Posted October 17th, 2008 by Mike
Filed under: Football

The University of Texas faces the Missouri Tigers Saturday night in primetime on ABC. ESPN Gameday will be in town for the first big game in the new and improved DKR. The Longhorns are ranked at number one in the nation after their upset win last week in Dallas. Everybody knows the Colt McCoys and the Brian Orakpos, but football games usually come down to the play of few unsung players. Here is five, technically six, to look for this Saturday.

[tag]Brandon Collins[/tag]

The Longhorn offense is still searching for a third option in the receiving game. Against the Sooners Collins made a few plays and looked like a good option out of the slot. The sophomore ended his day with three catches, which was the most by a receiver not named [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] or [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag]. With Texas moving into more four receiver sets Collins’ role should increase as defenses adjust to Shipley playing in the tight split. Yes Texas is 6-0, and yes they’re number one in the nation, but this offense will not achieve maximum production until a third receiver surfaces. People have been waiting for freshman [tag]Dan Buckner[/tag] and [tag]Malcolm Williams[/tag] to be that guy, but it seems like that will not happen this year. It is easier for smaller, slot receiver types like Collins and [tag]James Kirkendoll[/tag] to earn a quarterback’s trust mid-season. Last week Cosby proved he can get deep. One of the slot guys needs to step up and take heat off the top two guys.

[tag]Peter Ullman[/tag]

Don’t watch what he does, watch what he doesn’t do. Last weekend, for the first time this season UT’s base offense was four receivers and a running back. The tight end position was all but eliminated from the game plan save for jumbo package situations. It will be very telling for this team’s game plan going forward in the year if Greg Davis’ offense comes out running this formation for the majority of the snaps. Ever since the injury to [tag]Blaine Irby[/tag] earlier in the year, the offense has searched for a way to attack the middle in the passing game. Injuries and a lack of production from the reserve tight ends caused the staff to search for a new way. They found it last week in Jordan Shipley. If you see a lot of number 86 on Saturday (that is Ullman’s jersey number), we’ll know the formation had more to do with match ups than philosophy. But if Ullman and back up [tag]Greg Smith[/tag] are only seen near the goal line, everybody will know the Horns have a new base offense.

[tag]Henry Melton[/tag]

The front four of the Texas defense is playing at a different level, and so far most of the attention, rightfully so, has gone to [tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag] and [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag]. Quietly Melton, the senior starter and former running back, is having a very solid year. He is not going to wow anybody with his pass rushing ability, but he plays hard at the point of the attack and has shown the ability to chase down and make a play on a scrambling quarterback. As Orakpo continues his All-American play more and more focus will be shifted to his side in terms of running back and tight end help. Coordinator [tag]Will Muschamp[/tag] has used Kindle as his pass rushing specialist opposite Orakpo, but does not like to leave the speedy linebacker on the line on downs when a pass is not certain. That duty goes to Melton, and if he can add more pressure from his position on first and second down there is nothing this defense can not accomplish.

[tag]Aaron Williams[/tag]

The true freshman from Round Rock McNeil high school has been outstanding. Last week in the Oklahoma game senior starting cornerback [tag]Ryan Palmer[/tag] went down with a hamstring injury. Williams was the first guy off the bench. With Williams in the game UT’s secondary was playing three freshman out of a five man secondary against one of the best passing offenses in the nation. The group played well, only allowing seven points after the 10 minute mark of the third quarter. This week’s game sees another top passing offense on the other side of the field, and with Palmer’s status in doubt the secondary may get to play a whole game with three freshmen (two true freshmen) in the secondary of a number one ranked team. [tag]Deon Beasley[/tag] will likely get the start if Palmer can’t go, but Texas has relied on a five defensive back for most of the snaps. It seems clear that Williams has passed up sophomore [tag]Curtis Brown[/tag] for now, so a serious amount on snaps will likely go to Williams even if Palmer can go. A hamstring injury lingers and many times a player can start but have a hard time finishing ballgames. The colder weather expected for the game can’t help.

[tag]John Gold[/tag] and [tag]Justin Tucker[/tag]

Don’t kick it to Jeremy Maclin. Please don’t kick it to Jeremy Maclin. There are only a few ways Missouri can pull the upset. One of them is big plays in the return game. Last week the Longhorns proved that points on special teams can turn a game around, and if Maclin takes one back early in this game it could be the spark that lights the fuse for Missouri’s upset. The loss for the Tigers last week against [tag]Oklahoma State[/tag] has made people forget how good this Missouri team can be. Two weeks ago outsiders favored Missouri. This all changed because of one win and one loss. Texas won last week because of the kicking game and turnovers. The Longhorns could easily lose this one because of the same things if Gold or Tucker punts to Maclin through out the game. There is an argument to just kick it deep and rely on your coverage, but why chance it? I’d put my faith in Will Muschamp and the defense over the kick coverage every game. What about you?

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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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Posted September 6th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Feature, Football

Keys to Victory vs UTEPThe [tag]UTEP[/tag] fans and players have likely had this weekend circled on the calendar for months. Their match-up against the Longhorns might be the biggest game they’ve ever played in the Sun Bowl. After the Miners’ loss to lowly Buffalo last week this game lost a little luster, but the Texas team still has plenty to work on both for this game and the rest of the season.

Read below for the Longhorns’ keys to beat the UTEP Miners:

1. Don’t sleepwalk to start the game.

A 9:15pm game time is not normal for the Texas players but they can’t let it affect the way they start the game. There’s going to be a lot more downtime for the team on gameday but the players need to find a way to get into their routine and be ready for the opening kickoff. If it takes Texas two quarters to wake up, UTEP will gain confidence and start believing the upset is possible.

2. Secondary play must improve.

The young secondary certainly looked inexperienced in the first half against FAU before they settled down a bit. UTEP quarterback Trevor Vittatoe had a rough season opener but was great in 2007 and will test the pass defense. There have to be fewer mental mistakes and fewer missed tackles this week and the safeties in particular need to improve quickly. The passing defense may not hurt the Horns this week or even against Arkansas, but when the team travels to Colorado in October they better not be playing like freshmen anymore.

3. Get more big plays out of the running game.

[tag]Vondrell McGee[/tag] and [tag]Chris Ogbonnaya[/tag] were both solid last week but the longest run of the game came on a 25-yard scamper from QB [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag]. The offense was near perfect but not explosive, this week it would be good to see McGee take one 30+ yards to the house. Getting the speedy [tag]Fozzy Whittaker[/tag] back will certainly help but he’s still not full strength yet.

4. Hit UTEP quarterback Trevor Vittatoe.

The best way to help out the secondary is by getting after the quarterback. The defensive line did get decent pressure on FAU QB Rusty Smith but didn’t record a single sack. That has to change this week. Against UTEP the Horns will likely stay pretty vanilla on defense but the team should still be able to get to and hit Vittatoe repeatedly. I want to see at least one sack each from [tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag], [tag]Henry Melton[/tag], and [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag] Saturday night.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Real Name Name Year Position Rating
[tag]Buck Burnette[/tag] C #66 Soph(RS) C 78
C #60 Fresh C 72
 
[tag]Deon Beasley[/tag] CB #7 Junior CB 85
[tag]Ryan Palmer[/tag] CB #13 Senior(RS) CB 84
[tag]Curtis Brown[/tag] CB #3 Soph CB 83
[tag]Aaron Williams[/tag] CB #26 Fresh CB 80
[tag]Chykie Brown[/tag] CB #8 Soph(RS) CB 80
[tag]Earl Thomas[/tag] CB #12 Fresh(RS) CB 78
[tag]DJ Monroe[/tag] CB #27 Fresh CB 76
 
[tag]Roy Miller[/tag] DT #99 Senior DT 90
[tag]Jarvis Humphrey[/tag] DT #96 Fresh DT 80
[tag]Brian Ellis[/tag] DT #90 Soph(RS) DT 78
[tag]Ben Alexander[/tag] DT #92 Junior DT 76
[tag]Kheeston Randall[/tag] DT #88 Fresh DT 76
 
[tag]Chris Ogbonnayya[/tag] FB #3 Senior(RS) FB 93
[tag]Cody Johnson[/tag] FB #31 Fresh(RS) FB 72
 
[tag]Ben Wells[/tag] FS #5 Fresh(RS) FS 84
[tag]Christian Scott[/tag] FS #6 Fresh(RS) FS 77
[tag]Blake Gideon[/tag] FS #21 Fresh FS 77
 
[tag]Vondrell McGee[/tag] HB #2 Soph(RS) HB 85
[tag]DeSean Hales[/tag] HB #30 Fresh HB 80
[tag]Antwan Cobb[/tag] HB #24 Soph(RS) HB 79
[tag]Fozzy Whittaker[/tag] HB #22 Fresh(RS) HB 78
[tag]Jeremy Hills[/tag] HB #32 Fresh HB 76
[tag]Tre Newton[/tag] HB #23 Fresh HB 73
 
[tag]Hunter Lawrence[/tag] K #15 Junior K 82
[tag]Justin Tucker[/tag] K #9 Fresh K 69
 
[tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag] LE #33 Junior LE 91
[tag]Aaron Lewis[/tag] LE #95 Senior LE 85
[tag]Henry Melton[/tag] LE #37 Senior LE 80
 
[tag]Charlie Tanner[/tag] LG #52 Junior(RS) LG 86
[tag]Tray Allen[/tag] LG #70 Soph LG 82
[tag]Chris Hall[/tag] LG #71 Junior(RS) LG 81
[tag]Aundre McGaskey[/tag] LG #76 Fresh(RS) LG 74
 
[tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag] LOLB #2 Junior LOLB 85
LOLB #16 Fresh LOLB 80
LOLB #57 Fresh LOLB 76
 
[tag]David Snow[/tag] LT #78 Fresh LT 78
[tag]Britt Mitchell[/tag] LT #72 Soph(RS) LT 78
 
[tag]Rashad Bobino[/tag] MLB #44 Senior(RS) MLB 90
[tag]Jared Norton[/tag] MLB #11 Junior MLB 85
 
[tag]Trevor Gerland[/tag] P #17 Junior(RS) P 83
 
[tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] QB #12 Junior(RS) QB 89
[tag]Sherrod Harris[/tag] QB #17 Soph(RS) QB 81
[tag]John Chiles[/tag] QB #7 Soph QB 79
 
[tag]Eddie Jones[/tag] RE #32 Soph(RS) RE 92
[tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag] RE #98 Senior(RS) RE 90
[tag]Russell Carter[/tag] RE #97 Fresh(RS) RE 77
 
[tag]Cedric Dockery[/tag] RG #55 Senior(RS) RG 89
[tag]Michael Huey[/tag] RG #63 Soph RG 81
 
[tag]Roddrick Muckelroy[/tag] ROLB #38 Junior(RS) ROLB 87
[tag]Keenan Robinson[/tag] ROLB #53 Fresh(RS) ROLB 82
ROLB #4 Fresh ROLB 75
 
[tag]Adam Ulatoski[/tag] RT #74 Junior(RS) RT 85
[tag]Mark Buchanan[/tag] RT #54 Fresh RT 74
 
[tag]Ishie Oduegwu[/tag] SS #19 Junior(RS) SS 88
[tag]Nolan Brewster[/tag] SS #36 Fresh SS 79
 
[tag]Peter Ullman[/tag] TE #86 Senior(RS) TE 81
[tag]Ahmard Howard[/tag] TE #13 Fresh(RS) TE 74
[tag]Blaine Irby[/tag] TE #19 Soph TE 73
 
[tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] WR #6 Senior WR 89
[tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] WR #8 Senior(RS) WR 84
[tag]Montre Webber[/tag] WR #14 Soph(RS) WR 83
[tag]Dan Buckner[/tag] WR #4 Fresh WR 79
[tag]Malcolm Williams[/tag] WR #9 Fresh(RS) WR 78
[tag]DJ Grant[/tag] WR #80 Fresh WR 75
[tag]Antoine Hicks[/tag] WR #81 Fresh WR 75
[tag]James Kirkendoll[/tag] WR #87 Soph WR 74
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Posted March 29th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football, Live, Spring Football

The last scrimmage/practice of the spring is about to get underway on Fox Sports Southwest. The Orange-White Game is most fans’ first look at a lot of players and it’s always interesting to see who is playing where. We won’t see much (if any) new scheme or plays, but it’s football and gosh darnit I like it. The most important thing in this type of event is always that nobody gets seriously injured.

I’ll be posting my live thoughts and opinions below.

First Quarter

Nice to see we tackled more this spring, much more so that we did more full contact drills than in a scrimmage like this.

Here’s the spring roster off the official site. Definitely going to be needed today.

[tag]Tray Allen[/tag] gets the start today at left tackle with [tag]Adam Ulatoski[/tag] out.

I thought [tag]Brandon Collins[/tag] had dropped that pass but on the replay cornerback [tag]Deon Beasley[/tag] made a nice diving play to break it up. Collins probably needs to use his body better though to prevent the defender from being able to do that so easily.

I don’t know about that interference penalty on Beasley. [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] threw a nice pass but put it over [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag]’s wrong shoulder. He had the position and Colt should have been able to put it in a more catchable position.

Not a good job on the [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] reverse by [tag]Henry Melton[/tag]. As the backside defensive end his responsibilities are RCC (reverse, counter, or cutback) and while he held his spot for a moment he started to pursue too quickly. Not a good job by the corner/safety over there either, the moment they saw Shipley going back the other way they should have been screaming at the top of their lungs.

[tag]Ishie Oduegwu[/tag] is in street clothes on the sideline, I didn’t realize he was hurt. I assume that’s why true freshman [tag]Blake Gideon[/tag] got the start at safety for Team Tradition. Okay that’s the last time I’ll mention these lame team names.

[tag]John Chiles[/tag] and [tag]Fozzy Whittaker[/tag] screwed up the hand-off on their first play of the day. Zone read and Chiles tried to change his mind and keep it but they put in on the turf.

On his first pass attempt Chiles makes a decent throw to Collins but he looked like he was tripled covered. The pocket was still holding so I think John could have waited another tick, bought himself some time, and looked for a more open receiver.

Nice run by [tag]Vondrell McGee[/tag] ended with him delivering a blow to [tag]Earl Thomas[/tag]. Good play though by Thomas to hold on despite the big hit and make the tackle.

I hope we’re not planning on playing freshman kicker [tag]Justin Tucker[/tag]. We’ve already got [tag]Ryan Bailey[/tag] and [tag]Hunter Lawrence[/tag] and I want one of them to win the kicking job this year so we can afford to redshirt Tucker.

[tag]Russell Carter[/tag] sure looks like a football player. Big old sucker. Nice play by him bringing down Whitaker.

(more …)

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Posted December 27th, 2007 by Brian
Filed under: Bowls, Football, Live

I’ll be posting periodic updates, comments, and vulgarity as the game goes on. It’s kickoff time and I’m as fired up as I’ve been since early on in the season. Let’s see how the Horns respond to a little adversity.

First Quarter
  • 2 seconds in to the game and it’s clear Brent Musberger didn’t do any preparation. Brutally mispronounces [tag]Chris Ogbonnaya[/tag]’s name and then calls [tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag] the name of some random walk on. Houston takes the very short pooch kick off and the Horns start the game off with the ball out at the 50.
  • Looked like a bad read by [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] on the zone read. Picks up close to 10 yards though and the Horns have a 3rd and 3. Big play as the team really needs to get going early.
  • 3rd and short run that the line did a terrible job blocking on but [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] breaks it for a 15 yard game.
  • [tag]Mack Brown[/tag] is right. Charles was hit out of bounds down low and that should have been a penalty.
  • Bad awareness by [tag]Nate Jones[/tag]. He was wide open but let himself drift out of the back of the end zone. Announcers have good comment though about how the design of the end zone in the stadium could be confusing.
  • [tag]Greg Davis[/tag] is a gosh damn genius!!!!!!! WoooOoo! Touchdown [tag]Derek Lokey[/tag] for the touchdown!!! That a boy! Bill Belichick would be proud.
Arizona State 0, Texas 7
  • The team really looks fired up. Let’s hope that results in some inspired play, and no let down once that energy wears off.
  • [tag]Jared Norton[/tag], [tag]Roddrick Muckelroy[/tag], and [tag]Scott Derry[/tag] are the starters at linebacker. That might shut some Internet coaches up (for a few minutes.)
  • And Norton is already hurt. Damnit.
  • Defensive package on 3rd and long includes only 3 down lineman, [tag]Drew Kelson[/tag] and [tag]Deon Beasley[/tag] in there as extra pass defenders. Nice new look.
  • Designed QB draw play. I don’t mind McCoy scrambling (in fact he’s been darn good at it this season) but not sure we should be calling too many first quarter QB runs in the huddle.
  • As Musberger talks about [tag]Chris Hall[/tag] I just noticed that freshman [tag]Kyle Hix[/tag] is getting the start at right tackle and they’ve moved [tag]Adam Ulatoski[/tag] to the left side.
  • [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] on the reverse pass. Not really anybody open and Cosby does the smart thing and just throws it away. Or maybe it twas just a terrible throw. The play wasn’t blocked well and the receivers were all covered as well.
  • [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag] in there on this series. Norton back in there as well.
  • Fumble! Maybe. They called it a fumble on the field at least as corner [tag]Brandon Foster[/tag] appears to rip the ball out as the ASU running back falls to the ground. Looks like he had it out before his knee was down and doesn’t look like there’s 100% evidence of the contrary. Replay confirms, Texas ball!
  • Hot damn! Hey there [tag]John Chiles[/tag], I vaguely remember you buddy. The young dual threat QB is in there and on the first play Charles takes the zone read hand off close to 50 yards. On the very Next play Chiles keeps it on the same play off the left end for the touchdown! (Psst… where has this been all year?)
Arizona State 0, Texas 14

  • In case you hadn’t noticed, yes I’m about 5 minutes behind live on the DVR. I’ll be caught up after one or two commercial breaks.
  • Wonder what the wind situation is like. [tag]Hunter Lawrence[/tag]’s kickoffs have all been pretty short.
  • Has Roger Clemens hired investigator to “discredit Brian McNamee” or two prove that he didn’t take steroids? Those are two very different things.
  • Not only did senior [tag]Robert Killebrew[/tag] not get the start at linebacker but I haven’t seen him in on defense at all yet tonight. Two series in a row where it’s nothing but the young guys and Derry is off the field as well.
  • [tag]Erick Jackson[/tag] got really burned on a deep pass but gets back just in time because of the underthrown ball (and maybe a little early) and the ball is tipped up and safety [tag]Marcus Griffin[/tag] has the ball come right to him for the interception.
  • I like the fair catch trash talk by the ASU punt returner. “Did you see the way I waved my arm and caught the ball. You can’t handle this!”
  • Killebrew, Derry, and [tag]Rashad Bobino[/tag] in there for this series.
  • Can Musberger get anyone’s name right? It’s Dick Tomey, not Toomey. Dufus.
  • Finally. McCoy scrambles and throws deep on the run and get its to his open receiver Cosby for a huge 55 yard gain. That a boy Colt.
  • And Charles runs tough and right through the Sun Devils’ defense for the 15-yard TD run. Heck of a run and refusal to get tackled by one guy. The Horns are now up 3 scores and it’s still the first quarter. Come on guys keep this up, don’t let an ASU score or anything swing this momentum.
Arizona State 0, Texas 21
  • Veteran linebackers in for second series in a row. [tag]Henry Melton[/tag] getting some early playing time at defensive end.
  • Bobino shaken up. Now both middle linebackers have needed to be helped up by the medical staff but both were able to walk off on their own power.
  • We’re bring multiple linebackers on every play and if we don’t start getting to Carpenter a step quicker we could be in trouble.

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Posted October 13th, 2007 by Brian
Filed under: Football, Live

Today’s matchup for the Longhorns against [tag]Iowa State[/tag] should be a rout, but there’s been lots of games like that this season and Texas only took care of business against Rice. The Horns need to continue the solid play from last week against Oklahoma and if they can they should be able to come home with a comfortable win.

Follow with me and my random thoughts during the game below:

First Quarter
  • I wonder when FSN Southwest will be in high definition on DirecTV? It looks like the game is being shot in HD and if I had FSNMW I could be watching it in HD. Oh well.
  • Ryan Bailey kicking off, is Hunter Lawrence hurt?
  • Same starting lineup on defense that we’ve seen all year.
  • Texas is only 7th in the Big 12 in punt returns? [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] is solid back there so I don’t really blame him for that number. With Limas Sweed out for the year it might be time to protect Cosby and put one of the young WR/DB’s back there.
  • Long bomb from [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] to [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] on Texas’ first offensive play. McCoy does nice job buying time in a collapsing pocket and finds Shipley wide open. 58-yard touchdown for the Horns.
Texas 7, Iowa State 0
  • FSN’s wonderful coverage continues. They take a TV timeout and miss both the kickoff and the first ISU play after it. Sad.
  • FSN announcers are apparently using an OU roster instead of Texas.
  • On third down play it looks like defensive line slants to the field and [tag]Robert Killebrew[/tag] lets the ISU runner get wide for the first down. Might have been Lamarr Houston’s fault. Terrible defensive fundamentals.
  • I was just going to complain about the lack of pressure from the Texas defense then [tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag] comes untouched off the end for the sack.
  • Face raped? Yikes. Not sure you should say that on TV. That was a definite face mask but the reason the helmet comes off is that it’s not fitted correctly. Your helmet should never come off that easy. He said face rape again.
  • Is our defense really this poorly coached? We’ve got guys flying inside to avoid blockers on every play. If you’re a defensive end and have a linebacker blitzing to your inside you can’t try to get in the same gap. Ugh.
  • [tag]Derek Lokey[/tag] playing defensive end on that play. He got whipped man on man and gave up a big run.
  • Texas holds on third down and forces a field goal. Field goal is wide right. Break for Texas as Iowa State had put together a very solid drive.
  • Mental mistake by wide receiver covered up Jermichael Finley. FSN announcers are morons.
  • Looks like [tag]Chris Ogbonnaya[/tag] is seeing increased playing time already over Jamaal Charles. If we’re going with the wide open offense that’s a good idea since he’s a better blocker and pass catcher than Charles.
  • Looks like McCoy is growing a sweet mustache. Couple more weeks and that might be thick enough to show up on camera.
  • Ogbonnaya and [tag]Vondrell McGee[/tag] get the two Texas redzone rushing attempts. Hope Charles can keep his head up, figure out the issue, and earn these attempts back.
  • Not sure that was a well advised throw by McCoy but man did Cosby get up and get that one. No good camera angle but I think that might have come out a little when he hit the ground. Another good scramble to buy time and find a receiver by Colt.
Texas 14, Iowa State 0
  • Hunter Lawrence kicking off on this one. Wonder why it wasn’t him in there on the first one?
  • Young linebackers in there for this series.

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Posted September 6th, 2005 by Matt
Filed under: Football

In a nutshell, Texas had their way with Louisiana Lafayette, which is indicated by the 60-3 score. Texas did pretty much anything they wanted to on offense, including rushing for 418 yards. The defense was also stout, and you could tell right from the start that Louisiana Lafayette was going to have trouble doing anything. I guess the only real down spot is Saturday’s game is the special teams, who missed 3 extra points! Now let’s move on to a position-by-position look at how the Longhorns graded out on Saturday.

Quarterback – Overall Grade: A

After [tag]Vince Young[/tag]’s 5 touchdown performance in the Rose Bowl, there is no surprise that he entered this season as one of the top contenders for the Heisman Trophy. With all of that pressure, I was interested to see how he would perform. I think it is safe to say that Young did not disappoint. Young finished the game with an efficient 13-17 for 173 yards. He looked to be very comfortable throwing the ball and you could tell he has gained a lot of confindence this past off-season. [tag]Matt Nordgren[/tag] played for most of the second half but did not attempt a single pass attempt. He did scramble a few times, showing off an interesting technique of gaining more yards when going out of bounds.

Running Backs – Overall Grade: A+

Texas appears to have a full stable of speedy and powerful tailbacks to compliment quarterback Vince Young this year. Freshman running backs [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] and [tag]Henry Melton[/tag] had a huge impact on the game, with Charles running for 135 yards and 1 score and Melton running for 65 yards and 2 scores. I swear it looked like Melton couldn’t be tackled. A bigger and quicker [tag]Selvin Young[/tag] added 65 yards and speedster [tag]Ramonce Taylor[/tag] also added 65 yards. With a total of 418 yards, I would say things are definitely looking good for the Texas running game.

Receivers / Tight Ends – Overall Grade: B

[tag]David Thomas[/tag] was up to his usual self, making big plays and scored 2 touchdowns on 3 catches. With his 2 touchdowns, David Thomas moved into fifth place all-time at Texas for a tight end with his 51th career reception. Senior [tag]Brian Carter[/tag] also help out by setting a career high with three receptions against the Ragin’ Cajuns for 65 yards, matching his previous career total of three receptions in only the first half. [tag]Nate Jones[/tag], [tag]Limas Sweed[/tag], and [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] also performed well, with Nate Jones scoring his first career touchdown. It was nice to see some consistency in this group and I look forward to seeing them improve this year.

Offensive Line – Overall Grade: A+

Considering that Selvin Young, Jamaal Charles, Henry Melton, Ramonce Taylor and Vince Young averaged 9.5 yards per carry, I would say that the offensive line did pretty well on Saturday. [tag]Justin Blalock[/tag] (fellow Plano East grad) led the offensive line who just totally dominated Louisana Lafayette. Hopefully they keep the same aggressiveness next Saturday against OSU.

(more …)

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