The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
#10 THE Ohio State University
#3 University of Texas
Monday, January 5, 2009 - 8:00PM EST
The University of Phoenix Stadium
I won't lie, I am not going to give an unbiased preview of this game. Not only do I hate tOSU, but Texas is 2nd place, albeit a distant 2nd place in my heart. Why? I had the pleasure of marrying into a very Texas family a few years ago. Couple that with the last couple Texas games against tOSU in 05 and 06, and you have a great team to enjoy cheering for.
There are two very different ways to look at Texas in this game. You could view them as a team that is upset about playing in this bowl, because they were totally screwed out of playing Florida in the National Championship game. They could be pissed off about that and wanting to seek revenge against tOSU by coming out sharp and playing with emotion.
They could just be pissed off about being in this game and not care whatsoever about the outcome because this game is essentially meaningless.
I believe the former is going to hold true. Texas is a proud program that is stacked with great players who care too much to just lay down and lose. They will come out fighting in this game. I don't think there is any doubt about that. Lest we forget, there is a chance that we could have another split national champion like we did in 2004 when LSU won the BCS title, and the AP writers ranked USC #1 in their final poll.
Unless Texas destroys tOSU and Florida knocks off Oklahoma, I don't see a split title happening.
I predict a Texas win here. Too much offense for tOSU to have to try and stop. Not that tOSU doesn't have a chance though. But I think Colt McCoy has really turned out to be every bit of a star player for Texas as Vince Young was. But the fate of the Texas passing game will rely heavily on their ability to run the ball.
Texas averages 310 yards per game through the air, but only 176 on the ground. If you don't give tOSU's linebackers more than one threat to deal with, they can hurt you. But if McCoy gets the ground support that he needs, then it's all over. The last thing tOSU wants to do is get into an offensive shootout. But given their defensive ranks, I don't see an offensive shootout here. Sure, tOSU has ranked well nationally in every defensive stat this year, but 2008 was nice to tOSU scheduling-wise. The only game they looked bad against was USC.
|Season Average||USC Game|
Pryor (12 TDs, 1245 yds) and/or Boeckman (4 TDs, 510 yds) even combined still have only about half of the passing stats of McCoy (32 TDs, 3445 yds).
I expect tOSU to be very aggressive on defense initially. They know Texas will try to establish a running game, so expect to see lots of blitzes and 7-8 man fronts.
When tOSU has the ball, really their only threats are Wells on the ground, and Pryor running out of the pocket. Passing efficiency among Pryor and Boeckman ranks 105th in the nation, averaging just over 148 yards per game.
Sure, there are many ways to examine and dissect this game, but we're a Michigan blog, and not only do we hate tOSU, but we're also pro-Texas. So, in a nutshell: tOSU is overmatched by a better offense. They can keep it close if they can stop the run and totally shut down McCoy, or if Texas just has one of the worst games they've had in a long time.