Who Needs to Step Up in Week 2 vs. Rice

Jillian Kushner

The Quarterback

Junior Tyrone Swoopes will once again be the starting quarterback. Against Notre Dame, he was unable to convert first downs, find open receivers and make any plays. Swoopes only had 93 pashing yards, and second-string quarterback, Jerrod Heard, had 10 passing yards. Swoopes was only 7 for 22 on the night. Whoever is under center must be able to convert first downs. Rice was able to score 56 points against Wagner, and Texas only came away with 3 against Notre Dame. The defense was on the field for 39 minutes against the Fighting Irish and their exhaustion showed. The offense can make this easier on the defense by making plays.

The Defense

Against the Fighting Irish, Texas’ defense allowed 38 points,  and Rice is coming off a 56-point win against Wagner.  Rice had 401 rushing yards Saturday, so the Texas defense will have to stop Rice’s run game.  Texas allowed 527 total yards against Notre Dame. The defensive line needs to step up as well as the secondary. Of the Fighting Irish’s offensive yards, 313 were through the air. Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire only had three incomplete passes. The secondary did not pressure or cover the receivers well enough. If the defense is going to be on the field for most of the game, they need to make stops and bring their A-game.

The Coaches

Only so much of the 38-3 loss to ND can be blamed on the players. Many felt that the play calling on Saturday was much of the problem, therefore putting offensive coordinator Shawn Watson on the hot seat. The offensive line needs to step up along with the rest of the offense. Head coach Charlie Strong named wide receiver coach Jay Norvell the new play-caller. Norvell needs to give the offense the plays to get them going. Maybe the hurry-up offense is not the way to go for Texas. If that is the case, Texas needs to make the necessary adjustments to help the offense succeed. The running game was nonexistent against ND and that must change.