Posted November 1st, 2010 by Brian
Filed under: Feature, Football

This post is supported by Sonic. Log on to flavortouchdown.com to enter for a chance to win the Sonic Flavor Touchdown Sweepstakes.

The 2010 season hasn’t exactly gone as everyone hoped. Okay, that’s probably a huge understatement.

Texas fans knew this would be a rebuilding year while breaking in a new quarterback and finding a replacement for the most productive wide receiver in the history of the program. They didn’t expect this. It’s not just that Texas has lost games, it’s the shocking way they’ve done so without any semblance of an offense and a sieve of defense.

Depending on what happens in 2011, this can either go down as a season where the Longhorns regrouped and reloaded or it could be the end of an era. These five players will determine which way it goes:

Garrett Gilbert

Or maybe it’s Case McCoy or Connor Wood or David Ash. Or the ghost of Vince Young. Whoever it is, the quarterback play in 2010 has been terrible and you can’t win games when you’re turning the ball over as much as the Horns are this season. Not all of this falls directly on Gilbert. His supporting cast has dropped touchdown passes, struggles to run the football, and frequently makes defensive ends you’ve never heard of look like All-Americans. The 2011 season (and rest of 2010) hinges on a quarterback stepping up and making plays and making the players around him better.

Mike Davis

There have been glimpses. One of the biggest things missing from this team is a playmaker and wide receiver Mike Davis has shown that he might be that guy. He’s a favorite target of Gilbert and can make big plays after the catch. He has to continue to get better at the consistency of his hands and his route running, but if he turns the corner this offseason he could be the guy who turns an inconsistent offense into a dominant one.

Mason Walters and Garrett Gilbert

Mason Walters and Garrett Gilbert are critical to a 2011 rebound. (Image: Inside Texas)

Mason Walters/Christian Westerman

It’s been a while (2005?) since Texas fans were satisfied with the team’s offensive line play and this season it has hit rock bottom. Next year will feature at least three new starters on the line but that may be a good thing. Redshirt freshman Mason Walters has started every game this season and the results have been mixed, but he and current high school senior Christian Westerman may be your starting tackles next year and if they can give the quarterback a consistently comfortable pocket the suddenly Sonic Flavor Touchdowns are a little easier to come by. The entire line needs a makeover into a tougher, more aggressive unit and it starts with these two guys.

Aaron Williams

Williams has played great this season but not as great as some were expecting. The Thorpe Award candidate is a lockdown corner and a surefire first round NFL draft pick if he decides to leave but if he returns he immediately makes the Texas defense national title caliber. A return for his senior season isn’t as far fetched as it sounds, with the looming NFL labor issues more top draft picks will come back to school for another year than expected.

Jackson Jeffcoat

True freshman defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat didn’t play against Iowa State due to injury and his presence was definitely missed. He’s not an every down player (yet) but he’s already a dangerous pass rusher and guys that can go get the quarterback make everyone around them better. If Jeffcoat can stay healthy and progresses as hoped he should be a double digit sack guy for the rest of his career.

Texas fans will be watching. Who is going to step up and right this ship?

Log on to flavortouchdown.com to enter for a chance to win the Sonic Flavor Touchdown Sweepstakes. You could win a prize package and a VIP football trip for 6 to the bowl game of your choice. Hopefully the Longhorns win at least two more games this season and make it to one of them.

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Posted October 19th, 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 Huskers.

Red Out Around the World {10-16-10} We are not going to forget that date either Husker fans!

1st Quarter (9:58) WTH Defense?! The defense came to play. Coach Blood put together a game plan to stop Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez. Eddie Jones stripped Taylor on their second possession and Keenan Robinson recovered the fumble.

1st Quarter (8:06) WTH VY?! I mean GG. Garrett Gilbert executed the game plan from Greg Davis to perfection which was running the ball when the opportunity presented itself. The running lane was there for a six yard scamper into the end zone!

2nd Quarter (15:00) WTH Burkhead?! You could tell that Nebraska wanted this win so bad that they were tight when the Horns jumped out to a 10 point lead to start the second half. Nebraska’s Rex Burkhead was streaking down the sidelines when he let a sure touchdown slip through his fingertips.

3rd Quarter (8:52) WTH Williams?! I know that you had to lay out to make the touchdown grab but great players make that catch. Malcolm Williams is a frustrating player. The easy ones he drops, this one was suppose to be tough.

4th Quarter (7:19) WTH Husker Nation?! Nebraska fans are the best fans in college football. But you lost a little class when you started booing after Curtis Brown was shaken up on a play. The fans thought Curtis was faking an injury to slow down the momentum that the Nebraska offense was trying to develop. You guys know better than that on how to act when a kid is injured.

4th Quarter (6:33) WTH Kinnie?! This was the last of four dropped passes for scores that proved the original thought that the team and the fan base put to much pressure on this team to win. Brandon Kinnie had a sure touchdown on a crucial fourth down play that ended any hopes for the Huskers.

4th Quarter (3:24) WTH Pelini?! I have been critical of Coach Bo on previous articles. I want to give kudos for putting Eric Hagg at the goal line in anticipation of the pooch punt by Justin Tucker when the Horns lined up for an apparent field goal. The Huskers have a got a good thing going with Coach Bo.

Next up for the Longhorns is Iowa State in Austin at 11:00 am on October 23rd.

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 September 13th, 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 Wyoming Cowboys.

Garrett Gilbert vs Wyoming

Texas QB Garrett Gilbert passed for 222 yards and found a new favorite target vs Wyoming.

1st Quarter (3:12) WTH Replay Booth?! I have officially seen the worst booth review in the history of officiating. After Wyoming punts the ball, a Cowboy defender rolls into the end zone with the football for a clear touchback. I believe even in the officials on the field were asking themselves are you kidding me. The play stood and the Horns took over on their 20.

2nd Quarter (3:24) WTH Fozzy Bear?! We have a new starting running back at Texas. Fozzy Whittaker rumbled through four tacklers on his way for a 39 yard touchdown that even Earl Campbell would be proud. He finished as the leading rusher for the game… with 62 yards?

2nd Quarter (1:48) WTH Davis?! Be ready for this tandem to strike for many more touchdowns, when Garret Gilbert hit Mike Davis on a quick pass that Davis took it the distance for a 45 yard touchdown to seal the game. The freshman wide receiver lead all pass catchers with 104 yards for the evening.

3rd Quarter (6:00) WTH Late Flag?! Blake Gideon lit up a Wyoming receiver which resulted in an incomplete pass. The hit brought back memories of a Longhorn great John Hagy. The ref decided to throw a flag because he thought it was a flag football game. I loved Coach Blood’s assessment of the bad call as “it is better to say Whoa than Giddy up” to his fired up defense.

3rd Quarter (1:38) WTH Cowboys?! Not only was that fake field goal poorly executed to try and gain some momentum. The camera shot of your oldest fan wearing nothing but a yellow Wyoming barrel was another empty and disturbing moment.

4th Quarter (12:01) WTH UT Fans?! Seriously. Did you not know that the “Wave” is old and out dated? Glad to see that a 29 yard pass completion by the Cowboys put an end to that effort. The Hellraisers with Fox Sports Jim Knox was another fan forgettable moment.

End of Game WTH UT Tower?! I enjoy seeing the tower lit orange on the Godzillatron minus the kids trying to get in the camera shot. But as much as we want to show our spirit and tradition after winning a game, it would have been nice not to see the Tower clock at 6:30 when the game was over at 9:30pm.

Next up for the Longhorn’s are the Red Raiders in Lubbock at 7pm on Sept. 18th.

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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I hope that we are all happy as we start heading into the new season with a brand new quarterback and new expectations. The past five years have been an incredible run for the Longhorn football team with more wins in the programs history than at any other time in our 127 year history.

Let’s all take a moment to reflect back when this run all started in the mountains of California. (love the personal videos!)

“The Kick” coupled with the maturation of one of the greatest Longhorn players, Vince Young, brought us the momentum we needed to achieve greatness. This greatness was realized the very next year with a 13-0 record and a BCS National Championship when the Horns beat the glitzy boys from Southern Cal 41-38. The ultimate responsibility of following up such a legend was laid upon the shoulders of a young face quarterback from Tuscola Texas. That young player named Colt McCoy had the support of an energized and confident coach in Mack Brown to continue that success for the next four years. Those four years culminated in three bowl wins including a Big XII championship.

This historic kick put the Longhorns once again on the brink of success in the BCS National Championship game until the story book run came to an end. Colt McCoy none the less provided more wins than any Longhorn or college quarterback has ever delivered with 45 wins.

Why do I recap these moments that everyone clearly has experienced themselves? The reason is the fear that we will forget the past and not appreciate the run as we start the 2010 season. This year’s team is loaded with standout defensive players all led by Coach Blood. Our offense has a few question marks, but blue chips can be found including the quarterback who grew up quickly before our eyes against Alabama. I know that we have questions at running back and we are changing our offense scheme to be a more running team, but we should win every game, right?!

I feel good about going into this year but not with the type of success that we have seen around here over the past five years. Garrett Gilbert is the real deal, but I see growing pains along with our offensive line struggling with him. I still see us reaching 10 wins, but I see that 10th win coming at Jerry World (aka the Cotton Bowl) after we finish the regular season 9-3. Who will we lose to… be sure to check out all of our predictions at 40 Acres Sports throughout the season before every game. I hope that I am wrong, but I do not see Dusty Mangum or Hunter Lawrence on our team so I will just appreciate the season before us.

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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Great early coverage of Texas football moving on from Colt McCoy to new quarterback Garrett Gilbert from ESPN. Read Ivan Maisel’s excellent article on Gilbert with quotes from Texas coach Mack Brown, McCoy, and current teammates, and then be sure watch the video of on the story.

Link: Texas moves on with Garrett Gilbert

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Defensive tackle Derek Johnson is a big dude. Can he play? (Image: MBTF)

Defensive tackle Derek Johnson is a big dude. Can he play as good as he looks? (Image: MBTF)

After nearly two whole months without Texas football, Friday was finally the first day of Spring practice. No tidbits yet (practices are closed to the public) but the official site does have a short video to watch and a nice photo gallery as well.

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Posted February 9th, 2010 by Brian
Filed under: Football

According to ESPN blogger Tim Griffin, Garrett Gilbert’s job may be the toughest in the Big 12 for 2010…

Texas QB Colt McCoy: He leaves school as the most statistically proficient quarterback in school history, although his career will forever be marked by his near misses in the Heisman Trophy balloting over the past two seasons and his injury in his final college game against Alabama. Garrett Gilbert will be facing some big shoes to replace when Texas practice starts later this month.

Read the full top 5 biggest shoes to fill.

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Texas head coach Mack Brown talks to ESPNU about the incredible haul of recruits he brought in today and about Garrett Gilbert replacing Colt McCoy. Watch…

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Posted January 18th, 2010 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 [tag]Alabama[/tag] in the Citi BCS National Championship.

I know that this post is over a week late. I needed at least that much time to get some perspective from attending this National Championship game.

Pre Game (Coin Toss) WTH Saban?! Nick Saban, your team wins the coin toss and you decide to take the ball first. The big bad SEC which claims that no one else plays defense but you guys are the ones that decide to go on offense first. Nick, either you’re tremendously cocky or you saw something that the Horns could take advantage of which you felt you needed to put points on the board first.

1st Quarter (13:01) WTH Saban #2?! OK, Nick. I am starting to think you were scared of the Horns offense. You go for a fake punt on your own 20 yard line. [tag]Blake Gideon[/tag] baited the punter PJ Fitzgerald to make the pass, but Nick you gave the green light for your players to execute this play. Hey Saban, looks to me your were a little concerned.

1st Quarter (10:54) WTH Moment of the Season?! The Tide’s Marcell Dareus hit was nowhere close to the shots that [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] has taken while on the 40 acres. One of the most irritating stats of the game was this was Dareus’ only recorded tackle of the entire game. The tackle caused a pinched nerve that affected his throwing arm which ended Colt’s storied career. I hear some people complaining that Colt should have never been carrying the ball because he is too important to the team. These same people said leading up to this week that Colt was going to have to run to keep the Tide’s defense off balance. Isn’t hindsight a beautiful thing?

2nd Quarter (:03) WTH Hix?! To top his only tackle of the game Marcell Dareus recorded an interception just before the end of the half (he won the defensive MVP based on this play alone). The frustrating part of the [tag]Garrett Gilbert[/tag] shovel pass was not the drop by [tag]DJ Monroe[/tag]. It was the lack of a tackle by offensive lineman [tag]Kyle Hix[/tag] who could have held him up for at least a second or two instead of trying to barrel roll him down.

3rd Quarter (12:05) WTH Gold Streaker?! The gold masked man with a website on the back of his shirt wanted to interrupt the football game to protest… the BCS. I believe all universities need to be on look out for more masked streakers who want a playoff system.

3rd Quarter (:45) WTH Pass Catchers?! I have made this statement for a second consecutive game. This young group of receivers needed to come up big in this game even more so since Garrett Gilbert went in to replace Colt. Malcolm Williams’ finger tip touch of the football in the end zone would have brought UT within a single score before the start of the fourth quarter. Dan Buckner had a crucial drop early in the game until he made a solid catch in the endzone for a two point conversion. We need all the receivers including the newest recruits, Darius White and Demarco Cobbs, to help out a developing quarterback like Garrett next year. (Who knew these words would mean so much more with the dismissal of wide receivers Brandon Collins and Dan Buckner)

4th Quarter (3:14) WTH Mack Magic?! I thought of these words when Garrett took over the ball at the seven yard line. After the Longhorn faithful thought the game was over when Colt went down, the UT side of the Rose Bowl was stoked about a possible tie or go ahead score. Just a few seconds later, Alabama’s Eryck Anders recorded their only sack of the game which caused Garrett to fumble and end any momentum. I do need to point out that the OL protection got better towards the end of the game even after losing All-Big 12 center [tag]Chris Hall[/tag].

4th Quarter (1:48) WTH Saban #3?! With the score 31-21 in favor of Alabama, Nick Saban cemented himself as a red a** going in for a meaningless score. His own player, Javier Arenas, who intercepted the ball and fell to the ground instead of trying to score, showed more respect that Saban. Operating from the victory formation with only one timeout left on the Texas sideline would have ended the game. To use basketball terminology, instead of dribbling out the clock, Saban decided to dunk the ball over his opponent. I subscribe to the fact that the defense is the one responsible for stopping the other team from scoring. But when you can take a knee that will end the game with your team hoisting the ball in victory, that is the ultimate ending for a championship team.

Thanks for following my WTH articles throughout the football 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 January 8th, 2010 by Brian
Filed under: Bowls, Football

Fantastic article from Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel on the pair of Longhorn quarterbacks who each suffered devastating nights against [tag]Alabama[/tag] in the BCS title game. The opening bit on Colt McCoy and his father really got to me…

Colt McCoy lined up about 7 yards from his dad, Brad. This was inside the Texas locker room underneath the Rose Bowl bleachers, the Longhorns quarterback missing the biggest game of his career, about to attempt the most important throw of his life.

Colt had the ball and was going to pass it to his dad as a slew of doctors and trainers watched closely. How many times had these two thrown a football back and forth, from their yard in little Tuscola, Texas, to the practice fields of Jim Ned High School, where the dad was the coach and the son was the star?

“Millions,” Colt said. “Millions of times.”

Colt had just lied to the Texas doctors and said that he was capable of returning to the BCS title game against Alabama. A hit by the Tide’s Marcell Dareus, on the fifth play of the game, had sent him to this locker room. He wanted back out there. So he tried to sound convincing despite the fact his arm felt “like a noodle.”

He hadn’t come this far to sit. Colt McCoy was going to lead Texas to the championship. He believed this. He’d always believed this. When he went down, he said, “We were about to dominate.” They weren’t going to lose, not where the Longhorns had last won a championship in 2005, not against a team against whom they’d never lost, certainly not 37-21, as the scoreboard would show after 60 minutes.

Yet on the TV in the corner, he had seen it all fade away in his absence. Alabama was rolling; Texas’ early lead was long gone.

So Colt gripped the ball, stared at his dad and thought, “It’s just a simple throw.” He threw. The ball went soft and wide. Everyone grimaced. “Give it to me again,” Colt demanded. Brad got the ball and gave it back to his son. The next throw was the same, bouncing harmlessly away. “Give it to me again,” Colt said, again. Brad did.

It was the same. It was over. Colt couldn’t throw it 7 yards to his own father. “My arm was dead,” he said. The dad hugged his son. The son broke down and cried.

“There’s no pain on my body,” Colt said later. “If I was a free safety, I’d go out there and make a tackle. I [just] have no strength to throw a football.”

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