We learned more about Texas last week and the premise still applies. Texas isn't back just because we beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa. I'll keep saying it till everyone listens, Texas needs multi 10 win seasons to be back. The Wyoming game showed us that Texas still plays up and down to its competition. For me, that's a sign that we still haven't got it all together quite yet. Elite teams play with the big boys and above the little boys consistently. The good news is, we can see noticeable steps in the right direction. Despite struggling early, Texas managed to make the proper adjustments, stick with it through the 4th quarter and finally pull away. While we can't expect Texas to do so against every team they play this year, the fact that Texas didn't let the Wyoming game drop like they tended to in years past, is hopeful. Texas has depth. Texas has talent. Texas has scheme. We just need the team to believe they have to play hard every game and that they can't expect everything to be handed to them on a platter just because they're Texas.
Remember too, Ewers is still a sophomore for all intents and purposes. Maybe less than because he missed a year of high school. Few college sophomores win national titles. Vince and Colt didn't. Tebow did I guess, but I think I recall a dual QB system on that Florida team. I'm not sure you could say he was the main guy. For me, the expectations are muted. The bama win was better than expected but I still expect some young team moments out of Texas.
The good news is, the Big 12 schedule is favorable this year. If there ever were a year where a young team with a lot of depth could make a run, this would be it. The Big 12 is down in 23 except, perhaps, Kansas and BYU. (OU's a rivalry tossup no matter where we think they are.) Assuming Texas can play well enough to beat the Big 12 Reffing crews, we have a legitimate shot but I just can't hold my breath. I need to see more consistency from Quinn and his receiving corps to have a more favorable opinion. Don't get me wrong, I'm not unfavorable. I'm just hoping to see the consistency of the Alabama game show up in four quarters of the remaining games.
Which leads us to Baylor on Saturday. Dave Aranda is a great coach. But Baylor is getting hurt by NIL and a very young team. Baylor currently has the worst run defense in the league. On top of that they struggle in the passing game range where Quinn is strongest and their offensive line has allowed more QB pressures and sacks than any other team in the Big 12. This is a great game for Texas to show up and show out.
The primary way Texas loses is if Baylor can establish the run and not fumble. This would keep the Texas O off the field and keep the ball out of the defenses hands. Texas has six interceptions over three games and I don't see that slowing down much. If Baylor doesn't throw, of the referees give Baylor favorable ball spots like they did in the Wyoming game, they might have a chance.
But I don't see it. I expect Texas to run on that porous Baylor D and it's going to open up the passing game really fast. Texas needs to establish their run game a bit more and Baylor is the perfect candidate. Please listen coach, like you did for the Bama game, run first pass second. Short and mid passes to simulate the run. Don't give up on the run for any reason. Throw it deep only when our speedsters are wide open. I expect they will be some when the Baylor D starts boxing in the run game. Run, run, short pas. Run run short pass. Run run short pass. Bomb. That's what I hope for all game. If so, it's going to be a long one for Baylor.
In all reality, I expect Sark to be Sark. The first play from scrimmage will be a pass to help Quinn's confidence or something. Which is dumb. Quinn's confidence comes as the game goes on. Run first and let him settle before throwing. But he won't. Against Baylor however, it likely won't matter.
On D we just have to pressure the quarterback. And that should be fairly easy. As mentioned, Baylor is one of the leagues worst at protesting their quarterback and Texas is one of the best pressure teams in the country. I am hoping for plenty of pressure that leads to more turnovers. Both the Texas offensive and defensive lines have an opportunity to win awards in this game and I hope they do. I'm expecting a pick 6, 2 rushing TD's over 30 yards and the rest is Ewers picking them apart. I like Texas big in this one, 56-13. Hook 'Em!