Posted November 24th, 2009 by Brian
Filed under: Feature, Football

Fire the cannon. Make some noise with Big Bertha. They should have let [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] light the tower orange as well. Watch the postgame celebration and relish the special group of seniors that played their last game at DKR Saturday night:

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Posted September 4th, 2009 by Mike
Filed under: Feature, Football

Can Dan Buckner be a weapon as a flex tight end?

Can Dan Buckner be a weapon as a flex tight end?

Texas won’t need career defining games from the likes of [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag], [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] or [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag] in order to win Saturday’s game. But for some of the players on the roster the first game of the 2009 season is more important. In the season’s first game there are several new names and veterans to keep an eye on who could play critical roles throughout the 2009 season.

1. [tag]Vondrell McGee[/tag] – The junior is getting the opening day start for the second year in a row. An injury early in the season made the Longview natives sophomore season less than spectacular. The Longhorns don’t want McCoy to lead the team in rushing again, and McGee appears to be the top candidate to handle the load. A big game Saturday makes him the clear first team running back. A subpar game keeps Texas’ number one question unanswered.

2. [tag]Dan Buckner[/tag] – This might shock many, but if Buckner shows up big on Saturday the tight end concerns may be on the way to being over. The sophomore isn’t a true tight end, but if he can control the middle of the field as a receiver he gives the Longhorn offense a wrinkle many didn’t believe they’d have in 2009. If Buckner can just hold his own as a blocker, Texas’ offense becomes multiple, and the running game will flourish.

3. [tag]Keenan Robinson[/tag] – Robinson we’ll get his shot at becoming an impact player this Saturday. In limited action Robinson has shown the ability to make plays. In the spring, Robinson showed the ability to play the pass as well as the run. He also can blitz. If Robinson can play smart, and hold his own against the run, I think he becomes the clear starter at the strong side linebacker position. His ability against the pass will keep him out there in nickel packages alongside [tag]Roddrick Muckelroy[/tag].

4. [tag]Emmanuel Acho[/tag] – Really, Robinson and Acho could switch positions on this list. One of them, if not both, needs to step up and prove in a real game situation that they are ready for big time college football. Maybe the opponent on Saturday won’t allow a concrete answer, but a good showing will at least calm the nerves of the Texas faithful. Acho is as intelligent as they come, and has above average pass rushing abilities. What keeps him behind Robinson in my mind is his lack of big play ability. If he proves me wrong, Acho won’t leave the starting lineup for years to come

5. [tag]Kheeston Randall[/tag] – We all know what [tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag] can do when he is healthy. Not many around the program are as sure about the other defensive tackles. [tag]Ben Alexander[/tag] will get some snaps, but he doesn’t offer the athleticism that Randall does. The sophomore was heralded coming in, and it is time to prove why. Texas won’t face many teams that are going to ram it down their throat, but an up the middle pass rush is the best way to disrupt timing quarterbacks like Sam Bradford and Taylor Potts. The Longhorns need another three technique to step up, and if it isn’t Randall the next person in line is a true freshman.

6. [tag]Christian Scott[/tag] – I truly believe Will Muschamp wants [tag]Earl Thomas[/tag] to play the slot when the Longhorns are in the nickel defense. With Thomas at the slot Texas doesn’t give up anything in the run game, and it allows the Thomas to blitz. The only way this can happen is if another safety steps up. Scott has the more raw ability than anyone in the secondary except Aaron Williams. He has played so well that he might replace [tag]Blake Gideon[/tag] in the starting lineup even when they’re not in nickel. The knock on Scott is his work habits and attention to detail. If he proves to be a smart player, Scott has the chance to emerge as one of the best players on the team.

7. [tag]John Chiles[/tag] – This is a huge game for Chiles in my opinion. How much, or how little, the former quarterback sees the field will illustrate the overall plans the Texas coaching staff has for him this year. There is little doubt Chiles is one of the most explosive players on the roster with the ball in his hands. But he has to be behind his teammates in route running ability. The fact he was a quarterback will help him with mid route adjustments and identifying coverage. But the Longhorns are loaded at wide receiver, so Chiles is going to have to do something special to earn more snaps.

8. [tag]Tray Allen[/tag] – The word is the big man may play both ways this Saturday. I’m not sure if that means the experiment at defensive tackle is going better or worse than expected. But if Allen does go both ways, a good showing at one or the other could determine his future on the 40 Acres. If he struggles on both lines, Allen may end up being the biggest bust in Mack Brown’s Texas history.

9. [tag]Garrett Gilbert[/tag] – I almost put [tag]Sherrod Harris[/tag] here instead but I’m not sure he even sees the field. I am positive that true freshman Gilbert will see the field though. Texas has too many eggs in his basket not to throw him out there early in the season to see if he can handle it. A good game Saturday more than secures Gilbert the role of backup quarterback. Struggles on Saturday will lead to concerns about Texas’ lack of quality depth behind [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag]. Like it or not, Texas is one freak play away from having a potential national championship season riding on the arm of a true freshman. If he can’t handle it against Louisiana Monroe, when will he?

10. [tag]Charlie Tanner[/tag] – The clock is ticking for Tanner. And the man waiting for the time to run out is [tag]David Snow[/tag]. Frankly, Snow is too good to not be on the field. On paper, Tanner is the weak link on Texas’ offensive line. It may be a waste of time debating starters along the offensive line because of Texas’ desire to rotate the group, but the fact that Tanner is above Snow on the depth chart does raise eye brows. If Tanner slips up too much he may even lose snaps to true freshman Mason Walters.

11. The kickers – It has not been announced yet who will be the kicker for Texas. Both [tag]Ryan Bailey[/tag] and [tag]Hunter Lawrence[/tag] have performed well. Word is [tag]Justin Tucker[/tag] has also performed well when given the opportunity. Right now it appears to be a game time decision, but logic suggests both kickers will get work in what most would assume will be a one sided affair Saturday. It may not be who does anything spectacular that secures the job; it may very well be the first kicker that misses will lose the job. If one misses a kick or two, and the other goes perfect, the starting kicker will be decided. If they both struggle, or both go perfect, next week’s starter will be another game time decision.

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Posted December 31st, 2008 by Mike
Filed under: Bowls, Feature, Football

One of the most underrated and under talked about advantage of getting to a bowl game is the extra practices it affords the staff and the players. While teams do focus on preparing for the upcoming game, most teams invest a good amount of time practicing the redshirt players and some guys that played but didn’t see significant minutes. These practices serve as a spring board for spring ball for the team and the individual players. Last year’s [tag]Holiday Bowl[/tag] practices are when names like [tag]Earl Thomas[/tag] and [tag]Malcolm Williams[/tag] began to pop up. Texas would like a few guys to step up this year, much like last year’s team was able to do. Here are some of the players that could use a good showing.

[tag]Ian Harris[/tag] – Harris falls into the group of players that have seen time, but has not been counted on for victories. Texas is thin at tight end, reports have suggested redshirt freshman [tag]DJ Grant[/tag] is getting snaps at tight end so far in practices. The future for [tag]Blaine Irby[/tag] continues to be uncertain. The Longhorns need someone to step up at the position sooner than later. It is clear that [tag]Greg Davis[/tag] would like to have a pass catching tight end in his offense. From [tag]Bo Scaife[/tag] to [tag]David Thomas[/tag], Texas has utilized the tight end very well in the passing game. The position has been silent since the injury to Irby. Ian Harris contains the best skills on campus, and his ability to maximize that potential will be huge for the program. If Harris can’t step up, he is looking at Grant being a full time end with two legit recruits at the tight end position entering campus this fall. Combine that with the possibility of a return by Irby and the depth chart could swallow Harris up in a hurry.

[tag]Tray Allen[/tag] – Allen came out of high school as one touted offensive line recruits this state has ever produced. So far, Allen has not lived up to the hype. Coach Mac McWhorther likes to give every lineman a redshirt year so the guys coming straight out of high school can get a year in the weight room and on the practice field before feeding them to the dogs on major college defensive lines. Allen did not want to redshirt as a freshman so he stands as a second year sophomore. Texas has notoriously used a three man rotation at the tackle position and right now Allen has not been able to be anything more than a serviceable third player in the trio. The Longhorns were fortunate this year in regards to injury to starters [tag]Adam Ulatoski[/tag] and [tag]Kyle Hicks[/tag]. The duo was able to play most snaps which allowed McWhorther to use Allen when he wanted to, not when he had to. At this moment I’m not sure Allen would be the long term solution at either tackle position if one of the starters went down. Allen has to build up the confidence of the offensive staff, and he is going to have to do it in practice.

[tag]Kheeston Randall[/tag] – Texas loses starter [tag]Roy Miller[/tag] and part time starter [tag]Aaron Lewis[/tag] following the [tag]Fiesta Bowl[/tag]. That leaves former defensive end [tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag], [tag]Ben Alexander[/tag], and the true freshman Randall. The big man has gotten some snaps this year, but will be counted on heavily next year if the team gets what is expected out of Randall. Texas likes to have a rotation at defensive tackle to keep the players fresh. The depth at the position has continually allowed for this to be a huge advantage for the Longhorn defense, but for the first time in recent memory Texas’ defensive tackle position will enter the off-season as a major question mark. If the Longhorns can find starter quality snaps from Randall it will go a long way in answering those questions.

[tag]Keenan Robinson[/tag] – It is not a guarantee that [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag] comes back to college. All reports suggest that he will, but the same could be said for [tag]Vince Young[/tag] and [tag]TJ Ford[/tag]. When the money at the pro level is right in front of you it is hard to convince yourself to come do it all for free. Not just for free, but you have to study too. Either way, the Longhorns are going to be top heavy at the linebacker position next year, with all the likely starters being seniors. Robinson has played some plays this year and when he has seen the field he has been very disruptive. The redshirt freshman seems like the type of player [tag]Will Muschamp[/tag] loves to utilize. Robinson may already be the best linebacker on campus when it comes to playing in space. And with the types of offenses run in the Big 12 a player like Robinson is invaluable. A true linebacker that isn’t a liability in pass coverage is worth his weight in oil. It will be hard to take snaps away from the guys coming back, but with the possibility of Kindle’s absence and the willingness of Muschamp to play whoever is performing the best, a strong showing in the Fiesta Bowl practices would make it interesting to watch.

[tag]Christian Scott[/tag] – By all accounts Scott has the most physical upside of any safety wearing burnt orange. What have seemed to hold him back are his practice habits on the field and in the film room. Anybody who saw Scott in the Kansas game knows the potential is there. The redshirt freshman covers more field, hits harder, and makes more plays than starter [tag]Blake Gideon[/tag]. But what keeps Gideon on top of the depth chart is the ability to understand offenses and what to do as the quarterback of the defense. Scott is not there yet and it is a testament that Gideon has been able to do such a great job in that regard considering he is also a freshman and it usually takes a few years for safeties to line up their defenses correctly. Gideon is a good player and a possible four year starter, but Scott has NFL tools. It is almost a SimmsApplewhite conversation. We all know how that one turned out.

[tag]Ryan Bailey[/tag]/[tag]Hunter Lawrence[/tag] – [tag]Mack Brown[/tag] has been uncharacteristically fickle with his kickers this year. Ryan Bailey was great last year, and then Hunter Lawrence took his job before the season, then after being perfect for 2/3 of the season Lawrence misses two in one game and is benched in favor of Bailey. Maybe the competition is good for the kickers, but if a game comes down to a kick it has to be better if one guy knows he is the guy. Kicking is already stressful enough before you add in the fact you will lose your job if you miss. The next few days will determine who will be the kicker in the Fiesta Bowl, and I have a feeling the man who wins that job is going to keep it for a long time.

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Posted November 13th, 2008 by Mike
Filed under: Feature, Football

Texas enters their last road game of the year with a beat up football team. The weather is supposed to be bad with wind and cold weather in the forecast and a number of Longhorn players are banged up. As always players such as Colt McCoy and Roddrick Muckelroy will need to play well for Texas to keep their conference and national championship hopes alive, but some guys under the radar will have to step up to come away with the win.

[tag]Vondrell McGee[/tag]

With the emergence of Chris Ogbonnaya and the comeback of a healthy Foswhitt Whittaker, the sophomore has become a forgotten man in the Longhorn backfield. Ogbonnaya is still suffering through an ankle injury while Whittaker doesn’t have the body to carry an entire games worth of runs. Because of this McGee has found himself still getting carries after a slow start to the season. In fairness to McGee he was banged up as well early in the year but appears to be back close to 100%. Quietly McGee has played extremely well in the last few weeks. On the road, especially in windy and cold conditions, good teams need to be able to get some plays out of the running game. Whittaker will be the main guy, but if McGee can come in and keep the chains moving the Longhorns may be able to wear out an undersized Kansas defense. McGee performs best when he is coming off the bench and with Whittaker and maybe Ogbonnaya in front of him this week McGee is right where he needs to be.

[tag]David Snow[/tag]

Last week many were wondering if the true freshman from Gilmer was beginning to push the older guys at the guard position for some serious playing time. The coaching staff loves Snow’s mean streak and competitive nature. This week starting center Chris Hall went down in practice with a leg injury and with the dismissal of Buck Burnette for racist comments on the internet Snow finds himself the starting center for the first time in his career. Snow should get a challenge in his first start because it is on the road and opposing teams have been found of blitzing Colt McCoy. Snow has played mostly guard on the season, but Mack Brown says he still practices snaps before every practice. Certainly Snow has concentrated more on center for the past week and a half after the dismissal of Burnette. Having the quarterback in the shotgun for the majority of the game should help the young center, but if Texas looks lost in blitz pickup we’ll know the freshman is taking his lumps.

[tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag]

Of course everyone looks for Kindle every game. He has become a dominant force on the Texas defense, and may have done enough over the season to become a hot target in this year’s NFL draft. This week don’t necessarily just watch Kindle’s play, watch where the junior lines up. Kindle is listed as a linebacker, but as the season progresses he has been lined up more and more at defensive end. For the first part of the season he only did this on obvious passing downs, but with Brian Orakpo missing last week’s game Kindle lined up at defensive end almost exclusively. Kindle excels when playing downhill and coming off the edge. He has struggled in space on pass coverage, so Will Muschamp has turned Kindle into Texas’ version of Lawrence Taylor. Orakpo is expected to be back, but it is unlikely he will be at full strength. Look to see the ratio of snaps at defensive end to linebacker for Kindle this week.

[tag]Earl Thomas[/tag]

The red-shirt freshman safety played his best game of his young college career last week against Baylor, a week after being one of the two players that gave up Michael Crabtree’s winning touchdown in Lubbock. It was huge for Thomas to bounce back and he did, showing the mental toughness that Muschamp has been glowing about since spring practice. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the young Texas secondary faces another tough test in the passing game. The young safeties have had their struggles on the season but they have played extremely well for the most part. The best evidence for that was the long pass play the Texas defense gave up on the first play Thomas was out with a minor injury. Ben Wells came in to replace Thomas and got beat deep for the only long passing play Baylor was able to muster against the Longhorns. Thomas was able to come back into the game and continued to play well. He may have been the best player on the field for UT’s defense last week and that kind of play will be huge again for Texas to avoid an upset in Lawrence.

[tag]Ryan Bailey[/tag]/[tag]Hunter Lawrence[/tag]

Most fans are hoping this game doesn’t come down to a field goal. Not because they don’t have confidence in the Texas kicking game, but because they feel UT should be able to win big against a struggling Kansas team. The last time Texas went to Lawrence they barely came out with a victory, so a close game is not out of the question. After being the place kicker last year Ryan Bailey lost his job in fall camp to Hunter Lawrence. The change had come without much fanfare because Lawrence was perfect on the season. That changed last week when Lawrence missed both of his field goals. In the end the misses did not matter, but when Texas lined up for their third field goat attempt Ryan Bailey trotted out for the try. Bailey made the kick and the questions about who would be the kicker going forward began before the referees even raised their arms. Bailey didn’t appear to do anything to loss his job, and he has proven he can make big kicks as he did in Nebraska. The coaches said Lawrence didn’t kick the last field goal because he was “sore”. We will know on the first field goal attempt if this was just lip service or not.

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Posted November 9th, 2008 by Mike
Filed under: Feature, Football

Fozzy Whittaker rushed 15 times for 77 yards

Fozzy Whittaker rushed 15 times for 77 yards

The Longhorns bounced back with a solid win against an improved [tag]Baylor[/tag] team on Saturday in front of a lackluster crowd at DKR Memorial Stadium. The student section was empty for the beginning of the game and the blue hair section emptied pretty early in the second half. Luckily the football team doesn’t front run like the fans seem to and showed up to play. With a couple of key guys down with injury some of the usual suspects and a few under the radar guys stepped up in the win.

  1. [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] – Coming into the game the thought was that Cosby wouldn’t even play. The Waco native felt good enough to go against his home town team and didn’t disappoint. Cosby got the scoring going on a touchdown pass from [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] on Texas’ first drive. When Cosby and [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] are on the field together this offense is on a different level. The senior finished the game with 111 yards on eight catches including two touchdowns.
  2. [tag]Ryan Palmer[/tag] – The smallish senior cornerback gets overlooked in Texas’ secondary because of the perceived ability of the younger guys at his position, but Palmer is a leader on this team and continues to perform better than anyone could have ever imagined. Baylor had tied up the score at 14 in the second quarter when Palmer made the biggest play of the game on a 23 yard interception return for a touchdown. It was the catalyst for the 31 point run UT would go on to put the game away. Palmer added a sack and a pass breakup to his stat line later in the game.
  3. [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] – It says something about this season’s play of Colt McCoy and the expectations of the UT fan base when the junior signal caller can throw for five touchdowns and 300 yards and many still feel like he under performed. McCoy didn’t have his best game of the year but he was solid while completing 26 of 37 attempts. The Heisman contender has relied less on his legs to make yards only gaining 22 yards on the game. But he is buying more time in the pocket and keeping plays alive for his receivers. Yes he threw two interceptions, but it was a big win and a good day for McCoy.
  4. [tag]Roy Miller[/tag] – The big guy in the middle made his two tackles on the day count by recording both of them as sacks on Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin. [tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag] gets all the press clippings, but the loss of Miller after this season will be the most costly for the Texas program. The senior dominates his gap on nearly every play and has the ability to go from run stopping to pass rushing at will. His play at defensive tackle may not even be what he does best. When Miller lines up at fullback and lead blocks on short yardage situation he is devastating.
  5. [tag]Earl Thomas[/tag] – After a rough week last week Thomas rebounded to play his best game of his career. He didn’t record any interceptions or sacks but he was all over the field and made sure tackles all game. The freshman safety made a good play in the end zone on an early Baylor drive and showed how valuable he is when Baylor scored on a long pass on the first play Thomas missed with an injury. It was the only big play the Bears would get in the passing game because Thomas came back in on the next possession. It was important for Thomas to rebound and get some confidence back and he did with a team leading five tackles, with three coming for losses.
  6. [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] – Shipley makes catches when he has to. It is that simple. He is a third down catching machine. Every time McCoy needs to make a play or convert a first down it is obvious Shipley is the first progression on the route. Shipley is a senior who will most likely be back next year because of a medical redshirt that will surely be rewarded. His chemistry with McCoy is better than any receiver-quarterback combination to ever play at Texas. He finished the game with six catches for 81 yards and another touchdown. Shipley has scored a touchdown in every game this year.
  7. [tag]Foswhitt Whittaker[/tag] – I think Texas has found their running back. The staff knew they had one all along, but it was nice to see the speedy freshman be able to carry the load and get over 15 touches. Whittaker possesses a burst that no one else on the roster has, and with the type of offense Texas has moved to his ability would figure to go best with the schemes. Fozzy has struggled with nagging knee injuries all year, but appeared to make it through the game without any problems. With [tag]Chris Ogbonnaya[/tag] figuring to come back next week it will be interesting to see how Greg Davis and Major Applewhite distribute the snaps. Ogbonnaya will get the third down snaps, but Whittaker should begin to get more and more on first and second down.
  8. [tag]Roddrick Muckelroy[/tag] – Despite what the numbers show, Texas’ run defense was solid throughout the night. Baylor finished with 201 yards of total rushing, but 130 of those yards came on three runs (two on options by Robert Griffin and one late in the game by a running back). For the most part the front seven (six for most of the game) played extremely well. Muckelroy lead the team in tackles again, tied with Earl Thomas with five, but showed his speed when he chased down Robert Griffin on one of the speedy quarterbacks long runs. Muckelroy has turned into the best linebacker of the group because he has finally been able to stay healthy.
  9. [tag]Henry Melton[/tag] – Quietly Henry Melton is becoming an above average defensive end. After struggling at running back for his first few years at Texas, Melton was finally convinced to move to defense by pointing out that is where he would make money at the next level. It might not be the most noble reason to agree to move positions, but however it happen it has helped both Melton and the Longhorns. With Brian Orakpo out Melton was allowed to stay on the field on third downs, and he responded with three quarterback pressures to go along with his two tackles. The light has finally come on for the big guy out of Grapevine.
  10. [tag]Justin Tucker[/tag] – Throughout the season Tucker has done a good job on kickoffs by getting good height and distance on his kicks. Beginning last week Texas began going to the “rugby” style punts with Tucker being the man executing the duty. This style of kicking doesn’t allow for returns and also provides for opportunities to fake the punt if the opposing team doesn’t cover the edge. Texas hasn’t tried to fake off of it yet, but Tucker does have the athleticism to pull it off when they do call it. He only had to punt once, but it went for 53 yards and forced Baylor to go the length of the field.
  11. [tag]Ryan Bailey[/tag] – Somehow Bailey lost his job to [tag]Hunter Lawrence[/tag] during preseason practices. No one had mentioned it because up until the Baylor game Lawrence had been perfect on his extra points and perfect on his field goals. Against Baylor Lawrence missed both of his field goal attempts, one being a chip shot, and was replaced for the last kick by last year’s starter Ryan Bailey. Mack Brown said Lawrence’s leg was “sore”, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bailey trot out for Texas’ next field goal attempt.
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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 9th, 2007 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Greg Davis, Colt McCoy, Jamaal Charles, and Ken RuckerThe Texas Longhorns held their annual football banquet Friday night (photos) where they honored team members for their accomplishments on and off the field. Though fans and recruits do attend, the event is definitely a night for the players to look back on the season and to honor the careers of the outgoing seniors.

Quarterback [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] and running back [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] were deservedly named the team MVPs. McCoy didn’t have as good of a season as he did his freshman year but he definitely is the player that made this team go (when it went anywhere). Charles was also named Darrell K. Royal Most Valuable Offensive Player while the Mike Campbell Most Valuable Defensive Players were [tag]Brandon Foster[/tag] and [tag]Marcus Griffin[/tag].

In a team vote [tag]Dallas Griffin[/tag], [tag]Tony Hills[/tag], and [tag]Derek Lokey[/tag] were honored with the D. Harold Byrd Leadership Award. Also, in a shocking development quarterback McCoy was given the Outstanding Quarterback Award.

In a move that infuriated Internet Coaching and Motivational Experts [tag]Rashad Bobino[/tag], [tag]Scott Derry[/tag], and [tag]Robert Killebrew[/tag] shared the honor of being the team’s Outstanding Linebackers. I’m not sure what else you can really do though as no linebacker really deserved the honor and it would be pretty embarrassing to not hand out an award for the position.

A list of all the award winners is after the jump.

(more …)

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Posted October 20th, 2007 by Brian
Filed under: Football, Live

Nothing gets me more fired up than watching Ducks Unlimited TV before a big Longhorn game. Do you think Versus would show a show about hunting and killing ducks if Oregon was playing instead of Texas and [tag]Baylor[/tag]? That might be a little awkward.

If you’re not one of the many Texas fans who made the trip to Waco you’ll have to surf through about 1,000 channels before you’ll find Versus and you’re probably only getting it if you have satellite or digital cable. Versus is on channel 603 on DirecTV, channel 151 on Dish Network, and on 470 if you’ve got Time Warner digital cable in Austin.

Here we go…

First Quarter
  • I like the straight zone run play with [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] than the zone read or the counter. Gives Jamaal a chance to hit the hole fast and get going north/south quicker.
  • I like that a professional football announcer doesn’t know the difference between the zone read and a counter. Not even run out of the shotgun is a zone read.
  • Three attempts towards [tag]Jermichael Finley[/tag] already. One good completion, one ball he should have caught, and one that he and [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] had a miscommunication on.
  • And another pass towards Finley. Texas attempts a fake field goal after he goes out wide and uncovered but [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] can’t get the play off quickly enough and then can’t get the ball out to him before the defense adjusted. Versus missed the whole play because we were zoomed in on kicker Ryan Bailey’s helmet.
  • [tag]Erick Jackson[/tag] has been serviceable at safety this season but he is absolutely awful at adjusting to the ball in the air. He was there in coverage on a terrible Baylor pass but couldn’t make a play on the ball. Looked similar to the unnecessary pass interference penalty he picked up last week.
  • Baylor offensive lineman Dan Gay IV commits a holding penalty. How unfortunate is that last name? Especially with the IV after it. You can essentially put any noun after that and hilarity will ensue.
  • I’m surprised how empty Floyd Casey Stadium is. Enough Texas fans normally make that trip to fill up the place a little better.
  • Second time already that I thought the Baylor defensive back got there early on pass coverage. [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] doesn’t drop many passes, it looked like he got bumped early.
  • Great punt but Jackson can’t down it before it bounces into the end zone. The only good thing to come out of the Kansas State game is punter Justin Moore.
  • Versus really likes to use the camera angle from the roof of the press box. The damn thing is so high i can’t tell anybody’s number.
  • [tag]John Chiles[/tag] and the second team offense is in there for this series. I actually like the timing of this one better than last week. The first team offense didn’t have much momentum so it’s not really going to disrupt them.
  • Chiles has to be more careful with the football. First downs are important but not as important as holding onto the football. Don’t stretch the ball out in traffic on your own 40 yard line.
  • Smithson Valley sucks!
  • Big run by [tag]Vondrell McGee[/tag] up the middle. 18 yards on the carry is probably the second teamers biggest gain against first team defenses. I think as Chiles gains more experience running the zone read the whole offense opens up. Right now he looks a little like he’s keeping and handing off randomly and not doing a great job reading the defensive end. That’s a tough read and you can only really learn in live game situations.
  • Set your feet before you throw John.
  • [tag]Ryan Bailey[/tag] nails the 46-yard field goal into the wind. Right down the middle.
Texas 3, Baylor 0
  • How sad is Baylor that the announcers are talking about their defense getting a victory by holding the second team defense to only a field goal?
  • Not sure if this is their first series or not, but the young group of linebackers are in there now for Texas.
  • What did they rule that play on the field? I thought I saw an official pointing that he was down before the fumble. Looks to me like the ball is coming loose a little before the Baylor running back hits the ground.
  • Not sure how they ruled he was down after reviewing that play. Looked pretty clear from one angle that the ball was loose before his butt hit the ground.

(more …)

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Kicker Ryan Bailey is no longer a walk-on, he was awarded a scholarship Friday after practice in front of his teammates.

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Posted October 25th, 2006 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Ryan Bailey

Great article from the AAS (BugMeNot) on where walk-on kicker/hero [tag]Ryan Bailey[/tag]’s parents were when there son was knocking the game winning kick through the uprights on Saturday. His mom was in New York City on a trip with some friends and his dad was back home in Austin, both were shocked when they saw their own son out on the field with less than 30 seconds to go in the game.

Millions of Americans stared at their televisions. Who’s Ryan?

Nearly no one watching Texas and Nebraska play football Saturday recognized Ryan Bailey, jogging into swift and surprising fame through a swirl of Midwestern snow. But his parents knew their son, and when they witnessed Longhorns head coach Mack Brown pat Ryan’s helmet on the sidelines, they began to accept the sudden and thrilling and agonizing truth.

Soon, everyone would remember Ryan.

The whole article is a good read. It’s great that his parents were watching the game when their son got the call. I doubt the families of every walk-on are glued to their TV’s throughout every single game. I’m sure his parents are big time celebrities at their jobs this week.

Who knows if the kid will ever kick in another game for the Longhorns, but for at least one week he’s every fan’s favorite player.

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