Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE
The Longhorns had the season's first potentially major loss due to injury Saturday after junior linebacker Jordan Hicks went down with a groin injury.
Hicks is not only the team's leading tackler, he is the leader of this very inexperienced linebacking corps and has been right up there in terms of production with the two defensive ends. He did not have his best game, with only three tackles and a bad penalty to extend an Ole Miss drive in the second quarter, but the defense noticeably lagged in his absence.
After Hicks left the game, the Longhorns gave up 21 points with two of which coming on long touchdowns. If he misses significant time, this defense could be in serious trouble.
Making only the third start of his career, the sophomore linebacker single-handedly reversed the Longhorns recent trend of starting games slow on defense.
Edmond tied for the team lead with five tackles and had the defensive play of the game in the first quarter. On Ole Miss' first possession, Edmond snatched a Bo Wallace pass out of the air and took it 22 yards for the defense's first touchdown of the season. The play was just further evidence of Edmond's progression as a player as he has become one of the team's best tacklers in his first year as a starter.
Edmond is another player that has really improved from week-to-week and is quickly becoming a star for this defense. It will be interesting to see how Hicks' injury affects his play, since Hicks' leadership has been a key reason for Edmond coming along.
After three weeks of sub-par play, Demarco Cobbs' play and lack of improvement is cause for concern on a defense that has already shown some weakness in the early going.
A week after looking lost against New Mexico's triple-option attack, Cobbs was equally befuddled against Ole Miss on Saturday. He was exposed a couple of times in coverage and blew a tackle on Jeff Scott's 48-yard touchdown run.
For all of his speed and athleticism, Cobbs has just not been effective in his first season as a starter. If it were not for the lack of depth at linebacker, especially with the Hicks injury, Cobbs would likely have been replaced by now. This cannot continue with him, elsewise Texas will have to give serious thought to trying something else on the right side.