Living in Austin, this week has been a nightmare. I can't get away from the game. Everywhere I turn is a celebration of the Horns' rightful #1 ranking and their impressive win over OU. Everywhere else I turn is a discussion of "If OSU beat Mizzou, what's TEXAS going to do to them?" It's been horrible being unable to sling any swagger, to have to just say "Yeah, I don't know." I'm angry at that.
I started off fearing we'd get killed. Then I felt a little better. Then I thought about Shipley and Cosby. And I felt a little worse. Then I felt a little better. Then I thought about the 4 wide set. Then I felt a little worse. Then I felt a little better. Then I thought about Texas' front four and the possibility of our line playing the asshat game again and I felt a little worse. Today I'm feeling a little better. I'm not confident of a victory, but I cannot, I will not believe that this quarterback, this unit, this team will have back to back performances of that depressing magnitude of failure. And if we play to our ability, we can hang with anyone. ANYONE.
And with that, here is the email I sent to the local radio station regarding this weekend's game.
Okay. I had planned on laying out a complicated and in depth description of why Missouri was going to devastate DKR this weekend. Then the Mike Gundy Signature Win (vomit) happened, and my faith has been shaken. However, after going back and forth, back and forth, I'm back to feeling better about this weekend. Here are 10 reasons why Missouri could beat Texas.
1. There is no possible way that an offensive line that was flawless for the first five games plays as badly as it did last week. The stunts and twists that OSU employed are unlikely to be used by Texas' scheme, and the technique issues will have been worked on by the Missouri staff.
2. Missouri's run defense has been spectacular. Take away the one huge run last week in the second half (part of our comedy of errors), and the run defense has been superb. Shutting down the running game makes it harder for Texas to control the clock, which is important.
3. Our middle linebacker likely (hopefully, knock on wood) will not go down, allowing Texas to sling it over the middle. Our linebackers are the strongest part of our defense, they are the playmakers, and they could be difference makers.
4. That young Texas secondary is going to get tested. Missouri hasn't broken out the long ball this weekend. I think this is the weekend they do. Those young safeties are going to be in a foot race with Denario Alexander and Jeremy Maclin. I like our odds.
5. Derrick Washington will be involved. Even if Texas focuses on shutting him down, that likely means that Chase Coffman is open. If Texas tries to hard to jumpe the end to get to Daniel, Washington's going to gouge them for 5 yards at a time.
6. Special teams. You want Shipley? That's cool. I'll take Maclin. Maclin hasn't had a real "Oh My God, Jeremy Maclin" game yet. I can see Saturday night being his reminder of why he was considered a Heisman candidate coming in.
7. What about our front line? Stryker Sulak, Baston, and Chavis are not exactly pushovers. If Texas comes in thinking our D-line won't be a problem, they've got another thing coming. And we know what happens when Colt gets seriously hit (like Oklahoma was unable to do).
8. It is against the laws of nature for the Texas coaching staff to cohesively coach that well in back to back weeks.
9. Chase Coffman can match up with anyone in the country. He's got great hands and he pushes for extra yardage. That man-cover 4 has holes, and one of them is right where a tight end's routes go.
10. Chase Daniel has everyone in the country doubting him again. When people do that, in Texas, with his back against the wall? That's what makes scoreboards go BOOM.
Hope it's a good clean game tomorrow with no injuries and it lives up to it's hype. (Okay, that's a lie, I hope it's a Missouri blowout.)
The guantlet's down, fellas. This is huge. A loss here puts us permanently out of the National Championship race, and puts into question the Big 12 North title and makes a BCS spot a dicey proposition. It cements Daniel as a failure, and us as a one-hit wonder. We need this game. We NEED this game. This team has walked into tons of situations where they've been doubted and responded with brutal and lethal efficiency. That's the Mizzou we need tomorrow night.
Let's do this.