1. WR Mike Davis (Sr.)
By most standards, Mike Davis didn’t have a bad game against New Mexico State last Saturday, hauling in five passes for 63 yards and a touchdown. However, he did open the game with a costly fumble that brought Texas’ opening drive to an abrupt halt. The issue here isn’t so much Davis’ play last game, as it is the necessity for him to have a big game this week. Although quarterback David Ash didn’t have to rely on him much last week thanks to an abundance of open receivers and explosive plays by an array of players, he will need Davis to pull through and have a big game against a BYU defense that will challenge this offense. If the Longhorns are going to have another monster offensive output, they will need the senior wide out to take charge in Utah.
2. DT Malcom Brown (So.)
Don’t confuse this Malcom Brown with the other one — he’s got four inches and almost 100 pounds on the junior running back. After playing in all 13 games last year as a freshman and a solid start to the season last week, Brown appears poised for a breakout sophomore season. The Longhorns will need him to continue this type of play this week against BYU, who have a talented running back in sophomore Jamaal Williams. Considering Texas had some trouble stopping the run last week against an underwhelming Aggies backfield and Williams ran for 144 yards against Virginia, Brown needs to be the anchor up front for the Longhorns defensive line. If he struggles to hold his own against the Cougars’ interior linemen, this defense will have some trouble getting off the field.
3. WR John Harris (Jr.)
Although Harris only had two catches in the season opener he made them worthwhile, taking one to the house for a 54-yard touchdown that ignited a slumping Texas offense and completely turned the game around. With Ash looking to spread the ball around, the Longhorns don’t need Harris to provide a consistent threat against the Cougars. What they do need from him, though, is a big play or two to help take the pressure off of fellow receivers Davis and Jaxon Shipley.
4. S Mykkele Thompson (Jr.)
Based on the box score, Texas’ defense performed pretty well against New Mexico State’s passing attack, allowing 242 yards and one touchdown through the air while intercepting a pass. However considering neither of the Aggies’ quarterbacks had much of any experience, that’s not much of an accomplishment. Yes, BYU quarterback Taysom Hill was only 13-for-40 for 175 yards last week, but numbers from that game don’t mean much since it was played in monsoon-like conditions. Expect the inexperienced Thompson, who was in coverage on the Aggies’ lone touchdown last week, to be tested early and often.