Football

Inside Texas Pressbox: Week 3 (UCLA)

Texas cheer at the Red River Rivalry. (Will Gallagher/IT)
Texas cheer at the Red River Rivalry. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Some high quality prognostication from the staff at Inside Texas for our Week 3 picks from AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

1) Texas vs UCLA score:

Eric Nahlin – UCLA 35, Texas 14. The Texas defensive line should be dominant early but UCLA can run, and does run, some of the looks that tired Texas out versus BYU. Also, UCLA’s front 7 is much more talented than BYU’s. I don’t see the Texas offense having much success moving the ball.

Justin Wells – UCLA 34, Texas 13. UCLA has more talent and experience, coming off two average performances, plays its best game of the young season at the Death Star. The Texas defense hangs close for a half but can’t hold on against a superior Bruins squad and knowing its offense can’t help them.

Jesus Shuttlesworth – UCLA 28, Texas 10. The fighting John Woodens prevail.

Mike Blackwell – UCLA 27, Texas 10. I simply can’t figure out how the Longhorns will find points, based on what I saw last week.

Ian Boyd – UCLA 28, Texas 9. Texas’ improvements from Week 2 are only evident to the discerning eye in the Bruins victory.

Bill Frisbie  UCLA 27, Texas 16. Part of the narrative at Charlie Strong’s Monday press conference was whether he has already lost this team. He insists he has not and added that Texas “has the talent and depth” to enjoy a successful season. The UCLA game will be a referendum on his assessment. I am not expecting a win, not even in a ‘Horn-friendly neutral site against a Bruin that has been shaky in its first two outings. But I do expect we’ll know something about the heart-and-soul of this team this weekend.

Sean Adams – UCLA 28, Texas 17.

Michael Pearle – UCLA 31, Texas 14. The Texas offense plays better Saturday, as the O-line gets a weeks-worth more reps together and Tyrone Swoopes settles in with some confidence after a pretty good outing last week. So instead of one touchdown, the offense will notch a pair. Could they do better? Sure, but where is the explosiveness in this group? Much of my disappointment with this ’14 team is that, well, there’s just not much to get excited about when the Horns have the ball. John Harris has worked hard and J-Gray and Little Malcolm can make things happen on any given play, but who’s going to do something special, something dynamic, something to break a defense’s back? The Foremans? Lo-Jo? “Petey” Warrick? Can Marcus Johnson get deep a time or two? Well, maybe; I’d be ecstatic if Watson found a way to get these guys rolling, but until he does, or until Daje returns, the Horn offense will look a lot like last week’s. Which won’t be nearly enough against Brett Hundley. The Texas defense will play hard and with pride, and will not cave like it did in the third quarter last week, but they will not be able to win it by themselves. Texas will improve, but the scoreboard won’t show it, as the Horns leave Arlington an ugly 1-2.

Clendon Ross – UCLA 35, Texas 14. I was optimistic last week. Not any more. Now that the defense has shown that it can’t be relied on to hold a good opponent to 20 or so, and the offense is simply inept, there’s almost no hope that the Horns can win.

2) Who throws more TDs; Swoopes or Hundley?

Eric Nahlin – LOL.

Justin Wells – Hundley

Jesus Shuttlesworth – Hundley

Mike Blackwell – Hundley

Ian Boyd – Hundley

Bill Frisbie – Hundley throws more TDs. Josh Turner will be Tweeting about it from the sideline.

Sean Adams – Hundley

Michael Pearle – Even. The Horns will score on a couple of Ty Swoopes throws, while Hundley gets two as well. The Texas pass rush will keep the Bruin QB from launching an all-out air-raid.

Clendon Ross – Hundley will both run and pass for more TDs than Swoopes will throw.

3) The number of team sacks for each Texas/UCLA:

Eric Nahlin – 3 (UT), 5 (UCLA). Ced Reed should have a field day if Hundley doesn’t slow the rush down with ZR looks – which he may do. Swoopes will help UCLA’s total simply by not throwing the ball away when needed.

Justin Wells – 4 (UT), 6 (UCLA). I think this number could be worse if Swoopes plays the entire game.

Jesus Shuttlesworth – 3 (UT), 6 (UCLA).

Mike Blackwell – 4 (UT), 1 (UCLA).

Ian Boyd – 3 (UT), 6 (UCLA).

Bill Frisbie – Watson’s gameplan last week got Swoopes on the move and got the ball out of his hands quickly. That had more to do with Swoopes emerging from the game with clean jersey than did the pass-protection. Meanwhile, Texas’ D was credited with six sacks against BYU. Texas gets more sacks this Saturday.

Sean Adams – 6 (UT), 3 (UCLA).

Michael Pearle – 4 (UT), 3 (UCLA). The Horns appear to have a great opportunity to create some havoc against what has so far been a porous UCLA offensive line, which has allowed nine sacks in the first two games. If Memphis can notch four, I see no reason the Horns can’t at least match that total

Clendon Ross – Both Texas and UCLA will record five sacks. On the downs that the pass rush fails, the Bruin offense has the ability to make the Longhorn D pay for its aggressive pass rush. The Texas O does not.

4) Does Texas manage to rush for over 3.0 yards per carry?

Eric Nahlin – I’ll say yes, but only because it doesn’t take much for one “lucky” run to skew the numbers. Hopefully they’re over 4.0 yards a carry but I just don’t see this young line getting much of a push.

Justin Wells – No, not with this offense.

Jesus Shuttlesworth – Yes, barely.

Mike Blackwell – Yes.

Ian Boyd – No.

Bill Frisbie – Yes. I’m taking the three-yards-and-a-could-of-dust. But the RBs will have to be-their-own-blockers.

Sean Adams – No.

Michael Pearle – Nope.

Clendon Ross – No, Texas averages closer to two per carry than three.

5) Upset pick of the week:

Eric Nahlin – Georgia Southern over Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech has beaten Wofford and Tulane, so they haven’t played anyone yet. Georgia Southern almost beat North Carolina State on the road week one. I like them here.

Justin Wells – Boston College over USC

Jesus Shuttlesworth – Illinois over Washington

Mike Blackwell – Fresno State over Nebraska

Ian Boyd – Rice takes down A&M! No, I wish. Give me UCF over the Missouri Tigers if I have to pick an underdog.

Bill Frisbie – Arkansas over Texas Tech and/or Iowa State over Iowa

Sean Adams – UTSA over Oklahoma State

Michael Pearle – Central Florida over Mizzou

Clendon Ross – Central Florida over Missouri