Thoughts on UNT-Texas

Darrel K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium

A few days into the season, and it’s already been a heck of a roller coaster.

In one of the most dominating defensive performances I’ve ever seen, Texas rolled to a 38-7 victory over the North Texas Mean Green. The Texas defense held UNT to under 100 yards total offense, most of which came in garbage time with the backups playing.

Texas notched four interceptions, with Demarco Cobbs housing one late in the fourth quarter.

And the only points given up by Texas were by the offense, after Texas dropped the snap on their own goal line. The ball was recovered by UNT’s James Jones for a touchdown.

It was what many of us expected going into the season: a fantastic defense coupled with a serviceable offense. Sure, the offense had questions, and scary depth problems, but it looked like it would get the job done.

But then…

Starting center Dominic Espinosa left the game during the third quarter with an ankle injury. Sunday, word leaked that an x-ray had shown a fracture. That’s forty starts gone from the offensive line for an indeterminate time period.

And this morning, Coach Strong dropped the bomb.

David Ash is out for the BYU game this weekend. If the wide rumors of his suffering concussion symptoms after the game are accurate, one really has to wonder if we’ll ever see him play again.

Heck, one wonders whether he should play again.

So, the Tyrone Swoopes era begins at Texas. Reports on Swoopes from practice have been mixed, but not really anything you wouldn’t expect from a true sophomore who had his redshirt wasted without receiving any really meaningful snaps. Thanks for that, Mack.

Strong also said that Desmond Harrison will be back from his suspension this week, but Daje Johnson and Josh Turner will not be.

Joe Wickline is going to have to earn his paycheck this season, by putting a patchwork of an o-line together without it’s most experienced player.

And he’ll do it with a quarterback who may not be able to punish defenses for loading the box. At least Swoopes brings a running threat beyond what Ash offered, even before the concussion problems.

We’re going to learn a lot about this team next weekend. BYU is big and disciplined. They will load up to stop the run, and dare us to make them pay for it.

Our defense should do well against their offense, but it’s critical that the Texas offense not turn the ball over. Hit BYU with a lot of option, protect the ball, control the clock and shorten the game.

What was already going to be an interesting season has gotten much more interesting. In all honesty, I have no idea what to expect.

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