- Sean Adams, Contributor, HornsNation
Each week Sean Adams takes a look at some topics around the Texas Longhorns and college football.
First down: A position of strength
Texas came into the season needing an overhaul on offense and the wide receiver position was part of the issue. In 2011, freshman Jaxon Shipley played well. Mike Davis had what could charitably be described as a sophomore slump. Marquise Goodwin was the only other receiver of note. Those three had a total of six touchdowns.
In 2012, Davis is one of the leaders in the country in yards per reception, Shipley is on pace to have better numbers than last year and Goodwin should match or better his results from 2011. For a group that caught 6 total touchdowns all of last season, it have 13 through 8 games in 2012.
While much of its success can be attributed to the improved play of quarterback David Ash, we would be wrong to not profile the hard work and great attitude that the wide receiver group at Texas has displayed this year.
The receiver group is a strength right now and will be even better in 2013.
Second down: Redemption is a powerful thing
I’m sure Carrington Byndom does not want to read this because he has not had the year that he hoped for but if the Texas Tech game is any indication, redemption might be right around the corner.
Byndom has not played with confidence for most of the year. He has dealt with nagging injuries and inconsistent play. Most Texas fans were looking at his side of the field with fear and trembling.
In the last couple of games, he has played well on special teams, in coverage and shown an ability to make big plays. With what Texas is trying to do, things will be a lot easier on the defense if the two cornerbacks can be trusted in coverage by themselves.
Byndom told me on Monday that he felt like he got back to playing the way he is capable of playing. He did not make excuses with the injuries. He only talked of his need to continue to work hard and get better every practice. He will have the chance to redeem himself more and more over the next few weeks.
Third down: Is 11 am different this time?
Texas takes on Iowa State at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday and the Longhorns have to play differently than they have in their previous early starts. Texas is still trying to heal from the woulds inflicted on them by Oklahoma. It had to score with 10 seconds left to beat Kansas. The Jayhawks have played well at home but they are generally regarded as the worst team in the Big 12.
Now the Cyclones roll in to Austin and the last time they were in the Texas' state capitol, they beat the Longhorns and fostered one of the more uncomfortable post game news conferences that I have ever attended.
Texas needs to have an extra early breakfast. Maybe it can get a walkthrough in the morning. Maybe it can orchestrate a pregame upheaval to get the blood flowing. It better do something to wake up and make sure it starts they way it's going to finish.
The last thing the Longhorns need to do is leave this game in doubt early for Iowa State. Texas needs to come out physical, play hard and target a hole at the linebacker position. If it takes the Cyclones' will early, it can put this game away late and get ready for its off week.
Fourth down: Adams’ Big 12 Power Poll
Kansas State (No. 1 last week): Would you move them?
Oklahoma (2): It is a solid No. 2 and is actually getting better.