It’ Saturday, which means another College Football Smackdown on PewterReport.com, pitting two Tampa Bay Buccaneers against each other in a war of words as their respective universities battle in high profile college football match-ups or rivalry games. This week’s College Football Smackdown features former Texas star Tim Crowder and UCLA alum Brian Price as the No. 7 Longhorns (3-0) host the Bruins (1-2). Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET and will be regionally broadcast on ABC.
The last meeting between the two schools was a 66-3 UCLA drubbing of Texas back in 1997. My how times have changes. UCLA has not been ranked for 49 consecutive weeks, the longest in school history. Texas has been ranked since 1999.
UCLA has struggled offensively, ranking 99th in the nation in total offense. Yet the Bruins boast the 31st-ranked rushing offense, averaging 204 yards per game.
UCLA has given up plenty of yards on the ground, ranking 105th in rushing defense (211 yards allowed per game). Yet the defense boasts two star players, both with first-round potential in the 2011 NFL Draft should they elect to come out early.
Junior linebacker-defensive end Akeem Ayers 138 career tackles, 23 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, five interceptions with two returned for touchdowns and five forced fumbles. Safety Rahim Moore led the nation with 10 interceptions during his sophomore season and has one through three games during his junior campaign and 14 total in his Bruins career.
The Texas offense ranks 72nd in the nation and the running game and the passing game are littered with youth and inexperience following the departure of quarterback Colt McCoy. However, the Longhorns defense is first in the nation in rushing defense (44 yards per game), second in total defense (206 yards per game and ninth in scoring defense (13 points per game).
Led by defensive ends Eddie Jones and Sam Acho, Texas is ranked 14th in sacks with an average of 3.33 per contest. Jones has 10 career sacks, including four this year, to go along with two interceptions and a forced fumble in his four years at Texas.
Acho, who is considered to be a potential first-rounder, has 14 career sacks, including a team-high nine last year as he replaced Brian Orakpo. Acho has a pair of sacks and a forced fumble through three games and has four forced fumbles in his career along with 22 tackles for loss.
After cruising to wins over Rice and Wyoming, Texas won a hard-fought 24-14 contest at Texas Tech last Saturday. UCLA lost at Kansas State and was shutout at home against Stanford, 35-0, before rebounding last week to knock off 23rd-ranked Houston, 31-13.
Which school will prevail? Let’s go to the Tampa Bay defensive line room to find out. Let the trash talk begin.BRIAN PRICE:
“We’ll rise to the occasion especially against a ranked, known powerhouse. We typically play real good against teams like that. It’s just like the Tennessee game last year. There was a lot of hype around them and we went out there and provided the smack down on Tennessee. We’re going to do the same thing against Texas. They are looking ahead to Oklahoma next week, so we are going to catch them slipping and hit them in the chin real quick. They are looking at the Red River Shootout, so we’ll make them thinking about us for a little bit first.”TIM CROWDER:
“We’ll win because it’s a home game and it’s the next game. We’re not going to make this a big game like UCLA probably will. This is just the next team we play. This is about Texas football. It’s not about UCLA. It’s about Texas, and that’s why we are going to win.”BRIAN PRICE:
“I love playing in front of an amped enemy stadium with a loud crowd. That’s good. There is nothing better than shutting up a home crowd. That’s what makes it a game. They make football – the fans. I love shutting up the crowd. I told Tim and Roy that we are going to put the smack down this week. They don’t think it’s going to happen because they are the ‘great Texas Longhorns.’ We’re going to grab them by their longhorns and smash them in the dirt! We’ve got to do it.”TIM CROWDER:
“Our quarterback - he’s still young. He’s still a redshirt sophomore. Hopefully he continues to get better and better and not let the bad games affect him. We struggled a bit against Texas Tech, but we still won. That’s important. Winning and finding ways to win is always important for a young football team.”BRIAN PRICE:
“It’s got a be team effort this week. Everybody has to step up. Everybody is going to step up because everybody is going to get up for the big game. Akeem Ayers is a beast. Rahim Moore is a beast. We’ve got some big names on defense. Akeem is a freak of nature. He’s going to step up real big because it’s Texas. Akeem is a great athlete. In high school he played every position – quarterback, receiver, defensive line, linebacker. He can do it all – sack the quarterback, pick off passes. He goes out there and has fun. That’s the name of the game.”TIM CROWDER:
“Our offense is still coming together. We’re a young team, so we need to come together. Colt McCoy is gone and he was a big part of program for a while. Every team is different. We need to get the running game going with Fozzy Whitaker and Tre Newton.”BRIAN PRICE:
“They have a nice one-two punch in the running game, but UCLA has a nice knockout punch on defense. We’re going to catch them slipping and we’re going to hit them on the chin. We also have a good combo in the backfield with Jesske and our quarterback, Kevin Prince. There are a lot of young players with some real upside on offense at UCLA. Our receiving corps is real good. We’re ready. We got it turned around last week against Houston. The first two games were real rough, but we’ve got it turned around and the young guys are getting the hint. Everything will be all right.”TIM CROWDER:
“Sam Acho and Eddie Jones have been getting it done from the defensive end spot and we have more than just those two. Hopefully they will bring that pressure all day long against UCLA and force their quarterback into making mistakes.”BRIAN PRICE:
“I think Rick Neuheisel is a great coach. He gets everybody hyped up to play. He’s going to show all his players love. We’re going to go down there and take care of business. He won’t need to get the players riled up this week. It’s a big game and if you need a coach to get you riled up, something’s wrong. Our guys will be ready to play. It’s a big game.”TIM CROWDER:
“Our coach, Mack Brown, is a good man and a great coach. He’s a father figure and the leader of the program. He gives us the winning edge we need as a program. He really looks after the players. He can win the big game, too. We won the Big 12 Championship last year. That was a big game. And we won a national championship a few years back. At first he had a label about not winning the big games. Now he’s winning the big games. I’m glad he got that monkey off his back. I’m not going to say that the UCLA game is a big game, though. It’s just the next game – the next win." BRIAN PRICE:
“It’s a road game. I don’t know how many points we will win by. It doesn’t matter as long as we win. We can win by one point. I don’t care. As long as we get the win, I get to talk trash to Tim and Roy all year.”TIM CROWDER:
“I’m pretty sure we’ll have a little wager on the game. Nothing much, but I’m sure he’ll be wearing a Texas jersey next week around One Buc Place after the game. Texas is going to win and it’s not even going to be close. I’ll say 35-7.”THE VERDICT:
Thank goodness there was more trash talk this week compared to last week from Barrett Ruud and Jerramy Stevens, who were too cautious in their commentary. Crowder scores points by dismissing UCLA and saying that Saturday’s game is not a big game – just the next game – and also for laying down the wager on the jersey. However, Price prevails for several reasons. First, he referenced UCLA’s big road win at Tennessee last year. He also scored points by saying that Texas could be looking ahead to Oklahoma. You’ve got to give Price points for saying that the Bruins would grab Texas by their longhorns and smack them into the dirt. Now that is trash talk.THE PREDICTION:
Despite Price’s big talk, the Bruins just don’t have the offensive firepower to hang with Texas. The Longhorns defense is too stingy against the run and Jones and Acho will be too much for a banged up Bruins offensive line to deal with. Throw in the rowdy crowd at Darryl K. Royal Stadium and Texas has the decided edge in this contest. It looks like Price will be wearing burnt orange around One Buc Place next week.
Who do you think made the best case in the College Football Smackdown, Price or Crowder? Which team do you think will win? Sound off in our article comments section below.
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