Let's Get Started:
So, I'm new to FanPosting on BC and, until now, just liked to post my game predictions on Facebook. Last year my prediction record was more generous for the Horns than should have been. This year however, I'm excited to say I'm 2-0. I had UT over ND by 7 which was pretty close. Sadly, I was concerned about Texas leaving it all on the field the week before and missed the UTEP spread pretty badly. I had Texas over UTEP 31-20.
Never the less, 2-0! It's been a long time since UT fans could say that and, unlike many recent years, there's some hope and optimism back in Austin. But let's not get carried away either. There's a lot of football left to be played. The Big 12 has some high scoring teams that always seem to play us tough simply because we wouldn't recruit them. And Texas is still young. The same team that flat out beat a CFP OU team last year also got skunked by ISU in more than anti dramatic fashion. The win over Notre Dame may just be an early OU game from a season ago. I'm not convinced we will really know if Texas is "back" until this weekend or even up and until we begin Big 12 play.
At the beginning of the 2016 season, I predicted an 8-4 record for the Horns and continue to believe that's plenty to save Charlie Strong's job. (Despite what the rest of the media may have said over the summer, I still contend that any improvement over last year -- no more blowouts, fewer mistake-causing losses -- keeps Strong at Texas simply because the recruiting has been so good. I believe the majority of donors will want to give him the chance to see how that talent can be developed.)
Are things better? No question! Texas made plays vs ND that we wouldn't have seen last year - even in the OU game - and finally played a non conference gimme game like a Texas team should. Sure, they started slowly against UTEP, but with all of the backups playing, especially on the O Line, the slower start wasn't as much of a concern as I had originally posted on Facebook it might have been. Once the new guys found their rhythm, it was mostly lights out and that's what we've needed to see from Texas -- a clean performance against an inconsequential team.
So, yes, there's plenty of hope in Austin, TX this year!
I continue to think there is just too much talent in the Big 12 and Texas is young. I had UT at 8-4 coming into the season and, while I predicted the win over the Irish after all of the "spring" and "summer of Shane" hype, I still wouldn't have let the ND win forces me to shift my prediction over all. After all of the week 1 and 2 surprises in the Big 12 however, I think I'm now a 9-3 guy. There are only 3 undefeated teams left in the Big 12 after 2 weeks of play and Texas is one of them. The record's just got to get better!
Initially, I had a UT loss this coming Saturday keeping it a close game with home field advantage being the deciding factor. After the CAL loss to SDSU however, I had to see the tape, and I like our chances - even on the road. SDSU is a good team, don't get me wrong. They've won their last 12 or so games. But come on! It's the Aztecs! And Cal got gashed. Given UT's new-found success passing the ball, I see this going much better than last year. Goff is in the NFL and the Texas D should have no trouble pressuring Davis Webb just enough so that he struggles. He'll get some shots, but it won't look like last week's loss to SDSU. He threw 3 picks against the Aztecs and should get even more pressure from our defensive front.
Texas will struggle if we don't fix the penalties -- especially on the defensive side of the ball. Davis Webb will have no problem scoring if the Horns give him free plays and additional opportunities. Cal will struggle if our punter, Michael Dickson, continues to flip the field and pin the Bears when Texas doesn't score. I really like how Dickson punts and believe he will be a factor in this game.
By game's end, I believe that the Texas D will stop both the run and the pass just enough that a Texas offense, much stronger than SDSU, will have no problem outscoring the Golden Bears and their poorly ranked D. It might feel like a shootout at first, but I like Texas to start pulling away by the end of the 3rd quarter in this game.
Well, there it is. My first sports blog. Hope you liked it! Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.