Damien Williams

Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin and the rest of the offense are hoping to bounce back after struggling against Oklahoma.

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

The offense will look to bounce back Saturday against Baylor after its dismal play against Oklahomalast weekend. The Bears sit at the bottom of the Big 12 in both scoring defense and total defense. Longhorn wide receiver Marquise Goodwin is motivated by the fact that other teams have been able to score on them. But he knows that things can easily change from week to week.

“You really can’t look at how other teams played a certain defense, because they’re definitely going to play you a different way,” Goodwin said. “In the past I can say that we looked at them and were like, ‘Maybe we can score a few points and get a few yards.’ But at the end of the day, they come and play Texas even harder than they play anybody else.”

The Bears are coming off of a 49-21 loss to TCU. During the game, redshirt freshman quarterback Trevone Boykin completed 22 of 30 passes for 261 yards and four touchdowns. This season the Bears have given up an average of 41.6 points per game. Both the Longhorns and Bears are coming off of crushing losses.

Tackling remains a problem 
Each week the coaches and players emphasize that the tackling issues that have been plaguing the Longhorns can be fixed. But Texas has now hit the halfway point of the season, and missed tackles are allowing opponents to gain huge yardage. 
The most telling image of the issue was Sooner Damien Williams’ 95-yard touchdown run. Three players surrounded him at the Texas 25-yard line. Due to sloppy tackling, he broke through and made the score, 13-2. 
“We’re still giving up way too much space and room, and linebackers and the deep safeties are not tackling like they need to when we get the ball out in the field,” head coach Mack Brown said.

Ash will play Saturday 
When quarterback David Ash went down in the fourth quarter against Oklahoma Saturday, it seemed as though everything was going wrong. Luckily for the Longhorns, he said he will be ready to play Saturday against Baylor.  
He spoke to reporters Monday with his left wrist wrapped. He practiced Sunday and said he is completely prepared. 
“It’s really not any big deal,” Ash said. “I can handle the ball fine. I’ve regained almost full flexibility. I have all the range of motion I need as far as handling the football.”

Rush offense struggles
The Sooners had more than four times the number of rushing yards than the Longhorns accumulated. While the running back corps has been what the offense heavily relied on, the team struggled to generate yards on the ground.
“We have to average four yards per carry, and we averaged 3.2,” Brown said. “One of the reasons we changed to that type of offense was this game, and it sure didn’t work. We didn’t run it very much, and when we did we ran it poorly.”

Printed on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 as: Offense looking ahead to Baylor after OU blowout 

Landry Jones

His numbers may not be as solid as fans are used to seeing from Jones at this point in the season, but his talent makes him a player to watch every week. Jones entered this season as a Heisman favorite, after his season ended early due to an injury last year. Through five games this season Jones has passed for 1032 yards and seven touchdowns. These numbers aren’t awful, but from a player whose name has been synonymous with Heisman talk the last few seasons these aren’t the statistics one expects. His hard time was evidenced by his two interceptions against Kansas State in the Sooners lone loss on the season, and his six sacks. Oklahoma was reeling after the close loss to the Wildcats in week four but may have put themselves back in business after their week five handling of Texas Tech. Jones led the way in the game against the Red Raiders with 259 yards and two touchdowns. If Jones can get time in the pocket to make the throws he needs to make, he can light you up on every play. Everybody knows that Jones has a strong and accurate arm and the poise to make the big throws when needed. If he can find the focus and protection against the Longhorns, watch out for his passing attack.

Damien Williams

Since the departure of Adrian Peterson, the Sooners have been a team heralded for their passing, not their rushing. Damien Williams looks like a guy who could change that kind of thinking if he can put everything together. The junior running back has rushed for 341 yards and five touchdowns through four games this season. Although he had a lackluster performance in the loss to Kansas State, as did every other Sooner, he showed some new facets of his game against Texas Tech that make him even more dangerous in the minds of opposing defenses. In the win versus the Red Raiders, Williams carried the ball 14 times for 48 yards while also catching the ball six times for 82 yards. A guy with only two catches on the season entering that game, Williams showed that he has the skills to make plays beyond the backfield. Against a Texas Tech defense that entered the Oklahoma matchup with one of the best passing defenses in the country, Williams’s all-around performance becomes even more noteworthy. He’s not a name many fans are used to hearing, but expect to see Williams make some plays in many different areas when the Sooners play the Longhorns.

Sterling Shepard

After watching Andrew Buie play the most impressive game of his career for West Virginia in its win over the Longhorns, it’s clear that there should be a sleeper pick for players to watch this week. Freshman receiver Sterling Shepard seems to fit that bill perfectly for the Sooners. In his first season Shepard’s numbers are what you would expect: 14 receptions, 197 yards and one touchdown. When playing next to an established and proven receiver like Kenny Stills in a pass happy offense, receiving targets early on for a freshman isn’t usually the norm. The stat that jumps out about Shepard is his performance against Kansas State. In a game where seemingly no Sooner played their best game, Shepard indeed played his, catching seven passes for 107 yards and a touchdown. When everyone was in a slump against a top conference opponent, Shepard showed poise and a bit of the clutch gene. At 5-foot-10 and 188 pounds, confidence is Shepard’s best weapon. It’s this confidence and poise shown in his biggest matchup so far that makes Shepard a sleeper pick for a breakout performance.