MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia assistant coach Daron Roberts will arrive in Austin, Texas, on Friday in charge of a crew of cornerbacks that contributed greatly to the 29 completions and 581 yards passing allowed against Baylor last week.
His reserves supplied enough depth to replace one of the starting cornerbacks for just one of the 92 plays.
He'd rather a happier homecoming.
The second-year assistant coach, working with cornerbacks after leading the outside receivers last season, is a University of Texas graduate who is from Mount Pleasant, Texas. He also understands as well as anyone the challenge for him and his charges.
It's not that No. 11 Texas (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) isn't as bad of a matchup as was Baylor. It's that No. 8 West Virginia (4-0, 1-0) can't have repeat results and expect to win.
The job before Saturday's 7 p.m. game (Fox telecast) at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium is to find a way to change things.
"One is to be successful," Coach Dana Holgorsen said. "The other is to probably man up a little bit and say enough is enough and get out there and work hard."
It sounds easy. It is not. Not when the last opponent finished with three 100-yard receivers - and one with 17 catches and 314 yards. Not when seven pass plays covered at least 35 yards. Not when the cornerbacks allowed receivers so much room to operate, but also couldn't defend the pass when they were in tight. Not when it's as seemingly obvious that future teams will mark their targets.
"I told our guys that offensive coordinators are not going to stop passing the ball because they don't want to hurt your feelings," Roberts said.
If the Mountaineers are planning any changes, if they're thinking about putting Brodrick Jenkins or Pat Miller on the bench, they're not saying it.
Roberts is instead confident as he returns to the scene of his prime, a place where he has triumphed in the face of tall tasks in the past.
Roberts earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Texas. It was the largest university in the country at the time and Roberts was the student body president in 2000-01 before embarking on his meandering career path that went next to Harvard for a law degree and then later veered off into the NFL before merging into college coaching.
The school matters to Roberts, though he's tried to keep his alma mater on the same level he kept Baylor at the front of the Big 12 schedule and will keep Kansas at the end of it.
He wants to win as much as anyone Saturday, but he still keeps acquaintances.
Annie Elderbroom and Becky Carreon were two people Roberts worked closely with in student government and he likened them to a surrogate family five hours from his home.
For many years after he left Texas, Roberts would have lunch delivered to them on the first day of class to remind them of his appreciation.