Posted October 31st, 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 tonight’s Texas game versus [tag]Oklahoma State[/tag] on ABC. We’ll be live right around kickoff so join us to discuss the game right around 7:00pm tonight.

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 …)

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

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

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

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

1. Will a running back step up?

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

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

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

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

2. Can Texas play without a tight end?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Are Keenan Robinson and Emmanuel Acho ready?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Posted April 30th, 2009 by BT
Filed under: Feature, Football

Chris Ogbonnaya scores against the Sooners.

Chris Ogbonnaya scores against the Sooners.

Sometimes, I love ESPN Classic. Usually when they replay college football during the “dog days” of the season (May-July) that keeps my ever-present desire for college football that much sharper. One such occasion occurred last week, as ESPNC replayed the Texas/OU 2008 game in all its glory, unless you’re a Sooner. So, with pen and paper in hand, I decided to cue up my DVR and record some observations in hindsight (i.e. when I’m not shot gunning Modello’s and cursing whatever evil demon Bob Stoops sold his soul to). Enjoy!

1. Our offensive line got whipped in the first half.

Colt was running for his life in the 1st half, and our passing game was relegated to quick passes out of necessity. I forgot how badly we got worked in this area early on. The three first half sacks really could have been six were Colt not so mobile.

2. The Ryan Reynolds myth.

I have officially had enough of this crap; YOU know what I’m talking about, cause we’ve all heard this excuse since about five minutes after the final gun in the RRS. We only began to move the ball once Oklahoma’s leader Ryan Reynolds left the game with a knee injury, and IF he stays healthy it would have been a different story. If you need a refresher, just read this OU stooge or check the game recap at Red Dirt Kings.

Funny thing about it… Reynolds wasn’t even on the preseason All Big-12 team; after he tears his ACL every Sooner fan will tell you he’s the best MLB in the country. Let’s look at some hard data:

For the game, in which he lasted about 2 1/2 quarters, Reynolds registered 3 tackles. What’s more, two of them game on his first series (he stuck [tag]Chris Ogbonnaya[/tag] for no gain, and then limited him to a 3 yard run). So, for those of you math majors, in the remaining 2 quarters he played (which translates to five series) he made ONE TACKLE!! Why the drop off in production? Simple once we went to the 4 WR formations, Reynolds became obsolete. He’s your typical OU linebacker, he plays the run aggressively and rushes the passer, but if you get him in coverage he is vulnerable. Three separate times in the first half, [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] either shook him loose or made him miss badly on a tackle. It was a totally mismatch, and St. Reynolds became Donnie from The Big Lebowski…totally out of his element. The longer he would have stayed in the game, the worse he would have looked.

So, why did we start to move the ball better in the second half? Because their defensive line wore down, giving Colt more time to find holes in the zone defense Oklahoma was playing. Reynolds being in there would have lead to him having to cover someone down the field, and we’ve seen that movie (go cue up [tag]Jermichael Finley[/tag] career highlight video, I swear half the plays are against Oklahoma. Where he was covered by… drumroll please… Ryan Reynolds).

One more thing, Reynolds’ replacement Brandon Crow, who OU fans blame solely for the loss to us, registered five tackles in barely over a quarter of action. That’s right, Reynolds’s replacement logged almost twice as many tackles than he did. So, that’s it, Ryan Reynolds is good not great and his injury didn’t hurt OU all that much. The next time snotty dirt burglar fans try to use his injury as an excuse, drop the hammer of knowledge on them.

3. Our “calls”

You know, cause between the refs screwing them AND losing the greatest linebacker every to step put on a pair of shoulder pads, what chance did OU have to win the game? This might be beating a dead horse, but I decided to look into this for the record. There were three main calls that drew criticism: the two roughing the passer calls and the “fumbled” interception in the end zone that was ruled an incomplete pass.

  • The first roughing the passer call was a BAD call that went in our favor, no question about it. This call bailed us out of a 3rd and 14 and probably resulted in a “free” 3 points for us. No excuses.
  • The second RTP penalty was correct. It wasn’t malicious, but Colt was a good four steps out of bound when Travis Lewis shoves him in the back and jerks his jersey. It looked to be one of those “I’ll hit you late, but not hard enough to get a flag” shenanigans that OU seems to specialize in. Keep your hands to yourself Mr. Lewis!
  • The dropped interception…I don’t even know what to say. It’s like trying to explain to a grownup why water is wet; you don’t even know how to begin because the point is so blatantly obvious that any explanation feels asinine. Anyway, here goes… IF a player catches the ball, maintains possession, but when he hits the ground the ball gets jarred loose, IT IS NOT A CATCH!! Invariably there is always some moron who chimes in (usually very know-it-allish) “The ground can’t cause a fumble!” No, it can’t, but it damn sure can cause an incompletion. Learn it, live it, love it.

4. OU’s tomfoolery

Before I can get into this, I think everyone out there that supports the Burnt Orange can agree that Oklahoma cheats worse than a meth-addicted three card Monte dealer. However, that seems to be a common theme in ANY heated rivalry; the Haggys and Red Faders swear that the refs give us every call. The difference is, in this case it is totally true (see Big Red Auto Imports and any game film of an Oklahoma). But instead of making random claims, I decided to game to the game film:

  • 1st drive of the game (that didn’t take long, did it?), [tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag] beats Duke Robinson off the ball and has a beeline to sack Bradford. Robinson grabs Houston’s jersey and spins him (blatant holding) and Bradford has time to let the play develop and hit the running back for a 34-yard gain. There is no way that WASN’T holding! So instead of a third and long (if Houston makes the sack) or 2nd and 20 (if the refs could have found their flags), OU had a 1st down in Texas territory.
  • In the second quarter, 2nd and 19, Oklahoma runs that jailbreak screen and Manual Johnson is a good yard past the line of scrimmage when he catches the ball. That would have been okay, except for the three OU linemen downfield. Instead of a 2nd and 24, they get 3rd and 6.
  • In the third quarter, same situation that I just described, only this time Johnson is a good two yards past the line of scrimmage when he catches the ball. Instead of 3rd and 15, they score a touchdown.

That’s three infractions calls that OU got away with, all which lead to touchdowns. And don’t even get me started on Loadholt; he grabbed Orakpo so often I think he wanted to date him. Don’t be shy Phil, tell him how you feel!

  • In the sake of fairness, there were a couple of plays I thought OU got away with something turned out to be legit. A few of their jailbreak screens WERE behind the line of scrimmage (nullifying the illegal man downfield) and the first touchdown where I thought Manual Johnson never broke the plane (he clearly did).
  • You want proof of the Big 12 media bias for the Sooners? Trent Williams, the All-Big 12 first team and winner of the lineman of the year award, was absolutely destroyed by [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag]. Sergio beat him for a sack, two QB pressures and drew a holding penalty against Williams. DeMarcco Murray, who was a repeat selection on the All-Big 12 team first team, did absolutely nothing against us, gaining seven yards on six carries. And the Big 12 coach of the year Bob Stoops? He spent the entire second half taking turns looking confused, and then constipated.

In closing, now that I have watched this game for the third time, this was Oklahoma’s best shot. Seriously. DeMarcco Murray was healthy (for all the good he did), Oklahoma busted out their maddeningly effective jailbreak screen for this game (which we had no time to prepare for, as opposed to Florida) and they converted all their opportunities inside the red zone. For all the smoke being blown about how OU was a different team at the end of the season, with all due respect, so were we. Our freshman safeties had grown up, the young receivers had emerged and our defense was playing lights out (allowing 16 points combined it its last 2 regular season games). We could have played them again and the result would have been the same.

God, I can’t wait for October 17th!


Posted November 15th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Bad news on the injury front this week for the [tag]Kansas[/tag] game. We knew starting center [tag]Chris Hall[/tag] would be out with a knee injury but cornerback [tag]Aaron Williams[/tag] and tight end [tag]Ian Harris[/tag] are also out. The true freshman Williams has been big for the secondary filling in and playing well while starting corner [tag]Chykie Brown[/tag] was out, fortunately Brown is not on this week’s injury report.

Listed as questionable are two key members of the defensive line in end [tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag] and tackle [tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag]. Both players could play and rumors are both should be on the field today in Lawrence. Safety [tag]Ben Wells[/tag] is also questionable.

With the offensive line injury, off field, and performance issues the last few weeks it is very good news that left tackle [tag]Adam Ulatoski[/tag] is probable.


Posted November 13th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football, Media

Feel free to have your own opinion of what Buck Burnette’s punishment should have been and whether a mistake that destroys a team is worse than other criminal offenses, but at least don’t base it on “facts” that you made up yourself.

Read the story below from, no link because they don’t deserve it:

Crime and punishment at Texas
Bill Trocchi

Sorry if I’m late on this topic, but let me get this straight.

Texas linebacker [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag] was arrested for driving while intoxicated in the summer of 2007 and got a three-game suspension.

Texas defensive end [tag]Henry Melton[/tag] was arrested for driving while intoxicated in the summer of 2007 and got a three-game suspension.

Texas defensive tackle [tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag] was arrested for driving while intoxicated in September and got a one-game suspension. Here’s a link on all three arrests.

Texas center Buck Burnette posted a text message he received from a friend that contained a racial slur directed at Barack Obama on his Facebook page and was dismissed from the team.


Ah, now I see. Look at the depth chart. Kindle, Melton and Houston all start. Burnette was a backup. Hmmmm.

Clearly, discipline needed to be handed out in all four cases. But the Facebook incident is by far the least punishable. Offensive? Yes. Stupid? Yes. Endangering the lives of others? No.

You can’t suspend a guy for one game after a DWI arrest and dismiss another for a Facebook racial slur. It is an insincere attempt to show you run such a clean and virtuous a program that you boot (backup) players when they post stupid, racially insensitive remarks on a Facebook page.

And then you hope nobody notices you start three drunk drivers on defense.

Let’s review those facts…

  • Melton, Kindle, and Houston received lighter punishments because they’re starters. – Actually only Houston was a starter at the time of his arrest. Kindle was a second stringer who mainly saw time on special teams while Melton was buried on the depth chart after switching to defense from running back.
  • “The Facebook incident is by far the least punishable.” – Actually, threatening the life of the President is a federal offense, but it doesn’t sound like he knew what Burnette actually said. Just today a Spring man was sentenced to 30 months in jail for threatening George W. Bush and another man faces up to 35 years in jail for threats he made on Internet message boards. Sounds pretty serious to me. The first DWI offense in Texas is punishable with up to 180 days in jail.
  • Backups don’t matter so it’s okay to punish them. – With the injury this week to starting center [tag]Chris Hall[/tag] the importance of backups is even more clear. Texas will be starting a true freshman at center against [tag]Kansas[/tag] instead of Burnette.

I can see that he’s easily confused.

I’m not sure what fact checking Sports Illustrated does of their FanNation blog, but this article should have never gone up. Despite repeated corrections to the article being posted by commenters the original story still hasn’t been updated or corrected.


Posted November 8th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Feature, Football, Live

Follow along below with our live thoughts and analysis during today’s Texas Longhorns game versus [tag]Baylor[/tag] on FSN. Participate in the discussion by following 40acressports on Twitter or by refreshing and commenting on this post.

Texas vs. Baylor tweets

Can Lamarr Houston get quick pressure on Harrell?

Can Lamarr Houston get quick pressure on Harrell?

At this point in the season teams offer very few surprises. They are who they are. Guys like [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag], [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag], [tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag], and [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag] are going to be crucial for Texas to win their fourth straight high profile match up in Saturday night’s game against [tag]Texas Tech[/tag]. Beyond those guys there are a few players that fly under the radar that are equally responsible for the Longhorn success.

[tag]Brandon Collins[/tag]

The Texas offense has moved from a good offense to a great offense starting with the [tag]Oklahoma[/tag] game. The main reason has been the implementation of the four receiver set and the main reason the set is working is because of the solid play of sophomore receiver Brandon Collins. Wide outs Jordan Shipley and [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] get all of the hype, but when tight end [tag]Blaine Irby[/tag] went down with a knee injury one of the young receivers needed to step up. There were a lot of potential suitors for the third receiver spot with freshmen [tag]Malcolm Williams[/tag] and [tag]Dan Buckner[/tag] expected to get the snaps because of their physical skills, but it has been the sure handed Collins that has emerged as an every game player. His skills are in the mold of Shipley and Cosby in that he can fit into tight spots in the middle of the field. He is smaller and quicker than Buckner or Williams who rely on speed more than quickness. Cosby leaves after this year and his spot will be in good hands with Collins.

[tag]Adam Ulatoski[/tag]

The big offensive tackle has struggled through injuries in previous seasons, but has been able to stay healthy and hold down Colt McCoy’s blind side. Overall, the offensive line has played great, especially in pass coverage, and a lot of the credit has to do with the play of the junior left tackle. In the win over Oklahoma, Ulatoski shut down Auston English and has done so to all the defensive ends he faced before and after. McCoy’s mistakes come when he is rushed, so if this offensive line can give the Heisman front runner the time to sit back and pass with a clean pocket the Texas offense will pick apart a porous Tech defense.

[tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag]

The Texas Tech offense makes it hard for edge rushers to impact the game by using enormous splits for their offense line. The best way to disrupt a passer is to get pressure into his face from the middle and with the philosophy Tech’s offense uses in regards to splits, up the middle pressure is the best and sometimes only way to get to quarterback Graham Harrell. Fellow defensive tackles [tag]Roy Miller[/tag] and [tag]Aaron Lewis[/tag] are more gap style inside players, so the ex defensive end Houston will be the man to provide pressure for the front if Texas hopes to provide it. The importance of the inside pass rush could pay dividends to the outside guys like Melton, Kindle, and Orakpo because Harrell will be forced to move around, and once he does the speed of the Texas ends will be able to force sacks and badly thrown balls. Texas used their inside guys against [tag]Missouri[/tag] before having to use them to focus on the run last week against [tag]Oklahoma State[/tag]. Look for Texas to use the Missouri game plan again this week.

[tag]Aaron Williams[/tag]

In most cases freshmen in the secondary, especially true freshmen would spell certain disaster for a defense going up against the high powered passing attack of Texas Tech. At times in this week’s game the Longhorns will have three freshmen in their back five or six against maybe the best passing offense in the nation. Williams has played a lot of football this year, so inexperience isn’t as big of a problem as it may be in most cases, but with the nagging injuries to [tag]Chykie Brown[/tag] and [tag]Ryan Palmer[/tag] it looks like Williams will be counted on to step up big time. The true freshman from McNeil looks to have all the tools needed to be a big time player in the secondary, but no one knows if he is ready to play major snaps in a primetime game against two top 10 teams. My guess is he will be fine and that this secondary will be great for years to come.

[tag]Curtis Brown[/tag]

Curtis Brown is another young cornerback whose role has increased the last few weeks because of the injuries to the other cornerbacks and the styles of offenses the Longhorns have been facing. A lot of people on the outside of the program were concerned about Brown’s progress as little as three weeks ago, with many wondering aloud on message boards if it was time to move the athletic sophomore to offense. The former Gilmer star made a big play in special teams against OU in Dallas and since has played with the confidence a player in the secondary has to have. Coaches and players say all the time that what separates a lot of sports stars is plain old confidence. “Swagger” can turn a good player into an impact player overnight. The light has appeared to come on for Curtis and he’ll get plenty of opportunities to prove it Saturday night in Lubbock.


Pontiac Game Changing PerformanceThe Texas defense bent (a lot) against [tag]Oklahoma State[/tag] but held strong just when they needed to secure the win. In what may have been the most important play of the season so far they stuffed the OSU offense on fourth down on a critical fourth quarter drive. The defense sniffed out the wide receiver slip screen and defensive tackle [tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag] tackled Dez Bryant as soon as he caught the ball, well short of the needed yardage.

That play is up against plays from [tag]Florida State[/tag], [tag]Georgia[/tag]. and probably the deserving winner from the [tag]Ohio State[/tag]/[tag]Penn State[/tag] game. That big hit and then fumble by Terrelle Pryor probably put Joe Pa in the title game.

Go to and vote for the Horns. Be sure to click on “Rush” to see the ESPN guys talk at length after a good replay of [tag]Vince Young[/tag] running for 80 yards against Okie State back in the incredible 2005 game.


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.


Posted September 20th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Feature, Football, Live

Follow along below with our live thoughts and analysis during tonight’s game versus [tag]Rice[/tag]. 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!

Notes: Comments on the article itself will be turned off till after the game. The Writer can view all comments sent to them but only they can publish your comments for everyone to see. The “autoscroll” feature ensures you’re always shown the newest content without having to refresh or scroll your screen. Subtle sound effects alert you to new content as the writer publishes it. You can turn these features on or off by using the controls at the bottom of the Live Blog.

Comments now open.

Texas FanGuide - Texas Longhorns fan app with roster, news, and team schedule

Latest Poll

Who will be the next Texas head coach?

Total Votes: 149

Loading ... Loading ...

Subscribe to the 40 Acres!

Don't miss breaking news or another story from your favorite Longhorns fan site, subscribe to our RSS(?) feed!

Become a fan of the 40 Acres on Facebook

Recent Comments