ottobuck (Sep 6, 2006 9:41:06 AM)
How confident are the Texas fans in Colt McCoy? If he doesn't do well , how quickly would they want the backup in? I've heard Buckeye fans grumble going between Troy & Zwick two years ago. Nothing since Troy took over for good last year! I bet nobody doubted Vince last year!
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 9:41:48 AM)
There was definitely no doubt around Vince last year. I'd say there's slightly more hesitation from Texas fans going into this game.
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 9:42:00 AM)
They are still quite confident.
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 9:42:28 AM)
Especially because Colt McCoy showed much more poise than most expected in the first game.
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 9:42:56 AM)
As for the back-up
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 9:43:37 AM)
I'd say that the true Freshman Jevan Snead isn't quite ready yet and they will probably hold off on putting him in
SteveHelwagen (Sep 6, 2006 9:46:25 AM)
Ross, thanks for joining us today. I have enjoyed following the Inside Texas site and you guys do a nice job providing blanket coverage there of the Longhorns.
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 9:47:06 AM)
Thanks, Steve. I'm glad to be on with y'all.
chuangtsu (Sep 6, 2006 9:47:10 AM)
How do you think Texas will do against the Buckeye rushing attack?
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 9:48:26 AM)
The Texas defensive line is the strongest part of their defense. The biggest issue for stopping the run is depth at linebacker, which is an issue for the Longhorns. I'd still give the Texas D the edge because of the amount of talent on the D line.
redondo (Sep 6, 2006 9:48:39 AM)
Hi Ross - How much of a fall-off is there on the Texas side for the players who won't play, for whatever reason? (Thank you for taking the time to chat with us today. We appreciate it!!!)
SteveHelwagen (Sep 6, 2006 9:49:00 AM)
He means whoever will step in for Tarell Brown and Gatewood, who I don't think was in the two-deep.
Buckeyesforlife (Sep 6, 2006 9:49:08 AM)
How do you think Tarell Brown not being able to play take effect in saterdays game
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 9:51:23 AM)
Significant, but not insurmountable. Tarell Brown is probably the Horns' best cover corner (argument can be made for Aaron Ross) and would have likely drawn the assignment of covering Ted Ginn. Now that job falls on Aaron Ross. Behind him they have Ryan Palmer and Brandon Foster. Both are very fast but a little undersized (5-9 and 5-10) and have playing experience, but not a lot. The talent it there, but they don't have nearly the experience of Tarell Brown.
chuangtsu (Sep 6, 2006 9:51:32 AM)
What kind of secondary does Texas really have? Will they be able to slow down Ginn?
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 9:55:12 AM)
The Texas secondary is very strong amongst the starters. Both safeties, twin brothers Michael and Marcus Griffin, are both All-American caliber and are the best players in the secondary. This will help Texas significantly in covering the deep routes typically found in the Ohio State offense. CB Aaron Ross is exceptionally fast and talented and is now responsible for Ginn, he doesn't take quite as good of angles as Brown, but is a solid corner. After them, depth is an issue. After Foster and Brown, two true freshmen, Chykie Brown and Deon Beasley will see playing time.
chuangtsu (Sep 6, 2006 9:55:27 AM)
How strong do you think Texas is at running the ball? What kind of running attack should OSU face?
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 9:56:35 AM)
Texas will rely heavily on the run. Selvin Young is the starter, but he'll split carries with talented sophomore Jamaal Charles.
redondo (Sep 6, 2006 9:56:43 AM)
Hi Ross - What are the keys you will look for on each side of the ball, wher you say to yourself - Ah, things are going well; or, uh-oh? Thank you.
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 9:56:55 AM)
Most of the running will be out of the shotgun, but the two Texas backs who will see the most playing time are speed backs
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 9:57:49 AM)
Texas needs to stop the run. Ohio State is known for the deep ball to Ted Ginn, but if Texas can't stop the run, it's not going to matter.
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 9:58:19 AM)
On the other side of the ball, Ohio State must get pressure on McCoy and force him to make mistakes.
BuckeyesBy10 (Sep 6, 2006 9:57:56 AM)
Ross - Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. What did the Longhorns learn from their game against N. Texas?
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 9:59:55 AM)
Colt McCoy is more prepared than expected and looked like a verteran. WR Limas Sweed is set for a huge year. The linebackers must take better angles and play more level headed. The rest of the WRs need to drop fewer balls. The offensive line is as good as advertised.
chuangtsu (Sep 6, 2006 10:00:03 AM)
What young Texas players that didn't play last year are stepping it up this year?
SteveHelwagen (Sep 6, 2006 10:00:23 AM)
That's a good question. Ross, what new faces like Muckelroy would we not recognize.
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:01:14 AM)
Safety Marcus Griffin, he's the twin brother of SS Michael Griffin and looks as good as his brother. Steve is right to point out Muckelroy, who actually looked better than most of Texas' veteran linebackers.
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:01:37 AM)
WR Jordan Shipley needs to shake off the rust of not playing competitive football in three years, but should be a contributor.
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:02:54 AM)
(Marcus Griffin did play but didn't start)
SteveHelwagen (Sep 6, 2006 10:02:12 AM)
A couple on Colt McCoy ...
chuangtsu (Sep 6, 2006 10:02:18 AM)
What are Colt's biggest strengths and weaknesses?
Cozzilla (Sep 6, 2006 10:02:22 AM)
Colt looked good in the opener......how do you think he will fare agaist the pressure Ohio State will bring on Saturday? Also do you think the size of the game may affct him mentally?
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:04:03 AM)
McCoy's biggest strength is his ability to read the defense for a player of his experience. He see's the field well. His weakness is probably arm strength. He can throw it downfield, but doesn't have a big-time, NFL-like arm. He primarily sticks to making smarter passes.
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:04:06 AM)
Pressure will be key.
ottobuck (Sep 6, 2006 10:04:14 AM)
What's the feel you get from the Texas players from pratice this week?
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:05:05 AM)
North Texas barely touched McCoy and registered no sacks
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:05:37 AM)
Confidence. They seem (or are at least acting) unfazed by the losses. Their confidant in the depth that exists on this team and have had a "we're more than just Vince Young" attitude the whole season.
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:06:14 AM)
The one and only good thing about losing Vince Young is that it has completely eliminated any post-championship haze.
chuangtsu (Sep 6, 2006 10:06:24 AM)
Can you explain how Texas always seems to have 15 commits before anyone else in the country has 4 or 5?
SteveHelwagen (Sep 6, 2006 10:06:41 AM)
I imagine the great and dedicated talent base in Texas has something to do with it.
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:07:08 AM)
It's how they operate in recruiting as well...
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:07:27 AM)
Texas has a straightforward philosophy in recruiting: "Commit, or we're moving on"
chuangtsu (Sep 6, 2006 10:07:30 AM)
Yeah, Texas has a large talent base, but so does California and Florida.
redondo (Sep 6, 2006 10:07:37 AM)
Hi Ross - What is the take from your perspective on Barksdale? Is he going to UT? Thank you.
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:07:57 AM)
It's all around the idea of no player is bigger than this team.
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:08:00 AM)
This may also affect the Barksdale situation
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:08:25 AM)
The Horns have lost several recruits because of this attitude....
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:09:07 AM)
Richetti Jones didn't like it and commited to Oklahoma State, Leenon Creer didn't like it and never showed up for camp...
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:09:41 AM)
Texas is waiting on Barksdale longer than they normally do, because Texas is still his top school, but if he doesn't commit by November, he's not going to come to Texas
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:10:27 AM)
That's my guess on the time limit. We don't know what the hard date is.
SteveHelwagen (Sep 6, 2006 10:09:59 AM)
Couple more on the QB spot ...
Poz79 (Sep 6, 2006 10:10:01 AM)
Hi Ross. Is Colt McCoy the sole starter or may Jevan Snead rotate in?
chuangtsu (Sep 6, 2006 10:10:21 AM)
Does Snead take the QB spot next year?
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:10:32 AM)
Yes. McCoy is the starter...
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:11:07 AM)
If he's struggling, Texas will yank him, but it's not going to be a rotation. This is McCoy's team, as for next year...
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:11:58 AM)
That remains to be seen. Snead has the strongest arm, but still lacks experience and it really shows. Of course, many theorize that this will eventually be top-flight recruit John Brantley's team...
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:12:33 AM)
In 2007, Texas will have five 4-star or better QBs on the roster...all of them sophomore or younger
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:12:38 AM)
It's going to be a log jam for sure
calbuck79 (Sep 6, 2006 10:12:45 AM)
The big game will be won in the trenches.....OSU ability to stop the run and force Mccoy to win the game. Do you feel the injuries to the two fastest Texas LB and loss of DB Brown texas best tackler will have a major impact on the game?
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:14:35 AM)
Yes is will, but the loss of these players is not devistating. Mack Brown has always played backups in situations that matter, so his team has experience down the depth chart. That being said, it's always huge when two of your best veterans and a top flight freshman aren't in the game
ameliabuckeye (Sep 6, 2006 10:15:02 AM)
What kind of stadium atomsphere is Memorial? Do you think the noise will have any effect on OSU?
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:16:57 AM)
It's a great college football atmosphere. To be honest, it's not as load as the Shoe, because of the dimensions (the north end zone stands are way to far from the field), but closing in the south endzone has helped and it's one of the better environments in college football.
SteveHelwagen (Sep 6, 2006 10:17:16 AM)
Couple more on fans ...
chuangtsu (Sep 6, 2006 10:17:19 AM)
What can OSU fans expect in Austin, a friendly atmosphere? My in-laws live in Austin and think that everyone will treat Buckeye fans well (regardless of what happened in Columbus last year).
Buckeyesforlife (Sep 6, 2006 10:17:21 AM)
How many buckeye fans do you expect to be in the stadium?
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:20:04 AM)
Texas fans have always been polite for the most part (may also contribute to DKR being not as loud as the Shoe of course) and usually treat visitors well. As for Buckeyes in the stadium, the opposing team has a section of seats in the north-east corner (about 4,000), but the value of tickets for this game will mean a lot of season ticket holders will be selling their seats. I expect about another 8 to 9,000 Buckeyes to be dotted throughout the stadium
SteveHelwagen (Sep 6, 2006 10:20:15 AM)
Several want your pick ...
redondo (Sep 6, 2006 10:20:17 AM)
Hi Ross - What's your score prediction and who wins this Saturday?
Dingbuck (Sep 6, 2006 10:20:32 AM)
Late to chat. perhaps it has been asked and answered but if i saw correctly, you picked OSU. What weakness do you see the Bucks exposing that would cost TX the game?
chuangtsu (Sep 6, 2006 10:20:38 AM)
What was your prediction again? Score?
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:21:51 AM)
20-17 Ohio State. I honestly want to pick Texas because most of you guys (obviously) will be picking Ohio State and I want to offer the other side, but that's how I feel it will finish. Texas has been dealing with way too much this week for it not to affect the game....
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:23:05 AM)
I believe that Texas' talented safeties will play deep and successfully cover Ginn, but this will open up running lanes for Troy Smith
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:23:38 AM)
when you combine it with the depth issues at linebacker
Poz79 (Sep 6, 2006 10:23:21 AM)
How's the TEs this season? David Thomas was a real weapon last year.
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:25:20 AM)
Senior Neale Tweedie is the starter, but the true threat is RS-Fr Jermichael Finley. Texas uses a lot of two tight sets and Finley is a fast tight end with great hands who is a nightmare for opposing LBs. He needs to develop his blocking more (hense why Tweedie starts), but his pass catching ability is a true threat
DoctorSJ (Sep 6, 2006 10:25:40 AM)
Do you think that the backs for Texas (Young and Charles) are as elusive as Garrett Wolfe for NIU or are they more likely to work for contact than to sidestep someone?
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:26:41 AM)
Young is a fairly balanced back who can work his way through the hole, but the biggest talent is Charles...
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:27:52 AM)
Charles is on the track team and runs a 10.3 100-meters. Because of his success last year in football and track he won a national championship, four Big XII championships and four all-american honors...as a true freshman!
ameliabuckeye (Sep 6, 2006 10:28:16 AM)
Thanks for joining us Ross - Do you think the Texas linebackers are as vulerable to the run as OSU's linebackers given the fact they are going to be without the starting WLB? Are the other two or three linebackers returning starters?
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:29:15 AM)
The other two are starters. Rashad Bobino and Robert Killebrew started on the outside last year, with Drew Kelson rotating in....
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:30:21 AM)
MLB Aaron Harris graduated and Bobino slid to the middle spot and Kelson stepped in on the weakside. With Kelson out, RS-Fr Rodderick Muckelroy steps in as the starter and actually looked better than the other two starters...
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:30:29 AM)
The issue is not talent or experience...just depth
SteveHelwagen (Sep 6, 2006 10:30:53 AM)
Couple more on fans ...
ottobuck (Sep 6, 2006 10:30:57 AM)
How are fans reacting to the mass of Buckeyes coming to Texas?I read some were upset we rented the whole civic center!
BuckeyesBy10 (Sep 6, 2006 10:31:00 AM)
Is Austin ready for the Buckeye invasion? I know the Red River Shootout is THE GAME in Texas, but its played in Dallas. Is Austin and UT ready for 35 or 40,000 Buckeyes?
SteveHelwagen (Sep 6, 2006 10:31:21 AM)
I think they rented the basketball arena before the game, the Erwin Center, event starts at 4 p.m. Central, I believe.
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:32:58 AM)
Austin is definitely ready. It's a great college town, but it's also a good sized city with more than just UT. The population is around 700,000 and it's the state capitol, so there's a whole lot more than just UT going on. Go down to 6th street at night and hang out on Town Lake during the day. There's plenty to do in Austin
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:33:12 AM)
yes, the Erwin Center has been rented out to Buckeye fans
SteveHelwagen (Sep 6, 2006 10:33:36 AM)
OSU's alumni association is planning a pregame bash with the band there.
Poz79 (Sep 6, 2006 10:33:02 AM)
What's the weather forecast for kickoff?
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:34:38 AM)
The high for the day is 93, it'll cool off the around 85 by half time, but Texas nights are notorious for remaining hot due to the humidity. Shouldn't be unbarable, but wear something light...
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:34:56 AM)
It's supposed to rain on Sunday, but the game should be clear
PABuck (Sep 6, 2006 10:35:08 AM)
Do you think Texas has the fire and desire to repeat? Once you win the first national crown, there is a tendency to relax a little.
SteveHelwagen (Sep 6, 2006 10:35:29 AM)
Great question ... the players on this OSU team said the leaders in 2003 relaxed a bit after the 2002 team won it.
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:36:26 AM)
The fire is definitely there. I think the loss of Vince Young elminated any post-championship slacking. The will is definitely there.
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:37:05 AM)
It's really the only good thing about losing such a phenomenal talent as Young.
PABuck (Sep 6, 2006 10:36:36 AM)
How important do you think it is for Texas to get an early lead and not have to rely on McCoy to lead a comeback?
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:37:49 AM)
Very important. Not just for McCoy, but for the defense. Texas may have lost some key players, but the defense, especially the D-line is excellent and Texas needs to get up early so that they can let the defense win the game...
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:38:43 AM)
If you'll recall, the Texas offense made many mistakes in last year's game and gave up the ball in their own teritory, but the Texas D consistantly held OSU to field goals (minus the amazing Santonio Holmes catch)
Cozzilla (Sep 6, 2006 10:39:07 AM)
Alot has been said about The Beasts on the Taxas offensive line....but whats the felling on OSU's Oline? Do you think the bucks will be able to run the ball effectivly?
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:40:06 AM)
One of the things that will make this game great to watch is that there will be two of the best, if not THE two best offensive lines in the country on the field...
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:41:06 AM)
I still think the Texas D-line is talented and deep to be consistantly run on and will force the Buckeyes to throw. Troy Smith will be the leading rusher for OSU.
BisonMarty (Sep 6, 2006 10:41:23 AM)
In your opinion what from a "scheme" standpoint has been successful against Chizik's D at Texas? I know some schools have put some point on them last year.
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:42:52 AM)
A good deep ball (which I think is a plus for OSU). Texas frequently employs the Tampa 2, meaning that there are usually only two deep players on any given play...
ameliabuckeye (Sep 6, 2006 10:43:01 AM)
Ross - Do you think the Texas DL will be able to get to Smith?
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:43:29 AM)
That's most of the time though. Chizik is great at mixing things up and blitzing from different angles.
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:44:12 AM)
I do. Both DEs (Brian Robison and Tim Crowder) are on the Hendricks award watch list and DT Frank Okam is one of the best in the country
jfields (Sep 6, 2006 10:44:24 AM)
I thought mccoy didn't put enough on his passes often times against NT, he got away with it against them but OSU has a fast but inexperienced secondary and I see them getting a few picks if he doesn't manage the touch on his throws better. I also see a few big ones up top to sweed. What is your take?
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:44:29 AM)
They'll flush Smith out of the pocket frequently.
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:46:06 AM)
Sweed is the real deal. He's 6'5", catches everything thrown at him and can beat people up the field. He'll get a few deep ones, but those will be one designed plays. The problem with McCoy is he stared down his recievers too long....
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:46:28 AM)
He read the d-well, but still needs to improve going through progressions
chuangtsu (Sep 6, 2006 10:47:23 AM)
Does Texas have any special teams weaknesses? Strengths? Kicking, returning, coverage?
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:48:03 AM)
The special teams have been some of the best in the country and continue to be this year...
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:48:40 AM)
Aaron Ross is a great punt returner, his only weakness is making a few mental errors. Fumbles, etc...
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:48:52 AM)
No one in the country is better at blocking kicks
chuangtsu (Sep 6, 2006 10:49:08 AM)
Who is the Texas secret weapon on Offense?
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:49:26 AM)
Brian Robison has 6 career blocked FGs and Michael Griffin has 6 career blocked punts
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:49:57 AM)
I'd say TE Jermichael Finley. Fast, great hands and Texas didn't use him much in the UNT game.
jpars82 (Sep 6, 2006 10:50:12 AM)
Texas did really hold us last year in/near the redzone.... how do you think the Texas D will handle the big back threat of Chris Wells in the redzone this year?
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:51:17 AM)
The Texas D line won't give up much room and it'll make the power run game difficult. I give a slight edge to Texas.
SteveHelwagen (Sep 6, 2006 10:51:22 AM)
Last one ...
jfields (Sep 6, 2006 10:51:25 AM)
could this be a preview of the national title game?
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:52:26 AM)
Good point. With the talent so distributed throughout the country this year, we could see a mess of 1-loss teams jammed up at the top. A rematch is unlikely, but DEFINITELY possible....
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:52:46 AM)
An and of the year matchup would also be a very different game...
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:53:41 AM)
With Texas fielding a freshman QB, missing a few players to injury and Ohio State still working in some inexperienced players on D, I would expect that game to be equally exciting, but a very different match-up.
SteveHelwagen (Sep 6, 2006 10:53:49 AM)
We want to thank Ross for devoting the last hour to answering your questions. I will be doing a podcast, likely, on his site and that may appear later this week. And I will have a Chat here at 1 p.m. Thursday and Gary H. will Chat at 1 p.m. Friday.
SteveHelwagen (Sep 6, 2006 10:53:56 AM)
Thanks again, Ross!!!
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:54:01 AM)
Thanks for having me for the chat, guys! I enjoyed talking to you.
jfields (Sep 6, 2006 10:54:04 AM)
chuangtsu (Sep 6, 2006 10:54:07 AM)
Steve, Ross, great chat! Enjoy the game.
ameliabuckeye (Sep 6, 2006 10:54:10 AM)
Thanks Ross - Great Chat and GO BUCKS!
SteveHelwagen (Sep 6, 2006 10:54:23 AM)
I will turn off moderation feel free to Chat among yourselves.
jpars82 (Sep 6, 2006 10:54:27 AM)
Thanks for your time..... cheers to a great game saturday in Austin!
ottobuck (Sep 6, 2006 10:54:41 AM)
SteveHelwagen (Sep 6, 2006 10:54:41 AM)
Take care everybody!!!
Guest (Sep 6, 2006 10:54:46 AM)
O - H !!!
jpars82 (Sep 6, 2006 10:54:50 AM)
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:54:54 AM)
I'd be amazing if it wasn't great game.
Buckeyesforlife (Sep 6, 2006 10:54:55 AM)
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:54:59 AM)
jfields (Sep 6, 2006 10:55:16 AM)
I hope eveyone makes it to kickoff without too much bubbly
Ross Lucksinger (Sep 6, 2006 10:56:04 AM)
I have to go. Good luck to you and a safe trip to those coming down for the game.
jfields (Sep 6, 2006 10:57:22 AM)