USA Today Images
Strong, made an impressive debut in Week 1, thumping North
Texas by 31 points. But the Horns haven’t been able to savor
the victory with an injury to their starting quarterback and
massive issues on the offensive line heading into
Week 2’s clash with Brigham Young.
Texas opened as big as a 3.5-point favorite hosting BYU – a
team it beat by 19 points in Provo last season – but has since
been trimmed to -1.5 as of Thursday morning. There are still
some shops dealing the Longhorns at -3.5 but the window is
“With the loss of senior center Dominic Espinosa
to a broken ankle last week and now the suspension (Desmond)
Harrison and (Kennedy) Estelle, Texas now has the youngest o-line
in the nation,” Michael Stewart, an oddsmaker for
CarbonSports.ag, tells Covers. “Group that with the loss
of starting quarterback David Ash, we saw some sharp money
come in on BYU pushing the spread down to -1.5.”
Ash will miss the BYU game with concussion-like symptoms. Ash
also missed 10 games last year for the same reason and some
are calling for the QB to hang up the cleats. This injury is
magnified by some key cogs missing on the offensive line this
Espinosa left the UNT game with an injury last Saturday and
had to undergo surgery, leaving his status for the season up
in the air. The Longhorns came into 2014 with a very
inexperienced offensive line. Espinosa was the only lineman
who had started double-digit games (came into the season with
39 career starts).
In addition to the loss of Espinosa, there are several
sources now reporting that offensive tackles Kennedy Estelle
and Desmond Harrison have been suspended for the BYU game.
Both were projected to start Saturday and, with Espinosa
gone, Estelle was the most experienced remaining member of
the Texas offensive line.
With Ash on the sidelines and the pass protection in
shambles, Texas turns to the very talented but also very
inexperienced Tyrone Swoopes at quarterback. Swoopes played a
limited role in six games last season as a freshman throwing
13 passes (and completing five) and running the ball 20 times
for 79 yards.
Saturday’s total opened at 48 points but has since dipped to
44. Texas has stayed Under the number in each of its last
five games going back to last season.