Texas looks to continue its five-game winning streak this week against the visiting Bears of Baylor. The IT staff looks at keys to the game, as well as other news and notes around the country in the Roundtable.
1. How does Texas take on the Rhule of Paw?
Justin Wells – By running it down Baylor’s throat. Heavy doses of Ingram, Watson, and Ehlinger, and limit the big plays by BU’s Denzel Mims and J’Mychal Hasty. Texas has done its part in this series lately after a bad run to start the decade. It needs to continue that trend. Don’t overlook the team down I-35 heading into the bye week. Don’t do it.
Eric Nahlin – Force the team to read the same play on words I just did and that would probably inspire them to play angry for four quarters. That and execute the RRS gameplan.
Ian Boyd – Rhule of paw, that’s cute. Texas needs a focused approach from the entire secondary this week (no falling for Denzel Mims double moves) and to re-embrace an aggressive approach up front against Charlie Brewer. If they play as well as they did in the last two home games against J.T. Daniels and Shawn Robinson then this should be an easy win.
Joe Cook – Limit Baylor’s skill players. Rhule has done well to bring in talent at WR and RB, and obviously at QB with Charlie Brewer. Texas should have the athletes to match up with the Baylor athletes. If they can do that, there’s a clear talent deficit in the trenches that the Longhorns should be able to take advantage of.
Scipio Tex – Throw on early downs. Get Sam involved a little in the running game on light boxes attacking Baylor’s undersized linebackers. Punish overplay. Then once things settle in, set about methodically grinding Baylor down with Ingram and Watson and take the easy yards anytime they put LJH or CJ into single coverage to help against the run. Defensively, Texas should be able to assert itself on the line of scrimmage. Good things will follow from that.
2. Impact players on offense and defense
Justin Wells – On offense, Keaontay Ingram. He might go for 200. On defense, Caden Sterns. We know what Jones will offer, but the Wolf of DKR needs to be on the prowl.
Eric Nahlin – Ingram and Jones.
Ian Boyd – If Kris Boyd can keep Denzel Mims quiet then that’d make the normal formula of dropping Brandon Jones around the box to erase Jalen Hurd and help in the run game a straightforward path to victory. On offense, any back with 10 carries or more should be inflicting real damage against a Bear LB/S group that is pretty miserable at finding their run fits and making tackles.
Joe Cook – Kris Boyd and Zach Shackelford. If Boyd celebrates Tax Free Weekend, this is would be a good weekend for it. Shackelford needs to be able to hold up against Ira Lewis or any of the Bear NTs. If he does that, this game looks good for the Longhorns.
Scipio Tex – Keaontay Ingram and Sam Cosmi. Cosmi has a real opportunity to dominate creating cutback lanes for Ingram. Ingram has an opportunity for his first 100+ yard game and to control Baylor’s defense. Defense: Omenihu, Nelson and Hager need to own the LOS and rack up sacks and pressures on 3rd and 6+ against a Baylor OL that has surrendered 18 sacks so far and has a quickness deficit. Brewer is a good player, as are his receivers. Short circuit them with a pass rush.
3. Score prediction
Justin Wells – Texas 42, Baylor 27
Eric Nahlin – Texas 41, Baylor 27
Ian Boyd – Texas 38, Baylor 14
Joe Cook – Texas 42, Baylor 14
Scipio Tex – Texas 35, Baylor 17
4. Game of the week.
Justin Wells – Georgia-LSU.
Eric Nahlin – Washington vs Oregon with the Ducks pulling out the win. Autzen will be bonkers.
Ian Boyd – That Georgia vs LSU game should be pretty interesting. The Bulldogs are actually pretty beat up on the OL and may have some issues with Aranda’s pressure package. This is our first chance to see Georgia be tested this year. For Texas fans curious about the upcoming schedule, West Virginia traveling to Ames to play Iowa State and their new QB Brock Purdy (A&M target of Jimbo’s Campbell won) should be enlightening. Purdy is perfect for Campbell’s system, throws a great deep ball and is a quick and tough runner.
Joe Cook – Wisconsin at Michigan
Scipio Tex – Georgia at LSU will be a fun environment
5. Upset pick of the weak.
Justin Wells – The Ducks knock off U-Dub.
Eric Nahlin – Oregon, unfortunately
Ian Boyd – I think Oregon is going to spoil Washington’s season and officially kill the “Pac-12 to the playoff?” hopes out west.
Joe Cook – Pitt covering 21.5 against Notre Dame
Scipio Tex – Colorado +7 over USC
6. Midseason award winners
Justin Wells – Heisman: Tagovailoa. O’Brien: Tagovailoa. Walker: Jonathan Taylor. Biltenikoff: Jalen Reagor.
Eric Nahlin – Heisman: Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama. O’Brien: Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama. Walker: Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin. Biltenikoff: Laviska Shenault, Colorado.
Ian Boyd – Heisman: Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama. O’Brien: Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama. Walker: Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin. Biltenikoff: Laviska Shenault, Colorado.
Joe Cook – Heisman: Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama. O’Brien: Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama. Walker: Taylor’s the big name but I think it will come down to Kentucky’s Benny Snell or Memphis’ Darrell Henderson. Biletnikoff: Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
Scipio Tex – Can’t say I really care. Haven’t found any of these races compelling, for whatever reason.