Texan Tuesday Football Talk: Bo Davis, wide receivers, Kansas talk, and more

Nathan Han, Matthew Boncosky, Sports Reporter

Welcome to the twelfth edition of the Texan Tuesday Football Talk, where Daily Texan football beat reporters Matthew Boncosky and Nathan Han discuss, of course, Texas football.

Nathan Han: Junior wide receiver Joshua Moore is no longer a part of Texas football as the team is in the midst of a four-game losing streak, its first since 2010. But, to me at least, the important question surrounding Texas is at the quarterback position, where on the depth chart released Tuesday, redshirt junior Casey Thompson and redshirt freshman Hudson Card are listed on the same level with the “-or-” designation for the first time this entire season. Who do you think will start this week against Kansas, and who do you think should start?

Matthew Boncosky: I don’t mean to give you a non-answer, but I don’t think it matters who takes the snaps at quarterback. Texas’ woes go far beyond the quarterback position given that the offense has struggled mightily at times under both Thompson and Card. Head coach Steve Sarkisian said on Monday that he thought Thompson’s thumb was still an issue against Iowa State, so because of that I think Card will start against Kansas on Saturday, but we should get a definitive answer from Sarkisian on Thursday.

In my opinion, there’s far more important issues to deal with first in the wide receiver room, especially now with Moore’s transfer, and other position groups, most of which can’t be fixed until Sarkisian has had a couple of years to recruit.

Regardless, there was a video that made the rounds on social media Tuesday of defensive line coach Bo Davis lighting into the Longhorns on the team bus after their blowout defeat at Iowa State. Personally, I love a coach with some fire, and I think this current Texas team needed to hear his message, but I’m curious where you stand on the coach’s impassioned speech.

NH: I’m surprised this is the first time we’ve had news happen during our discussion, considering Texas football. But when it comes to the video, I think it’s more telling that the video leaked than anything that happened in the actual video.

Trying to figure out locker room dynamics from the outside looking-in seems like a futile task because we’ll never truly know unless we’re there. Sarkisian and players at Monday’s media availability were asked extensively about how players respond to their coaches. But despite how long a Sark answer can get, the team gave no-answers because that’s what players and coaches do.

I don’t think Bo Davis crossed any lines when it comes to tough coaching in that video. One of the other rare glimpses we’ve gotten into the inside dynamics of the locker room is with the Moore situation. You mentioned the wide receiver room before, but out of the players that are left, who do you think can step up and replace some of the production that’s gone with the departure of the junior wideout?

MB: The obvious answers are junior Marcus Washington and freshman Kelvontay Dixon, but I’m curious to see if we get a return from junior Kai Money into the mix. The former walk-on became a fan favorite last year, catching 10 balls with one touchdown. Obviously, he’s not a long term answer, but he could provide a little bit of fun as the Longhorns muddle their way through the final three games of the season.

Realistically though, I think Washington is the guy that whoever the quarterback is going forward will need to rely on outside of standout true freshman Xavier Worthy. Being an upperclassman, Washington knows what is expected at this point, and he sports a 13.9 yards per reception number on his 11 catches so far this season.

Going back to the preseason, defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski set a lofty goal of holding teams to under 20 points a game on average this season. That hasn’t exactly panned out — as we know — but with Kansas coming to town, do you think Pete K’s unit will hold the Jayhawks under 20?

NH: The defense had one of its best halves of the season, holding Iowa State to three points in the first half, before playing one of its worst halves in the second half.

With injuries at key skill player positions, Kansas is a good team for the defense to bounce back against. The Jayhawks are averaging just 14 points per game, and Big 12 opponents are holding Kansas to just 7.3 points per game. If the Longhorns can get under those numbers, Saturday will be a win for the defense against a depleted team.

I think the re-emergence of the run game and a prime opportunity for the defense to shine will give Texas a blow-out win: 47-7.

MB: Given the past month, I was surprised to see Texas open around a 30-point favorite against the Jayhawks, but then again, this is still Kansas. If Texas can blow out Texas Tech, it can blow out Kansas too. I like the Longhorns, 45-10.