Things to watch for in the Texas Longhorns / New Mexico Lobos game
Steve Edmond coming out party:
The New Mexico Lobos passed 10 times the entire game in their last contest vs Southern. Texas will have to be sound in assignment football and this is the kind of game Edmond was built for. The sophomore from Daingerfield has a chance to shine and I expect him to post 10+ tackles this week.
Daje Johnson and Johnathan Gray:
Johnson returns from his suspension and I am anxious to see if the hype is warranted. Daje was the surprise of fall camp, and his speed could add a much needed dimension to the Texas Longhorns offense. Mack Brown stated after game 1 that he needs to get Gray more carries, and this looks to be a game where that will happen. Gray and Johnson both give Harsin and the Texas offense big play ability that compliment the bruising efforts of co-starters Brown and Bergeron.
Can David Ash build on his solid game 1 performance and correct his mistakes on the deep ball:
New Mexico finished nearly dead last against the pass last year, so there should be plenty of opportunities to strike deep. If not this week, then when? Ash completed 20 of his 27 passes in week 1, and I look for something on the order of 24 of 31 with 220+ yards vs the Lobos.
Kick coverage and field goal kicking:
The coverage was the best it has ever been in week 1 under Mack due to walk-on Nick Rose and the exploits of the coverage team led by Dalton Santos, and Josh Turner. The two underclassmen really stood out in week 1, and are vying for more snaps in week 2.
Nick Jordan looks to improve on his 1 of 3 field goal kicking especially since Penn State transfer Anthony Fera is close to returning to full strength. If Jordan doesnt capitalize on his chances, Fera could be the new kicker the following week as the Horns travel to Ole Miss.
Finally, does the the secondary clean up some of the missed tackles that plagued them in week 1. This will be a game that the defensive backs will have to show patience as New Mexico will try to lull them to sleep with run after run only to test them deep when they move closer to the LOS.
Texas should be able to win by naming the score, but these are the facets of the game that the Longhorns need to closely monitor to have success when the competition heats up in a couple of weeks.