Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

West Virginia Game 9: Texas

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

West Virginia Game 9: Texas

Article excerpt

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the 17th in a series of previews on West Virginia and Marshall football opponents. * Date with WVU: Saturday, Nov. 14, time TBA

* Site: Mountaineer Field (60,000, FieldTurf), Morgantown

* Series: Tied 2-2

* Last meeting: Texas defeated WVU, 33-16, on Nov. 8, 2014 at Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas

* Coach: Charlie Strong (2nd year, 6-7; 6th year overall, 43-23)

Checking them out

Is there a talent deficiency at Texas right now? Well, probably not given that the Longhorns by mere tradition and location can attract a roster full of some of the best players in the country without much effort. But get this: On the preseason all-league team announced a few weeks ago, the Longhorn representatives on the squad numbered just one.

That's right, aside from cornerback Duke Thomas, there's not a Longhorn to be found on the preseason all-conference team. Phil Steele had to go down to his preseason all-league third team before he found more than three UT players worthy of mention.

Here's the thing, though. Don't you just know that Texas has all kinds of players with the potential to do great things? They just haven't done them yet. And as Charlie Strong begins his second season, the Longhorn faithful won't wait much longer, not after losing to Baylor and TCU by a combined 74-17 and being shut out by Kansas State.

Few doubt that Strong will eventually fashion the Texas defense in his image and he made strides toward that a year ago. He has a strong stable of linemen and even though linebackers Jordan Hicks and Steve Edmond are gone, perhaps no team in the Big 12 has a more promising group of young players at the position. Thomas anchors the secondary, but the Longhorns suffered a blow when fellow senior cornerback Sheroid Evans blew out a knee. That will hurt because those two figured to make up for the loss of cornerback Quandre Diggs, but there's still plenty of talent on the back end.

No, the issue with Texas isn't defense. It's offense and special teams. In addition to scoring a combined 17 points against Baylor and TCU, the Longhorns were thumped by a combined 72-14 by BYU and Arkansas and averaged barely three points more per game (21. …

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