With bowl eligibility wrapped up, Texas gets to play spoiler when No. 5 TCU comes to Austin. How will Swoopes play? Will Texas have another 100-yard rusher? Which bowl are the Longhorns headed to? All inside the Pressbox from DKR.
1. Texas vs TCU:
Eric Nahlin – Texas 27, TCU 24. I think the defense will have its most impressive showing when accounting for opponent since Baylor and that will be just enough for the offense to grind out a win. Swoopes doesn’t have to play great, in my estimation, provided Texas can run the ball.
Jesus Shuttlesworth – Texas 31, TCU 28.
Justin Wells – TCU 34, Texas 31. Horned Frogs ruin Turkey Day in Austin with last-second FG.
Ian Boyd – Texas 27, TCU 24.Texas eeks out a close win and we all go crazy.
Sean Adams – Texas 27, TCU 21.
Mike Blackwell – TCU 24, Texas 17 (but only because I’ve picked Texas to lose for three consecutive weeks and I don’t want to jinx them by picking them to win…if that makes sense…)
Bill Frisbie – Texas 28, TCU 27. has the speed to match TCU across the board, but this one is difficult to pick because of the respective quarterbacks. Trevone Boykin tops the Big 12 and is third nationally in total offense (356.9 ypg) while Tyrone Swoopes is like a box of chocolates (you never know what you’re going to get). TCU boasts the nation’s most improved offense, but the Frogs have not faced a defense like Texas. The Frogs have struggled on the road, losing to Baylor and barely escaping disaster at TCU and at West Virginia. That makes Thursday’s game a tossup, and I had to toss that coin three times before it said ‘Texas’.
Michael Pearle – Texas 27, TCU 24. The Horns have been borderline spectacular defensively at times this season, but have not faced a dual threat quarterback even approaching the quality of Trevone Boykin since the BYU game. The guy will give them all kinds of trouble. And Gary Patterson is a salty defensive coach, and should make things confusing and difficult for Tyrone Swoopes. But the Frogs are beatable. West Virginia and Kansas played them to the wire, and of course Texas beat both of those teams pretty handily. I see no reason a loose, confident Longhorn squad, playing before an amped home crowd, cannot knock off TCU.
2. Swoopes had the game of his life in Stillwater. How does he follow that performance?
Eric Nahlin – 20-29, 232 yards, 2 TD’s, 1 INT
Jesus Shuttlesworth – 18 for 25, 285, 2 Td and 1 int
Justin Wells – 17-of-27, 195 yards, two TDs, 0 INTs. One rushing score.
Ian Boyd – 19-34, 210 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT.
Sean Adams – 201 yards, 2 TD’s, 1 int and 65 yards rushing.
Mike Blackwell – 14 of 28, 165 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 picks.
Bill Frisbie – Swoopes usually follows a great outing with a poor one, so he’s scheduled for a letdown. The burnt orange crystal ball says Swoopes passes for no more than 200 yards but the game-changer will be Malcolm Brown running angry in his last home game.
Michael Pearle – 17 of 31 for 255, with one INT and 2 TDs
3. The UT defense has been really dialed in. What do they have to do to shut down TCU’s offense?
Eric Nahlin – They need to hurry Boykin and keep him contained. Texas has the defensive line to pull this incredibly tough task off, and the linebacker play to close on him quickly when he tucks the ball. Sack numbers aren’t as important as rushing him. A great sign for the defense would be a good coverage sack or two early on. That would mean the secondary is in control, we know the defensive line will come to play. TCU’s turnover differential is vastly better than Texas. UT needs to keep that even or within one.
Jesus Shuttlesworth – four sacks, two turnovers and less than five explosive plays.
Justin Wells – Keep Boykin in the pocket, limit the big play, and cause a few turnovers. UT will already stop the run, they just need to do everything else.
Ian Boyd – Pick off Boykin twice and take away the deep pass.
Sean Adams – DL has to beat up Boykin. Boykin can be rattled and Texas needs to do that.
Mike Blackwell – I think TCU throws the ball quickly, so Texas won’t get many sacks – but if they get four sacks and can turn the ball over three times, they can shut down the offense, and probably win.
Bill Frisbie – Three sacks but, as important, four or five QB hurries and keeping Boykin inside a collapsing pocket. The biggest improvement in the defense is its capacity to contain mobile QBs.
Michael Pearle – Spy Boykin, keep everything in front of them in the pass game. I’m looking for three sacks and three turnovers (two INTs, one fumble).
4. Where does Texas go bowling if they win or lose on Thursday?
Eric Nahlin – If they win: Liberty Bowl versus Arkansas. If they lose: Texas Bowl versus A&M. I’m not sure how those tie-ins work so basically, hell if I know.
Jesus Shuttlesworth – Win, Texas Bowl. Lose, Independence Bowl .
Justin Wells – Either Memphis for the Liberty Bowl (South Carolina) or Houston for the Texas Bowl (Arkansas).
Ian Boyd – I think Texas is likely for the Texas bowl either way to face the Aggies.
Sean Adams – If win; Memphis (Liberty Bowl) vs Arkansas. If lose; Houston (Texas Bowl) vs Arkansas.
Mike Blackwell – Texas vs. South Carolina in Liberty Bowl.
Bill Frisbie – A Texas win puts them in at least the Liberty Bowl (Tennessee?) but probably in the Russell Athletic Bowl (Miami?).
Michael Pearle – The Horns should go to the Texas Bowl in Houston to face Arkansas, win or lose against the Frogs.
5. Upset of the week:
Eric Nahlin – Aside from Texas over TCU, I’ll go with Florida over Florida State.
Jesus Shuttlesworth – Florida over FSU.
Justin Wells – Muschamp sends Winston packing.
Ian Boyd – Florida’s legion of boom takes down Jameis.
Sean Adams – Arizona State over Arizona.
Mike Blackwell – Stanford over UCLA
Bill Frisbie – Double down. Texas over TCU. Ole Miss over Mississippi State.
Michael Pearle – Florida over FSU: Win one for the Musser!