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

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

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

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

Garrett Gilbert

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

Mike Davis

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

Mason Walters and Garrett Gilbert

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

Mason Walters/Christian Westerman

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

Aaron Williams

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

Jackson Jeffcoat

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

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

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

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