Derrick Smith of Prep Redzone Oklahoma Joins us again to talk about the Longhorns and Lions this Friday.
The Longhorns came up short 31-29 last week. What are your thoughts on the game?
Matt: What an effort by coach Martin and the Longhorns! I know the team is disappointed, but I saw a team that improved in all three phases of the game, I think it really gives Coach Martin something to build on for the rest of the year.
Derrick: From what I could tell the team made some major adjustments going into this matchup, but the biggest seemed to be their effort. This looked like a team that was playing for something and took a lot more pride in their performance against Lincoln Christian. It was a much more inspired effort than we saw in game one.
Big Hogback Battle this week as the team travels to Luther, how big is it to face a rival a week after such a tight game last week?
Derrick: In my experience there’s never been any shortage of emotion and inspiration in playing against your biggest rival, although “rivalry” usually implies that each side wins on occasion. Jones has heavily outmatched Luther on most years and I don’t expect this year to be any different. Carson May and Cadyen Karl will be the best duo that Luther will see this season and the Longhorns should handle them fairly easily.
Matt: I agree. The Longhorns are hungry for a win and facing a school that is only 9 miles away will make that desire even stronger.
What player made a difference last week?
Matt: I’ll go with Emmitt Murphy. He averaged almost 10 yards per reception with a TD and two conversions. Having another reliable target is HUGE for Carson May and this offense, hopefully we’ll see more of the same in weeks to come from the Senior Receiver.
Derrick: I know this is probably the easy answer, but I think May was the biggest factor in the game. After a rough start in the 1st quarter he went on a tear the next 3 quarters. Completing something around 80% of his attempts the rest of the game. That’s impressive no matter who the opponent. When that opponent however is one one of the top teams in the state, it’s even that much more astonishing.
Even though this team is 0-2, how can the tough opening games benefit this team going forward?
Derrick: Tough times make strong men, and I think that sentiment will hold true here. The adversity this team has seen will benefit them come playoff time. If they had skated through all season I don’t know that come time for the playoffs that they would be battle tested and ready for the struggles that a 15 game season can bring if they advance to the state title game.
Matt: I still keep going back to what Coch Martin said after the opening game, the team that takes the field in November will be a much better team than the one that took the field in August. Every week gives the team an opportunity to improve, an opportunity to get just a little better. That next step starts on Friday.
Who needs to have a big game this week?
Matt: I’ll go with the Jones run game. I’d like to see Dakotah Calvert get some carries and gain some confidence. If the Longhorns can move the ball on the ground it will really open up the field for May and the receivers.
Derrick: I think the OLine really needs to flex their muscles this week and show that they have improved and protect the top QB in the state so that their offense can really fire on all cylinders. To your point I think these things will definitely go hand in hand.
Derrick: I think Carson and the offense will come out and light up the scoreboard early forcing Luther to become one dimensional so that the defense can pin their ears back and get after the Luther QB. I hope Luther has the bulbs on the visitor side of the scoreboard changed out. I expect Jones to win and win big. I’m going with 58-20 to the good guys.
Matt: Jones beat Luther twice last year, 40-16 in week two and 50-20 in the playoffs. I don’t see much changing this year. Jones wins 35-13.