August 31, 2007

Horns control every match-up over Ark. St.

It's time to take a look at this week's match-ups, where we break down which team has an advantage on both sides of the running game, the passing game and in the trenches. Not only do we let you know who has the upper hand in each area, we rate it on a one- to five-star level, with one start being a slight edge and five stars being an overwhelming advantage.


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Arkansas State DBs

Texas QBs/WRs/TEs

The Arkansas State secondary is the strength of a defense that will get tested early and often by the Longhorn offense. Tyrell Johnson and Khayyam Burns both earned pre-season All-Sun Belt honors at safety, and the Indians have some experience returning at cornerback. Strong safety Johnson was named to the Bronco Nagurski Trophy watch list.

Everybody knows that Texas comes into this game short-handed, but it won't really matter. Colt McCoy will look to start off strong and if Limas Sweed is able to play at anywhere near full strength, the Texas passing game should be just fine. Look for Jermichael Finley to get going early.

Arkansas State LBs

Texas RBs

Arkansas State returns only one starter in its linebacker corps in junior Koby McKinnon. The strongside backer recorded 57 tackles and three sacks last season. Junior Ben Owens will start in the middle and freshman Javon McKinnon (no relation to Koby) starts on the weakside.

On Saturday night, Jamaal Charles will officially step into the role of the team's leader at the running back position after splitting time with Selvin Young over the past two years. Charles is ready to quiet the critics with a big year, and it could all start against Arkansas State. Look for Chris Ogbonnaya and Vondrell McGee to get quite a bit of work as well.