SEPTEMBER 19, 2015 - Texas (25) Chris Warren III, looks to cut around California (6) Darius White being blocked by (1) John Burt in the first half of the NCAA game held at Darrell K Royal -Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Tx., on Saturday, September 19, 2015. (RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Football

Texas vs. Oklahoma: Four questions facing the Horns

Posted October 7th, 2016

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Four questions facing Texas in Saturday’s game against No. 20 Oklahoma:

 

Oklahoma wide receiver Dede Westbrook (11) catches a touchdown pass in front of TCU safety Michael Downing (16) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Oklahoma wide receiver Dede Westbrook (11) catches a touchdown pass in front of TCU safety Michael Downing (16) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

1. Does Dede defeat DBU?

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All eyes will be on the Texas defense as head coach Charlie Strong takes over the play-calling, but let’s take a closer look at the Longhorns’ secondary. One of only three schools without an interception this season — North Carolina and UTEP are the other two — Texas has allowed a 100-yard receiver in each of its last two games. Up next for Texas is Oklahoma’ Dede Westbrook, who scored twice last week against TCU and ranks third in the Big 12 with his average of six catches a game.

 

Kyle Porter (21) breaks free against the UTEP Miners during the second half on September 10, 2016 at Royal Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Kyle Porter (21) breaks free against the UTEP Miners during the second half on September 10, 2016 at Royal Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

2. Who replaces Chris Warren III in the backfield?

Warren has rushed for 366 yards and three touchdowns, but a knee injury will sideline Texas’ second-leading rusher on Saturday. Texas still has D’Onta Foreman’s Big 12-best 436 rushing yards in its backfield, and backup quarterback Tyrone Swoopes has rushed for five scores. Warren is averaging 15.5 carries per game, though, so either Kyle Porter (62 yards on 15 carries) or Tristian Houston (3 yards on three carries) will need to step up.

 

Texas kicker Trent Domingue hangs his head after another of his field goal attempts was blocked by OSU in the second quarter at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Ok., on Saturday, October 01, 2016. Texas lost to OSU 49-31. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN STATESMAN
Texas kicker Trent Domingue hangs his head after another of his field goal attempts was blocked by OSU in the second quarter at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Ok., on Saturday, October 01, 2016. Texas lost to OSU 49-31. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN STATESMAN

3. Can Texas avoid another special-team blunder?

The last two Texas-Oklahoma games have been decided by 12 points, so the Longhorns can’t afford to leave points off the scoreboard on Saturday. Texas has already had four extra-point attempts blocked this season — three of which occurred in last week’s 49-31 loss to Oklahoma State — and two of those blocks have been successfully returned by the opposing team for 2-point conversions. Since Trent Domingue has also missed three of his eight field-goal tries, that adds up to 17 points that Texas has missed out on.

 

Texas's quarterback Shane Buechele looks to pass against OSU in the second quarter at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Ok., on Saturday, October 01, 2016. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN STATESMAN
Texas’s quarterback Shane Buechele looks to pass against OSU in the second quarter at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Ok., on Saturday, October 01, 2016. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN STATESMAN

4. Will Texas’ offense keep scoring after halftime?

Texas entered this week scoring 41.3 points per game, which ranks among the top 25 nationally. The Longhorns, however, have recently sputtered after halftime; in the Longhorns’ two losses, they’ve scored only 16 points. Texas is averaging 24.8 points in the first half, but only 13.3 points in the second half this season.

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