No Joke: Roy To Face Single Coverage Against Hogs

All indications are that Arkansas will not budge from its defensive scheme that stays in man coverage about 80 percent and blitzes nearly all of the time. It means they&#146;re gonna send the house and try to disrupt the Texas QBs and blow up the Horns' running game. It means the Hogs are gonna dance with the one who brung &#145;em. It means SE <B>Roy Williams </B>should find himself in single coverage early and often -- until the Pigs try to compensate for his game breaking threat.

"The real question mark in our early scheming is to see that they do with Roy," Brown said. "They have been a mad blitz team. Period."

Arkansas has paid lip service to going two-deep this season and toyed with it some during their 45-13 win over Tulsa. For now, Texas coaches know their trump card is how an opponent will try to defend college football’s most explosive wideout.

"You have to think they’d try to disguise their coverage to try to confuse our quarterbacks," Brown said. "And you have to think that they’ll try to double Roy at some point. But I think that’s what we’ll see early in the game. Their deal has been not to let you run the ball at all and blitz your quarterback."

Indeed, the Hogs live and die by the blitz. (One only has to recall Major Applewhite running for his life in the 2000 Cotton Bowl to know what the Pigs will try to do Saturday, starting 11 a.m. central, at Royal-Memorial Stadium.) Brown described their kamikaze approach as an "all-out, run-’em-through-the-gaps, hit-or-miss, knock-the-quarterback-down or hope he doesn’t throw it" style of play.

"I don’t know if they’ll change (for Williams) or not," Brown concluded. "That was the way they played at the end of last year and it was the way they played against Tulsa."

Nothing that Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said during this week’s teleconference suggested that he intended to depart from his defensive scheme.

"I’ve not seen anyone who can cover Roy Williams one-on-one," he admitted. "But if you double-team him, that leaves somebody else open. That’s what makes it so tough."

If you read between the lines, Nutt never said that he didn’t think that his own DBs were incapable of going against Williams in single coverage. Both Razorback cornerbacks, Lawrence Richardson and Ahmad Carroll, are considered two of the finest in the nation. Both are clocked at 10.2 (that’s not in the 40, folks) but neither has ever faced a freak like Roy Williams.

"They think their guys can cover your guys," Brown added, "because they think your quarterback won’t have enough time to get a pass off. They bring eight and nine. And they’ll bring the safety. They bring them all…Their attitude is, ‘We’re going to blitz you every play and stop your run and hit your quarterback.'"

It all points to one likely scenario: this will not be the week that Texas’ ground game gets untracked, but it should be the week that Arkansas learned what sister school LSU discovered in last January’s Cotton Bowl -- you cannot keep single coverage on Roy Williams and expect to win. (And, personally, I can’t wait to see what QB Vince Young will show under that hog-wild blitz. When Young runs for his life, he scrambles from north-to-south instead of backwards.)

Pick your poison, Piggies.

Texas will practice Thursday in the stadium and then have a walk-through of the Arkansas game on Friday before checking into an Austin hotel after 3:30 p.m.

Horns Digest Top Stories