepared in our play call, personnel and
game plan in
UNM's case. Playing someone that's looking to use an
advantage you don't
possess equally (in this case, raw physical attributes) means you
can't approach them the same way they’re trying to beat you.
You have to
change the game and pick your battles...using the tools at your
Texas will be able to overload pressure at will and will look to
to stack the deck against us when we're at our most vulnerable.
3rd down and
long, 1st down passing incompletion, so on and so
forth. I saw
it in the WYO game and I see it in general of all OOC games when
don't match up properly. Our coach will need to know when to fire
trigger and have back up audible to adjust in a hostile
environment. This is
where good leadership comes into play in our staff
At least one INT came from direct pressure in the WYO game and if
we don't show
that we can threaten them in multiple facets of the offense,
they'll play the
pressure card early and often to create havoc, possibly turnovers.
has the luxury of speedy play development, but our reaction time
against the Texas defense.
The Texas defense can't dictate field position in this game or we
will have far
too much of a hill to climb with a counterpunch. We can't let our
team be put
in these kinds of bottleneck situations and try to stop the Texas
blank if we're to win. This will have the game be decided in less
quarters. We have to let Texas try to beat us by going the
the field. 3-and-outs + personnel mismatches + field position
turnovers or special teams = game over and we can't
game easier by any means if we're going to take it.
When Texas DOES need to drive down the field, make their time
possession condensed enough compared to ours, so
a hurried offense
can make mistakes playing catch up. If our time of possession
the same, we lose. Mack Brown knows this and addressed it in a preliminary
conference today with our offense.
Every option we have in the offensive playbook has to have a
directions to deliver to ball if we're going to remedy pressure.
We have to
have a way to make the Texas defense pay if they start to
risks and when we have them on their heels, we can truly
to open up and play our game to it's utmost potential.
Keep it close, keep the clock on our side and make them pay
predictable. That's how we have a shot at taking them down.
Preferably before you've
not) and are promptly escorted out of town.