|Written by Chris Coleman.
Before the season started, many assumed this weekendís game between Ole Miss and Texas would feature a 2-0 team versus a 1-1 team.
And, it will. Just not in the way people expected a month ago. Ole Miss upset conference foe Vanderbilt in week one, and with a cakewalk over SE Missouri State, they enter Austin with plenty of confidence.
The Longhorns on the other hand look shakier than a 1974 Chevy. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz got fired soon after the Horns humiliating loss to BYU. A Facebook group has been formed encouraging people to wear black as a show of anger with Mack Brown. And now there are grumblings that athletic director DeLoss Dodds will be gone before the season ends.
Things are not very positive on the 40 Acres. This week offers the Longhorns a chance to get some of their confidence back and win back the trust of their front-running fanbase.
But with QB David Ash (the teamís keading rusher, sadly) questionable, and Case McCoy looking nothing like his older brother, and 61 year-old Greg Robinson coming in to run the defense at the last minute, the questions still abound for the Horns.
Last week they lost their biggest playmaker, Daje Johnson, on the first series and offensive coordinator Major Applewhite is apparently giving thought to sitting in the booth upstairs to eye his troubled offense. So nothing is certain on either side of the ball. The only sure lock is that the Longhorns donít know how to tackle. They missed dozens last week in the middle of the field and the secondary. And if the Horns had trouble tackling a lumbering BYU QB coming off knee surgery, how hard of a time are they going to have trying to harness little Jeff Scott of Ole Miss, who is averaging more than 10 yards per carry, and his read-option quarterback Bo Wallace? Those two will make BYU look like a 1950s team.
The only thing the Horns have going for them may be the element of surprise on defense, since Robinson will be implementing his scheme. But I doubt he could have changed that much that fast.
"But as long as we execute, I think that no matter who we're going to play we're going to be able to get some yards," Wallace told reporters.
The Horns offense has as many question marks as their defense. Donít expect another 66-point performance from the Burnt Orange like they had last year. And you can bet Ole Miss hasnít forgotten that punishment they took on the chin last year. But last yearís defense didnít have Robert Nkemdiche. The freshman end has been a terror in his first two games, and I expect him to leave some footprints on McCoy or whomever he faces.
""The way (Texas) came on the field and put it on us last year, we feel like we've got to get revenge. We've got to have a chip on our shoulder," Ole Miss linebacker Serderius Bryant said this week.
Thatís not good news for the Horns.
The Line: Texas -3
The pick: Ole Miss
Last updated on September 16, 2013.