“The offensive line is not as heavy this year, like the 330-pound guys of last year, but they’re more mobile,” said Bronson Kaufusi. “We’ll have to counteract that with our own speed.”
Missing for Texas will be senior center Dominic Espinosa who had started 40 straight game for the Longhorns, and tackles Kennedy Estelle and Desmond Harrison. The Texas offensive line should look much like this come game time:
The loss of Dominic Espinosa is a big blow to the Texas front line.
“They lost three starters last year and with their center out [Dominic Espinosa], but they’ve got a good offensive line and it seems like they’re a little more athletic this year,” said Peck. “They have a backup, number 77, last year who played left tackle. I think we’ll have a challenge but I think we stack up pretty good against them.”
“Espinosa is a really good player and that’s a big loss for Texas,” said Kaufusi. “I think he’s a team captain and that’s a big loss. I’m sure they’ll move some people around come Saturday. For us it doesn’t really matter because we’re going to go out and do our thing.”
Talented and experienced, Espinosa was the anchor of the Texas line. His loss can only mean an advantage for the Cougars defensive line, but there is also some uncertainty with replacement Jake Raulerson, who is a redshirt freshman, as well.
“Yeah it really is unfortunate and that’s part of the game,” Peck said. “An injury to a player like that can be an advantage but it can also be a disadvantage as well because there’s so many uncertainties and unknowns with what the new center can do. I think basically you just have to prepare the offense as a whole.”
Also out for the BYU contest will be quarterback David Ash. Ash has played 30 games with 23 starts under his belt prior to expereicneing concussion-like symptims after last week’s game against North Texas. Starting for the Longhorns will be 6-4, 243-pound Tyrone Swoopes who is not as mobile or as big of a threat to run as Ash.
“You have to take the quarterback as he comes,” said Peck. “Me personally I prefer a pocket passer because he now becomes more one dimensional. It should be good because we can then focus on stopping the run and then worry about the pass as it comes.”
“I love it when they’re pocket passers,” said Kaufusi, who had two sacks against UConn. “They can stay back there all they want because it gives me a chance to come get them. You have to love that.
“Yeah, we just have to know what kind of weapons they’ll bring to the field. I feel like with Ash he was mobile quarterback who can run. He’s pretty fast but he’s not like Taysom [Hill], but Ash is out for this game so we have to know about the next guy and what he brings to the table. We’ll figure out what he’s all about and then go from there.”
So how do the Cougars of BYU stack up against the offense of Texas? Both Peck and Kaufusi feel BYU’s defense stacks up rather well.
“I think we stack up well,” Peck said. “I think obviously they seem a little more pro-style this year and will definitely want to run the ball a little more. They’ll use a double tight end set and then you’ll get the ride-option stuff as well, so, like I said, we have to stop the run, get to the quarterback, and then test his arm.”
“I think we feel we stack up well,” said Kaufusi. “We have a really good d-line up front and we’re solid and prepared to take them on. I feel like we make up really well.”
“When I think of Texas I think of a program with good running backs, and Ash is a good player too,” said Kaufusi. “Now I guess he’s out too, so it’s going to be interesting to see how they put it all together, but their running backs are both quick and really good. They have a combination of speed and power and know how to run between the tackles, so we just have to make sure that we don’t give them any space to run through.
“It’s a pro-style and they like to run a lot of double tight stuff. They like to use their tight ends to block and they’ll bring in a fullback too. They’ll like to motion him around a lot, so they’ll go one or two tight ends and motion them around to block. Their tight ends, number 82 and number 85, block well and they just use them to block and move them around to make a hole for Grey and Brown to find the hole and hit it. It’s our job to make sure those tight ends don’t get their blocks and create space for the running backs.”
However, one cannot forget about the catching prowess of senior wide out Jaxon Shipley, who has caught a pass in 33 consecutive games. The Cougar defensive backfield will face three experienced and very talented wide receivers.
WR-H Jaxon Shipley (Senior)
WR-Z Marcus Johnson (Junior)
WR-X John Harris (Senior)
“I feel like they’re an offense that is more run oriented and have those two running backs that just want to run it down your throat,” said Kaufusi. “Then you’ll have Shipley, who catches everything, making plays on the outside after they run, run, run.”
While Texas Head Coach Charlie Strong praised John Harris for a strong fall camp performance, Jaxon Shipley will be the safety blanket for Tyrone Swoopes
“He’s a great route runner and will be their primary target downfield,” said Kaufusi. “He’s just precise. If there was a word to describe him it would be a precise route runner who catches everything. He’s really smart and knows where the open holes are in the coverage for the quarterback to throw him the ball.”
Kaufusi’s Three Keys to Victory
“The three keys to victory would be the first thing we have to do is do our job and be disciplined,” said Kaufusi. “If we don’t do our job they’re going to be hitting us pretty hard, so we have to first do our job and be disciplined.
“Then the second thing I think we have to do is hit the quarterback and rattle him up. I think if we can get to him, especially in the first quarter, then he’ll be a little tentative dropping back and trying to make a pass.
“The third think I would say is we need to stop the run game so we can control the pass. That’s what I would say. So, if we can stop the run and force them to pass the ball, then I think we can be successful.”
Cougar Cam: Remington Peck
BYU defensive tackle Remington Peck talks about facing Texas this season. He talks about what the victory over Texas two years in a row would mean on a national scale, facing a new quarterback, and much more.
Cougar Cam: Jordan Preator
Preator talks about starting in his first D1 college game against UConn. He talks about his performance and being listed among the two deep against Texas. He also gives his thoughts on Jaxon Shipley and much more.