October 10, 2009
6:15 p.m. Central
The ‘Horns have had a bye week, and that’s given Eyes Of TX a chance to make the journey back to Austin for this week’s match-up with Colorado. This week’s game preview will be short, given the priorities of hitting up Chuy’s, Salt Lick, Magnolia Cafe, and of course 2nd, 4th and 6th Streets. For gameday, a little tailgating, Posse East, and good friends and a football atmosphere. And, to be honest, when we’re talking about the Colorado Buffaloes this season, there just aren’t many good things to say.
Going in to the week, Texas remained #2 in the USA Today polls, although Florida gained a first-place vote on their bye week – did they rest better than Texas did? – and Alabama continues to creep up on Texas with their total number of votes. It will be interesting to see the standings after the weekend if Texas and Alabama both win, and #4 LSU pulls off the upset of #1 Florida.
Let’s get in to this week’s match-up of the Longhorns and Buffaloes.
Eyes Of TX’s Prediction
Texas 56, Colorado 10
University of Colorado Buffaloes (1-3)
It’s been a tough year already for Dan Hawkins’ Colorado Buffaloes, and this week doesn’t seem to help their cause. The Buffs are 1-3 this year, with their sole victory a shutout of Wyoming the week after Texas played them. Overall, the team averages just over 20 points per game, but with Texas’ defense, Eyes Of TX doesn’t believe they’ll eclipse that mark this weekend. In fact, Hawkins is only 2-16 in road games since he’s been in Boulder, and even worse, his son and starting quarterback, Cody, averages three INTs a game on the road. Ouch. If that’s a sign, then the elder Hawkins is blind in terms of how to fix it.
In theory, Colorado is a line-it-up-and-run-it-at-you kind of team. In game situations, at least so far this year, that has yet to become reality. As mentioned, the Buffs offense is led by the coach’s son, Cody Hawkins, but the running game is keyed with Rodney Stewart and Darell Scott. While the running game should be a strength, the Buffs average under 100 yards rushing per game – in large part probably because their offense has been trying catch-up in almost every game this season.
Stewart is the smaller running back of the two, but he has good speed and vision, and he has taken the reigns as the team’s most productive backfield option. While Scott is the larger, more every-down back, he has yet to show that he can be consistent and produce. Rumor has it he’s had a great week of practice, through, so Texas fans will have to evaluate what that means. Hawkins is small for a quarterback, and so far this year, he’s had to do most of the work for the Buffs offense, as he throws the ball about 47 times per game, but is only completing 52 percent of his passes. The wide receivers are an unimpressive bunch as well; they will do the work, but no one player is elite. Given Texas’ secondary, they should be a non-factor in the game. However, the ‘Horns will need to keep an eye on Colorado tight end Riar Geer, who is a 6’5” 250-pound monster who can get down the playing field, and with excellent hands, make some big catches and free up the other wide receivers. All of these possibilities assume the offensive line is providing adequate blocking – for both the run and pass – and, pure and simple, they just won’t. They’ve given up 10 sacks through four games, two of which were against poor teams, and the lack of rushing yards per game also shows the deficiency there. It will be a long, long day for Hawkins and the offensive line this week.
On defense, the Buffaloes have definitely struggled – maybe more so than the offense. The defensive line also lost it’s best player, when defensive end Lagrone Shields quit the team. The line has given up an average of 201 yards rushing – one of the worst in all of D-I football. However, the linebackers can be solid, and are led in the middle by Marcus Burton who is an absolute beast a 6’0” and 265-pounds. In general, the linebackers might be able to hold their own filling the gaps on defense, but if Texas can run the ball laterally, or even take advantage of the linebackers in the passing game, it will get ugly quickly.
To put the wrapper on it, the Buffs special teams is just as woeful – if not worse – than the rest of the team. Horrible.
#2 Texas Longhorns (4-0)
Without going in to all of the details, Texas will win this game. Hands-down. It shouldn’t even be close, and if it is, then Texas is too worried about next week’s match-up with oklahoma, and the coaching staff has done a horrible job getting them prepared for this week.
Texas should be able to control this game through the air or on the ground – really, it’s their choice. Eyes Of TX suspects, however, that Greg Davis will stick to his game plan and won’t get any extra work in for the running backs. Too bad, this is the game to do it. Expect McCoy and Co. to have a huge day on offense, and Sergio Kindle and his defensive juggernaut to continue to dominate – maybe 5-6 sacks and a couple INTs? On special teams, Shipley and Monroe have a huge opportunity to light up the stat books this week.
All in all, stay healthy, get the win, and start the “ou sucks” chants early and often at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium.