Posted December 7th, 2011 by Ross
Filed under: Football

WTH?! (What the Heck?) moments are attempts to find the memorable and the off-beat perspective on Longhorns sports. Here are some interesting moments from the Texas’ game against the Bears.

Pre-Game WTH Baylor?! This is the Big 12! This is the big boy league. I understand showing school pride to the 46,453 fans that attended the game. But having a tarp that says “This is Bear Country” in the end zone to cover up seats that should be watching RG3 versus the Horns. Come on Man!

1st Quarter (14:38) WTH RG3?! C’mon Bears give the opposing team a chance to get their head in the game. The Horns defense which includes Blake Gideon watched a perfect throw by Robert Griffin to a streaking Kendall Wright for a 59 yard touchdown on the SECOND play of the game.

1st Quarter (:33) WTH Irby?! Who does not love Blaine Irby? He made a helluva catch in the back of the end zone for the first touchdown of the night for the Horns. Do you think he might have any eligibility left?

2nd Quarter (10:53) WTH Fat Man?! I do not know what Coach Harsin called this play but this razzle dazzle play had two offensive linemen split out on either side of the formation. One lineman faked a catch on one side while Case McCoy threw a fade to Luke Poehlmann in the end zone. Love Luke’s touchdown celebration by grabbing his gut to identify him as the fat man scoring.

2nd Quarter (7:40) WTH Goodwin?! Longest touchdown pass play of the season saw Marquise Goodwin dash 80 yards for the touchdown. He added a signature triple jump step in the end zone. This was the last highlight of the regular season for the Horns.

2nd Quarter WTH McCoy?! I know everyone loves the “it” factor that Case McCoy has in his game. The read and throw he made was awful. He looked at his primary receiver the entire time and he does not have the arm strength to get it there. The interception took the Baylor to the Horns 2 where RG3 strolled in to the end zone to lead at halftime. Why were we not running the ball to secure the lead at the half?!

3rd Quarter (4:15) WTH Gilbert?! This third interception by Case McCoy was clearly a throw for Mike Davis to go after which neither one were on the same page. Case had a night in Waco like Garrett had in Manhattan. Case had 4 interceptions which Baylor turned into 17 points.

4th Quarter (7:43) WTH RG3?! The UT defense said that Robert Griffin was not going to have a Heisman type night on them. Well UT defense, RG3 is headed to New York. RG3 threw his second touchdown of the night to finish with 320 yards of passing and he ran in two scores. Looks like THE hardware is coming to Waco!

Next up for the Longhorns are the Cal Bears on December 28th in the Holiday Bowl.

Thanks for following my WTH articles throughout the season. I appreciate the opportunity to rant about the greatest University sports program in the country. You can continue to follow comments on all of UT sports on twitter at 40AcresSports or follow me at Horns1991. HOOK EM!!

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Posted November 30th, 2011 by Ross
Filed under: Football

WTH?! (What the Heck?) moments are attempts to find the memorable and the off-beat perspective on Longhorns sports. Here are some interesting moments from the Texas’ game against the Aggies.

Pre-Game WTH 118 years?! I agree that egos have caused this rivalry to end. The Aggies says “It’s time for Texas A&M”… to slug it out with the SEC. The Horns have their path to blaze (LHN). Divorce is tough. Let’s reunite for the kids’ sake.

1st Quarter (7:26) WTH Tucker?! The 31 yard punt by Justin Tucker was making every Longhorn fan pull out their hair. The only good outcome was that most of his punts were never returned. He definitely made up for his punting woes at the end.

2nd Quarter (12:13) WTH Refs 1?! Keenan Robinson was called for roughing the passer when the QB Ryan Tannehill landed on him? Keenan must have pissed off the entire officiating crew because he also got called for a horse collar penalty in the third quarter when he clearly just had the jersey.

2nd Quarter (9:31) WTH Shipley?! This is not for the pass play to Irby for the first score. Before that play and the muffed punt that caused all the electricity for the Horns, Jaxon Shipley I think had the play of the game. On third down his bad knee gave way and he barely got a hand on the ball to knock it down. An Aggie defender was there ready to make the interception and take it to the house. Close call!

2nd Quarter (1:47) WTH Harsin?! Coach Harsin I am going to blame you for this interception thrown by Miles Onyegbule. Your innovative play calling gets this Horn team so fired up that they will throw into triple coverage to please you.

(more …)

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Posted November 23rd, 2011 by Ross
Filed under: Football

WTH?! (What the Heck?) moments are attempts to find the memorable and the off-beat perspective on Longhorns sports. Here are some interesting moments from the Texas’ game against the Wildcats.

Pre-Game Respect. A great decision by the UT brass to have a moment of silence before the game for the Oklahoma State’s tragedy of losing two of their women’s basketball coaches in a plane crash. Nice touch with the OSU logo on the Godzillatron.

1st Quarter (11:03) WTH Ash?! David Ash needs to realize that you do not need to jump when you throw the football. He has a tremendous upside but the decision making is suspect. Wildcats put the first points of the game after the turnonver.

2nd Quarter (3:02) WTH Blue Chip?! Way to take the momentum right out of the stadium. Coach Brown decides to go for it on fourth down at their own 41 yard line. Tray Allen false starts which kills the drive and ends up leading to a punt and the turning point of the game.

2nd Quarter (2:51) WTH Refs?! I am getting sick of these judgment calls! The KSU punt returner, Tramaine Thompson, fumbles the ball and the Horns recover in great field position. The ref felt that the returner was scared of the oncoming pressure and decided to throw the flag. Best Mack Brown meltdown ever.

2nd Quarter (:57) WTH Mack?! KSU was trying to get into position for a score before the half. Wildcat Sheldon Smith did his best tight rope act along the sidelines with a 24 yard catch which the refs really enjoyed by deciding to make the judgment call that it was a catch. Mack you have got to challenge that call. You do not need the timeouts so why not get the booth to review it.

3rd Quarter (3:43) WTH McCoy?! I guess the golden horseshoe is back in place. Case McCoy steps in an orchestrated a 6 play – 79 yard touchdown drive. Great designed play by Coach Harsin for McCoy to hit senior Blaine Irby for his first touchdown of the year.

End of Game (:00) WTH UT Defense?! What an incredible display of domination by this unit. It was sad to see the effort was wasted with a loss. The Horns held the Wildcats to 121 yards of total offense. Collin Klein, aka Honey Badger (please), had 4 net yards of rushing on 26 carries. The other telling stat is that the Wildcats had 9 series which they had 3 plays and punt.

Next up for the Longhorns are the Aggies for the final time? at 7PM on Turkey Day.
Thanks for following my WTH articles throughout the season. I appreciate the opportunity to rant about the greatest University sports program in the country. You can continue to follow comments on all of UT sports on twitter at 40AcresSports or follow me at Horns1991. HOOK EM!!

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Vondrell McGee gets the opening week start, is he the answer at running back?

Vondrell McGee gets the opening week start, is he the answer at running back?

So we know what we know about this year’s team (channeling my inner Aflac commercial). Texas has a Heisman Trophy candidate at quarterback, experience at every position excluding tight end and Will Muschamp is a deity. We got it.

But what don’t we know? Even with the high expectations, there are some unanswered questions that could grow into concerns as the season moves forward.

1. Will a running back step up?

The same question was raised prior to last season. The question went unanswered all season, and Texas still was one second away from playing for a national title. Heading into the offseason, and into spring practice, the word was Cody Johnson had stepped up and was ready for 20+ carries a game.

That was four months ago. The week of the game, it appears the team is exactly where they were one year ago. Vondrell McGee will get the first look, Fozzy Whittaker is showing flashes of talent when he isn’t hanging out with the training staff and Cody Johnson is great in short yardage but not in shape enough to handle the load.

The loan difference is new comer Chris Whaley. The true freshman was given every opportunity to take the starting spot, but his weight and the adjustment to big time D-1 football is proving tough.

Texas may not have to run the ball to be successful, but Mack Brown sure wants to. If this team can establish a run game in Lubbock who knows what would have happened. McGee has the talent to be the lead back. The question is will Greg Davis stick with him consistently enough for him to prove it. I’m not sure Davis, or Brown, know the answer.

2. Can Texas play without a tight end?

If a team is going to have a string of tough injuries, it might as well all happen at one position. Especially at a position that last year’s group proved they didn’t need for the majority of snaps. But the loss of Blaine Irby, DJ Grant, etc., etc. may give Texas no choice but to play without a tight end.

Despite the success of last season’s offense, the Longhorns need to be able to line up with a tight end in passing and rushing situations. Without the option teams will know what kind of play is coming by the personnel that are on the field. Texas is too good for most teams on its schedule to compete either way, but in the big games the Longhorns need the flexibility. Especially with an offensive line that has proven to be road graders in the run game.

Dan Buckner has stepped up. And Greg Smith is still around to block and deflect balls to the other team. But neither is an all around tight end that can block and stretch the defense. The Longhorns offense works best with a pass catching tight end, so Buckner is the odds on favorite to win the job. But he has never had to block at this level, and it hasn’t been proven he can stay healthy while taking on defensive ends and linebackers on a play to play basis.

Texas will field a good offense either way, but without the threat of a tight end they simply can’t be one of the best two teams in the country.

3. Is the lack of depth at defensive tackle a real concern?

For most teams in the country this would be an easy yes, but in the Big 12 I’m not so sure. And how bad can the depth really be when you’re Texas? Most fans, and coaches, around the country would kill for Lamarr Houston, Ben Alexander and a couple of big time recruits to enter the season at defensive tackle.

Texas has been spoiled at the position over the last decade. It seems like every year Texas has two or three big guys in the middle that are sure fire NFL guys. The difference this year is the fans aren’t aware of the other two yet. Meet Kheeston Randall and Calvin Howell. These two young guys have the talent, and Randall has the years in the program to make a splash. Howell isn’t ready to compete every down, but he can help out in spots. That is four guys right there that can give you snaps, and one of them is an all-conference caliber player in a conference where maybe two teams try to run up the middle on a consistent basis.

If that is the biggest question mark for the defense, Big 12 coaches are in trouble.

4. Are Keenan Robinson and Emmanuel Acho ready?

Roddrick Muckelroy won’t leave the field. Jared Norton is a senior, and will anchor the middle, but what about the other outside linebacker spot? And maybe more importantly, who will play in nickel packages?

The answer to both questions is either Robinson or Acho. It may be both. The two sophomores are battling for the starting spot with Robinson slightly out in front. Robinson is an aggressive player with the athleticism to play the pass as well as anyone in the linebacking unit. That strength may make him the starter because of the types of offenses Texas faces on a consistent basis. Acho is a smart player with the ability to blitz. Sounds like a Muschamp guy to me.

Norton has struggled on passing downs. He has also struggled with injuries this preseason. If one, or both, of these guys step up when the real games begin the Longhorns will be in excellent shape.

5. Can Texas replace the leadership of Brian Orakpo, Quan Cosby and Roy Miller?

Yes, Texas has Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley on offense, but what about defense? Sergio Kindle is the best defensive lineman, but he is admittedly not the public speaking type. Muckelroy leads the linebacking unit, but he does it quietly. And the guys in the secondary are finally comfortable with the layout of the campus.

So who is the guy? Muschamp says Lamarr Houston and Earl Thomas. I think Houston emerges this season as one of the best players in the conference. And I think Thomas plays so well the chatter of leaving early starts, well early. And both of those predictions are based on Muschamp’s perceived leadership out of the two.

It is hard to be a great player without being a great leader. It is not impossible, but I think it is hard. Houston has the ability when he is healthy. Thomas has improved a ton from last year to right now. The talent is there, if the leadership competes with what the Longhorns have on the offensive side of the ball then the comparisons to the 2005 championship team may be fair. If no one steps up, Texas will drop a game they shouldn’t.

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Texas Longhorns tight end Blaine Irby will miss the entire 2009 season.

Texas Longhorns tight end Blaine Irby will miss the entire 2009 season.

The Texas training staff gave everyone some bad news yesterday when they announced that tight end [tag]Blaine Irby[/tag] would miss the entire 2009 season due to the devastating knee injury he suffered last season. According to his surgeon, Irby recovered from ligament damage well but his nerve damage was severe and has resulted in drop foot. The condition is serious and sometimes permanent.

Irby comments on his injury and rehab below:

“First and foremost, I want to thank all of my teammates, coaches and family because a big thing this injury has taught me is how much support we have here,” Irby said. “That support has helped in the rehab process and will continue to drive me to get back on the field.

“The injury has taught me a lot of things like patience. It was devastating at first, but I’ve come a long way. I realize this is an obstacle I have to overcome and it’s going to take time. I feel like I’ve made the best of the situation and am working to make sure something positive comes out of this.

“I’m disappointed that I’m going to miss the season, but that’s not going to stop me from having an impact on this team. I’m going to help the coaches in any way I can and work with the tight ends, whether it’s watching film, or just trying to be a resource for them. I’m really going to work with the young guys to try and get them ready to help the team.”

We wish Blaine the best in his continued rehab and recovery.

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Aaron Williams was great on defense and electric with the ball in his hands. (Photo: MB-TF)

Aaron Williams was great on defense and electric with the ball in his hands. (Photo: MB-TF)

The Texas Longhorns gave us the first real look at what next year’s team is going to look like on Sunday for the Spring Game. Of course these games need to be taken with a grain of salt because both sides bring vanilla game plans. [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag] didn’t play very much, but the defense dominated for most of the scrimmage. Here are five things we learned from the game.

1. The secondary has grown up.

A few months removed from being the perceived weak link of the defense the Longhorn secondary dominated the offense the whole game. The defense played predominately out of the 4-2-5 and showed very little blitzes but they made plays. Last year the group had troubles creating turnovers but the safeties intercepted two passes, the first by [tag]Nolan Brewster[/tag] against the second team offense. The second interception was the play of day, a pick six by [tag]Earl Thomas[/tag] off of [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag]. Thomas was far and away the best player on the field on Sunday. The sophomore was everywhere, he showed off his coverage ability, he was a sure tackler, and show off his speed by running down a kick returner. Texas has four safeties that could start and all of them have at least three years of eligibility left. The corners looked good too. [tag]Aaron Williams[/tag] and [tag]Chykie Brown[/tag] have an opportunity to leave campus as the best duo Texas has had at cornerback. Add [tag]Curtis Brown[/tag] and [tag]Deon Beasley[/tag] and this group is deep and athletic. [tag]Will Muschamp[/tag] couldn’t blitz as much as he might have liked last year because of the inexperience in the secondary, but the training wheels will come off this season. And it may just be scary good.

2. The tight end position is on life support.

It is true that this program has been spoiled at the tight end position in recent memory. It didn’t look like that was going to change with the emergence of [tag]Blaine Irby[/tag]. A horrific injury to Irby, a few injuries to the back ups, and a few misses in recruiting later and we’re left with the current situation. [tag]Ian Harris[/tag] bobbled a ball to cause the first interception of the game and [tag]Greg Smith[/tag] almost did the same later on. Right now it looks like Texas may have to use the four or five receiver set as their base offense this year when they really want to move the ball. Mack Brown is hesitant to abandon the run, but having a tight end on the field is becoming a liability. Irby is nowhere close to be being back, and there is no guarantee he will ever be the same if or when does get back. Maybe if [tag]DJ Grant[/tag] gets healthy or one of the two incoming freshman come in ready to contribute the position has a chance. But as we stand right now Greg Davis really needs to think about using the offense he used in the second half against Oklahoma for the majority of the snaps. Luckily Texas has the receivers to play that set with no problem. In fact keeping one of them on the sideline in favor of the current tight end on the roster is a form of football dyslexia.

3. [tag]Cody Johnson[/tag] needs to be in shape

Both [tag]Vondrell McGee[/tag] and [tag]Foswhitt Whittaker[/tag] found the endzone on Sunday, and each showed a few flashes of their potential with the ball in their hands. But Texas averaged less than 3.0 yards per carry. Before his hamstring injury in the second half of the spring coaches and insiders had been raving about Johnson’s progress both running the ball and dedicating himself to being in shape. The knock on Johnson has always been his weight, but right now the coaching staff has decided to worry more about his body fat. Johnson is going to be counted on as the every down back if he can prove he can handle it. Right now Whittaker offers the team the skills needed in a third down back as long as he can prove he’ll block blitzing linebackers. Where that leads McGee is anybody’s guess, but with a good summer and fall practice it couldn’t be a total shock to see him get the opening day start. The variable in the whole situation is incoming freshman [tag]Chris Whaley[/tag]. The big back from Madisonville just participated in the 100M at the Texas Relays and by all accounts the young man is an athletic specimen. The staff was so high on him as a running back, many experts project him to outgrow the position that they chose not to recruit another one. If he reports in shape and ready to take the punishment he will be given every opportunity to win the job. If all else fails the Texas offense may look like something from Lubbock. Is that a bad thing? I can’t decide.

4. Colt McCoy will have plenty of targets.

Texas’ leading returning receiver, and Colt McCoy’s roommate and fishing buddy if you haven’t heard, [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] didn’t participate in spring practices to recover from injury the Longhorns fielded maybe the best trio of receivers ever at Texas. None of the wide outs are on the level of Roy Williams, but collectively this group may be better than the BJ Johnson and Sloan Thomas group. They weren’t as highly recruited but [tag]Malcolm Williams[/tag], [tag]Brandon Collins[/tag], and [tag]James Kirkendoll[/tag] all bring something different to the field and they work great in this offense. The quarterbacks struggled with the wind, and the secondary had seen all the patterns every day in practice, but it was obvious how much big play potential will be on the field at all times. Kirkendoll showed off his speed on a reverse, Collins works the middle beautifully and led the team in yards, and Williams can get deep whenever he wants. McCoy’s bugaboo has been the deep ball and twice he nearly missed huge plays on the outside deep down the field with Williams. One was completed but the ball was too far outside to be kept in bounds and the other was thrown a little too far in front of the streaking Williams. The sophomore just looks the part out there in his number 9 uniform. Williams, fellow receiver [tag]Dan Buckner[/tag], and Aaron Williams just jump out at you from a pure athletic stand point when you look at their physique. Watching this group work has to put a smile on the Longhorn nation’s faces because they will be on campus for a few more years. That’s not even taking into account Buckner, [tag]John Chiles[/tag], and the red-shirt freshman on campus. With the questions at tight end and in the running game the receiver becomes the most important position besides quarterback for this offense.

5. Texas football is in good hands.

Mack Brown has been the best thing that has happened to this program, and maybe to the University as a whole from an athletic standpoint, than anybody since Darrell K. Royal. With as good as Brown has been, head coach to be Will Muschamp has injected an energy into this program that needed a little jumpstart following the departure of Vince Young and the rest of the 2002 recruiting class. With one hire, and Brown deserves credit for making it and then realizing he couldn’t lose his personal energizer bunny on Red Bull, the stigma of Texas being soft or unmotivated was erased for the present future. Just a few years ago these Spring Jamborees were offensive exhibitions. Remember when the opening kickoff was returned for a touchdown every year? That won’t happen anymore. Muschamp has made everything competitive. He has given the defense pride, and more importantly, thanks to Brown he has given them stability. A stability that the offense has had the luxury of since Brown and Greg Davis arrived on campus. For the first time in a decade the defense is going to have a steady hand leading the way. With Muschamp the hand might not be steady, it may be pumping up and down, but I’ll take it.

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Posted October 8th, 2008 by Matt
Filed under: Feature, Football

Chris Ogbonnaya scoring against Colorado

Chris Ogbonnaya scoring against Colorado

Texas did beat beat a decent conference opponent on the road by 24 points, but did we really look all that good? I would say the defense probably had their best all-around game, but there are still some areas of concern. The offensive line had one of their worst games of the season and is anyone going to step up at the receiver position so Colt can throw to someone else besides Cosby and Shipley? And our running backs? Obviously Chris Ogbonnaya had a great game, but we need some more consistency from Cody Johnson and Vondrell McGee. It’s pretty scary to have to rely on Colt to do everything.

Now with all of that said, Texas is 5-0 and you really can’t ask for much more heading into OU. I guess we will really get to see what Texas is made of with their tough upcoming schedule (OU, Mizzou, OSU, @Tech).

My favorite stat of the game? QB Cody Hawkins threw for only 13/33 and 118 yards. I bet he is going to have nightmares this week of the Texas defense. Now let’s see how each position fared:

Quarterback – Overall Grade: B

[tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] probably had his worst game of the season. Colt’s stats aren’t horrible, 23/30 for 262 yards and 2 touchdowns. The concerning part is the two interceptions. One of them was just a poor decision and had Tony Romo written all over it. Luckily Colt is having his off day in a game that wasn’t ever in question. I expect Colt to bounce back and have a great game against Oklahoma.

[tag]John Chiles[/tag] seems to be looking more and more lost out there on the field. And now when he is running and seems to be reluctant and has no purpose. Hopefully this isn’t the future of the Texas QB.

Running Backs – Overall Grade: B

[tag]Chris Ogbonnaya[/tag] had a career game. Chris O started off the game with a 65 yard touchdown and reception and later added a 51 yard run. His performance on Saturday deservedly earned him the starting nod against OU. It’s the other running backs that have me a bit worried. [tag]Vondrell McGee[/tag] did show a little speed, but ended up with only 30 yards on 8 carries. I was expecting big things from McGee this year and he has yet to have that breakout game. [tag]Cody Johnson[/tag] did score two touchdowns, but had only 27 yards on 11 carries. It looks like Cody Johnson will be useful for short-yardage situations, but probably doesn’t have the fitness for much else. When is [tag]Fozzy Whittaker[/tag] going to return? We need him stat.

Wide Receivers – Overall Grade: B-

Of course [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] and [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] had great games, but I am docking the receivers because someone else needs to step-up and give Colt a solid target. Only 3 catches were made by receivers other than Cosby and Shipley (not counting RBs). That just won’t cut it against Oklahoma this weekend. Man that [tag]Blaine Irby[/tag] injury is looking more and more costly.

Defense – Overall Grade: A

The defense was the main bright spot against [tag]Colorado[/tag]. The defensive front-seven controlled the game and spent most of the game in QB [tag]Cody Hawkins[/tag]’ grill. The defensive MVP had to be [tag]Roy Miller[/tag], who had a monster game in the middle with eight tackles, a fumble recovery, three QB hits, and two pass breakups. The play of the game goes to [tag]Chykie Brown[/tag] when he knocked down a long pass attempt early in the game. If he doesn’t make that play and Colorado scores, the game could have been totally different.

Overall Grade: B

The offense was decent and the defense showed signs of greatness. So how am I feeling going into next week? Pretty nervous. But luckily no matter what happens, OU will still SUCK!

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Posted October 1st, 2008 by Matt
Filed under: Feature, Football

Colt running for a first down

Colt running for a first down

Man the Texas Longhorns sure seem to like the score 52-10, now beating 3 of the 4 teams they have played this season by that same exact margin. Let’s just hope we don’t see the other side of that score this year.

Again the Longhorns looked impressive against [tag]Arkansas[/tag] dominating the Razorbacks in every aspect of the game. Going into the game I was actually a little worried, but after seeing Casey Dick throw up floating lobs into the secondary, my fears were quickly dissipated.

My favorite stat of the game? Texas rushed for 208 yards on the ground while Arkansas managed only 11 yards. Talk about a butt-kicking.

Let’s see how each position fared in the game:

Quarterback – Overall Grade: A+

Another almost near perfect performance for [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] as he continues prove he can hurt you through the air as well as on the ground. Colt finished with only two incomplete passes going 17 of 19 for 185 yards and 3 touchdowns. Colt also added 84 yards on only 9 carriers and 2 touchdowns. I don’t really like to think about the Heisman so early in the season, but he is definitely making a case to at least be mentioned in the talks.

[tag]John Chiles[/tag] got plenty of action Saturday since the game was basically over in the first quarter. By now we all know that he can run, but I would like to start seeing him try to become more of a pass first style quarterback. Why not try to develop his passing skills during the game when we are up by 40?

Running Backs – Overall Grade: B

I wasn’t really all that impressed with that impressed with the Texas running game. [tag]Vondrell McGee[/tag] got the majority of the carries with [tag]Mack Brown[/tag] obviously still trying out the position, but he only managed to average 3.0 yards per carry with a long run of 9 yards. That kind of production against a weak team like Arkansas just doesn’t cut it. Luckily [tag]Cody Johnson[/tag] had a pretty decent game averaging 4.8 yards per carry and ended up with 1 touchdown. Right now it looks like Cody Johnson is the best back we have, and as long as he can keep is conditioning up we should be ok.

The one major blemish on the day for the running backs was when [tag]Jeremy Hills[/tag] showed absolutely no hustle late in the game on a John Chiles fumble, which ended up getting returned by Arkansas for their only touchdown of the game. You can’t totally blame that on Hills, but if you are seeing limited action you need to hustle on every play. I’m pretty sure [tag]Major Applewhite[/tag] had a few words for Hills on that one.

Wide Receivers – Overall Grade: B+

It’s really hard to give grades when you beat a team as easily as Texas did on Saturday. The receivers played pretty good all around, but everything seemed so easy it’s hard to say they were “great.” [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] looks like he is the new safety net for Colt now that we know [tag]Blaine Irby[/tag] is done for the season. They said it a few times on the telecast, but it really does look like Colt and Shipley are just out there relaxing and playing a game of catch in the backyard. Shipley ended up with 2 touchdowns and [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] added one more. The one nice thing about a blowout win is we get to see some young players get some action. Sophmores [tag]James Kirkendoll[/tag] and [tag]Brandon Collins[/tag] both look to be solid receivers.

Defense – Overall Grade: A

I believe this is the defense’s first A of the season and it is well deserved. The front seven had constant pressure on [tag]Casey Dick[/tag], and knocked him around so much that I actually almost started to feel bad for him. And for the first time this season I actually started to notice some of the secondary in a positive way. [tag]Earl Thomas[/tag] actually made some plays, and [tag]Blake Gideon[/tag]’s name was called for some other than getting beat. It looks like [tag]Will Muschamp[/tag] might actually be getting through to these guys.

[tag]Aaron Williams[/tag] returned an interception 81 yards for a touchdown in the 4th quarter on an absolutely horrible pass by the Arkansas backup quarterback. The front seven added 7 sacks with [tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag] leading the way with 2 for 17 yards in losses. Hopefully we can keep this up.

Overall Grade: A

That was about as dominating a performance as you can have. [tag]Bobby Petrino[/tag] has to be a little embarrssed with the way he made his debut in this storied rivalry. Texas now gets to start Big 12 play against a [tag]Colorado[/tag] team who is looking for revenge after their 70-3 loss in the 2005 Big 12 Championship game.

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Posted September 26th, 2008 by Mike
Filed under: Feature, Football

Sam Acho hates quarterbacks

Sam Acho hates quarterbacks

Three games into the 2008 season the Texas Longhorns have answered most of the preseason questions facing the team. However going into this week’s game against [tag]Arkansas[/tag] things are still hazy in the running game, at tight end, and with the pass defense. Read on below to see five players to keep an eye on this Saturday afternoon who might provide some much needed answers.

[tag]John Chiles[/tag]

The Texas staff stressed getting the best 11 players out on the field this year regardless of class or position. Chiles is clearly one of those players even if he is not the best quarterback on the team. Chiles offers the big play ability that UT severely needs for this offense to be as dynamic as it can be. Offensive coordinator [tag]Greg Davis[/tag] must find ways to get the former blue chip recruit involved, be it in the running game or in the passing game as a quarterback or as a receiver.

[tag]Vondrell McGee[/tag]

This could be McGee’s last week to show the coaches he is worthy of important carries in important games. So far the sophomore has done nothing to warrant a starting job and is not only getting pushed by injured [tag]Foswhitt Whittaker[/tag], but by bruiser [tag]Cody Johnson[/tag]. With Texas wanting big plays out of the running game, expect to see fewer and fewer carries for McGee unless he comes out and impresses this weekend against a SEC defense in Arkansas.

[tag]Peter Ullman[/tag]

Losing [tag]Blaine Irby[/tag] for the season is a huge blow for Texas’ offense. Irby allowed the Longhorn offense to lineup in four receiver sets without changing personnel. While Ullman will never scare opposing defenses in the passing game, he will be an upgrade in the running game and if he can add a few catches in the flats or in the shallow middle of the field Texas’ offense will continue to succeed. If the former Round Rock Dragon cannot offer any threat to opposing defenses UT may have to look at a different position for a player to contribute at the tight end position.

[tag]Sam Acho[/tag]

The coaches have been impressed with Acho since fall camp began. In reserve duty behind star [tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag] Acho has played well. If he continues to outplay [tag]Henry Melton[/tag] (who isn’t playing poorly) and backup [tag]Eddie Jones[/tag], the staff may have to look at getting Orakpo, [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag], and Acho on the field at the same time. Texas wants pressure on the quarterback, and through the first three games Acho has shown more ability to do that on a consistent basis than any other defensive lineman not named Brian Orakpo. If it continues some upperclassmen are going to find themselves standing next to [tag]Will Muschamp[/tag] more than they’d like.

[tag]Chykie Brown[/tag]

It is no secret that the weak link on the defense; and the team for that matter is in the Texas secondary. Going into the season most onlookers expected [tag]Deon Beasley[/tag] to start next to [tag]Ryan Palmer[/tag], but through the first three games it has been sophomore Chykie Brown. Brown had his struggles tackling in the first game, with every other member of the secondary, but has made good strides in the last two ball games. Texas plays a lot of five defensive back sets with Beasley playing in the slot. Opposing defenses will continue to test Brown until he shows he can make plays. A good game heading into conference play will go a long way in building confidence for the ultra talented corner.

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Posted September 21st, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Blaine IrbyIt was immediately obvious after watching the first replay of Blaine Irby’s gruesome knee injury but it is now official that the sophomore tight end will miss the remainder of the 2008 season. According to a press release from the university Sunday evening Blaine suffered a dislocated right knee and will undergo season ending surgery. He’ll be able to seek a medical redshirt and should have a full three years of eligibility remaining when he (hopefully) returns to the field in 2009.

Read the full press release including quotes from Irby and [tag]Mack Brown[/tag] below:

Longhorn sophomore starting tight end Blaine Irby sustained a dislocated right knee in Texas’ 52-10 victory over [tag]Rice[/tag] on Saturday, will undergo surgery and is out for the rest of the season, UT Head Athletic Trainer for Football Kenny Boyd confirmed on Monday.

“It’s going to be a long journey, and I just have to take it one step at a time,” Irby said. “I know the tight end spot and the offense won’t lose a beat because Peter (Ullman) and Greg (Smith) are there to lead the way. I’m going to be there too, helping out Coach Chambers. I’ll be there as a coach and a teammate and ready to help anybody in any way that they need me. Coach Brown told me that I could use a medical redshirt since this happened so early in the season, which would give me three more years, but that’s down the road. Right now, I just need to focus on being patient, taking it one day at a time, getting healthy and coming back stronger than ever.”

The 6-3, 235-pound Irby started all three games and had 10 catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns on the year. He led the Horns with seven catches for 62 yards and a TD in their 52-10 season-opening victory over Florida Atlantic. Irby also posted nine knockdown blocks in that game. He had a 23-yard catch at UTEP and registered two catches for 10 yards before sustaining the knee injury against Rice. He played in 11 games and registered two catches for 29 yards as a true freshman in 2007.

“We have a great history of tight ends and Blaine was quickly developing into the type of player to follow in those footsteps,” said head coach Mack Brown. “He was getting better every week and making a big impact in our offense. Blaine was very productive for us at a key time since we lost Jermichael (Finley) early to the NFL. As much as we’ll miss him this season, thank goodness he’ll get a redshirt year and have three seasons left when he gets back.”

In addition to Finley leaving school early, Texas also lost sophomore [tag]Josh Marshall[/tag] during preseason drills. He sustained a left scapula injury and remains out indefinitely. Senior [tag]Peter Ullman[/tag] and sophomore [tag]Greg Smith[/tag] both have played this season and will compete for the starting tight end job.

Redshirt freshman Ahmard Howard will move up the depth chart and compete for action after playing primarily on special teams this season. Fellow redshirt freshman [tag]Ian Harris[/tag], who sustained a neck sprain in August, is expected to be cleared to return to practice soon. Offensive tackle [tag]Britt Mitchell[/tag] has been playing tight end in short-yardage and goal-line situations as well.

We wish Blaine good health and determination through his rehab and can’t wait to see him back catching passes again as soon as possible.

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