There are only two really big questions about Saturday's matchup with Rice that are left to discuss. First, will Texas cover the 32 point spread? And second, how much time should/will Jevan Snead play?
It was clear that the Buckeyes were too much for the young Colt McCoy last Saturday, but we shouldn't forget that things probably would have been even worse for the true frosh Snead. McCoy did, for all his mistakes, hang in there, take some really hard hits, and play pretty solidly. It wasn't a winning effort, but it was better than most players his age would have done.
One thing McCoy -does- need to work on, and we touched on this in our reviews, is keeping the ball to run some on the zone read plays. In Mack's press conference on Wednesday, he touched on the same thing:
"There are always things we can improve, and we thought more than anything else he can make more plays with his feet, so when the time is there to run, like Vince (Young) did late in his career, he needs to pull it down and run with it some."
Especially true because 1) McCoy's not abad athlete and 2) the entire offense is predicated on the quarterback being able to make that read. McCoy's got to do better with that. He can, and I hope to see improvement in that area Saturday.
As for Snead, he'll likely log some quality minutes this week. We said before the season that the further Texas falls from BCS contention, the more the coaches would be likely to experiment with Snead. Well, we took one step back last week. But... we're not out yet. McCoy's job is not in jeopardy. If he rebounds from the Buckeye defeat, the job remains solidly his. At this point, Snead's best bet is to run the zone read better than McCoy, and impress with some balls down the field. If that happens, and Texas drops again - say, to Oklahoma - we may start seeing much, much more of Jevan.
Oh, the spread? You'd like to think Texas will play with a lot to prove Saturday evening. Given that, it's not likely that the Horns will be lagging on either side of the football. 40+ points seems realistic, and a stifling defensive performance is probably on the way. You think I was bitter this week after our first loss in 21 games? How do you think Chizik - winner of 29 straight prior to Saturday - feels? The smart money says he's pissed off.
So I'm laying the points and taking Texas this week. Horns win the home game at Reliant Stadium in Houston, 48-6.