EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the latest in a series of articles by Jim Butta, a veteran sports writer for The Parkersburg News and Sentinel, who has served as the beat writer for the Mountaineers.
The analysis is a compilation of research done on each opponent West Virginia will face during the 2012 season.
Much of the information comes from the team's spring prospectus as well as stories written about the program during, and after its spring drills.
"It's Texas," said offensive lineman Jeff Braun. "You are going to be playing in front of 90-100 thousand fans. The atmosphere will be something we will never forget."
Hopefully, the game will be one WVU's fans and coaching staff won't forget.
Offense: The success, or failure, of the Longhorns' offense could rest on the development of sophomore signal-caller David Ash. The 6-3, 222-pound quarterback completed 98-of-173 attempts for 1,068 yards and four touchdowns, but also threw eight interceptions.
Waiting in the wings will be junior Case McCoy, who threw for 1,045 yards and seven touchdowns a year ago, as well as sophomore Connor Brewer and freshman John Wilder.
The Horns appear to be loaded at running back and wide receiver as well as sophomore Malcolm Brown (172-742) headlines a backfield that also includes Joe Bergeron (72-463) and D.J. Monroe (48-326).
Looking to improve on last year's numbers are wideouts Mike Davis (45-609), Jaxon Shipley (44-607), Marquise Goodwin (33-421) and D.J. Grant (16-180).
Defense: Gone are the team's two leading tackles and most vocal leaders - linebackers Emmanuel Acho and Keena Robinson - as well as defensive tackle Kheeston Randall.
Preseason All-Big 12 and All-American Alex Okafor should be a thorn in the side of any offense and teamed up with junior Jackson Jeffcoat on the defensive line gives Texas two of the better pass rushers in the conference.
Sophomore Quandre Diggs, who led the team with four interceptions in 2011, heads up a deep and talented secondary that includes senior safety Kenny Vaccaro.
Specialists: It will be a complete rebuilding year as Justin Tucker, who did all of the kicking and punting for the Longhorns in 2011, has departed. True freshman Nick Jordan went into the spring as the frontrunner to win the job while senior Alex King will head into fall camp at the top of the depth chart at punter.
The punt return game appears to be solid with the return of Diggs, who averaged 20.1 yards per return, but the same cannot be said for the kickoff return as Texas must find a suitable replacement for Fozzy Whittaker.
Outlook: On paper, this game would appear to be a contest between WVU's offense, led by Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, against a Texas defense that ranked No. 6 against the run.
The game's outcome, however, may hinge on the Longhorns' passing game as well as on the Mountaineers defense.
Smith displayed the type of talent in the Orange Bowl that could cause Texas fits and the speed of Austin and Bailey make them a threat from anywhere on the field. Should Texas native Dustin Garrison return to form and provide the old gold and blue with a dependable running game then a victory at Darrell K. Royal/Texas Memorial Stadium isn't out of the possibility.
On the flip side, however, WVU's defense had better be ready to step up its game as Texas always has a plethora of talented offensive weapons and this year will be no different. Add a sold-out stadium of 100,000 or more and the Mountaineers will find out quickly if they are ready for prime time players or not.
Series: WVU leads 1-0