Interview with Bevo Sports
In my attempt to give you, the reader, all the necessary information, I continue my wall to wall coverage of the Ohio State/Texas game with an interview with one of the more respected bloggers in the land, Mark from Bevo Sports.
Pfef: First off, thanks for doing this interview. My blog is still pretty young and unknown in the world of sports blogging, and getting to have the time to chat with one of the more respected blogs out there is a heck of an honor. So let's get this thing started, anyways. Is Colt McCoy really as good as he looked against North Texas, or was it just a product of great production against poor defense?
Bevo Sports: No problem. I always have time to talk about Texas football. I truly believe Colt McCoy is as good as advertised. Obviously it is hard to replace someone like Vince Young, but from all accounts Colt has had a great summer camp and has really been working hard. His accuracy has been excellent and he still gives the Longhorns some mobility at the quarterback position. I have even heard people say that he has the ability to put up some records numbers down at Texas. We will have to wait and see, but I feel pretty good about his chances to be successful.
Pfef: The Longhorn world was rocked earlier this week when starting cornerback Tarell Brown was arrested. As most know by now, he was expected to guard Ted Ginn. What kind of impact did Brown bring to a game that will be missing on Saturday? Also, tell me a bit about his replacements in the lineup.
Bevo Sports: It definitely hurts to not have Tarell Brown in the line-up. You can't replace someone with his talent level. Tarell is a player you could consider a lock-down corner and has widely been talked about in the top 5 at his position. On the positive side is that fact that Gene Chizik plays a zone style defense and we probably weren't going to cover Ginn one-on-one anyway. Tarell was going to get some help, now we will just have to help more. As far as replacements go, Ryan Palmer has moved up into the first slot in the depth charts at right corner. Brandon Foster should also see some playing time and both have had previous game-time experience. Another option would be to move Michael Griffin over to the cornerback spot and let Erick Jackson play safety. I personally would feel better about that situation because I would think playing safety would be an easier spot to fill in for.
Pfef: I keep on hearing all about this hardcore Texas offensive line, as it is supposed to be one of the best in the nation. We all know about Blalock, but tell us some stuff about the other four guys on the line. Can they really replace the All-Americans from last year?
Bevo Sports: No doubt they can be as good as last year. This years offensive line still has plenty of experience. Kasey Studdard (LG) is one of the Big 12's top returning offensive lineman. He is a two-year starter who has started 25 straight games and earned second-team All-Big 12 honors in 2005. Cedric Dockery (RG) played in 9 games last year on the offensive line as a red-shirt freshman, so he has some experience as well. Tony Hills (LT) backed-up first-team All-American Jonathan Scott last year and is a 2006 Sporting News preseason second-team All-Big 12 selection. Lyle Sendlein (C) is a senior with plenty of experience and received numerous All-Big 12 honors last year.
Pfef: So things here in Columbus are absolutely out of control for the game on Saturday, and the game's in Austin this year! How are the fans anticipating the game this season?
Bevo Sports: I have had season tickets for several years now, and from what I am hearing this is the craziest Austin has ever been before a game. I was just in a discussion about the usual tail-gates and people had started camping out Wednesday morning to reserve spots near campus, and normally just Friday morning would do. You don't often get the chance to host a #1 versus #2 matchup, and I think the fans down in Austin realize this.
Pfef: Selvin Young will be creating matchup problems all day long for the young Buckeye secondary, and Billy Pittman was making a bunch of plays in last season's game, tell us about another receiver on the team who could come out of nowhere to give the Buckeye D fits.
Bevo Sports: Honestly, I would be most worried about Limas Sweed. He is about 6'5" 220 and can run with anyone. It looks like this year he has increased his work ethic and he has that Vince Young-esque swagger out on the field. He already put up 2 touchdowns and 111 yards in the game against North Texas.
Pfef: I don't know if you saw the Ohio State/NIU game last Saturday, but I'm sure you've seen highlights. Most of the Buckeye fans' reviews of the defense range from anything from "Bend, don't break." to, "Downright awful." What are your views of the defense and how do you feel the Longhorns matchup to them?
Bevo Sports: I wasn't too surprised about the poor play on defense by the Buckeyes. I mean I wouldn't expect a defense that lost 9 starters to come out and play perfect in their first game. Because it is Ohio State, I would assume they have a lot of talent and it is probably only a matter of time before they picks things up. But after watching Wolfe put up some ridiculous numbers, I do feel the Longhorns can exploit this defense a little. Our running game has to be up there with the best in the nation. I think it will be hard for OSU to stop our running game with Selvin Young and Jamaal Charles in the backfield. And if Ohio State stacks up too much against the run, McCoy can through the ball up to Sweed and Pittman.
Pfef: In my personal opinion, I feel that the Buckeye offensive line will play extremely well on Saturday against the Texas defensive line. Yet I'm watching Sportscenter and they just get done talking about the Texas defensive line, and I'm beginning to second guess myself. Try to convince me that this Texas front four will outduel the Buckeye line.
Bevo Sports: Man, Texas has 3 All-American candidates on the front line in Frank Okam (T), Brian Robison (DE), and Tim Crowder (DE). Okam is a member of the 2006 Bednarik Award (top defensive player) preseason watch-list. Robison is a super-freak athlete who was a four-sport prep star in high-school and has a 40" vertical (he blocked a field goal against North Texas). And Crowder is also a member of the 2006 Bednarik Award watch-list as well as for the Lott Trophy (defensive impact player). These guys are going to be tough for anyone to block.
Pfef: And finally, I can't let you leave without giving your prediction for the game. Who wins? By how much? What are some of the key factors in the game (turnovers, special teams, etc.)?
Bevo Sports: This is one of the tougher games to predict. Having home field advantage is going to be key, especially because Colt will be on familiar territory for his first big game. I think Texas will be able to run the ball effectively and control the clock. Hopefully Colt won't have to win the game for us and he can just make the smart throws. Ohio State definitely has some weapons on offense, but Texas has the speed on defense to keep up with them. I am going to go with Texas 31 – Ohio State 30.