Texas vs. West Virginia Staff Predictions

Texas will look for its first true road win of the season Saturday against 4-4 West Virginia.

CHIP BROWN

Call me Chip "Broken Record" Brown. I'm sure some of you are worried about my mental health because I've talked so much about the "Insanity Set" (UT's two-back set with the offset TE and speed sweep motion).

It's so obvious this is the best offensive set Texas has because the defense has to worry about four different potential ball carriers right after the snap (the two RBs, the speed sweep and the QB).

This is the offensive set that gives the players the most confidence. I'm not just saying that. That's what THEY have said.

With a team that has been outscored 51-0 in the first quarter of true road games this season ... With a team that is 0-11 when the other team scores first under Charlie Strong ... This offense has to start off confidently, especially against a defense that is giving up just 16.4 points in home games in Morgantown.

I also would love to see Texas set the tone aggressively on defense by blitzing early - even run blitzes - to try to disrupt WVU RB Wendell Smallwood (6.7 yards per carry), the most underrated offensive player in the Big 12.

DTs Hassan Ridgeway, Desmond Jackson and Poona Ford and LB Peter Jinkens have to have a GREAT game for Texas to slow down the Mountaineers.

Texas can win this game. But I just don't know if Jay Norvell has figured out how committed the Longhorns have to be to the Insanity Set. 

West Virginia 24, Texas 20

 

******

 

TAYLOR GASPAR 

Texas is in a do-or-die situation. The Longhorns have to win at least two of the next three games in order to make it to a bowl game, but that will not be an easy task.

West Virginia is coming off of a win where it ran the ball down the throat of Texas Tech. Running backs Wendell Smallwood and Rushel Shell helped the Mountaineers rack up 300 yards on the ground in the 31-26 win over the Red Raiders.

Texas will need to come out hot on defense and shut down the run. But many eyes will be on the Longhorns offense and its ability (or inability) to move the ball against a defense that has allowed an average 425 yards per game this season. Jerrod Heard and the offense need to get in the end zone first to get the ball rolling in the Longhorns’ favor.

If West Virginia strikes first, it could be a long day in Morgantown for the Longhorns, as Texas has yet to win a ball game when its opponent puts up the first score.

I think this game could come down to the wire and it could very easily go either way. But I’m going to give Texas the benefit of the doubt and the Longhorns will leave Morgantown with the first true-road win of the season.

Texas 30 West Virginia 27

 

****** 

 

WILLIAM WILKERSON

Don’t be timid Texas.

Play like your hair is on fire.

Punch West Virginia in the mouth early. Don’t be the one eating the punch first on Saturday morning.

Trust your young cornerbacks to do their job in man coverage and blitz like crazy. But just be sure not to work too far up the line of scrimmage on the edge. Be mindful that Skyler Howard likes to get to the edge with his feet. Be smart.

Take shots deep early and often. Start with John Burt but spread the wealth to Armanti Forman, Lorenzo Joe and others down the field.

Get Ryan Newsome more involved. Get him in space and watch the young fella get his.

Work out of the two-back set more times than not. You’ve spent the last few weeks building other options out of that package. Capitalize on those opportunities.  

It’s been a while since you threw a trick play in the mix. Break it out.

Play care free. Like Jerrod Heard says, have some fun.

Do these things and I think you win.

However, I don’t think Texas does these things. I think it’s going to be close but just feel like West Virginia is the better team at this point, and Morgantown is a hell of a tough place to play.

West Virginia 31, Texas 26


Horns Digest Top Stories