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OU Tidbits: Taylor Doyle at Center, No Daje Johnson

Some interesting developments heading into Dallas.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

I'll make it quick:

Daje Johnson won't play against OU.  Hamstring.  He was going to be a big part of the game plan.  Doubtful he'll even travel to Dallas.

There are several credible reports that Taylor Doyle has been logging the majority of time at center this week instead of Jake Raulerson. Doyle is an older, stronger player and the hope is that he'll be able to better anchor against OU DT Jordan Phillips.

Phillips goes 6-6, 340 and is adept at getting a bull's push inside and disrupting - when rested.  His efficacy tends to lag over time if the offense can put together some drives.  Odd front defenses with smallish linebackers live and die in run defense with the ability of their nose tackle to demand a double team and for the DEs (who are DT sized, unlike 4-3 DEs) to hold up on the play side of the run.

This decisional calculus is pretty straightforward.  Wickline believes that Doyle has a better chance of holding up thus allowing the run-blocking strength of the Longhorn OL -  Perkins/James - to win in the running game against honest fronts.

Those honest fronts depend heavily on the early play of Tyrone Swoopes and his ability to exploit a vulnerable OU secondary deep. So far, Swoopes has (understandably) shown himself to have more physical tools than quarterbacking skills.

Texas-OU is an incredibly difficult game to get a first start at center - accurate shotgun snaps while hyped on adrenaline, dealing with nerves and line calls against a multiple Sooner front and more potential issues with Swoopes under center could all create problems for a Texas offense that needs all the executional competency it can get.

Wickline the OL mad scientist is hard at work and he's looking for a Red River hero.