by Jim Buzzerd
Which way are your horns?
After two games it was difficult to envision this Saturday’s matchup between the Texas Longhorns and the West Virginia University Mountaineers as a big game. Depending on which poll you prefer Texas will go to Morgantown ranked 11th or 12th. Both teams are 3-1 and will have had a week off prior to Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. kickoff on ABC. One sports book had Texas as a 12-point favorite on Monday. The game is a sellout.
Some things I think about this game; I think Texas has gained some love from those who vote in the college football polls that may not yet be warranted. Somewhat like Notre Dame, college football pundits want to pimp the Longhorns to us whenever they can. A nice bowl win over Georgia last winter gave the voters all the ammo they needed to put Texas high in the pre-season polls.
They lost by a touchdown to Louisiana State, beat Oklahoma State by six and rolled Louisiana Tech and Rice by big margins. Texas is a strong offensive football team, but they have yet to earn all the praise they are receiving from my view. That doesn’t mean I’m calling a West Virginia upset, Texas will have the Mountaineers outmanned at too many positions.
I am anxious to see how new head coach Neal Brown and staff have the team prepared. So far it seems Brown and company have shown a knack for making successful tweaks and adjustments in games and during the week leading into the game. This is refreshing and could pay off handsomely in the future.
I’m also interested to see how jacked up the fans are and how creative they get with all of this ‘Horns Down’ ruckus that began last season when David Sills and Will Grier were charged with unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for flashing the horns down sign following scores. I figure there will be shirts and signs aplenty in the stadium with some kind of horns down message for the Longhorns.
And if I had to guess, I figure Texas coach Tom Herman will use, what he and a number of players called disrespect, last season as a motivational tool for this game. I’m betting that Brown will have the WVU players on notice to refrain from any display of horns down. I don’t think any kind of warning to fans will matter to most of the rowdy types.
The officials making penalty calls and Texas whining about horns down a year ago has made this a ‘thing’ and a much bigger deal than it should be. Think about this; Texas can score and run around showing horns up with no penalty. Why should a Texas opponent, any opponent, be flagged for flashing horns down in a similar scenario? Horns down is neither vulgar nor obscene, so what’s the problem?