So West Virginia's offense is pretty good, no? Texas' defense, meanwhile, has yet to live up to the lofty expectations placed on it during the offseason. In their toughest test to date, the Longhorns gave up 576 yards and 36 points to Oklahoma State Saturday night, albeit in a five point win.
When West Virginia visits Austin on Saturday night, Texas may have a bit of an advantage on their side considering Oklahoma State kept the basics to the offense Holgoren installed during his one year in Stillwater. The Longhorns will be seeing that offense for the second straight weekend.
Holgorsen was asked about it on Tuesday during his weekly meeting with the media.
"Depends on how look at it. We have a whole game watching how they defend it."
I'll add to that by saying maybe that actually works in West Virginia's favor seeing how Texas didn't exactly have much success in stopping it.
But in theory at least, there may be truth to the notion that Texas will benefit from seeing the same offense (or at least, very similiar) two weeks in a row. Here's why that thought will be quickly put to rest on Saturday night.
1. West Virginia doesn't have Joseph Randle in their backfield. The Mountaineers will surely try and run the ball against Texas, but they'll do it more to keep keep the Longhorns honest on defense rather than putting an emphasis on it as Oklahoma State did last week. And even if Shawne Alston returns from his thight bruise, they simply don't have someone that matches Randle's explosiveness running the ball.
2. Texas prepared all week as if J.W. Walsh would indeed be the starting quarterback. That in itself required Texas to defend OSU differently given Walsh's running ability. Geno Smith can run it, but he'll do it out of necessity rather than by design.
3. It goes without saying, but Smith is far more of an accomplished passer than Walsh.
4. Nothing against the Cowboys' wideouts, by they aren't named Tavon Austin or Stedman Bailey.
5. Knowing what's coming and defending it are two entirely different things.
So maybe Texas takes away West Virginia's first two options. Well, Smith is experience enough that he's going to find option number three meaning..
The key for Texas slowing down the Mountaineers offense is going to come down to two things: how much pressure can Texas generate from their front four, and can the Longhorns D-backs be physical enough with West Virginia's receivers at the line of scrimmage to help disrupt their timing. If they can be successful in those two areas, Texas stands a great chance of handing West Virginia their first Big 12 loss.
Holgorsen's entire press conference is linked down below which are always worth a watch. We'll have more on the Mountainers trip to Texas throughout the week.