Posted September 6th, 2010 by Ross
Filed under: Feature, 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 Rice Owls.

Sam Acho sacks the Rice QB causing a fumble.

Sam Acho sacks the Rice QB causing a fumble.

Pregame (15:00) WTH Sherman Williams?! Did your paint truck have an accident on ESPN sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards shirt? Wow…I have no fashion sense but that outfit was almost as loud as the announced attendance of 70,445 at Reliant Stadium.

1st Quarter (6:56) WTH Jones?! I can understand avoiding the dangerous kick returners that we have on the team. But watch out for our secret weapon DE returner Eddie Jones who led all Texas kickoff returners with 41 total yards.

2nd Quarter (14:48) WTH Duran RD 1?! Looks like the Hands of Stone hit the UT secondary. Cornerback Chykie Brown dropped a sure interception for a touchdown when the ball was thrown right at him. Can we say that the SI Jinx has now been applied?

2nd Quarter (7:56) WTH Cowboy?! Kenny Vaccaro was furious on consecutive plays when he lit up Rice running back Tyler Smith. How many star tattoos do you have on your arms? Special shout out to Keenan Robinson who with the help of defensive end Sam Acho turned the tables on Rice with a sack and return for a touchdown.

2nd Quarter (:04) WTH Replay Booth?! What is up with that extraordinary blooper pass completion to Rice WR Randy Kitchens that resulted in one of the two touchdowns that Rice would score? Come on CUSA officials, you could not tell me that his legs were touching before he even tried to extend the ball. Did the ball even cross the goal line? Even the television shot of Rice Coach David Bailiff showed he was surprised by the outcome.

Halftime WTH MOB?! Lost another halftime show. Prediction sure to come true that we will lose the last game of the year too! It was great to see the “oldies” volunteering to march with the band to fill out the roster.

3rd Quarter (8:55) WTH Duran RD 2?! UT cornerback Aaron Williams dropped a sure touchdown as the secondary brought their stone hands to the game. Thank goodness he did not muff a punt return…oh wait.

3rd Quarter (3:42) WTH Newton?! It is amazing how a shifty running back who finds creases makes the offensive line blocking look so much better. RB Tre Newton clearly has established himself as the lead back with his third touchdown. With Newton, Fozzy Whittaker and Cody Johnson the team ran for just under 200 yards. It was good to be stubborn against the Feisty Night Birds but when the real season starts lets mix up the play calling to help open up the run.

4th Quarter (3:40) WTH Duran RD 3?! Aaron Williams will be an all conference player at the end of the season for his defense, but he will not win many special team awards if his decision making ability does not improve. His muff punt return allowed the Owls to tack on another touchdown to make the score look better.

Next up for the Longhorn’s are the Cowboys from Wyoming at 6pm on Sept. 11th.

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 40 Acres Sports or follow me at Horns1991. HOOK EM!!

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Posted November 15th, 2009 by Brian
Filed under: Feature, Football

No slow start this week for the Texas Longhorns. [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] and company took it to the Baylor Bears early and often Saturday afternoon. They ran the ball well, threw the ball with ease, and the defense dominated and had a shutout until late scores against the backups. Check out highlights from the game below:

<a href="http://msn.foxsports.com/video?vid=9bb9f1dc-0444-48b3-9322-31fd9a43d72b&#038;from=IV2_en-us_foxsports_CFB&#038;fg=gtlv2" target="_new" title="Highlights: (2) Texas - Baylor">Video: Highlights: (2) Texas &#8211; Baylor</a>
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Posted November 14th, 2009 by Brian
Filed under: Feature, Football, Live

Follow along live with 40 Acres Sports on Twitter and below for our thoughts and analysis during today’s Texas game versus [tag]Baylor[/tag] on FSN. We’ll be live right around kickoff so join us to discuss the game bright and early at 11:00am Saturday.

Feel free to leave comments and questions using the live tool, but not all comments will be published. Read below for more notes on comments and how the live blog will work. Hook ’em!

(continue to read full live blog …)

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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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Texas will enter the 2009 season with national yitle hopes after a stellar 2008 campaign. In fact, [tag]Mack Brown[/tag] was pointing towards 2009 last offseason as the team he was looking forward to taking to his second title. Even with the anticipated success there are a few question marks on the field.

1. Will the offensive line play get better?

Texas struggled to run the ball late in games all of last year. Mack Brown wants that to change. So much so that all accounts point to the team spending most of the spring figuring out what needs to change. Outsiders point to scheme, but this is the same scheme that allowed [tag]Vince Young[/tag], Selvin Young, and Jamaal Charles to rack up tons of yards in 2005. The difference is Kasey Studdard, Jonathan Scott, and Justin Blalock won’t be in the starting lineup. The big guys up front have been good, but not great, and with most of them now in their third and fourth year in the program there are no more excuses. Texas’ offensive lineman must play stronger at the point of attack for this offense to be as balanced as Brown wants it to be. The Longhorns may not have a true game breaker in the backfield, but they’re good enough to do damage if given the holes. If Texas can get a running game going the offense could be the best ever at Texas. Guys like [tag]Charlie Tanner[/tag], [tag]Michael Huey[/tag], and [tag]Kyle Hix[/tag] need to step up and be as dominant as most think they can be.

2. Who is going to step up at running back?

For most of the spring [tag]Cody Johnson[/tag] was running with the first team. Texas is looking to go under center more this year, and Johnson is clearly the best downhill runner on the roster, at least until [tag]Chris Whaley[/tag] reports. Unfortunately, Johnson got hurt and will miss the spring game on Sunday. The door could be no more wide open for the likes of [tag]Vondrell McGee[/tag], [tag]Foswhitt Whittaker[/tag], [tag]Tre Newton[/tag], and [tag]Jeremy Hills[/tag]. The staff knows what they have in McGee and Whittaker. McGee is explosive and a hard runner, but doesn’t offer the receiving and/or blocking skills position coach Major Applewhite stresses in his players. A lot of people feel like the staff wants Whittaker to be the guy because of his skill set, but the little guy just can’t stay healthy. There hasn’t been a huge buzz around Hills or Newton but an eye opening spring game could set them up for playing time in the fall. The fact is somebody needs to step up because the running game is the only thing holding this offense back.

3. Who will get to the quarterback?

We all know [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag] will be on one side, but who will be the other defensive end? Texas feels like Kindle will replace the production provided by soon to be multi-millionaire [tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag], but who will replace Kindle’s? Right now it looks like [tag]Sam Acho[/tag] will get the start with [tag]Eddie Jones[/tag] and maybe even freshman [tag]Alex Okafor[/tag] getting looks on pure rushing situations. Defensive coordinator [tag]Will Muschamp[/tag] has Acho’s brother Emmanuel working at the buck end position along with starting inside linebacker [tag]Jared Norton[/tag]. More than likely it won’t matter who is on the field, Muschamp won’t allow the defense not to get pressure. How much will Texas show in the spring game is a question that can’t be answered, but with a secondary that returns all but one contributor it is likely that Muschamp will unleash the hounds this year. The question is will he apply pressure because of his personnel like last year, or will he have to do it with scheme.

4. Who’ll play in the nickel formation?

For all intents and purposes the Longhorn defense is a 4-2-5. Texas says their base is a three linebacker set, but with the offenses they face in the Big 12 more times than not five defensive backs on the field. Going into the spring there were grumblings about the perceived battle between returning starter [tag]Blake Gideon[/tag] and the message board deity [tag]Christian Scott[/tag] and who will get the snaps, but it looks like Muschamp has found an answer, and that answer is both. The speed and versatility of [tag]Earl Thomas[/tag] has allowed Muschamp to play him in the slot while keeping the brains of Gideon on the field while not sacrificing the athletic gifts of Scott. The cornerback situation appears to have already settled despite what anybody says. Right now [tag]Chykie Brown[/tag] and [tag]Aaron Williams[/tag] are locked in as the starters with [tag]Curtis Brown[/tag] and [tag]Deon Beasley[/tag] backing up. In the past it has been hard for underclassman to jump over guys with more experience but it looks like the talent of Williams is too much to overlook. The true sophomore to be has a chance to be one of the best defensive backs to come through the 40 acres if what the staff thinks about him is true. The whole formation depends on how Thomas does in the slot. If he can stay there, Texas can have three safeties on the field.

5. Who will step up and lead?

We know who the likely candidates are on offense. [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag], [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag], and [tag]Adam Ulatoski[/tag] would figure to take charge on that side of the ball. All three levels of the defense will lose the guy most pegged as their emotional leader. The defensive line lost [tag]Roy Miller[/tag] and Brian Orakpo, the linebackers lost Rashad Bobino, and the defensive backs lost Ryan Palmer. If last year’s team taught us anything it is that leadership or the lack there of can never be overlooked. If you need any other evidence take a look at the Cowboys. From a talent perspective Kindle and [tag]Roddrick Muckelroy[/tag] would lead the charge, but both of those guys are quiet and low key by nature. [tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag] has been said to be taking charge in the front seven and Thomas has it locked in the secondary. The team keeping the momentum and mentality of last year will ultimately decide if all the goals are met this season.

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Posted November 18th, 2008 by Mike
Filed under: Feature, Football

Sergio Kindle made like Superman against KU

Sergio Kindle made like Superman against KU

Texas’ defense stepped up big posting a shutout in the first half and only seven points in the whole game. [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] played another good game keeping the teams championship hopes as well as his Heisman hopes alive. Texas did what they had to do, but it may not be enough as they do not control their own destiny to either the conference or national title game.

  1. [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag] – It just makes sense to have a defensive player at the top of the big board. When the game was in doubt the defense was suffocating. On three straight drives in the first half [tag]Kansas[/tag] turned the ball over twice on downs and fumbled. The reason for the success was the pressure on quarterback Todd Reesing. Sergio Kindle led the way off the edge with [tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag] limited in what he could do. Kindle managed a sack and a half but put pressure on Kansas all game.
  2. [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] – McCoy just continues to perform at a level that none could have predicted. Most onlookers have probably waited for the Heisman candidate to come back to earth, but McCoy has done no such thing. He played good in the passing game, especially considering the conditions, and provided yards on the ground when the running backs struggled to do so. McCoy has been invaluable to this team. He controls everything the Longhorn offense does. He finished 24 of 34 for 255 yards and two touchdowns. McCoy added 83 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
  3. [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] – For all of the pub that McCoy and [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] get for being roommates and child hood friends, it is Cosby that makes the Longhorn passing offense go. When Cosby went down in the Tech game it was obvious that the passing game struggled to find a new identity. Cosby puts Texas in consistent second and third and shorts and is the guy that stretches the field. He scored a touchdown in the second half while grabbing six balls for 70 yards.
  4. [tag]Roy Miller[/tag] – The senior defensive tackle is going to be the hardest Longhorn to replace next year. Miller has become a monster in the middle with the ability to play the run and the pass. He has become a leader on the team, and seemingly shows up with his “A” game every week. He recorded a half sack early in the game and made it impossible for Kansas to get anything going in the run game. The Texas defense has survived with Brian Orakpo so far, I’m not sure it would without Miller right now.
  5. [tag]Henry Melton[/tag] – Too bad Melton is a senior because he is a year or so away from becoming a dominant defensive end. His athleticism, especially his footwork, allows him to make plays despite being behind in his technique at the position. The former running back gets better every time he steps on the field as he has finally seemed to embrace being a defensive player. He finished with three tackles, a sack, and two tackles for loss in the win.
  6. [tag]David Snow[/tag] – It is hard to measure the play of the individual offensive lineman without knowing their assignments. But when a true freshman that has been splitting his time between two different positions steps in to play center on three days notice and you barely think about it the whole game somebody is playing well. Snow had one bad snap, on a short yardage play. It was hard to tell if it was a bad snap, a miscommunication, or if McCoy simply dropped it. With [tag]Chris Hall[/tag] coming back next year it is hard to see where Snow will fit in to the starting lineup. But one thing is for sure, he will get snaps somewhere.
  7. [tag]Eddie Jones[/tag] – The best thing that can come out of an injury to a key player is the emergence of the next star. It may be premature to call Jones a star, but the talent is there and a performance like his against Kansas can give everyone some hope moving forward. The former five star recruit showed his athleticism on a pitch play in the first half. He tracked down the running back in space and forced a fourth down play. His stat sheet doesn’t wow you, only two tackles, one being for a loss, and one quarterback hit. But with Melton and Orakpo being gone next year, it was nice to see Jones make an impact.
  8. [tag]Christian Scott[/tag] – It took one play for Scott to make an impact from his safety position. On the snap after Kansas running back Angus Quigley knocked starter Blake Gideon out of the game Scott came in and violently sent a message back. For the rest of the game Scott was all over the field. [tag]Will Muschamp[/tag] has said Scott possesses the most physical upside of any of the young safeties. Scott is going to have to be more than just a Saturday performer to get consistent snaps however. Muschamp wants hard work in the film room and on the practice field, and if Scott can put that work in Gideon and Earl Thomas may have some competition in the secondary.
  9. [tag]Blake Gideon[/tag] – Before the injury in the third quarter Gideon was playing one of his best games all season. He was making plays in the secondary as well as putting pressure on the quarterback in key situations. The true freshman is just a solid football player that puts his nose in any and everything he can. He flies around the field and always appears to be in the right place at the right time. Gideon appeared to suffer a concussion, so it will be interesting to see how cautious the staff is moving forward.
  10. [tag]Foswhitt Whittaker[/tag] – The Texas game struggled on the day, but Whittaker found a way to contribute in the passing game. In the first half he recorded all his receptions, a total of five for 42 yards. Whittaker is the one back on the roster that can put a defense on their heels and it was important for the red-shirt freshman to show he can block and catch out of the backfield. The staff needs to find better ways to get him the ball on handoffs, but the fact he was able to play as much as he did is a good sign for the Longhorn offense.
  11. [tag]Roddrick Muckelroy[/tag] – Muckelroy has been Texas’ most consistent linebacker all year long. He leads the team in tackles on the season and finished tied for second on the team against Kansas with six tackles. Kansas’ offense puts more pressure on the corners than the linebackers, but Muckelroy consistently showed up on plays. He swarms to the ball and provides support in both the run game and the middle passing game. The junior’s value, opposed to say a Jared Norton, is that he can play on every down in distance. He is no longer a liability in the passing game.
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Posted October 8th, 2008 by Mike
Filed under: Feature, Football

Every game between Texas and OU is huge, but with the rankings and the BCS implications the 2008 meeting carries extra weight. Both teams enter the game as top 5 teams, and the winner not only has the inside track to win the Big 12 South, but also has to be considered the favorite to play for the national championship at the Orange Bowl.

When Texas has the ball

Texas enters the game without a clear cut go to running back, a tight end that can catch, and a receiver that can stretch the field. Yet, the offense has been clicking on all cylinders due to the stellar play of third year quarterback [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag]. This week is not the time to try and tinker with things offensively so expect McCoy to have the ball in his hands most of the game. I wouldn’t be surprised to see McCoy throw the ball 40 times Saturday, especially if the Horns find themselves playing from behind. Most onlookers feel OU has the mental advantage heading into these because of the blowouts that started this decade, but none of these players were on those teams. In fact, the Texas players in this game have won two out of the last three against the Sooners, and last year could have easily been won if it weren’t were a few key mistakes by NFL rookie [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag].

Oklahoma’s defense is good, but the secondary is not great. McCoy and his receivers will have a clear advantage in the passing game as long as the offensive line gives him enough time to get rid of the ball. Texas’ line struggled last week in blitz pickup at times, but the coaches and players have suggested that it was due to Colorado playing uncharacteristically. OU will be OU, and [tag]Greg Davis [/tag]and his offense should know what to expect.

I don’t see Texas being able to run the ball consistently against this Sooner front seven. The Longhorn offense has struggled to run the ball against lesser opponents and to expect the light to just come on would be unrealistic. The only chance Texas has of creating plays in the running game is if Fozzy Whittaker is able to play and play well. The added speed he gives the backfield allows UT’s offense to run the zone read much more effectively. I expect the backs to be used as receivers as much as anything else.

This game will come down to turnovers and protection. Texas has excelled in those areas so far in the season, but the level of competition and emotion will be sky high on Saturday. If Texas can control the ball and limit mistakes there is a good chance this offense is able to put up points against Oklahoma.

When Oklahoma has the ball

Oklahoma’s offense is scary good. The introduction of the no huddle as their primary offense gives the Sooners an overwhelming number of advantages. It allows quarterback Sam Bradford to snap the ball before defensive adjustments and substitutions are made. OU’s running game hasn’t been a world beater either as running back DeMarco Murray hasn’t had the same burst he had last year in the Red River Shootout when he took a huge run over 60 yards for a back breaking touchdown.

Texas’ defense has gotten better each week. The secondary play has improved dramatically, but most of it has to do with the pressure the defensive line has been able to produce. It will be interesting to see if the back four (or five when they play in nickel) will hold up if Bradford is allowed time. OU’s line is the best in the nation and it may force defensive coordinator [tag]Will Muschamp[/tag] to blitz more than he would like. If Texas can create pressure with the front four it will allow for more players to cover Oklahoma receivers.

I expect UT to handle the Sooner run game, so just like when Texas has the ball expect Bradford to control the game for OU. The quarterback who makes the most mistakes or faces the most pressure will likely leave Dallas as the loser.

The key for Texas’ defense will be to utilize the depth in the front four they have tried so hard to build. If a guy like [tag]Sam Acho[/tag] or [tag]Eddie Jones[/tag] can provide pressure when [tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag] is getting a breather it will make OU’s no huddle offense less effective. For the first time since Bob Stoops took over in Norman I feel that Texas has the advantage in coaching because of [tag]Major Applewhite[/tag] and Muschamp. If Texas’ defense keep them in the game all the credit in the world must go to the first year coordinator that has single handily changed the mindset of this group of young Longhorns.

Hook ’em.

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

The Longhorns get conference play started this week with a road game against the Colorado Buffaloes. Texas has been on a roll, while CU enters the game after suffering their first loss of the season last week in [tag]Florida State[/tag]. Last year, Colorado shocked [tag]Oklahoma[/tag] in Boulder the week before the UT-OU showdown so Texas will have to show up to play and not look ahead to Dallas if they want to leave undefeated.

When Texas has the ball

Quarterback [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] has played as good as any other quarterback in the country. McCoy has played as good as any player in the country. Period. The guy has done everything for the Longhorns: he runs, he passes, he pooch punts, if he cleaned the locker room and prepared the food would you be shocked? Me neither. A great quarterback gives a football team a chance to win every game. McCoy is a great quarterback, and shows no signs of slowing down in the first test Texas faces this season. The offensive line has been above average. While the pass coverage has been outstanding, this group must take some of the blame for a lack of production from the backs. Colorado has given up a ton of yards in back to back games to [tag]West Virginia[/tag] and Florida State. A good day would be great for confidence heading into OU week.

The Colorado defense is simple, but good. They don’t blitz a lot, they don’t disguise coverage, they play mostly zone. Expect Texas to pass, and do it often with McCoy getting pre-snap reads on virtually every play. Texas is hopeful running back [tag]Foswhitt Whittaker[/tag] will be back this weekend. Couple the darting style of Whittaker with the emergent bruising style of [tag]Cody Johnson[/tag] and the struggling Longhorn backfield could become one of the better tandems in the nation. Take into account that both of them are freshman and it should ease the anxiety of a Longhorn fan base that is used to stars toting the rock.

The biggest concern for Texas fans should be the inability of [tag]Malcolm Williams[/tag], and to a lesser extent [tag]Dan Buckner[/tag], to become a deep threat that opposing coaches must worry about. I can not remember one deep ball thrown to either of these guys when the ball wasn’t near the goal line. [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] and [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] have been very good, but with the loss of [tag]Blaine Irby[/tag] a threat down the field needs to replace the threat in the middle to allow space for Cosby and Shipley. If the offense can’t find one, the room Shipley and Cosby have been enjoying will dry up quickly.

When Colorado has the ball

Last week we finally got to see what [tag]Will Muschamp[/tag] is going to do with the Texas defense. Attack, attack, attack. The Longhorn defense was flying to the ball, and when they got their they made sure Arkansas ball carriers remembered it. Never under [tag]Mack Brown[/tag] has a defense been as fast and aggressive as the defense was this week. When the knowledge and experience that only comes with game snaps catches up with the raw talent and energy of this defense this group is going to remind a lot of people of the old Miami and Florida State defenses UT fans used to beg for. Mack Brown’s best coaching move may be hiring Will Muschamp when it is all said and done.

On offense Colorado is just a solid football team. They don’t do a lot of things great, but they don’t hurt themselves. These are the types of teams that can jump up and bite a better team. If Texas makes mistakes and lets Colorado hang around, the home crowd could put them over the top. However, these types of teams can also be overwhelmed if the better team applies pressure from the beginning. The best way to silence a crowd is to make big plays with your defense.

UT has already scored twice this year on the defensive side of the ball. Texas is ranked in the top 10 in scoring defense, and has been applying a ton of pressure the last two games. The combination of [tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag] and [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag] has to keep opposing quarterbacks awake at night. With those two coming off the edge, it has almost been a guarantee someone is getting to the quarterback. Add [tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag], [tag]Henry Melton[/tag], [tag]Sam Acho[/tag], and [tag]Eddie Jones[/tag], and you can see how Texas has recorded seven sacks in each of the last two games.

Muschamp biggest contribution could be the job he is doing as the linebackers coach. Last year this same group of players looked lost in many situations. The scheme seemed to have them playing on their hills, a skill the collective group lacks. The scheme brought in by Muschamp has the linebacker’s core playing downhill and loving it. And while the group of [tag]Rashad Bobino[/tag], [tag]Roddrick Muckelroy[/tag], Sergio Kindle, and [tag]Jared Norton[/tag] have been great; the next great linebacker at Texas may have had his coming out party against Arkansas in the second half. His name is [tag]Keenan Robinson[/tag]. The freshman was everywhere, and just appeared to be playing at a different speed. Muschamp loves speed. I don’t know whose snaps will be taken away, but Robinson is going to play more and more.

The secondary is coming together, and it has all hinged on the play of safety [tag]Earl Thomas[/tag]. The secondary is what it is, but if Thomas can play with his swagger, and the front seven keeps applying pressure they have a chance to improve greatly. The best friend to a secondary is a pass rush, and I expect Texas to blitz a lot from here on out. The young secondary will get beat a few times, but so far they have gotten better each week. Muschamp will make sure that continues.

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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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