Posted August 29th, 2009 by Mike
Filed under: Feature, Football

Brandon Collins is expected to step up and give Colt McCoy plenty of WR options.

Brandon Collins is expected to step up and give Colt McCoy plenty of WR options.

Maybe for the first time since 2005, the University of Texas has a legit shot at a national championship heading into the season. Sure last year was special, but at this time in 2008 the Longhorn fan base was not thinking championship rings.

It is all different one year later. In this two part series we look at the five things we know and the five things we don’t about this year’s team.

1. Colt McCoy is a bad ass.

There is no way around it. If McCoy leads this team to the national championship, and maybe picks up a Heisman trophy along the way, he will go down as the best, and most loved, quarterback in the history of the program.

McCoy has done everything a coach could want from a leader. And all reports have him playing at an elite level after a dedicated summer. Vince Young rallied Texas’ last national championship team with summer 7-on-7, McCoy did the same. Now it is time to prove it on the field. And there is little doubt that will happen as long as Colt stays healthy.

2. McCoy has targets to throw the ball to.

Sure, Quan Cosby is gone, but Malcolm Williams, James Kirkendoll and Brandon Collins may be better than the “Big 3” of Roy Williams, Sloan Thomas and BJ Johnson. And we haven’t even mentioned Jordan Shipley.

Kirkendoll is going off this year. He will replace Cosby as the safety valve on third down situations when Shipley is demanding double teams. Williams showed his big play ability against Missouri and Texas Tech last year. The knock on the sophomore is his consistency, but when the lights come on, he has done nothing but impress. He looks the part on the field, and defensive coordinators have to account for his speed on the outside. Cosby was great, but he didn’t demand a safety to play over the top. Williams can force defenses to keep a man deep to protect against the fly pattern. That will open more holes for the running game, and open up more room for Shipley,

3. Texas will pressure the quarterback.

Apparently, Will Muschamp has taken off the gloves. In year two under the feisty defensive coordinator all bets are off. Muschamp has his players flying around the ball and blitzing on every down. Gone is Brian Orakpo, but Sergio Kindle is now a defensive end/linebacker/freak of nature. Add an underrated Sam Acho, a seemingly healthy Eddie Jones and an emerging superstar in true freshman Alex Okafor and talent on the edge is not a problem.

Also, Texas has linebackers and secondary personnel to blitz. Emmanuel Acho, Keenan Robinson and Jared Norton have received rave reviews for the blitzing ability. And last year, we saw the ability of Earl Thomas and Aaron Williams coming off the edge.

4. The secondary has transformed from the biggest question mark in 2008 to the strength of the defense in 2009.

The combination of Thomas, Williams, Chykie Brown, Curtis Brown, Deon Beasley, Blake Gideon and Christian Scott is almost laughable. For the first time in the Mack Brown era, a defensive unit has a chance to be dominating. Sure, Texas has had dominate players, and even dominate units, but with Muschamp leading the way, the Longhorns may field their best defense sine the 1980’s.

Texas has all but abandoned the 4-3 as its base defense. Texas runs the nickel because of the offenses in the Big 12. Thomas’ ability in coverage allows Muschamp to bring in Scott to play safety when Thomas lines up against the slot. The depth at cornerback allows Muschamp to bring in Brown or Beasley to keep Thomas at safety if the defense needs more speed on the field.

Bottom line – this group is nasty, fast and experienced. Muschamp can do whatever he wants with the front seven, I mean six, because he knows he has a safety net in the back. Not good for the rest of the conference.

5. Texas will have the advantage on special teams in virtually every game.

I know, I know, it is just special teams and that isn’t as sexy of a topic as scoring touchdowns or creating snot bubbles. But the third aspect of football should not be overlooked. Where would the program have gone if Dusty Mangum misses the field goal against Michigan in the first Rose Bowl? Do we win a championship the next year? Who knows? Do we beat OU last year if Shipley doesn’t take a kick to the house?

Texas has two reliable field goal kickers, a two legged punter and return guys growing out of their ears. Add to that the most prolific punt block team in the last decade and opponents have no time to relax.

At least one game a year comes down to special teams play. In 2009, that is to Texas’ advantage.

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“The Legend” is actually a pretty good basketball player, but up against a real college player he wasn’t much of a match last weekend during Michael Huff’s celebrity basketball game. After a wheels off loose ball, UT-Arlington’s Marquez Haynes took a pass and dunked right in Roy Williams’ face. Watch below:

Roy does a good job bailing at the last minute to not get too embarrassed (or hurt) and it’s hilarious watching Roy’s former teammates [tag]Michael Huff[/tag] and [tag]BJ Johnson[/tag]. Great to see the ex-teammates are still having fun and doing for a good cause.

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Reunited, and it feels so good: The Texas Premier Football Camp. A Daily Texan report from the camp held by 3 former Texas receivers.

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Posted July 1st, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football, Quick Hits

Former Longhorns Sloan Thomas, Roy Williams, & BJ Johnson making their marks off the football field. Big 3 receivers are running football camp together.

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