Three questions with HornsNation

HornsNation beat writer Carter Strickland answers three questions about the Texas Longhorns, previewing Saturday's showdown in Dallas:

What is Texas' greatest strength?

Texas' greatest strength is the versatility it brings to the field on offense and defense. But primarily it is the offense. The Longhorns had 66 snaps against Iowa State (not including penalties) and 60 of those were evenly split between David Ash and Case McCoy at quarterback. The other six were taken by players in the wildcat formation. Beyond the splitting of snaps, McCoy and Ash bring two distinctive styles to the game. McCoy is going to run to throw. He will scramble, pull the defense out of its assignments and then dump the ball where it needs to go. Ash is either going to run or throw, but he won't do both on the same play. That allows co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin several options.

"You never know what plays he is going to come up with each week,'' said wide receiver Jaxon Shipley. "That is what makes this offense so fun. What's next? Who knows.''

What is Texas' greatest weakness?

Texas' biggest weakness is kickoff coverage. Plain and simple. The Longhorns have been lucky in that they have yet to play a team with an explosive kick return unit. But that streak will come to an end this week. Oklahoma has the talent and speed to take the ball to the house on kickoff returns. Texas was giving up 25 yards per return headed into the Iowa State game. It got so bad against the Cyclones that Texas had to resort to pooch kicking.

Texas did strip the ball on a return, but that might have been more about Iowa State and its abysmal protection of the ball than Texas being stout on kickoff coverage.

Which Texas player should the Sooners be most worried about?

D.J. Monroe is a name that has been whispered softly around the Texas huddle for more than a year. Last season it was clear Greg Davis didn’t know how to use Monroe. As a result the speedster played very little. Harsin has picked his spots with Monroe. Some of the spots have resulted in Monroe being able to get around the corner for big gains. He is averaging 7.9 yards per carry this season and has a career average of 7.6.

What the 5-foot-9, 175-pound Monroe brings is making teams aware. Oklahoma will know when he is in the game and therefore have to dedicate a player to him. That allows Monroe to be a decoy as well as a threat. Additionally, when you have a defense that is all about flying to the ball, a player like Monroe, who can stop and start, gives Texas a cutback ability that could hurt the Sooners.

Monroe might only get the ball five or, at the most, seven times against the Sooners. That is how Harsin works his package plays. But he has the ability to take the ball deep whenever he touches it.