What D will it be this week?

It was the 3-4 two weeks ago against Texas Tech. It was the 3-2 last weekend against Oklahoma. And both stifled opposing offenses. But what D will <B>Carl Reese</B> open the game with this week against Oklahoma State?

The Longhorn defensive coordinator said Wednesday that UT's game-opening D will depend on what OSU opens in offensively. Reese said he expects the Cowboys, as their first priority, to try to establish the run. If to do that Oklahoma State comes out in with two running backs and a tight end, look for Texas to return to a 4-3 defensive alignment.

In the 4-3, the front four will consist of LDE Cory Redding, DTs Marcus Tubbs and either Adam Doiron or Stevie Lee, and RDE Maurice Gordon. Regular RDE starter Kalen Thornton did not practice again Wednesday after suffering a sprained knee against OU and remains questionable for Saturday's contest. As a veteran, Thornton could play even if he misses the entire week of practice, but UT is so tight-lipped about injuries, there is really no telling just how serious his injury is or how long he will actually be out of action. Jermain Anderson will continue to back-up at the RDE spot. Mack Brown said O.J. McClintock "practiced really well" Tuesday and Wednesday and "is in a position to play" against the Cowboys if needed.

With Gordon moved from DT to DE, either sophomore Doiron or redshirt freshman Lee will start alongside Tubbs. The Horns have spent very little time in four down linemen formations over the last two games, so Doiron and Lee haven't left the sideline since the Houston game. Reese said they certainly should have fresh legs, and he expects them to be physical against the run. "Those guys have gotta to step up," he said. "They've been around here long enough eating gravy and eating biscuits, it's time for them to step up and play now."

At linebacker, Derrick Johnson and Everick Rawls will split time at the weakside spot (either one could start, although it's likely to be Johnson) and D.D. Lewis in the middle and Tyrone Jones on the strongside will start. The coordinator said the 4-3 is Johnson's weakest scheme because of the greater number of assignments (blitzes and coverages) he must know in those sets vs. the limited number of assignments he must know in the 3-4 or 3-2.

Along with the 4-3, Reese expects to use both the 3-4 and 3-2 against the Cowboys, and Johnson starts in both of those packages. The 3-4 is a multi-purpose D that can be used against all of OSU's formations, while the 3-2 will only be used vs. a spread offense formation.

Notes: RB Victor Ike (bruised ribs) did not practice again Wednesday and remains questionable for Saturday's OSU game. . . . The Texas head coach said he's been pleased so far this week that the players "haven't mentioned" or dwelled upon the loss to Oklahoma. He said the team has talked about the fact that top 10 teams will be knocking each other off and the Horns, ranked No. 11, are poised to rejoin that group if they take care of their business.

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