Who Needs to Step Up: Iowa State

Jillian Kushner

The defensive backs

Time and time again, the defensive backs show up on this list. This remains to be Texas’ biggest weakness. The defensive backs are not intimidating to most offenses. Quarterbacks aren’t afraid to target a receiver in double coverage. The defensive backs need to instill fear in opposing quarterbacks. Iowa State is not as much of an offensive threat like some other teams may be, but that does not mean it should be handled any differently. With the game in Ames, Iowa, the Cyclones will have the crowd on their side. So far in the season when the opposing team has momentum, the Texas defense takes the biggest hit. The defense cannot let this opposing momentum sway them. 

Special teams

This is not so much that special teams needs to step up, but that special teams needs to continue to step up. Texas’ special teams have finally been able to make plays. Kickers are no longer shanking punts and dropping snaps. If the offense is unable to get into the end zone, senior kicker Nick Rose needs to come in clutch for the Longhorns. He has shown his kicking ability and his ability to be clutch when needed. Freshman punter Michael Dickson is coming off winning Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week. He will now be held to a higher standard — the days of shanking punts are in the past. He has a good leg and can be a dangerous person on special teams when he is able to keep it in bounds. 

The long snapper

This is not meant to be an attack on junior long snapper Kyle Ashby, but something needs to be done about these snaps. Dickson had to save a play against Kansas State following an extremely high snap. This is not the first time there has been a snap issue on a point after, field goal or punt. These errors have not been detrimental yet, but this is not something that should be pushed. Next time there is a high snap, Texas might not be able to recover it. Texas fans have seen too many bad snaps so far this season. Fans should not be scared when they see the ball snapped. It does not matter how good your kickers are if the snaps are too high to even catch.