This week, Jug of Snyder paired up with the Chris Flanagan, the lead editor over at Hook’em Horns to preview both teams’ final game of the regular season with a conference championship on the line for K-State and a potential Cotton Bowl bid up for grabs for Texas. The best part about the dialogue: a clear agreement on Saturday’s expected winner.
Dave (Jug of Snyder): First things first, Case McCoy is the Longhorns’ starting quarterback this weekend. The McCoy brothers have had very little success against Kansas State to-date. Can Texas hang with K-State using McCoy as a game manager, or will he need to do something special on Saturday?
Chris (Hook’em Headlines): I think he can. He has definitely improved from last year and he almost led a game winning drive against Kansas State. The defense has improved since the Kansas game and was the most positive aspect from the TCU loss. When Colt played Kansas State, Texas was highly ranked and unmotivated, now the tables are turned. I think they have nothing to lose so I expect Texas to come out swinging.
How was Baylor able to stop Kansas State?
Dave: Unfortunately, when you lose 52-24, there’s not a single thing that needs to be fixed – there are a lot of things. It starts up front, and this Saturday may be painful for the line coaches. K-State simply wasn’t able to open holes like it normally does for the running game, and the pass protection was an abject failure. There were a number of plays wherein a Bears defender raced untouched into the backfield due to a breakdown in communication last week. For a unit that seemed to be overachieving all season, the offensive line just couldn’t find success against a Baylor unit that hasn’t had much success against anyone up front this season. Although tight end Travis Tannahill has been an excellent addition to the passing game over the middle this year, he may be required to stay home and serve as an extra blocker on passing plays against Texas. Communication is the key, although playing at home in a friendly environment should help.
The reason I think it may be painful for both sides to watch is that Texas’s front four was supposed to be among the most dominant in country this season – particularly at defensive end – before injuries and generally bad play sank the defense’s stature. It doesn’t seem like anyone has reason to be scared of the Texas defensive line anymore. With Alex Okafor questionable for this week’s game, can the Longhorn’s stop Collin Klein in the backfield?