Who needs to step up vs. OU

Jillian Kushner

Special Teams

Texas’ special teams have been abysmal week in and week out. Special teams lost both the California and Oklahoma State games for Texas. Against TCU, senior kicker Nick Rose missed two manageable field goals – one from 39 yards and the other from 40 yards. Australian freshman punter Michael Dickson shanked some more punts Saturday against TCU, which is not a first for him. This type of play from special teams destroys Texas each game. These basic field goals should be putting Texas on the board even when the offense cannot convert, but that has not been the case. Special teams are ripping Texas apart and giving the opposing team the leg up each week.
Defensive backs

The deep ball has destroyed the Texas defense in every single game. The corners and safeties appear unable to cover opposing receivers. TCU freshman receiver KaVontae Turpin had 138 yards on six receptions against Texas. Stud senior receiver Josh Docston had 129 yards in seven receptions. These two receivers alone exposed the Texas secondary — the defensive backs had absolutely no answer for them. Oklahoma star senior receiver Sterling Shepard has 321 yards on the season in 20 receptions. Stopping Shepard should be a top priority for the Texas defense. If the defense can contain Shepard, the Sooner offense will lose a huge part of their game.
Wide receivers

Against TCU, senior receiver Daje Johnson got hurt, which destroyed the passing game. Johnson has been the go-to receiver so far this season. Freshman receiver John Burt has had success so far on the deep ball. If Texas redshirt freshman quarterback Jerrod Heard can establish that connection against Oklahoma, Texas’ offense will be able to get on the board. Texas needs to find a place for senior receiver Marcus Johnson, who has been relatively unused in every game this season. He could be a huge asset to the offense, especially against top-ranked defenses.
The players on the sidelines

As strange as this sounds, the players on the sidelines hold a lot more weight than they realize. When fans look over and see the players down in the dumps and miserable on the sidelines, it becomes contagious. The crowd thrives off the players’ energy and vice versa. At a game where the crowd is mixed half-and-half like the Oklahoma game, energy and momentum is everything. When the energy is drained from the sidelines, it’s drained from the crowd and therefore drained from the game.