Previewing the Texas Longhorns Defense

Part 2 of our preview today we'll take a look and breakdown the Texas longhorns Defense.

New Mexico State Aggies vs Texas Longhorns Defense breakdown and analysis

The defense loses three huge producers, but should be fine. The secondary will be one of the best in the country with three returning starters, while the linebackers should be solid led by Derrick Johnson. The concern might be the size on the ends other than Kaylen Thornton, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem with the huge players at tackle. Defensive Line

Projected Starters

- Defensive end Kaylen Thornton, Sr. - It took a while for him to get back in the lineup after a knee injury, but he got better and better as the season went on breaking out against Oklahoma with ten tackles. With Cory Redding gone, the job of being getting into the backfield with consistency falls to him.

- Defensive tackle Marcus Tubbs, Sr. - Tubbs missed a ton of time last year with injuries, but he's one of the best in the Big XII when he's right. He's about as athletic a 305-pound player as can be found in college football.

- Defensive tackle Rodrique Wright, Soph. - One of the superstars of an all-star recruiting class, Wright had a huge freshman season making 65 tackles and 4.5 sacks in the middle. He's one of the best money linemen in the Big XII and should be a dark horse All-American.

- Defensive end Bryan Pickryl, Soph. - Pickryl became an important player as a freshman making 30 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 14 quarterback pressures. He's only 210 pounds and might not be able to take a consistent pounding on the end.

Linebackers

Projected Starters

- Derrick Johnson, Jr. - Johnson is one of the best linebackers in America and should be in the hunt for the Butkus Award. He made 120 stops including 73 solo tackles. He's very athletic, very fast and very, very good. On the weak side, he's deadly when he gets in space.

- Reed Boyd, Sr. - After being a backup through most of his career, Boyd turned into a force in the middle last year leading the team with 123 tackles and making 16 quarterback pressures. He might not have the most raw talent of the Texas linebackers, but he's got the instincts and tackling ability that makes him an indispensable leader of the corps.

- Aaron Harris, Soph. - Harris was a backup in the middle last season making 13 tackles. He might not start on the strong side, but he'll be one of the most important linebackers on the roster as the season goes on.

Secondary

Projected Starters

- Cornerback Nathan Vasher, Sr. - Vasher is one of the best corners in America and a sensational kick returner. His only problem last year was his ankle costing him two games and kept him from being his best. For a player that relies on his quickness, his ankles are his life and they need to be 100%. Vasher made 33 tackles last year, picked off four passes and broke up 15 others.

- Free safety Dakarai Pearson, Sr. - A safety with cornerback speed, Pearson has turned into a star last season. He made 62 tackles and made some of the biggest plays in the biggest games highlighted by a two interception performance against Oklahoma. At only 185 pounds, he's not all that big, but he makes up for it with his speed.

- Strong safety Cedric Griffin, Soph. - Griffin could play corner, but he might be more suited for safety. He saw time last year at strong safety and came in as a nickel back making 73 tackles and broke up four passes. He's the team's best run stopping defensive back.

- Cornerback Michael Huff, Soph. - Huff played at strong safety last year, but might end up playing more at corner. He made 70 tackles and broke up ten passes as the team's next great defensive back. Huff can also get into the backfield making ten tackles for loss. Special Teams

- Placekicker Dusty Mangum, Jr. - Mangum has experience, but he has to improve on his consistency only hitting eight of 19 between 30 and 49 yards. He doesn't have a big leg and doesn't handle kickoffs.

- Punter Justin Smith, Jr. - Smith has to replace Brian Bradford and his 40.1 yards per kick average. He'll have to battle with sophomore Taylor Landin for the job, but he has a little bit of experience kicking twice last year and putting one inside the twenty yard line. Overview well if the Aggies come out and play mistake-free football, we can give Texas a ready good game. the key will be how well we can run aginst their Defense, and how well can our Defense stop their passing game.

With this game on national TV the Aggies will come out to play. so we'er going for the upset win Texas 38-35 in OT.


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