Posted August 29th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Feature, Football

John Chiles against Arizona State[tag]Florida Atlantic[/tag] isn’t a national power but they’re not the typical Texas first game opponent either. Sun Belt champs and a bowl winner last year under coach Howard Schnellenberger, FAU is certainly capable of giving the Horns a scare if they don’t bother showing up.

The last thing Texas coaches and fans want is a repeat of the Arkansas State game a year ago. Here’s three things the Longhorns need to do to make sure the big upset doesn’t happen:

1. How will the young safeties react under fire?

The five safeties listed as co-starters for the Horns are all freshmen and two of them have been in class less than a week. Meanwhile FAU quarterback Rusty Smith led the Owls to a bowl game last year with his strong play in the latter part of the season including a 336 yard, 5 touchdown performance against Memphis in their bowl game. If the safeties (and the entire secondary) can limit mental mistakes and the resulting big plays the Longhorns should be able to stave off the upset.

2. Use John Chiles and the Q Package.

We saw [tag]Greg Davis[/tag] use [tag]John Chiles[/tag] in a few unique situations last season but mostly as a decoy or a traditional quarterback. The full “Q Package” installed this offseason reportedly has Chiles all over the field including quarterback, receiver, and running back. It’s important for the success of the offense to have someone step up as a big play guy and if Chiles is that guy it needs to start early. Hopefully not only will Chiles line up in multiple spots but we’ll get to see him throw, catch, and run a little from all over the field.

3. Get the running game started early.

Last year with Jamaal Charles the Texas offense still waited till late October before getting a consistent running game going, if they want to have a chance at a Big 12 South title this year they’ll have to get rolling a lot sooner than that. It’s going to be a running back by committee approach this year with sophomore [tag]Vondrell McGee[/tag] leading the way. Against FAU Davis needs to get McGee 15 carries before halftime and see what he can do.


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