QB Case McCoy (Sr.)
If David Ash is too banged up to play this week, it’s up to McCoy to lead the Texas offense against the Rebels. While McCoy has had his bright spots in the past, including an unforgettable comeback in College Station two years ago, overall, he has been average at best. Head coach Mack Brown has said he will not hesitate to put in talented freshman Tyrone Swoopes if McCoy struggles. With a struggling offensive line in front of him, McCoy will need to make good reads and get the ball out of his hands quickly.
OL Dominic Espinosa (Jr.) /OL Mason Walters (Sr.)
Although every lineman is accountable for the offense’s lack of production and inability to run the ball, Espinosa and Walters are the unit’s leaders. There has been little visible evidence of them carrying out that duty. Despite a plethora of talented backs, including two who were the top tailbacks in their classes coming out of high school, the Longhorns have done very little on the ground in their two games this year. The fault for that falls squarely on the offensive line, which was manhandled last Saturday in Provo by BYU. Considering its talent and experience — an FBS-leading 134 combined starts — this unit needs to step up. Espinosa and Walters need to take the reigns and lead the way for this entire offense.
DE Jackson Jeffcoat (Sr.)
Just as Espinosa and Walters above, Jeffcoat is more of a scapegoat for the entire defensive line than for being at fault for poor individual play. However, that’s the nature of the best when it comes to being in a position of leadership. As Texas’ most talented defender and leader of a defensive line that got absolutely destroyed last week, Jeffcoat needs come out on Saturday and make something happen early on to help set the tone for the Longhorns. Whether it’s recording a sack or forcing a turnover, neither of which he has yet to do so far this season, he must step up and give this defense some bite. With things in a state of flux and defensive coordinator Greg Robinson taking over for Manny Diaz, it’s up to Jeffcoat to give this unit