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It was a rough weekend for the Texas Longhorns. The Horns were destroyed 63-21 in the Red River Rivalry by Oklahoma to all but end UT’s Big 12 and BCS bowl hopes. And to make matters worse, Texas lost arguably its best defensive player for the season.
Junior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat suffered a right pectoral muscle rupture against Oklahoma and will have to undergo surgery to repair the damage, according to Texas trainer Kenny Boyd. Jeffcoat has been ruled out for the season.
The loss of Jeffcoat could prove to be devastating for Texas, which is 95th in the nation in rush defense and just gave up 677 yards to Oklahoma — the most the program has allowed since 1950 — and now faces Baylor and Nick Florence. Florence leads the nation in total offense with 404.40 yards per game.
Jeffcoat has been projected as an early-round NFL draft pick if he elects to come out. Jeffcoat has 11 tackles for loss, four sacks, six quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.
He also has forced two fumbles. Jeffcoat missed all of spring practice because of surgery to repair his left pectoral muscle following the 2011 season.
Without Jeffcoat’s of pressure the Texas secondary, which already has issues in coverage, is susceptible to being picked apart by a quarterback like Baylor’s Florence.
The Longhorns might consider pulling the redshirt off someone like Shiro Davis in order to get more speed on the edge. But, as Texas has proven in the past two losses, it is very tough to play fast as a defensive player when you do not know where you are going.
Without Jeffcoat, Texas, a team that has allowed 111 points and more than 1,100 yards in the past two games, might be wondering where it is going.
Meanwhile, starting QB David Ash also was hurt in the loss. While he has not been ruled out with a bruise to his non-throwing wrist, he has not been cleared to play, either. That means Texas might once again be turning to backup Case McCoy.
The junior, who was 3-2 as a starter in 2011, lost out on the starting job after what was an eight-month competition. But the Texas coaches qualified their selection of Ash by stating, repeatedly, that they felt McCoy was more than an adequate backup and that they would not hesitate to play him.