Who needs to step up vs. Baylor

Jillian Kushner

The defense 

The Texas defense will have to bring its A-game to beat Baylor’s insane offense. Against Texas Tech, the Longhorn defense allowed 665 yards and 48 points. This type of play cannot happen against Baylor. If Baylor gets 600 yards, the score will be unimaginable. The defense needs to show up like it did against Oklahoma. Baylor’s Heisman-candidate receiver Corey Coleman is a force on the offense. Coleman has over 1,300 yards on the season and 20 touchdowns. He knows how to get down the field fast and efficiently. If the Longhorns want to stay in this game, they will have to stop Coleman and Baylor’s offense. Once the Bears get a lead, there is no stopping them. 

Texas coaches

This game will be a huge test for the Longhorns as a whole, but especially the coaching staff. Against Oklahoma, everyone stepped up to the plate, coaches included. Against TCU, no one stepped up. This game against Baylor can either be an Oklahoma effort or a TCU effort ­­­— ­­it’s heavily depedent on the coaches. The play-calling for this game will be crucial. If something is not working early on, it needs to go. Repeating the same plays over and over with hope that it may eventually work is not going to fly against Baylor. The Bears’ defense is not on par with the offense, but it can still make stops. If Texas’ play is too predictable ­­­— as it has been the entire second half of the season — Baylor will catch on and dominate. The coaches need to show what they can do under pressure. 

All the players

The team took a handful of hits with injuries last week against Texas Tech. Texas is at even more of a disadvantage without sophomore running back D’Onta Foreman, senior linebacker Peter Jinkens, senior running back Johnathan Gray and possibly freshman linebacker Malik Jefferson. Other players need to fill these roles. Against Texas Tech, freshman running back Chris Warren filled Gray and Foreman’s place by putting up 276 yards and 4 touchdowns. Warren went off against the Red Raiders, but Texas Tech is not Baylor. Warren needs another game like that for Texas to compete against the Bears. The other players at injury-depleted positions need to take notes from Warren. Redshirt freshman starting quarterback Jerrod Heard went down with a head injury against Texas Tech, so junior backup quarterback Tyrone Swoopes will start against Baylor. Swoopes needs to perform like he never has before. Most importantly, Swoopes needs to establish a passing game. Baylor’s biggest strength is the passing game. The Longhorns need to keep up and score whenever the Bears do. Texas’ running game alone cannot do this.