Horns need much better defensive effort against Ole Miss

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Texas wins if...

They have a dramatic turnaround in every facet of the game they took to Utah last week. In the 2012 matchup with the Rebels, the Texas offensive line was able to impose its will on an undersized Ole Miss defensive line, leading to 350 rushing yards on 54 attempts. A highly touted recruiting class, headlined by the No. 1 recruit in the country, defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, will pose a far more formidable challenge in 2013. Texas will have to block better on the edge this week to give its quarterback a chance to get the ball to his playmakers. On defense, it’s simple: tackle. The Longhorns had nearly 30 missed tackles against BYU last week, and doing that against a ranked Ole Miss team on Saturday will lead to similar results.

 

Texas loses if...

Greg Robinson can’t perform some kind of magic on the defensive side of the ball. Quarterback Bo Wallace and wide receiver Donte Moncrief will be a load for the defense to try to contain and if the tackling doesn’t dramatically improve this week, an improved Rebels offense could have their way with a defense that just had a shockingly bad, record breaking performance. Stacy Searels needs to be trying to learn the same magical spell for his offensive line that Greg Robinson is trying to cast on the defense this week. Texas won’t stand a chance if they play as poorly as they did a week ago when they produced about as much push against the Cougars defensive line as a high school team would have. If Texas can’t establish some semblance of a ground game and give its quarterback enough time to get the ball out, Texas could be in for its second long night in a row.