Posted November 9th, 2008 by Mike
Filed under: Feature, Football

Fozzy Whittaker rushed 15 times for 77 yards

Fozzy Whittaker rushed 15 times for 77 yards

The Longhorns bounced back with a solid win against an improved [tag]Baylor[/tag] team on Saturday in front of a lackluster crowd at DKR Memorial Stadium. The student section was empty for the beginning of the game and the blue hair section emptied pretty early in the second half. Luckily the football team doesn’t front run like the fans seem to and showed up to play. With a couple of key guys down with injury some of the usual suspects and a few under the radar guys stepped up in the win.

  1. [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] – Coming into the game the thought was that Cosby wouldn’t even play. The Waco native felt good enough to go against his home town team and didn’t disappoint. Cosby got the scoring going on a touchdown pass from [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] on Texas’ first drive. When Cosby and [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] are on the field together this offense is on a different level. The senior finished the game with 111 yards on eight catches including two touchdowns.
  2. [tag]Ryan Palmer[/tag] – The smallish senior cornerback gets overlooked in Texas’ secondary because of the perceived ability of the younger guys at his position, but Palmer is a leader on this team and continues to perform better than anyone could have ever imagined. Baylor had tied up the score at 14 in the second quarter when Palmer made the biggest play of the game on a 23 yard interception return for a touchdown. It was the catalyst for the 31 point run UT would go on to put the game away. Palmer added a sack and a pass breakup to his stat line later in the game.
  3. [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] – It says something about this season’s play of Colt McCoy and the expectations of the UT fan base when the junior signal caller can throw for five touchdowns and 300 yards and many still feel like he under performed. McCoy didn’t have his best game of the year but he was solid while completing 26 of 37 attempts. The Heisman contender has relied less on his legs to make yards only gaining 22 yards on the game. But he is buying more time in the pocket and keeping plays alive for his receivers. Yes he threw two interceptions, but it was a big win and a good day for McCoy.
  4. [tag]Roy Miller[/tag] – The big guy in the middle made his two tackles on the day count by recording both of them as sacks on Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin. [tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag] gets all the press clippings, but the loss of Miller after this season will be the most costly for the Texas program. The senior dominates his gap on nearly every play and has the ability to go from run stopping to pass rushing at will. His play at defensive tackle may not even be what he does best. When Miller lines up at fullback and lead blocks on short yardage situation he is devastating.
  5. [tag]Earl Thomas[/tag] – After a rough week last week Thomas rebounded to play his best game of his career. He didn’t record any interceptions or sacks but he was all over the field and made sure tackles all game. The freshman safety made a good play in the end zone on an early Baylor drive and showed how valuable he is when Baylor scored on a long pass on the first play Thomas missed with an injury. It was the only big play the Bears would get in the passing game because Thomas came back in on the next possession. It was important for Thomas to rebound and get some confidence back and he did with a team leading five tackles, with three coming for losses.
  6. [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] – Shipley makes catches when he has to. It is that simple. He is a third down catching machine. Every time McCoy needs to make a play or convert a first down it is obvious Shipley is the first progression on the route. Shipley is a senior who will most likely be back next year because of a medical redshirt that will surely be rewarded. His chemistry with McCoy is better than any receiver-quarterback combination to ever play at Texas. He finished the game with six catches for 81 yards and another touchdown. Shipley has scored a touchdown in every game this year.
  7. [tag]Foswhitt Whittaker[/tag] – I think Texas has found their running back. The staff knew they had one all along, but it was nice to see the speedy freshman be able to carry the load and get over 15 touches. Whittaker possesses a burst that no one else on the roster has, and with the type of offense Texas has moved to his ability would figure to go best with the schemes. Fozzy has struggled with nagging knee injuries all year, but appeared to make it through the game without any problems. With [tag]Chris Ogbonnaya[/tag] figuring to come back next week it will be interesting to see how Greg Davis and Major Applewhite distribute the snaps. Ogbonnaya will get the third down snaps, but Whittaker should begin to get more and more on first and second down.
  8. [tag]Roddrick Muckelroy[/tag] – Despite what the numbers show, Texas’ run defense was solid throughout the night. Baylor finished with 201 yards of total rushing, but 130 of those yards came on three runs (two on options by Robert Griffin and one late in the game by a running back). For the most part the front seven (six for most of the game) played extremely well. Muckelroy lead the team in tackles again, tied with Earl Thomas with five, but showed his speed when he chased down Robert Griffin on one of the speedy quarterbacks long runs. Muckelroy has turned into the best linebacker of the group because he has finally been able to stay healthy.
  9. [tag]Henry Melton[/tag] – Quietly Henry Melton is becoming an above average defensive end. After struggling at running back for his first few years at Texas, Melton was finally convinced to move to defense by pointing out that is where he would make money at the next level. It might not be the most noble reason to agree to move positions, but however it happen it has helped both Melton and the Longhorns. With Brian Orakpo out Melton was allowed to stay on the field on third downs, and he responded with three quarterback pressures to go along with his two tackles. The light has finally come on for the big guy out of Grapevine.
  10. [tag]Justin Tucker[/tag] – Throughout the season Tucker has done a good job on kickoffs by getting good height and distance on his kicks. Beginning last week Texas began going to the “rugby” style punts with Tucker being the man executing the duty. This style of kicking doesn’t allow for returns and also provides for opportunities to fake the punt if the opposing team doesn’t cover the edge. Texas hasn’t tried to fake off of it yet, but Tucker does have the athleticism to pull it off when they do call it. He only had to punt once, but it went for 53 yards and forced Baylor to go the length of the field.
  11. [tag]Ryan Bailey[/tag] – Somehow Bailey lost his job to [tag]Hunter Lawrence[/tag] during preseason practices. No one had mentioned it because up until the Baylor game Lawrence had been perfect on his extra points and perfect on his field goals. Against Baylor Lawrence missed both of his field goal attempts, one being a chip shot, and was replaced for the last kick by last year’s starter Ryan Bailey. Mack Brown said Lawrence’s leg was “sore”, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bailey trot out for Texas’ next field goal attempt.
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1 Comment

  1. reply to  #1

    Brian

    I’d personally have Miller higher. Kid was incredible Saturday and against Tech as well. He may be working himself into the first round of the NFL Draft.

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