Texas Longhorns Look To Open Up More on Wyoming, on Both Ends
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After injuring his leg against Rice last week, running back Cody Johnson will sit out against the Cowboys this week with junior Tre' Newton replacing him. Neither back was very impressive, both averaging about 3.5 yards a carry against a fairly pedestrian Rice defense.
Although their uniforms resemble something that you might see in a bathroom stall at Arby's, the brown and gold of Wyoming got a nice win in their first game of the season. They eked out a 28-20 win over… an FCS team in Southern Utah at home. The weak showing probably didn't inspire a lot of confidence for the Wyoming fans hoping for a monumental upset in Austin.
After using a very conservative gameplan against the Rice Owls, Texas will most likely begin to use more sophisticated sets on both sides of the ball, such as using more blitzing packages defensively and using more motion on offense.
One area that won't be an issue for the Longhorns will be run defense, as the Wyoming starter Alvester Alexander (replacing the suspended Nehemie Kankolongo) had 40 yards on 13 carries against Southern Utah, producing a lofty 3.1 yards per carry average. Additionally, the offensive line allowed three sacks to the Thunderbirds. Despite the defensive pressure, Wyoming quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels played pretty well, going 26-32 for 319 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.
Assuming that Texas' defensive front has more athleticism than Southern Utah's, the Texas defensive front should have a field day sacking the quarterback and killing the Wyoming running game (despite the fact that suspended starter Nehemie Kankolongo will be returning). The key to shutting Wyoming down will be to keep Carta-Samuels on the move out of the pocket and not giving him enough time to get a pass off. With the more complex blitz packages that Muschamp will likely use in the second game of the season, the Cowboy offensive line doesn't stand a chance.
Fortunately, the Cowboys were able to keep Southern Utah to 20 points, and able to hold off a final drive by the Thunderbirds to secure a win. Unfortunately, the Cowboys won't keep Texas to 20 points. If Austin Minefee can average 8.3 yards per carry against Wyoming, it's safe to say that Tre' Newton will do the same.
The Longhorns, although far more talented, won't put 70 on the board in this one. Look for some three-and-outs, a lot of running plays, and a close score at halftime. Eventually, Wyoming will give up some touchdowns and fail to get on the board themselves, leading to a three or four touchdown margin between the two teams. Look for a 28-7 or 35-14 type of game in Austin this Saturday.
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