2009 Texas Tech Opponent Prospectus
Game 1: North Dakota Fighting Sioux // Game 2: Rice Owls // Game 3: Texas Longhorns
The Red Raiders face a daunting task in the third game of the season of going to Austin to face the Longhorns, who no doubt remember 39-33 (how can you not) and are looking to be one of the preseason favorites to play in the BCS championship game.
Join me after the jump for a closer look at the Texas Longhorns.
|Opponent||University of Texas|
|Head Coach||Mack Brown|
|2008 Record||12-1 (7-1)|
Burnt Orange Nation
|Links||2009 Spring Roster|
|Pass Offense||308.31 (7)||413.15 (1)|
|Rush Offense||167.46 (41)||117.84 (94)|
|Total Offense||475.77 (9)||531.00 (4)|
|Scoring Offense||42.38 (5)||43.77 (3)|
|Pass Efficiency||175.02 (2)||158.76 (9)|
|Sacks Allowed||2.00 (65)||1.00 (4)|
|Pass Defense||259.38 (104)||242.23 (94)|
|Rush Defense||83.54 (3)||140.38 (61)|
|Total Defense||342.92 (51)||382.62 (79)|
|Scoring Defense||18.77 (18)||27.85 (74)|
|Pass Efficiency Defense||124.21 (59)||130.56 (72)|
|Sacks||3.62 (1)||2.62 (18)|
|Tackles For Loss||6.92 (19)||4.85 (95)|
|Turnover Margin||0.15 (49)||0.62 (22)|
|Rushing||Vondrell McGee (88 / 376 yds / 4 TD)|
|Passing||Colt McCoy (332-433 / 3,859 yds / 34 TD / 8 Int)|
|Receiving||Jordan Shipley (89 rec. / 1,060 yds / 11 TD)|
|Tackles||Roddrick Muckelroy (102)|
|Sacks||Sergio Kindle (10.0)|
|Interceptions||Earl Thomas (2)|
A Few Things
So Good on Offense: I really don't like gushing about opposing programs, but UT looks to be near unstoppable on offense. I know, I'm exaggerating a bit, but the biggest piece to the offensive puzzle is replacing Quan Cosby's 92 catches, but there's obviously plenty of talent on UT's roster to make this happen. Jordan Shipley, Malcolm Williams and a host of other quality receivers return to give Texas lots of options.
- Rushing Forward: I've listed McGee as the leading returning rusher, although the leading rusher is actually McCoy, who was almost 200 yards ahead of McGee. Dr. Saturday espouses on the lack of the UT rushing game better than I ever could, and the only think I could add is that with a healthier running game, McCoy could be even that much more effective. It seems silly to have the cream of the recruiting crop go to UT and your best rusher is McCoy. Just doesn't seem "right". You would seem that you would want to limit the number of hits that McCoy takes, mostly because he's so good in the pocket passing the ball to his teammates, and having a more efficient running game that doesn't rely on him seems like it would benefit McCoy tremendously.
- D-Line Losses: The Longhorns lose quite a bit of talent and production along their defensive line, including Brian Orakpo (40 tackles / 17.5 TFL / 11.5 sacks), Roy Miller (42 tackles / 10.5 TFL / 5.5 sacks) and Henry Melton (26 tackles / 8.5 TFL / 4 sacks). The good thing for Texas is that they're moving Kindle to DE full-time and Lamarr Houston is a true force along the defensive line.
Looking Out for Sergio: I really have no business commenting on this, but this is more about Kindle as a person and not as a player. If Kindle has some sort of problem, and I know there's no evidence that alcohol was involved in his latest incident, but if he does have a problem, I hope that there's someone on the UT staff that insists/demands/requires that he get professional help. I don't care if no one knows a thing about this, and honestly, no one should. Kindle has too much to lose, both from a human being perspective and from a professional perspective to simply push this under the rug. I know, this is all a bit to sappy, but we're still talking about a 20 or 21 year old guy that's really talented and for whatever reason is still trying to figure it out. I also can't help but think that if UT suspends Kindle, folks could imply that he's done something wrong, although as of right now he's done nothing illegal, but if they do nothing, then the staff might come under criticism for not taking the reins on the issue. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
- Improving the Pass Defense: I'm thinking that UT finds a little better balance this year and the 104th ranking will improve, although I don't think I'm jumping out on any limbs to write that the general perception is that the rush defense will be worse this year. I'm not sure what the balance is and how successful UT will be stopping the run, but with the infusion of the spread offense, fewer teams are relying on the running game it may be more important to get a rush on the opposing passer and then stopping the run is somewhat of an afterthought.
- Improving TO Margin: If you would have asked me, I would have certainly said that Texas would be one of the top turnover forcing teams, but that wasn't the case at all. In fact, the Longhorns only had 6 interceptions for the year, 3 of which were from graduating CB Ryan Palmer, but the defense as a whole did force 10 fumbles. With such a big, talented and hard-hitting defensive front, I would have expected more than 10 gained fumbles for the year and now that most of them have graduated or moved on, I'm thinking that this number might decrease. Because UT doesn't turn the ball over much, I don't know how much of an issue this really is, but I have to think that increasing that turnover margin is going to be a point of emphasis with Will Muschamp this year.