David Ash

1. The game will be decided in the Red Zone.

If there is anything Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz believes, it’s that red zone touchdowns win ball games.  Both Texas and Oklahoma have great offenses but they rarely score on big plays.

Texas has scored 23 of their 29 offensive touchdowns from inside the 20 this year and red zone scoring accounts for 80 percent of their overall points.

Oklahoma has recorded only three touchdowns from outside the 20 this year, due to a run heavy attack, but has scored on 20 of 21 trips to the red zone. 

Having failed every field goal attempt longer than 38 yards, it’s crucial for Texas to get inside the 20 to generate points.  In the end, the red zone numbers will define the game.

2.  David Ash will be an entirely different player compared to last year’s debacle.

Ash ended last year’s game 11 of 20 for 107 yards passing with a touchdown and two interceptions. He might not be in the Heisman race but he’s as solid as any quarterback out there.  With a quarterback rating of 180.1 and only one interception on the season, he’s the primary reason Texas is averaging 46.8 points per game. 

Whether Ash racks up stats or not, you can count on him to convert on 3rd down, not turn the ball over, and keep the Longhorns in the game.

3. The Texas defense will finally show up.

Texas proved last week they can make big plays on defense but they had two weaknesses all game, which resulted in 48 points for West Virginia. One, they didn’t wrap up which led to missed tackles and big plays.  Two, Texas’ soft coverage on 4th down led to 5 conversions.

The Texas defensive line did a great job putting pressure on Geno Smith last week and if they can do the same to Landry Jones it will alleviate some of the work from the secondary.  Manny Diaz made it clear that jobs are on the line every week in the Texas secondary so you can count on an all-out performance.  Look for the Texas defense to come alive this week.