College Football Pick
Charlie Strong got another big win. Last year, despite finishing 5-7, the Longhorns defeated Big XII champion Oklahoma 24-17. Last week, Strong led Texas to a thrilling 50-47 2OT win over No. 10 Notre Dame. Strong was just 11-14 in his first two seasons in Austin. Needless to say, many Longhorn fans had had their confidence shaken in him. Now Strong has some momentum and a new starting quarterback that could lead to a strong season in 2016.
Shane Buechele, a true freshman, took the starting job but not all of the playing time from senior Tyrone Swoopes. Buechele performed admirably, completing 16-of-26 passing attempts for 280 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Strong decided not to completely abandon Swoopes, either. The senior quarterback ran the ball 13 times for 53 yards and three touchdowns, including the Game winner in double overtime. The two-quarterback play created quite a diverse offensive attack as Swoopes and Buechele combined for 18 carries for 86 yards and Four touchdowns. Opponents are going to have their work cut out for them as they prepare for the Longhorn attack as both quarterbacks get fully comfortable in their respective roles.
Texas also got notable performances from D’Onta Foreman (24 carries, 131 yards and a touchdown) and John Burt (6 receptions, 111 yards and a score). With time this offense will grow more comfortable in what it is able to do and should stress a lot of defenses with the versatility it has displayed already.
UTEP is coming off a 38-22 victory over New Mexico State this past weekend. The Miners were in control of this Game from the beginning. UTEP led 24-3 at the half, and their lead never got trimmed to less than two scores for the remainder of the Game. UTEP out-gained NMSU 518-345 and possessed the ball for over 37 minutes.
The Miners were extremely efficient offensively. Aaron Jones paced the attack, rushing the ball 31 times for 249 yards, including touchdowns from 37 and 75 yards. Zack Greenlee completed 15-of-27 passing attempts for 229 yards and three touchdowns. His favorite target was Cole Freytag, who caught 4 passes for 95 yards, including one of Greenlee’s touchdowns.
Prediction: Texas was involved in a wild, back-and-forth Game against a top 10 opponent. Emotions ran high. The Game was played on a Sunday, resulting in a short turnaround for this week’s Game against UTEP. The Longhorns have a freshman starting quarterback. The 28-point spread is a big number to cover. The Miners were good offensively. Texas gave up a lot of points and yards to Notre Dame. UTEP controlled the ball and time of possession versus New Mexico State. Don’t expect that this week. We like Texas in blow out fashion. Texas -28