Can Aaron Lewis help the defense stop OSU's balanced offense?

Can Aaron Lewis and the Texas defense stop OSU's balanced offense?

Every game comes down to the play of a few guys floating under the radar. Of course Texas needs [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag], [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag], and [tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag] to step up, but in order for Texas to keep the number one spot a few other guys that may not be “stars” (yet) need to play big. Last week a few of the guys, like [tag]Brandon Collins[/tag] and [tag]Curtis Brown[/tag], were huge for Texas. Who are the five guys the Horns need to step up against [tag]Oklahoma State[/tag]? Here’s what we think.

Fozzy Whittaker

The speedy freshman got back on the playing field for the first time since the [tag]UTEP[/tag] game last week against [tag]Missouri[/tag]. Fozzy wasted little time making an impact by breaking off a darting 20 yard run off the zone play Texas relies on. Coming into the season the coaching staff quietly believed Fozzy would be the featured back of this offense. Instead, [tag]Chris Ogbonnaya[/tag] has taken the job by the horns so to speak while Fozzy healed up injuries to both knees. Ogbonnaya has far exceeded expectations, but the addition of the speed that Fozzy has could give this team the one thing they have been missing—a homerun threat in the backfield. We will know how healthy Fozzy is by how many snaps he is given.

[tag]Malcolm Williams[/tag]

We finally saw the big play ability those around the program have been gushing about when Williams made a leaping catch over the Missouri defense for a touchdown. The catch ended up being his only of the day, but with it Williams may have finally become a big time player for this team. For as good as Shipley and Quan Cosby are, they are not consistent down the field threats that push safeties back. Malcolm Williams is. The deeper opposing safeties have to play, the more room underneath for guys like Shipley, Cosby, and emerging star Brandon Collins. The more game Williams can make an impact in, the bigger the impact of the underneath guys. The staff is hoping the highlight catch last week turns into a confidence booster along the lines of Limas Sweed’s catch in Ohio State.

[tag]Aaron Lewis[/tag]

All the defensive line talk has centered on Brian Orakpo and [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag]. The teams Texas has been facing have been pass heavy which has allowed the speed guys to make names for themselves. For the first time all year the Texas defense will have to face an offense that relies heavily on the run. The defensive tackles are going to be key. Everyone knows about [tag]Roy Miller[/tag], but quietly Aaron Lewis has taken over Lamarr Houston’s spot on the majority of snaps. Lewis has played well when given the opportunity, and a big game from him, Houston, and [tag]Henry Melton[/tag] is crucial for this team. If Oklahoma State’s run game can get their offense into manageable third downs, the Texas defense could get exposed.

[tag]Rashad Bobino[/tag]

The senior has become the forgotten member of this linebacking unit. Late in the game last week, sometimes starter [tag]Jared Norton[/tag] went down with what appeared to be a stinger. Even though all signs point to Norton playing, with the two already splitting time, it would be expected to get a bulk of the playing time against a strong running team this week. Bobino has started a large number of games in his career and has continued to be an emotional leader for this Longhorn defense. Bobino has been through the fire as one of the only Horns to say he was there for the Rose Bowl. Coordinator [tag]Will Muschamp[/tag] has been pleased with all the backers play, and this game appears to be the biggest test for a group that could be the best of the [tag]Mack Brown[/tag] era.

[tag]Curtis Brown[/tag]

Two weeks ago fans were wondering if Curtis Brown would ever get to play at defensive back while attending the University. They saw true freshman get more playing time than the sophomore and with an already youth riddled secondary it appeared that the ex-Gilmer star would get passed up. A huge special team’s play against Oklahoma and a solid performance after Chykie Brown left the game against Missouri later and Brown finds himself as major player for this secondary. Every team in the Big 12 likes to spread the field, so more than the two designated starters get significant playing time, especially with Texas relying heavily on the nickel defense. Sources say [tag]Chykie Brown[/tag] should be able to start on Saturday, but with an ankle there is always a possibility of the injury resurfacing. If that happens, it appears Curtis Brown is next in line at cornerback.

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Posted September 28th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Texas blew out [tag]Arkansas[/tag] 52-10 Saturday thanks to big plays, near perfection from [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag], and an impressive defensive showing. It was great to see the Texas defensive front seven really get after the quarterback, something that will need to continue in conference play in order to protect the young secondary.

Watch highlights from the game below:

Somehow the video quality from these highlights almost looks better than the live game did in standard definition on ABC yesterday. Hopefully the Horns have played their last SD game of the season now that they’re playing real opponents.

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Posted August 26th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Depth Chart, Football

Football season is so close you can smell it. Less than a week from now the Longhorns will finally take the field for the 2008 season against FAU and today [tag]Mack Brown[/tag] and Co. released the first official depth chart of the year. We wouldn’t be true Texas fans if the first thing we did wasn’t overanalyze and complain about it, so of course we’ve done that below:

General Thoughts
  • Lots of OR‘s all over the place like every year. Harder to complain this year because there’s a ton of youngsters on at least one side of the conjunctions.
  • Looks like there will also be a lot of situational players as well. There are several places where players (e.g., [tag]Aaron Lewis[/tag]) are listed as co-starters with very different complementary players.
  • Lots of youth in general, including several true freshmen. There may be some games this year where you’re yelling at the television set because of the mistakes but 2008 and 2009 should be exciting.
Offense
  • No [tag]Malcolm Williams[/tag] anywhere at wide receiver. Not in the top 3 at either flanker or split end. True freshman [tag]Dan Buckner[/tag] right behind [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] is encouraging but overall no Williams seems like bigger story. Let’s hope the light comes on.
  • Former tackle [tag]Greg Smith[/tag] has been back at the position for less than two weeks but he’s already listed ahead of [tag]Peter Ullman[/tag] as the blocking tight end.
  • [tag]Michael Huey[/tag] vs. [tag]Cedric Dockery[/tag] vs. [tag]Charlie Tanner[/tag] at guard. Everyone has been raving about Huey throughout fall camp but most believed he’d be cutting into Tanner’s reps not Dockery’s. The general opinion (and we all know that’s never wrong) is that Dockery is the better of the returning guards but Huey is listed behind him. Is there a strategic reason the coaches believe Huey should stay at right guard?
  • The 12 names and 5 OR‘s confuse me at running back. What exactly is going on there?

(more …)

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Posted August 24th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Feature, Football

Position Rating: B+
Starter: Brian Orakpo, Henry Melton
Reserves: Eddie Jones, Sam Acho, Russell Carter, Aaron Lewis

Eddie JonesEven after moving two of the position’s best players inside to defensive tackle, defensive end is still one of the team’s greatest strengths heading into the season. There’s a possible dominant pass rusher in [tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag] and on the other side there’s an interesting battle brewing for the power end. The talent and depth at the position may be the strongest of any position on the team.

Orakpo has all the tools to be a disruptive force off the edge. He had a solid 9 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks despite only appearing in nine games and not being 100% last season due to a knee injury in the season opener. After an impressive Holiday Bowl performance (4.5 tackles behind the line and 2 sacks) Texas fans are hoping for the same thing for an entire healthy season.

At the power end former running back [tag]Henry Melton[/tag] is currently expected to be the starter but is being pushed by young and extremely talented players behind him. At 6-foot-3 and 265 pounds, if he can play hard every down Melton could play himself into a lot of NFL money this season. If he stumbles there’s a lot of talent ready to step up behind him.

Sophomore [tag]Eddie Jones[/tag] is a former five-star recruit and will split time with Melton to start the year. Jones is the future at the position and I expect him to get a larger and larger share of the snaps as the season progresses regardless of how well Melton performs. Behind Orakpo is exciting sophomore [tag]Sam Acho[/tag]. He didn’t play a ton last year but he showed incredible flashes of ability and a knack at getting after the quarterback during his true freshman season.

Overall defensive end should be a position well stocked with talent for the next several years. This season there’s talent and depth and if guys fulfill their promise it will make a huge difference to the entire defense. If the line can put pressure on the quarterback everyone else’s job gets a lot easier.

Update: Official depth chart for FAU is out and [tag]Aaron Lewis[/tag] is listed as a co-starter with Melton so I’ve added him to the list of reserves.

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Posted August 14th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Depth Chart, Football

Position Rating: B-
Starter: Lamarr Houston, Roy Miller
Reserves: Ben Alexander, Aaron Lewis, Michael Wilcoxon, ???

Roy MillerDefensive tackle is one of the most exciting positions on the Texas defense going into 2008 but also the spot where depth is the biggest concern. [tag]Roy Miller[/tag] and [tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag] are the starters and might be the best pair of interior defenders in the conference. The complete lack of both proven depth and warm bodies behind them could mean big trouble if either of the top two goes down.

Miller saw significant playing time as the third member of the tackle rotation last season and was one of the defense’s most consistent performers. This year the big run-stopping DT out of Killeen will be leaned on to be more of a playmaker while also holding down blockers to allow the defensive ends to get after the quarterback. Next to Miller will be the former defensive end Houston, who might be the player that has Texas fans the most excited. It’s been a long time since the team has had a pass-rushing presence on the interior, but the noise coming from insiders is that Houston is going to be a force on the interior. Both players have incredible upside and could be early round NFL draft picks soon.

Behind the starters things get a lot murkier as both on and off field issues have left the cupboard pretty bare at the position. Andre Jones, Brian Ellis, and Tyrell Higgins were all going to be relied on this season and now all are out of the program. The first player off the bench might be another former defensive end in [tag]Aaron Lewis[/tag] who will probably continue to play both positions. The biggest key to the position will be the development of [tag]Ben Alexander[/tag] and [tag]Michael Wilcoxon[/tag]. The team desparately needs two guys to step up from that second group to be able to spell the starters or else promising true freshmen [tag]Jarvis Humphrey[/tag] and [tag]Kheeston Randall[/tag] better be ready in a hurry.

Update: In surprising news, [tag]Tyrell Higgins[/tag] is back on the roster as a walk-on.

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Posted June 25th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Update: Download named rosters for NCAA Football 10. (7/23/2009)

NCAA Football 09 is less than a month away, the demo is up on Xbox Live and the Playstation Network, and player ratings are starting to make their way on to the Internet. EA Sports released the team top 25 and player ratings for all those teams.

I went through the list and put the players’ real names in where possible. I had trouble with a lot of the true freshmen in the game so if you know who any of the blank names are or if I made any mistakes please let me know in the comments. It really looks like EA did a poor job this year on the roster and depth chart. Hopefully it’s a little more accurate when the game is released.

You can download Excel files of the player ratings at the bottom of this post or check out the overall ratings for the Texas team below:

Real Name Name Year Position Rating
[tag]Buck Burnette[/tag] C #66 Soph(RS) C 78
C #60 Fresh C 72
 
[tag]Deon Beasley[/tag] CB #7 Junior CB 85
[tag]Ryan Palmer[/tag] CB #13 Senior(RS) CB 84
[tag]Curtis Brown[/tag] CB #3 Soph CB 83
[tag]Aaron Williams[/tag] CB #26 Fresh CB 80
[tag]Chykie Brown[/tag] CB #8 Soph(RS) CB 80
[tag]Earl Thomas[/tag] CB #12 Fresh(RS) CB 78
[tag]DJ Monroe[/tag] CB #27 Fresh CB 76
 
[tag]Roy Miller[/tag] DT #99 Senior DT 90
[tag]Jarvis Humphrey[/tag] DT #96 Fresh DT 80
[tag]Brian Ellis[/tag] DT #90 Soph(RS) DT 78
[tag]Ben Alexander[/tag] DT #92 Junior DT 76
[tag]Kheeston Randall[/tag] DT #88 Fresh DT 76
 
[tag]Chris Ogbonnayya[/tag] FB #3 Senior(RS) FB 93
[tag]Cody Johnson[/tag] FB #31 Fresh(RS) FB 72
 
[tag]Ben Wells[/tag] FS #5 Fresh(RS) FS 84
[tag]Christian Scott[/tag] FS #6 Fresh(RS) FS 77
[tag]Blake Gideon[/tag] FS #21 Fresh FS 77
 
[tag]Vondrell McGee[/tag] HB #2 Soph(RS) HB 85
[tag]DeSean Hales[/tag] HB #30 Fresh HB 80
[tag]Antwan Cobb[/tag] HB #24 Soph(RS) HB 79
[tag]Fozzy Whittaker[/tag] HB #22 Fresh(RS) HB 78
[tag]Jeremy Hills[/tag] HB #32 Fresh HB 76
[tag]Tre Newton[/tag] HB #23 Fresh HB 73
 
[tag]Hunter Lawrence[/tag] K #15 Junior K 82
[tag]Justin Tucker[/tag] K #9 Fresh K 69
 
[tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag] LE #33 Junior LE 91
[tag]Aaron Lewis[/tag] LE #95 Senior LE 85
[tag]Henry Melton[/tag] LE #37 Senior LE 80
 
[tag]Charlie Tanner[/tag] LG #52 Junior(RS) LG 86
[tag]Tray Allen[/tag] LG #70 Soph LG 82
[tag]Chris Hall[/tag] LG #71 Junior(RS) LG 81
[tag]Aundre McGaskey[/tag] LG #76 Fresh(RS) LG 74
 
[tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag] LOLB #2 Junior LOLB 85
LOLB #16 Fresh LOLB 80
LOLB #57 Fresh LOLB 76
 
[tag]David Snow[/tag] LT #78 Fresh LT 78
[tag]Britt Mitchell[/tag] LT #72 Soph(RS) LT 78
 
[tag]Rashad Bobino[/tag] MLB #44 Senior(RS) MLB 90
[tag]Jared Norton[/tag] MLB #11 Junior MLB 85
 
[tag]Trevor Gerland[/tag] P #17 Junior(RS) P 83
 
[tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] QB #12 Junior(RS) QB 89
[tag]Sherrod Harris[/tag] QB #17 Soph(RS) QB 81
[tag]John Chiles[/tag] QB #7 Soph QB 79
 
[tag]Eddie Jones[/tag] RE #32 Soph(RS) RE 92
[tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag] RE #98 Senior(RS) RE 90
[tag]Russell Carter[/tag] RE #97 Fresh(RS) RE 77
 
[tag]Cedric Dockery[/tag] RG #55 Senior(RS) RG 89
[tag]Michael Huey[/tag] RG #63 Soph RG 81
 
[tag]Roddrick Muckelroy[/tag] ROLB #38 Junior(RS) ROLB 87
[tag]Keenan Robinson[/tag] ROLB #53 Fresh(RS) ROLB 82
ROLB #4 Fresh ROLB 75
 
[tag]Adam Ulatoski[/tag] RT #74 Junior(RS) RT 85
[tag]Mark Buchanan[/tag] RT #54 Fresh RT 74
 
[tag]Ishie Oduegwu[/tag] SS #19 Junior(RS) SS 88
[tag]Nolan Brewster[/tag] SS #36 Fresh SS 79
 
[tag]Peter Ullman[/tag] TE #86 Senior(RS) TE 81
[tag]Ahmard Howard[/tag] TE #13 Fresh(RS) TE 74
[tag]Blaine Irby[/tag] TE #19 Soph TE 73
 
[tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] WR #6 Senior WR 89
[tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] WR #8 Senior(RS) WR 84
[tag]Montre Webber[/tag] WR #14 Soph(RS) WR 83
[tag]Dan Buckner[/tag] WR #4 Fresh WR 79
[tag]Malcolm Williams[/tag] WR #9 Fresh(RS) WR 78
[tag]DJ Grant[/tag] WR #80 Fresh WR 75
[tag]Antoine Hicks[/tag] WR #81 Fresh WR 75
[tag]James Kirkendoll[/tag] WR #87 Soph WR 74
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Posted December 9th, 2007 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Greg Davis, Colt McCoy, Jamaal Charles, and Ken RuckerThe Texas Longhorns held their annual football banquet Friday night (photos) where they honored team members for their accomplishments on and off the field. Though fans and recruits do attend, the event is definitely a night for the players to look back on the season and to honor the careers of the outgoing seniors.

Quarterback [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] and running back [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] were deservedly named the team MVPs. McCoy didn’t have as good of a season as he did his freshman year but he definitely is the player that made this team go (when it went anywhere). Charles was also named Darrell K. Royal Most Valuable Offensive Player while the Mike Campbell Most Valuable Defensive Players were [tag]Brandon Foster[/tag] and [tag]Marcus Griffin[/tag].

In a team vote [tag]Dallas Griffin[/tag], [tag]Tony Hills[/tag], and [tag]Derek Lokey[/tag] were honored with the D. Harold Byrd Leadership Award. Also, in a shocking development quarterback McCoy was given the Outstanding Quarterback Award.

In a move that infuriated Internet Coaching and Motivational Experts [tag]Rashad Bobino[/tag], [tag]Scott Derry[/tag], and [tag]Robert Killebrew[/tag] shared the honor of being the team’s Outstanding Linebackers. I’m not sure what else you can really do though as no linebacker really deserved the honor and it would be pretty embarrassing to not hand out an award for the position.

A list of all the award winners is after the jump.

(more …)

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DE Aaron Lewis is probable for Nebraska game. I thought his elbow injury was going to keep him out a lot longer. Great news.

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Posted August 30th, 2007 by Brian
Filed under: Depth Chart, Football

With the first official depth chart released for the [tag]Arkansas State[/tag] we can officially do our first second guessing of the 2007 season. Let’s complain examine the defensive side of the ball first:

Position Player
Player
Player
DE (Quick) Brian Orakpo
|
Eddie Jones
I think everyone is expecting a big sack total from [tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag] this season, I’m thinking he could be our breakout defender. I’m excited to see [tag]Eddie Jones[/tag] play, kid is a future star.
Nose Tackle Derek Lokey
or
Roy Miller
|
Ben Alexander
If [tag]Derek Lokey[/tag] doesn’t get hurt, Texas wins the Big 12 and ends up in the Fiesta Bowl last year. A healthy Lokey helps the entire defense.
Tackle Frank Okam
or
Roy Miller
|
Thomas Marshall
There were all-world expectations for [tag]Frank Okam[/tag] when he arrived in Austin and he’s yet to perform at that level. He’s still got a chance to be a high draft pick if he can be healthy and active this year.
DE (Power) Aaron Lewis
|
Lamarr Houston
Maybe the weakest spot on the defensive line but a couple of guys that impressed in limited time last season. [tag]Aaron Lewis[/tag] and [tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag] are both about a biscuit short of becoming defensive tackles.
Strongside LB Robert Killebrew
|
Dustin Earnest
Any chance [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag] comes in and takes this position over after his suspension? [tag]Robert Killebrew[/tag] needs to make more plays.
Middle LB Rashad Bobino
|
Jared Norton
[tag]Rashad Bobino[/tag] is consistent but has trouble getting off blocks, [tag]Jared Norton[/tag] will knock your teeth out but is inexperienced. We’ve got to find the right mix of heady guys and playmakers at linebacker.
Weakside LB Scott Derry
or
Roddrick Muckelroy
|
Keenan Robinson
[tag]Roddrick Muckelroy[/tag] was our best linebacker before he tore up his finger against Rice and this season he’s listed as a co-starter. I think Muck ends up being on the field as much as any of the other guys.
Right CB Ryan Palmer
|
Deon Beasley
or
Chykie Brown
Uh oh. Now we’re into the area where fans are making a little noise. [tag]Ryan Palmer[/tag] has the makings of a solid player but he hasn’t performed well when he had opportunities. [tag]Deon Beasley[/tag] has a chance to take the starter’s job if he wants it.
Free Safety Marcus Griffin
or
Drew Kelson
|
Tyrell Gatewood
Everyone knew [tag]Marcus Griffin[/tag] was the starter but I was surprised to see [tag]Drew Kelson[/tag] the number two guy here and not at strong safety. Maybe Kelson plays in likely running situations.
Strong Safety Erick Jackson
or
Ishie Oduegwu
Glad to see [tag]Erick Jackson[/tag] earn himself a chance. Kid has some bad luck but he was has all the measureables and was highly rated coming out of high school. And [tag]Ishie Oduegwu[/tag] is named Ishie, you’ve got to root for him just for that.
Left CB Brandon Foster
|
Curtis Brown
or
Earl Thomas
Even more worrisome than the other corner spot. [tag]Brandon Foster[/tag] is about the same as Palmer but an inch and a half shorter. He’s got two true freshmen behind him so it looks like a experience versus potential battle.

It’s just Arky State so I’m not going to get to worked up over anything on this depth chart. It’s the first game of the year so I think guys who have been here longer are going to have the edge over the young guys who have only been on campus a month. It’ll be interesting to see if the freshmen and sophomores battling for spots can show enough against ASU to see increased time against TCU.

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