Posted January 7th, 2009 by Brian
Filed under: Bowls, Feature, Football

ESPN analyst Rod Gilmore does a good job breaking down the [tag]Fiesta Bowl[/tag] and the gamewinning drive led by [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] and [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag]. Watch Gilmore and Scott Van Pelt break down the game below:

The one thing I don’t get is how they take that game and make it a case that the [tag]Big 12[/tag] isn’t physical. Beanie Wells ran all over the Horns in the first half due to out of position linebackers and poor tackling by the secondary, not due to getting beat in the trenches. On the other side of the ball the offensive line didn’t play any worse than they had during conference play this season, it’s nothing new for Colt to be under constant pressure. It would be a thing of beauty to see what he could do in 2009 with better running game and blocking, hopefully we get to find out.


Our live stream of consciousness posted from @40acressports on Twitter from during the Fiesta Bowl is posted below:

  • It was cool when they let blind guys sing the national anthem, but wasn’t letting a blind man design the Fiesta Bowl trophy enough? #UT 25 minutes ago
  • @springnet 77 is Luke Poehlmann, a very promising true freshman lineman. He deserves to start in 09 just due to his sweet mullet. 31 minutes ago
  • @HookEmSarah as Mack said this week, gatorade baths are for 7-5 coaches. 😉 plus I’m sure there nothing but whining on #UT msg boards. 37 minutes ago
  • What a game. Congrats Horns on the big tough win. Congrats to the seniors. #UT 40 minutes ago
  • I heart Quan and Brian Orakpo. Huge sack (and good job tackling QB too.) #UT 42 minutes ago
  • ANnouncers are acting like this thing is over. #UT 44 minutes ago
  • Unsportsmanlike could be huge. OSU kicker has big leg. Come on kickoff team. #UT 45 minutes ago
  • Tressel’s challenge gives #UT much needed timeout. Horns should actually gain yards with review. 49 minutes ago
  • That was a terrible initial spot. Clearly got first down. Replay will give it to #UT if spot doesn’t. 51 minutes ago
  • #UT needs to be in bigger hurry. 56 minutes ago
  • Not sure who #77 for #UT is but that mullet deserves playing time. 57 minutes ago
  • There’s no such thing as double pass interference, whoevere initiated contact deserves the flag. #UT 58 minutes ago
  • @joneke defense has been fantastic all game long. about an hour ago
  • Absolutely terrible pass interference call. Beasley has right to ball and ball was way short. F***! #UT about an hour ago
  • Well defended? Malcolm Williams was wide open and Colt just put it too wide. #UT about an hour ago
  • 4th quarter! Wrap this thing up boys. #UT about an hour ago
  • Attaboy Colt! You too Coach Davis. All three drives this half have been good ones (sans 20 yd sack.) #UT about an hour ago
  • Matt Hasselback is the NFL qb you reference? Weird. Is Tim announcing the game? #UT about an hour ago
  • When do you think we’ll see screen and go to Shipley? Looks set up well. #UT about an hour ago
  • 4th and 36 and we can’t even punt for first down yardage. Momentum squandered. #UT about an hour ago
  • Terrible play by Colt. Has to expect pressure on RB screen call. Drive killer. #UT about an hour ago
  • Dear Greg Davis, finally a designed run for Colt and you get a beauty of a TD run for #UT. Let’s go defense!! about 2 hours ago
  • #90 for Ohio St is dirty POS. 2nd time he clearly and intentionly went high with his hands on Colt. Hit was fine, hands to helmet isn’t. #UT about 2 hours ago
  • Very good effort by R Bobino to get first down when there wasn’t much room on fake punt. #UT about 2 hours ago
  • Fiesta Bowl trophy is one of the ugliest things on the planet. #UT about 2 hours ago
  • Crap. Holding call turns 2nd and inches into 2nd and long. #UT about 2 hours ago
  • Set your feet Colt. #UT about 2 hours ago
  • @kbohls you have to be able to trust you junior QB not to take bad risk. That one is on Colt. #UT about 2 hours ago
  • Bad underthrow by Colt costs #UT chance at at least tying FG. Huge mistake and momentum killer into halftime. about 2 hours ago
  • False starts on wide receivers drive me bats***. #UT about 3 hours ago
  • @kbohls blame out of position linebackers (due to play and blitzes) more than D-line for long runs. Agree about QB contain. #UT about 3 hours ago
  • Getting the awful feeling opposing fans felt when VY was at quarterback. Glad Pryor has no clue about watching for 1st down markers. #UT about 3 hours ago
  • 2nd and goal from 17 and we run a draw to Chris O? WTF? #UT about 3 hours ago
  • Speaking of running, where’s Fozzy? #UT about 3 hours ago
  • No attempts to get Colt McCoy running yet. Turn him loose Greg! #UT about 3 hours ago
  • Better drive by #UT offense but inability to get positive yards on 2nd & short is killing us. about 3 hours ago
  • Apparently that was a token holding call earlier, some pretty blatant ones on this series but we get pressure and S Kindle gets sack. #UT about 3 hours ago
  • 1st freshman mistake for Pryor. Good run but stepped out before first down with no one about to hit him. Melton rushing out of control. #UT about 4 hours ago
  • Woot!!!! Apparently holding still exists outside the Big 12! Good sign for Rak! #UT about 4 hours ago
  • Chris Hall is playing. Retweeting @suzhalliburton: @40acressports They used the depth chart from A&M about 4 hours ago
  • Chris Hall wasn’t on official depth chart for the game but #71 is in uniform at least for the Horns. Hope he’s 100% and starting. #UT about 4 hours ago
  • RT @CedGolden: Is it me or is Barry Switzer wearing a burnt orange tie with a matching hanky? #UT about 4 hours ago
  • Score predictions for #UT vs Ohio State: All three of us have the Horns winning a pretty close game. about 4 hours ago
  • RT @bevobeat: Blaine Irby up and about. Horns’ injured tight end was out tossing the ball around in pregame. about 4 hours ago
  • Ah oh: No Chris Hall on the 3 deep at center for Fiesta Bowl depth chart: True frosh D Snow gets start. about 5 hours ago

Follow @40acressports on Twitter

(Side note: This is the site’s 2,500th post. Kind of cool.)


Posted January 5th, 2009 by Brian
Filed under: Bowls, Feature, Football

Will McCoy be able to pick apart the Buckeyes' D?

Will McCoy be able to pick apart the Buckeyes' D?

The Texas Longhorns have a lot to prove tonight when they face the tenth ranked Ohio State Buckeyes in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Texas fans have been screaming for months that they, not [tag]Oklahoma[/tag], deserved the chance to play for a national title and if they need to win tonight to help their case. The Buckeyes are the best defense the Horns have faced all season and if they can win and put big points on the scoreboard there’s still an outside shot of a split national title.

Check out our predictions for the game below…

Brian Texas hasn’t faced a defense as tough as Ohio State’s all year long but there aren’t any Big 10 offenses in the same league as the high-powered [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] led Longhorns. OSU’s young quarterback Terrelle Pryor will make a few plays but the Texas pass rush should also force some huge mistakes. I think [tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag] is headed for a huge performance in his last game in the burnt orange. If the Horns slow down running back Beanie Wells than they win, it’s that simple. Texas 34 – Ohio State 21.

Matt The rubber match between these two teams looks like it could be another instant classic. If you look at the major factors here, Texas clearly has the advantage. You have Colt McCoy versus a freshman, an offensive line that should dominate, and a defensive line that puts serious pressure with just their front four. Pryor looks like he will be a good qb, but he just doesn’t have the experience right now. I think [tag]Will Muschamp[/tag] will have a field day with him and Texas will control this game. Look for a close game early and then Texas will pull away late. Texas 38 – Ohio State 20.

Mike Texas isn’t where they want to be. The team has to feel like they should be playing [tag]Florida[/tag] in Miami for the BCS championship. In years past the possibility of playing flat would be on everybody’s mind. The combination of the makeup of this team and the coaching staff has most believing the Longhorns will come to play Monday night. The game won’t be as easy as some are making it out to be because of Ohio State’s power running game and their defense which will be the best UT faces all year. Texas has too much speed and Will Muschamp will do everything he can to keep the Buckeyes true freshman quarterback off balance. It will be tight early, but expect the Longhorns to pull away late. Texas 31 – Ohio State 17


This year’s success can ultimately be traced back to last year’s bowl game. [tag]Mack Brown[/tag] made a decision to work his team and open up competition at all positions. The result was a brand new football team than the one that lost to the Aggies. Out of the three BCS games that Texas has now been invited to, there is no doubt the 2009 [tag]Fiesta Bowl[/tag] has been greeted with the smallest fanfare.

However, Monday night’s game against [tag]Ohio State[/tag] is the biggest game of the year in many ways. Think about the two scenarios and the impact it will have on the program. Let’s say Texas wins. The Longhorns will finish the year 12-1 and likely the number two ranked team in the nation. And no matter what happens in the Orange Bowl the Longhorn nation will have months to lay claim to at least the chance to have played for the national title. The program will be 3-0 in BCS games and will not have lost a bowl game since many were talking about moving Vince Young to wide receiver.

If the Longhorns lose, and contrary to popular opinion it can happen, all the championship talk flies out the window. All the momentum the program built up over the last year will come to a halt and the national media will feel they made the right decision to put OU in Miami. One has to look no further than Texas Tech and Alabama.

Luckily, the Texas plays understand this better than the fan base. When talking to people in Phoenix it has amazed me how nonchalant the fans seem to be. Ohio State will be the second best team the Longhorns have been on the field with this season. Their young and ultra-talented [tag]Vince Young[/tag] clone of a quarterback has had six weeks to get better. The Buckeyes have a power run game that Texas’ hasn’t had to face and their tailback may be the best in the nation when he is healthy.

Yet, most feel the Longhorns will cruise. And hopefully they will, next year may hang in the balance.


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

The Longhorns enter this year’s [tag]Fiesta Bowl[/tag] as the favorites. Texas wants to prove a point and make a case for a split National against a team with great name recognition. Many are overlooking [tag]Ohio State[/tag] and the third ranked Longhorns are going to need more than [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] and [tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag] to finish the season with a victory and a likely number two ranking.

[tag]Vondrell McGee[/tag]

The sophomore from Longview has looked quicker and more explosive as the season has worn on. The feeling is that McGee has finally been healthy. With [tag]Foswhitt Whittaker[/tag] back in the lineup the onus is not all on McGee to produce in the run game. It has appeared that he does not relish the number one role. That is not necessarily a bad thing, not all backs are made to be work horses. McGee will come into the game and run hard. With Ohio State having to use linebackers in pass coverage expect the Longhorns to use the pass to set up the run. As the game goes on Texas should look to use the run game in similar fashion to their game against [tag]Oklahoma[/tag]. McGee has shown a nose for the endzone and we’ll look to add one Monday night.

[tag]Malcolm Williams[/tag]

Texas will face the best cornerback in the nation when they face the Buckeyes’ Malcolm Jenkins. The Thorpe award winner will likely matchup with [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] for most of the night and the coaching staff is sure to focus on taking [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] away. This will force Texas to use another option, and with none being available at tight end, it will have to come from one of the extra receivers. Ohio State is physical in the secondary and out of all of the Longhorn receivers Williams possesses the best skill set to offset any advantage the Buckeye corners may have against [tag]Brandon Collins[/tag] and [tag]James Kirkendoll[/tag]. Williams has shown the ability to get deep; I believe Texas will try to take a shot early in the game.

[tag]Ben Alexander[/tag]

Alexander isn’t going to start, and he may not even play a ton of snaps. But this may be the best chance for Alexander to show his stuff heading into a crucial offseason for his career. The big nose tackle is a prototypical off center one gap tackle. The offenses that Texas faces in the Big 12 limit his effectiveness because of a lack of lateral speed. For the first time maybe all season, Texas is going to face a team that will show a heavy dose of downhill running. Texas’ two other tackles not named [tag]Roy Miller[/tag] are former defensive ends. Will Muschamp will need the size of Alexander on obvious running downs throughout the game. If Alexander can take up blocks and hold his gap it will help the Longhorn linebackers control Ohio State’s ground game.

[tag]Jared Norton[/tag]

Much like Alexander, Norton finds himself a duck out of water when he faces the offenses in the Big 12. Norton excels playing downhill at his middle linebacker position and may in fact be the best NFL prospect of the group. Unfortunately for Norton, in the Big 12 a linebacker needs to play well laterally and in space. Norton to this point has had a hard time in both of those categories. Enter Ohio State and Beanie Wells. This will be a game Norton can thrive in. [tag]Rashad Bobino[/tag] will likely get the start as the senior, but if Ohio State has success running the ball early, and maybe even if they don’t, Norton will become a factor in the game. The junior will be a sure starter next year and we’ve seen how a good bowl game can propel a player into a great offseason.

[tag]Blake Gideon[/tag]

A lot of people think the true freshman from Leander’s job is in jeopardy this offseason. Most still view Gideon as an overachieving two star recruit who is playing because of his brains and intangibles. The talk heading into the spring will depend a lot on how Gideon plays in this game. If he comes out and plays a good game and makes a play or two the talk will quiet, but if he struggles or [tag]Christian Scott[/tag] makes a huge play one of the major offseason hot topics will be the status of Gideon’s job. The word is the only thing holding Scott back is his work on the practice room and in the film room, if the light turns on in year three on campus the super athletic Scott will be in line for many more snaps in 2009. If he isn’t a transfer could be possible.


Tostitos Fiesta Bowl

Ohio State Buckeys
#10 Ohio St. (10-2) vs. #3 Texas (11-1)

Jan. 5, 7:00 p.m. (Fox)
Favorite: Texas by 8

Texas Longhorns

The Texas Longhorns and Ohio State Buckeyes will face each other for the third time in the last four seasons on January 5th in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Splitting the home-and-home series back in 2005 and 2006, the two teams will get the chance to settle the score on the field. The Longhorns are disappointed to be here while the Buckeyes have been embarrassed the last two seasons in BCS championship games, which team will show up in Glendale, Arizona motivated and ready?

As in seasons past, Ohio State relies on a dominating defense and their running game to win games. Behind captains and All-Americans James Laurinaitis and Malcolm Jenkins the OSU defense is in the top 10 nationally in several categories including total defense and scoring defense. On the other side of the football true freshman blue chipper Terrelle Pryor has started at quarterback since the USC loss and got better every week. Pryor is good, but running back Chris “Beanie” Wells is both the star and the workhouse who lugged it for over 1,000 yards this season despite missing three games.

The Horns are of course led by Heisman finalist QB [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag]. McCoy and the Texas offense lit up scoreboards all season long even without a consistent rushing attack. McCoy found his favorite targets [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] and [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] to the tune of 3,445 yards and 32 TDs while blowing away Daunte Culpepper’s completion percentage record. The Texas defense has been re-energized by head coach in waiting [tag]Will Muschamp[/tag]. Thanks to the outstanding play by Nagurski Trophy winner [tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag] and [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag] the defense has been a strength despite extreme youth in the secondary. They match-up well against the Buckeyes as the nation’s number two rushing defense.

Players to Watch

Texas: QB Colt McCoy, WR Jordan Shipley, LB Sergio Kindle, LB Roddrick Muckelroy
Ohio State: QB Terrelle Pryor, RB Beanie Wells, LB James Laurinaitis, CB Malcolm Jenkins

40 Acres Fiesta Bowl Coverage

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Posted December 20th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Bowls, Feature, Football

Texas head coach [tag]Mack Brown[/tag] discussed bowl practices and other topics with the media at the first official press conference since the regular season ended on Thursday. The Statesman has posted the video, watch below:

Word from Orangebloods sources is that the coaches and players are fired up and practices are spirited and the team will be ready for [tag]Ohio State[/tag] in January. Could be bad news for the Buckeyes if the Horns are both prepared and pissed.


Ivan Maisel and Mark Schlabach of talk about the upcoming Fiesta Bowl match-up between the Texas Longhorns and Ohio State Buckeyes. Will Texas be able to get motivated for the game after a disappointing end to the season? Will OSU’s Terrelle Pryor be able to shine on a national state, or will Texas QB [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] outplay him both passing and running the football?


Posted November 23rd, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Feature, Football

The latest BCS rankings are out and despite the gains by [tag]Oklahoma[/tag] in the two human polls, Texas has taken advantage of the the [tag]Texas Tech[/tag] loss and moved up two spots to number two in the rankings. The computer polls are the reason the Horns are hanging on now but since the Sooners play a ranked team this week it may take an impressive Thanksgiving Day win to remind voters that the Horns actually beat the Sooners when they matched up in October.

Check out the top 10 below:

Rank Team BCS Average
1 Alabama 0.987
2 Texas 0.920
3 Oklahoma 0.912
4 Florida 0.875
5 USC 0.797
6 Utah 0.785
7 Texas Tech 0.778
8 Penn St. 0.752
9 Boise St. 0.658
10 Ohio St. 0.620

Posted November 22nd, 2008 by Matt
Filed under: Feature, Football

Texas Tech obviously crossed the goal line

Texas Tech obviously crossed the end zone

Even though there is no Texas game this weekend, it almost feels like it with all of the Big 12 South implications that come with Texas Tech playing at Oklahoma. I feel like our best shot to go to the National Championship game is if Oklahoma beats Tech, but does that really mean I have to root for OU? That kind of makes me nauseous.

Well besides that game there really isn’t much to watch this Saturday. I guess that just gives more time to warm-up before the big game at night. And just FYI, I did go 3-0 last weekend against the spread, and plan to this weekend also.

Michigan at #10 Ohio State (-21) – 12:00 PM EST on ABC. I guess if you wake up early enough and have nothing else to do, this is the game to watch. With Michigan losing 8 games this year (first time ever by the way) and Ohio State in the #10 spot, you would think this would be an easy win for OSU. But in this kind of game anything can and usually happens. Ohio State doesn’t have the offense to cover a 21 point spread against Michigan, and this could be the game to save Coach Rodriguez’s job. Now I don’t really expect Michigan win, but it wouldn’t surprise me, and I think they easily stay inside the points. Take Michigan.

#15 Michigan State at #8 Penn State (-15.5) – 3:30 PM EST on ABC. A win for Penn State here and they are in the Rose Bowl. This could also be Coach Pat’s last year in Happy Valley, so you know the players are fired up. Michigan State has lost 10 straight games against ranked opponents. The weather looks rough up north, which means the running game takes on more importance. With Michigan State’s already weak passing game, I expect Penn State to load up on the run and prevent Javon Ringer from having a big game. This one will be over in the first half. Take Penn State.

#2 Texas Tech at #5 Oklahoma (-7) – 8:00 PM EST on ABC. The game every Texas fan will be watching. If Texas Tech wins they are automatically in the Big 12 Championship. If Oklahoma wins, they will have to also beat Oklahoma State and stay ahead of Texas in the BCS to play in the championship. Lots of pressure in this one. Texas Tech always pulls a “Tech” and implodes on themselves for at least one game. And this year will be no different. Oklahoma has been averaging 47 points in the first half in their last 4 games. When playing an offense like Tech, it can never be over in the first quarter, but this one could start getting ugly early. Take OU in this one.

An interesting note on the spread. It is holding steady at 7 even though you will see the juice rising all the way up to +110 at some places. That means there is obviously a lot of public money coming in on Tech, but there is some reason the bookies are holding that number. To me that seems odd and just another reason to take OU.

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