Injuries could hurt Horns this weekend

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Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

Although the by week came at a good time for some of the injured Longhorns, it may not have been enough time for them to be ready for the team’s first conference matchup Saturday.

Junior linebacker Jordan Hicks’ hip injury is potentially the biggest injury problem the team faces. The team’s leading tackler, Hicks is crucial to the young linebacker corps.

His replacement will have far less experience than him. It will likely be Kendall Thompson, Dalton Santos or Tevin Jackson.

“There will be competition again this week if Jordan is not in there,” head coach Mack Brown said. “They’re young, so making good plays, but they’re not playing consistently well. So we have to get better across the board at linebacker.”

Kicker Anthony Fera has yet to see action in orange, and it doesn’t look like he will be playing in Stillwater, Okla. Nick Jordan will continue kicking but has had limited success so far this season.  Brown was told that it would take Fera four to six weeks to recover from his injuries.

“I think we’re at six weeks,” Brown said.

Joe Bergeron injured his shoulder during the game against Ole Miss. But after practicing Tuesday, he confirmed that he will play Saturday.

Defense preparing for two quarterbacks

Even though the Longhorns will be studying film of the Oklahoma State offense, there isn’t much for them to go off of. They don’t even know who the Oklahoma starter will be.

With freshman Wes Lunt’s status unclear after an injury during the Cowboys’ game against Louisiana-Lafayette, fellow freshman J.W. Walsh may take the reigns of the offense again.

“It’s going to be tough. Both of those guys are great players,” cornerback Quandre Diggs said. “I think one is more of a dual threat, one is more of a pocket quarterback. At the same time, you have to focus on both of those things because you have different keys.”

Although Lunt just got his cast off this week, the Longhorns will prepare for both quarterbacks. Brown said this is a difficult task, but the defense is up to the challenge.

Don’t let the Cowboys having two leading freshmen mislead you. They are ranked No. 1 in total offense in the country, averaging 686.67 yards per game.

Texas hopes to handle success well
Last year when the Longhorns defeated Texas A&M for the last time, they came back to Austin and were pounded by Baylor. A similar situation happened when the team defeated Texas Tech 52-20 and then went to Missouri and lost while failing to score a touchdown.

Granted, injuries were an attributing factor in the loss to Mizzou, but Brown hopes the team will remain grounded and continue to build upon its success. For an offense that hasn’t gotten much praise the past two years, it will be vital that it continues its success.

“One of the question marks with this year’s team: They’ve made progress each week. Can they continue to build on that progress and get better even with people ragging on them? Around here it’s usually really high or really low; you don’t get anything in the middle,” Brown said.

The Cowboys lead the nation with an average of 62.33 points per game. Although the Longhorns’ win over Ole Miss showed signs of progress, they will need to continue that to defeat the Cowboys, a team they have lost to the last two times they have met.

Printed on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 as: Key players dealing with injuries