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It's Not All Doom and Gloom for the Horns Short-Term

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While the general tone has been one of doom and gloom given the recent happenings, I'm here to add a little sunshine and daffodils. Someone has to.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Losing an experienced quarterback like David Ash is damaging. Losing a veteran center like Dominic Espinosa is just as damaging. Given both occurrences regrettably taking place on the same day, there's a gray cloud hanging over Belmont Hall, putting a damper on all the happy-happy surrounding the arrival of the Charlie Strong era.

While doom and gloom is a natural reaction when two of your most important players suddenly face an absence, it's worth the effort to try and reach for the silver lining as hard as it may be to grasp. It's worth trying to be positive, dare I even say, optimistic.

It's what I'm here for.

Sue me.

Let's take a minute to consider some best-case scenarios:

  • Tyrone Swoopes plays up to the pinnacle of his athletic potential, making plays with his legs when necessary (which will undoubtedly be necessary), and making the reads which he'll be required to make on the fly given a potentially porous interior O-Line, in general making plays when they need to be made and managing the game effectively. If he makes the throws we keep being told he's capable of making -- especially to a seemingly improved John Harris -- then, well, bonus points.
  • Jake Raulerson, Taylor Doyle, Kent Perkins and perhaps even Darius James carry a collective chip on their shoulder driving them to prove the UNT performance was fluky, and not a sign of things to come. In turn, the unprovens win battles in the trenches, allowing the Texas offense to continue being predicated on the run. With this slant, the passing game can be used as a complement rather than depending on it as a necessity. I'd say that's a win-win.
  • Malcolm Brown and John Gray continue to churn yardage in spite of the holes they are given to work with. Given BYU's 57th-ranked run defense and UCLA's 72nd-ranked run defense from 2013, this certainly is within the realm of possibility.
  • The Texas defense turns big plays into scores. Given what we saw in Week 1, combined with a BYU tendency to run-first with Taysom Hill, and an oddly ineffective performance from UCLA's Heisman Trophy candidate Brett Hundley against the Virginia Cavaliers, the possibilities certainly could present themselves. Even with Ross Apo running routes, Hill isn't the world's best passing quarterback. With some pressure up-front, Hundley can be rattled.
  • Something special happens on special teams, for once. God forbid Jaxon Shipley return a punt for a touchdown, or Duke Thomas or Malcolm Brown take one to the house on a kick return. Imagine that. Momentum shifts when it needs to shift.

Tyrone Swoopes is on scholarship for a reason.

Jake Raulerson is on scholarship for a reason.

Let's collectively pump some sunshine in their direction and hope for the best, shall we?

Someone has to be optimistic, after all.