- Carter Strickland, Reporter, HornsNation
Each week we take a look at three of the burning questions that face Texas as it prepares for the next opponent. This week the No. 15 Longhorns take on No. 13 Oklahoma in Dallas:
1. Can Texas pressure OU into mistakes?
The Longhorns should be able to do just that. Texas has averaged 3.7 sacks per game in the last three games and the production out of ends Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat has been tremendous. The pair teamed up for a touchdown against WVU and Okafor blocked a field goal. Oklahoma does not have a veteran offensive line and has not faced a pass rush like Texas’ yet.
Jones is also hamstrung in that he no longer has a go-to target to help him out on the hot reads. Plus he is not mobile. Texas has put up those 11 sacks against quarterbacks who are slightly more mobile than Jones. The four sacks they had against Geno Smith proved that not only is Texas getting a rush off the edge but there is consistent pressure up the middle leaving the QB no ally in which to escape.
2. Will David Ash handle the pressure of the setting and the Sooners?
Ash's maturation has been remarkable. And one of the big things in his favor that cannot be underestimated is the quality of weapons he has around him. Last season Texas went into this game with only Jaxon Shipley as a reliable receiver. Mike Davis was shaky at best. Marquise Goodwin was not up to full speed.
3. Does the tackling improve this week?
According to the coaching staff it has improved every week. The staff said Texas only had seven missed tackles against West Virginia. The tackling could get better this week with Mykkele Thompson playing more at safety. He had nine tackles last week and proved he was ready for a starting spot. Jordan Hicks could return at linebacker as well but his impact may not be immediate. Hicks only just this week starting running so it is not likely he will be in shape to go a full four quarters against a fast-paced offense.