NCAA Football – Week 3
The Texas Longhorns are bouncing back from their brutal season a couple years ago. Texas went 8-5 last year, and the Longhorns have been impressive in consecutive wins to start the 2012 season. Mississippi has a new coach in Hugh Freeze. The Rebels have started the season 2-0, but it has been against subpar competition. This is the team’s first real test of the 2012 season.
Texas has primarily gone with David Ash as their quarterback this year. Case McCoy has seen limited action as well, but it seems the coaches are most comfortable with Ash under center. Texas needs to establish the running game to be successful this season. Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron appear to be the team’s top tailbacks at this point. The team has run the ball fairly well this year, but the competition level has been terrible. Jaxon Shipley is becoming a play maker on the outside for this offense.
The strength of this Texas team is clearly its defense. The defensive front is loaded with talent. Jackson Jeffcoat and Alex Okafor might be the best defensive end tandem in the nation. Texas should be able to get lots of pressure on opponents all year. The Texas secondary is an aggressive bunch. Kenny Vaccaro is one of the best free safeties in the country. Overall, this Texas defense has a chance to be special this year.
Mississippi had a very long season last year under Houston Nutt. Hugh Freeze was one of the hottest coaching commodities in the nation, and Freeze was thrilled to come coach at Ole Miss. The team certainly isn’t loaded with talent, but there are a few pieces for him to work with in his first season with the team. The biggest weaknesses for this team in 2011 were both the offensive and defensive lines. The Rebels were constantly beat in the trenches, and that can’t happen again this year or the team will be disappointing once again. Jeff Scott had 12 carries for 111 yards last week in the team’s win over UTEP. It will be much tougher to run against the Texas defensive front, but Mississippi has to find a way to run the ball in this game. Bo Wallace is a good athlete at quarterback, and he can scramble to make some extra plays for the team.
The Rebels defense allowed 20 points in the first half against Central Arkansas in the season opener, so this unit is definitely a concern. The secondary is the most talented group on this defense, but it seems like the defensive line will be a major weakness again this year. Texas will definitely test this defensive front this weekend. Can Mississippi find a way to stop the Texas running game?
Texas has a very strong defense this year. Look for Mississippi to struggle to get on track offensively. The Longhorns offensive line will likely be too much for the Rebels defensive front. I think Texas makes a statement here and covers this line.
Texas 31 Mississippi 13