September 1, 2012

Wyoming at Texas Game Preview

WYOMING (0-0) at #15 TEXAS 0-0)
Darrell K. Royal Stadium - Austin, Texas
Saturday, September 1st. 6:00 PM MST
Television: LHN (Neely, Bentley)
Radio: Cowboy Sports NW (Walsh, McKinney)

The Cowboys will open a season with growing optimism when they visit nationally ranked Texas on Saturday. This is the third game of a series where the Longhorns won the first two games: the first in Laramie 41-7 (2009) and the last in Austin 34-7 (2010).

UW coach Dave Christensen sees this as opportunity for the Pokes, though just one game on the schedule in a marathon season toward the march into Mountain West play.

They will look to overcome an access of a 100,000 fans and the heat, humidity of Austin to pull a big upset or stay competitive.

COWBOY KEYS: Wyoming must contain the Longhorn run game since Texas coach Mack Brown will look to out physical the Cowboys with a rotation of three running backs and an experienced offensive line.

Christensen will like to see his offense rush effectively taking some pressure off QB Brett Smith and find some big plays in the passing game.

LONGHORN KEYS: Texas will hope to match their Mountain West opponents intensity since the Cowboys will likely come motivated to set the tone early. Running the ball and pressuring Smith from big plays has been a focus in UT's preparation.

WYOMING NOTES: Junior Brandon Miller and the freshmen duo of Shaun Wick and DJ May will bring a three man rotation at running back, as the Pokes look to stay rested in the running game. Christensen said he plans to play all eight receivers listed on the two deep depth chart.

The UW defensive line will be a big key Saturday and Christensen thinks the depth is the best it's been with DT's Kurt Taufa'asau and Mike Purcell leading the way.

The Cowboys secondary looks promising led by cornerbacks Blair Burns and Quest Huff, and safeties Luke Ruff, Luke Anderson, and Mark Nzeocha.

TEXAS NOTES: Brown will rotate David Ash who'll start and Case McCoy on Saturday.

Texas has a group of four running backs with experience last season including sophomores Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron.

The talent is pleny at wide receiver with Jaxon Shipley, Mike Davis, and Marquise Goodwin, and tight end D.J Grant, all can make big plays across the board.

Mack will focus his gameplan on controlling the line of scrimmage with probably the biggest, most athletic offensive line the Cowboys play this season. Texas has experience too and returns four starters in Josh Cochran, center Dominic Espinosa, left guard Trey Hopkins and right guard Mason Walters.

Defensively, the front is led by a returning All-American defensive end Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat and they will be a big challenge for the UW O-line, especially tackles Josh Leonard and Kyle Magnuson on the ends.

Texas' most inexperienced position is linebacker returning only one starter in Jordan Hicks, while the secondary returns three starters with cornerbacks Carrington Byndom and Quandre Diggs, and veteran safety Kenny Vaccaro.

GAME SUMMARY: How can the Cowboys find the edge against a bigger, talented Longhorn team from the Big 12? Christensen sees his Cowboys better, deeper, and more weapons since the last time the two programs met.

The Pokes could find an edge with new defensive coordinator Chris Tormey's more aggressive style and unpredictability, since Brown's staff doesn't have the familiarity with their opponents new schemes or style.

Wyoming will need to find a way to maintain the Texas run game, while finding some big plays in the passing game and tough yards on the ground.

The Pokes played Texas competitive in both first halves of the previous game before UT pulled away in the third quarters.

More offense from the Pokes, along with a tough nosed run defense should make this game closer in the final go around in the heat of Texas, where tempetures will be close to 100 degrees and lowering to the 80's during the game, and humidity will be felt.

Quotes from UT Head Coach Mack Brown on Wyoming

"We are still young but it's a very talented young team. [Associate AD/Media Relations Director] John Bianco told me this morning we have 15 freshman in 18 different positions, because some of them double-up in the kicking game, and 60 percent of our roster is underclassmen. I think we could have four seniors starting which is probably as few as anybody in the country." - Mack Brown.

"They hired a new defensive coordinator in Chris Tormey. He was the head coach at Idaho, head coach at Nevada, and he came to Wyoming from Washington State last year. They will run a multiple defense. They will have four- and three-man fronts with a lot of disguises and a lot of blitzes." - Mack Brown.

"They have a strong secondary with all those guys coming back. Burns and Huff are corners. Ruff is the big-hitting free safety. Also they have two senior linebackers, one was out last year and is coming back. But Korey Jones was a leader at linebacker, and big Mike Purcell is a big defensive tackle up front, nose tackle, that is hard to block and over 300 pounds." - Mack Brown.

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