Wizard-proofing the gameplan

Malik Jefferson. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Malik Jefferson. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Savvy posters have already figured out that certain components of the Tom Herman Texas program are fairly similar to the equation that’s defined the Bill Snyder era up in Kansas State. Hard-nosed defense, liberal doses of QB run game, and attention to detail on special teams are all key features to the Wildcats’ strategy and are clear points of emphasis for Herman as well. Urban Meyer was heavily influenced by Bill Snyder after all, and then Herman in turn by Meyer.

Early in the year it appeared possible that this might be a particularly strong Snyder team thanks to the return of senior QB Jesse Ertz, his OL, FB, and TE, and the emergence down the stretch in 2016 of several young skill players that could potentially take the offense to another level. Then they were held to seven points at Vanderbilt early this season and the hype around the program’s chances at winning a Big 12 title faded somewhat.

They’re coming off a 33-20 victory over Matt Rhule’s pesky Baylor Bears and are pretty close to the team that you expect to get when you play a second Snyder era Wildcat squad. Their chances of winning the Big 12 basically amount to their chances of finishing second in the league and then taking down the top team in this new championship game. They’re not overpowering but are still a stiff challenge for Texas, even in Austin. Here’s how Texas will need to approach the Wizard’s army.

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