Mark D. Smith-US PRESSWIRE
DEs Jackson Jeffcoat and Alex Okafor:
In order for Texas to contend in this game, West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith must not be allowed time to pick apart this Texas secondary. That is where pass rush specialists Jackson Jeffcoat and Alex Okafor come in.
It's no wonder Smith threw for 656 yards and eight touchdowns against the Baylor Bears. He was able to stand in the pocket like a statue the entire game, and there is no way anybody can cover the likes of Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin for the amount of time Smith was given to throw.
Texas has a solution to this issue in Jeffcoat and Okafor, who have been unblockable in the Longhorns' first four games. West Virginia does not have the talent on the offensive line to keep one or even both of these two out of the backfield throughout the game. And history says that Smith is turnover-prone when he is under pressure.
CB Carrington Byndom:
Going up against two of the best wide receivers in the country, the Texas secondary will have to be on its game against the Mountaineers. This is especially so for junior corner Carrington Byndom.
Byndom has been a far cry from the player that out-dueled both Justin Blackmon and Jeff Fuller a year ago, having given up two touchdowns of 75 yards or more already in 2012. The Mountaineers know that, and they will test him way before they test sophomore Quandre Diggs, who already has three picks this year.
If Byndom can be the player we all know he can be, and with the way Diggs is playing opposite him, this Texas defense has a decent shot at slowing down this West Virginia juggernaut of an offense.
WRs Mike Davis and Jaxon Shipley
With the type of explosiveness West Virginia has on the offensive side of the ball, it is very possible that the Texas offense will have to air it out to keep up. This is where the services of wideouts Jaxon Shipley and Mike Davis will be much needed.
Davis and Shipley have proven that they can get downfield and make plays for quarterback David Ash. If Ash has to throw this team back into the game, it is imperative that these two get open and give him good targets downfield. Otherwise the young signal-caller could start forcing the issue and turning the ball over, which is something this team cannot afford.
There is definitely room to work with in the West Virginia secondary that saw Terence Williams shred them for 314 yards and two touchdowns in last weekend's shoot out. All these two have to do is keep doing what they have been doing.