“We’re getting into it right now and just watching a little more film,” said Williams. “It’s just day one. We’re finding out what they like to do and capitalize on it.”
Texas is replacing 10 starters on defense including defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat, who was a consensus All-American and one of the best defensive ends in the country. However, the Longhorn defense still has outstanding senior defensive end Cedric Reed returning to anchor the line. Reed will be joined by defensive tackle Malcolm Brown who finished last season ranked tied third on the team for tackles for a loss (12), and third in quarterback hurries (6). At the tackle position, Brown will be joined by senior defensive tackle Desmond Jackson, who played in all 13 games last season.
“They are ferocious and huge pretty much,” said Williams. “I think they’re the biggest I’ve seen before, and it’s going to be a challenge going against them. They’re tremendous players that are like four star and five star [prospects].”
The Longhorns will rely on a stout and experienced defensive line to set the tone early on. The front four of Reed, Shiro, Jackson, and Bown helped the Texas defense hold the University of North Texas to just 40 yards of total offense in the first three quarters of their game last Saturday. The BYU offensive line will need to come out and be ready for a dog fight.
“We’re going to go out there and give them a whole lot for their money because it’s going to be a long game,” Williams said. “We’re going to go out there and show them we’re not afraid.”
Texas runs a 4-3 defense and will rely on senior middle linebacker Steve Edmond (22 career starts, 73 tackles last season). Edmond was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection and will anchor the middle of the Longhorn defense. On the outside the Cougar running backs will see senior Jordan Hicks, who is returning from an Achilles injury, and junior Peter Jinkens who started in six games last season. The Cougars will have to bring their A-game this week while cleaning up some of the first season miscues that saw an overabundance of yellow laundry flying around in the first game against UConn.
“I noticed we’ve got some dogs on this team,” Williams said with a smile. “That’s it. Despite the personal fouls and holding and all the penalties, knowing that my team is going out there and playing like dogs is the best feeling in the world.”
Playing like dogs, or Cougars, is what this offense will need to do in order to come away with a victory. Even BYU defensive end Bronson Kaufusi is expecting the offense will have to come and fire on all cylinders.
“Against UConn our offense did great,” Kaufusi said. “We just need to clean up a few things here and there but for the most part the offense did a really good job. I think Taysom [Hill] and the receivers will really have to be on their game against Texas and that’s what I expect from our offense.”
Cougar Cam: Jamaal Williams
Cougar running back Jamaal Williams talks his return to the playing field. He addresses his health and how no injury will stop him from playing. He talks about his offensive line’s performance against UConn and the up and coming game against Texas and more.
Jamaal Williams Video