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Game one has finally arrived. How will the Longhorns play against the UTEP Miners? The Inside Texas staff dishes the goods in the Roundtable.
1. We know Texas should win, but will they cover the 43.5-point spread?
Eric Nahlin – It’ll be close but Texas won’t cover because Herman will call the dogs off early-ish to help build depth. Given the new rules stating the season doesn’t count towards eligibility I expect to see most of the roster break a sweat.
Justin Wells – 43.5 points is a lot, but UTEP is bad. Couple that with Texas returning Sam Ehlinger and company, and six touchdowns might not seem too difficult. I think UT runs the ball, therefore the clock might not allow it, but it’ll be fun to see.
Ian Boyd – I doubt it. Fall camp surely hasn’t been as rigorous as normal and Tom Herman is exactly the type to sandbag against a weaker opponent in order to get ahead against tougher opponents down the line. I think Texas will be a touch sloppy in week one but still win comfortably, and then focus on truly dialing it up in the next two weeks before conference play begins.
Scipio Tex – -43.5 hurts vs. -42 because it submarines football probable scores like 49-7, 52-10, 56-14, etc. With Jake Smith sitting out and the prospect of 12 personnel, I’m looking for more handoffs, a running clock, and hunting for scores on defense and special teams. So I’ll say UTEP pulls a backdoor cover.
Joe Cook – 43.5, 43, and 42.5 all are too many points.
2. Favorite current UTEP Miner, or Miner legend?
Eric Nahlin – Believe it or not I like a couple — that couple from HJ Hill.
Justin Wells – Tim Hardaway. Before he was using the crossover with TMC (Tim, Mitch, Chris) in Golden State, he was hooping in West Texas.
Ian Boyd – I don’t have many strong memories of UTEP football and in the top five is “the UTEP hand.” I do have a fond memory of watching Nathan Jeffery run for over 100 yards on Oklahoma in Mike Stoops’ first game back in 2012 because the Sooners insisted on playing man coverage on RPOs and vacating the box. Their fans freaked out.
Scipio Tex – I’m an Aaron Jones fan. He was an awesome standout on a bunch of losing UTEP teams. Incredible cuts, vision, acceleration, and feel. Such a natural, awesome runner. Here’s a highlight. 2:07 made me laugh out loud.
Joe Cook – I’ll choose a current Miner in running back Deion Hankins. I was able to meet him at an Opening camp a few years back and he put up some solid testing numbers. A great kid to talk to, but the smile would turn into a snarl whenever he was getting a headshot taken or on the football field. He could be playing for programs with loftier expectations than those in El Paso, but he wanted to play and perform for the hometown team.
3. Game prediction with final score:
Eric Nahlin – 52-13, Texas.
Justin Wells – Too much Sam. Too much depth. Too much Texas. Too long since we’ve last had football. 45-10, Texas.
Ian Boyd – 50-21, Texas
Scipio Tex – 49-7, Texas
Joe Cook – 49-14, Texas
4. National game of the week:
Eric Nahlin – There really isn’t a game of the week but there’s enough entertainment to keep two TVs occupied for the day and make me thankful for the season.
Justin Wells: Florida State and Georgia Tech is a nice ACC opener. Norvell has Marvin Wilson and G-Tech won’t name a starting QB.
Ian Boyd – Louisiana vs. Iowa State is a pretty big and interesting game. Billy Napier has been hailed by many as the next Matt Campbell, and Campbell is still trying to break through to become the next Urban Meyer. Plus, we’ll see if Iowa State is significantly more athletic on the perimeter this year and thus more likely to pose a legitimate threat as a Big 12 contender.
Scipio Tex – All unappealing. I guess ND-Duke.
Joe Cook – It’s Notre Dame vs. Duke, but I’m expecting silly things to happen when Kansas and Coastal Carolina kick off at 9 p.m. Central in Lawrence.
5. Who is the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner?
Eric Nahlin – Outright winner, I’ll keep it boring and go with Trevor Lawrence. I would have had Justin Fields but fOSU isn’t playing. From a value standpoint I like Jaylen Waddle. David Palmer made it to NYC as a finalist ages ago. It was a different era but Waddle is going to be a bigger star than him and have a much more impactful NFL career. I don’t think a Sam Ehlinger pick is far fetched. His candidacy has to come with a conference championship run or at least an October win over OU and a B12 CCG appearance.
Justin Wells – Sam Ehlinger. The football gods owe us this. Trevor Lawrence is the safe pick, and Jaylen Waddle is the explosive choice, but if UT wins the Big 12, Samuel will be in New York.
Ian Boyd – Trevor Lawrence. Lotta narrative in his favor between Clemson’s likely dominance, their late season game at Notre Dame, Lawrence’s offseason organization, and the fact that it’ll be kind of ridiculous if he graduates without ever winning the award.
Scipio Tex – I don’t really care about predicting media popularity contests, but I’ll go Trevor Lawrence off of name recognition and track record.
Joe Cook – I think Sam Ehlinger makes it to New York, but Trevor Lawrence is still Trevor Lawrence. He already has enough hype, and I suppose voters will want to reward his accomplished career with a Heisman.