Posted January 7th, 2010 by Brian
Filed under: Bowls, Feature, Football

Colt McCoy will need to use his legs to complement his arm to beat Alabama.

Colt McCoy will need to use his legs to complement his arm to beat Alabama.

The big one is finally here. We’re less than a day away from the Texas Longhorns taking on the Alabama Crimson Tide for the BCS national title. No more waiting. No more listening to national experts drone on and on about how the Horns have no chance based off one game. The two teams will finally take the field and decide everything head to head.

The Longhorns are 4-point underdogs, what can they do tonight to swing things in their favor?

1. Pick up the Alabama blitz.

The Texas offensive line has been the subject of much chatter and consternation both for fans and the national media since the [tag]Nebraska[/tag] debacle. Ndamukong Suh doesn’t play for Alabama but Terrence Cody and Rolando Mcclain do and they’re not too shabby. Cody however has 4.5 tackles for loss on the season, the same number of sacks Suh on [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] in one game.

Cody is more space-eater than playmaker, but his size and strength in the middle frees up other defenders to make plays. As a 3-4 defense the Crimson Tide will blitz frequently and from various different positions than most teams the Longhorns played this year. That will put a lot of pressure on McCoy, center [tag]Chris Hall[/tag], and the Texas running backs to identify who is coming on every play and give Colt enough time to find the open hot route.

2. Don’t give up a big pass play on blown coverage.

The huge pass play on a blown coverage between [tag]Chykie Brown[/tag] and [tag]Earl Thomas[/tag] early against A&M was one of the reasons the underdogs were able to grab some momentum and keep up with the Horns. Those two players along with [tag]Aaron Williams[/tag], [tag]Curtis Brown[/tag], and [tag]Blake Gideon[/tag] form one of the best secondaries in the history of UT football season. That’s high acclaim for a school with as strong a recent history as Texas with multiple Thorpe Award winners and former players littered throughout the NFL.

Against inexperienced Crimson Tide quarterback Greg McElroy the secondary should be a big strength, but if they make mental mistakes and let someone get wide open deep (as has happened too often the last two years) McElroy and Julio Jones will make you pay. Force the Tide to drive down the field and make them pay for their own mistakes, don’t give it to them easy thanks to assignment errors.

3. Get Colt McCoy involved in rushing attack.

The Horns need Colt McCoy’s legs not only for the running game but to get the senior QB settled in for the passing attack as well. McCoy has stated several times that a big run and even getting tackled helps get him into the rhythm of the game quicker. Texas is a pass-first team but they need to run to keep the Alabama defense honest and to open up the playaction pass. McCoy on a few designed runs (zone read, speed option, QB draws) and also some improvised scrambles for big yardage would be the difference against an excellent defense like Bama’s.

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