Pre-gaming w/Schmidtty: UCLA Edition

A special Pre-gaming with Schmidtty from sunny cloudy and overcast California! The UCLA Bruins started the steep downward spiral of horribleness that was 2010 for the Horns. But the Rose Bowl is like a home away from home for Texas, and revenge is in the air (or is that smog?). If Texas can turn the tables on UCLA, then the program will have come a long way in righting the wrongs of last season. Maybe then I’ll stop referencing 5-7. Can’t wait.

Head Coach (Record): Rick Neuheisel (81-52; 16-23 w/UCLA)

2010 Record: 4-8 (2-7/9th Pac-10)

Returning Starters: 7 Offense / 8 Defense

Player(s) to Watch for UCLA: Johnathan Franklin and Derrick Coleman torched UT last year for 216 rushing yards and two TDs (QB Kevin Prince also ran for 50 yards and a score). Both backs return against a Texas run defense that seemed to improve between weeks 1 and 2 of this season. They each have a per-rush average of 6.5 yards/game or better. Texas will have to stop the pistol offense if they are to better their Rose Bowl record.

Key Matchup: Texas pass-rushers vs. the UCLA quarterbacks. Franklin and Coleman will get their carries, but if whoever starts at quarterback (junior Richard Brehaut or Prince – who suffered a concussion against Houston and is questionable for today’s game) gets off on the Texas defense, then the game might turn just as ugly for the Horns as last year’s contest. Cue the Texas pass rush, which needs to step up after only having one sack last week against BYU. Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat have been all but neutralized in the early going this year, but with a running offense like UCLA they will have plenty of shots to get in the backfield and make some tackles for loss.

Prediction: The Texas defense stepped up big last week against BYU, with a couple second half stops that changed the momentum in that game. They won’t have a home crowd behind them (though there will be a lot of burnt orange in the stands) and with a large freshman class getting their first taste of the Rose Bowl, I have a strong feeling this may be a trap game for Texas. The Horns should win based on talent alone, but will the QB scheme work again like it did last week? My initial feelings are no, and UCLA downs the Horns 17-13 in a defensive struggling offensive affair.

Where to Watch: The game will be on ABC starting at 2:30 PM CT. If you couldn’t make it out to LA, be so loud that the Horns can hear you in Austin. If you are in Pasadena, hit me up and we’ll party when the Horns prove me wrong.

Hook ‘Em!

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