Posted September 19th, 2008 by Mike
Filed under: Football

Everybody knows to look for [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] and [tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag] each game, but UT’s success in this week’s game against [tag]Rice[/tag] and in the upcoming conference match-ups will hinge on the production and success of a few players that are coming into their own. Let’s look at five.

[tag]Foswhitt Whittaker[/tag]

The redshirt freshman tailback was the most productive back in Texas’ offense in his only game this year. His skill set fits in perfectly with the type of offense Texas likes to run. Foswhitt averaged 6.0 yards on 12 attempts against UTEP. He had missed the first game with a knee injury but all reports suggest his knee is fine so expect more touches against Rice. Running backs coach [tag]Major Applewhite[/tag] has been emphasizing receptions out of the backfield, and with Whittaker possessing the best open field moves on the team he seems to be in line to become more and more a part of the offense. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start, and if he doesn’t start against Rice, he will be by the time Big 12 play begins.

[tag]Earl Thomas[/tag]

The Rice game will be Earl’s third start at safety in college. Rice’s tight end James Casey leads the nation in receptions per game (over 9), and is sure to be Thomas’ man of the night as the defense has seemed to play [tag]Blake Gideon[/tag] in the deep middle. The redshirt freshman has played hot and cold as would be expected in his first two college games, but coach [tag]Will Muschamp[/tag] seems to have confidence in him. If Thomas can hold his own and wrap up when he hits a ball carrier it will help ease the anxiety of a lot of Texas fans. If he can’t, [tag]Christian Scott[/tag] or [tag]Ben Wells[/tag] may get more looks.

[tag]Michael Huey[/tag]

The young offensive lineman got a chance for major playing time when teammate [tag]Charlie Tanner[/tag] went down with a leg injury. Huey struggled at times against UTEP and must begin to move people off the line in order to hold off Tanner when he comes back as well as true freshman [tag]David Snow[/tag]. Texas wants more push in the run game on the inside. Huey has the raw talent and mean streak to remind many fans of ex-Longhorn, and big bellied cult leader, Kasey Studdard, but must translate it on the field to solidify Huey as a starter for the next few years.

[tag]Malcolm Williams[/tag]

Colt McCoy has played great, beyond great really in the first two games, but eventually this team will need a deep threat and the most likely candidate appears to be the 6’4″ Williams. Through the first two games it appears Texas hasn’t even looked to go deep, settling for underneath patters. As the talent of the players, and the coaches, rises the need to stretch the defense takes on added importance. Watching Williams in practice and in pre game warm ups leaves little doubt to his physical skills, but like most young players Williams needs to build his on field confidence by making big plays in a real game. Think of [tag]Limas Sweed[/tag] before and after the catch in the “Horseshoe” against [tag]Ohio State[/tag]. Williams will need a play like that to jump start his season and his career.

[tag]Ryan Palmer[/tag]

The best player on Rice’s team is wide receiver Jarrett Dillard and one would think senior cornerback Ryan Palmer will be the guy asked to shadow him throughout the night. The Owls offer little threat on the ground, so the play of the secondary (especially on third down) will be important in preventing any thought of an upset. Dillard and Rice quarterback Chase Clement will finish their careers as the leading touchdown scoring tandem in NCAA history will try to pick on the size of Palmer, but the senior has shown an ability to hold his own against bigger receivers. Holding this group of players in check will serve as a much needed confidence boost heading into games such as OU, [tag]Missouri[/tag], and [tag]Texas Tech[/tag].


Posted September 18th, 2008 by Mike
Filed under: Feature, Football

Texas heads into this week’s game against [tag]Rice[/tag] off an unexpected bye week thanks to Hurricane Ike. Going into this game, the emphasis will not necessarily be on winning (that should come from just showing up), the emphasis will be on setting a tone for the upcoming Big 12 season.

When Texas has the ball

Through the first two games, one thing has become unmistakably obvious: this is Colt McCoy’s football team. This year’s Longhorns will go as far as he takes them, and so far that seems to be a good thing. After a sophomore slump that saw McCoy’s interceptions jump up significantly from his freshman year, McCoy has started off his junior year in spectacular fashion, including only throwing one interception.

On top of his improved passing game, McCoy is also leading the Horns in rushing. He is the only Longhorn to have over 100 yards on the season. This needs to change, and luckily for UT the Rice Owls are just what the doctor ordered for the Texas running game in the past few years.

New running backs coach [tag]Major Applewhite[/tag] has stressed ball security and pass blocking over explosive plays in the running game, but if Texas wants to get to their yearly goals of playing for the Big 12 championship and reaching a BCS game both need to happen. Texas ranks 23rd in the nation in pass offense, but sixth in the Big 12. The good teams in conference will be able to put up points, and with the youth in Texas’ secondary, UT’s offense must find a way to control the ball and shorten the game. This offense will not be able to score with the likes of [tag]Missouri[/tag] and [tag]Oklahoma[/tag]. In games like this weekend’s versus Rice, the running game needs to start asserting itself.

Texas’ offensive line should be able to physically dominate the smaller Rice defense. Expect the line to come out and quiet the naysayers after being out rushed by [tag]UTEP[/tag].

The receiving corps has been solid with [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] and [tag]Jordan Shipley[/tag] being the go to guys. Against Rice look for Texas to try and get [tag]Malcolm Williams[/tag] and [tag]Dan Buckner[/tag] deep, these two flankers need confidence heading into the upcoming schedule. So far, the biggest surprise has been the play of tight end [tag]Blaine Irby[/tag] who has scored in the first two games.

When Rice has the ball

Another week, another spread offense for Texas’ young secondary to deal with. The preseason schedule has worked out perfectly in terms of giving this group practice seeing the types of offense they will in the Big 12. The talent will obviously be a step up once conference games begin, but don’t be surprised if the Owl offense presents a challenge for the defense. Quarterback Chase Clement and wide receiver Jarrett Dillard are no slouches, especially Dillard who could be the best player to come out of Rice in recent memory.

Texas ranks 98th in the nation against the pass so look for defensive coordinator [tag]Will Muschamp[/tag] to start bringing more pressure as the season wears on. In a game like this one where the outcome isn’t in much question UT may play close to the vest on offense and defense, but if Rice has success early look for [tag]Sergio Kindle[/tag] to be unleashed. Texas has worked on a “Buck” package with Kindle coming off the edge. This should become more and more a staple of this defense.

Rice offers no real threat to Texas on the ground. The linebacker corps has played as good as it ever has under [tag]Mack Brown[/tag]. Texas’ emphasis moving forward in the season is to create more turnovers and to create more pressure. With offenses running the way they do now, sacks are not as easy to come by. Muschamp keeps track of pressures and hits on the quarterbacks each week. He would like the number to continue to go up.


Posted September 18th, 2008 by Matt
Filed under: Feature, Football, TV

LSU beating up on Auburn

LSU beating up on Auburn

We finally get to see Texas back in action after the game against [tag]Arkansas[/tag] was postponed due to [tag]Hurricane Ike[/tag]. Last week’s game of the year, USC vs. Ohio State, turned out to be a big disappointment. This week we get to see two of the premier teams in the SEC square off, LSU and Auburn, in what looks to be a knock-down-drag-out fight of two great defenses. It may be a low scoring affair, but it should still be an exciting football game.

Let’s see what is going on this Saturday. Remember, I did go 2-1 last weekend against the spread.

Miami (FL) at Texas A&M (+3) – 3:30 PM EST on ABC. The best news in this game might well be the fact that [tag]Stephen McGee[/tag] is injured and might not play. [tag]Jerrod Johnson[/tag] has shown some promise already this season and is probably a better option than McGee. Remember last year when Miami killed Aggy on the national stage? Well you can expect more of the same this year. Aggy will start the season 0-2 at home.

Rice at #7 Texas (-29) – 7:00 PM EST on FSN. After Hurricane Ike I am sure these two teams are ready to get back on the playing field and resume some normalcy. Rice doesn’t seem as bad this year as they normally do, but they still have no shot against Texas. Rice can actually score some points, so this will another good warm-up for the Texas defense before the real schedule starts. Rice might actually be a tough cover, but I see us winning by about 35.

#18 Wake Forest at #24 Florida State (-4) – 7:00 PM EST on ESPN2. Florida St is currently #1 in the nation in overall defense, allowing only 170 yards per game, but that is a little deceiving since they have played two Football Championship Subdivision teams. Wake Forest has owned Florida State in recent years and is the only team to shut-out FSU at home in coach Bobby Bowdens’ career. FSU is the favorite in this game for a reason. They are much more talented in the skill positions and are playing at home. I think this game might be close, but FSU will end up winning by 7 and cover the spread.

#6 LSU at #10 Auburn (+2.5) – 7:45 PM EST on ESPN. By far the premier match-up of the weekend. With two of the best defenses in the country squaring off Saturday night, this has all of the makings to be a 7-6 game. If you only score 3 points against Mississippi St, something is wrong with your offense. Even though they are playing at home, Auburn has the real potential to be shut-out. LSU’s offense is nothing to write home about either, but they should be able to put something together. I see LSU winning this game 17-6.


Posted June 1st, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Baseball, World Series

It got scary with two outs in the bottom of the night but yesterday’s starter [tag]Chance Ruffin[/tag] came in and got the final out for the 4-3 victory over St. John’s. [tag]Austin Wood[/tag] threw a fantastic 8 2/3rds innings but gave up two runs and put two more runners on before being relieved. After an intentional walk Ruffin got the final out on a bases loaded fielder’s choice.

Texas now must win two in a row against [tag]Rice[/tag] to move onto the Super Regional. Texas will start left-hander [tag]Riley Boening[/tag] against the Owls tonight at 6pm. You can listen to the game online at 1300 the Zone or watch live streaming video at


Posted March 2nd, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Baseball, Quick Hits

Baseball drops ugly one to Rice in Houston College Classic. Two poorly played games in a row means two losses in a row for the Horns.


The Longhorns easily handled [tag]Rice[/tag] Saturday night at the Toyota Center in Houston to continue the unbeaten start to their 2007-08 season. The team is now 9-0 on the season (the team’s best start since 1981-82) and if they can get past two more tough games in December then they have a chance to make it into conference play undefeated.

Wooden Award candidate [tag]DJ Augustin[/tag] and [tag]AJ Abrams[/tag] each scored 18 points against the Owls. [tag]Damion James[/tag] chipped in another 18 points and added an impressive 17 rebounds. James’ play is a very good sign for the Horns, a third scoring option and a monster on the glass could mean for a longer tourney run this March.

Next up for the team will be Texas State on Saturday (12/15) at 5pm. No TV so show up at the Erwin Center and support your Horns in person.

Related Links

Posted September 22nd, 2007 by Brian
Filed under: Football, Live

Looks like we’re definitely headed towards another situation where the early FSN game is going to interfere with the start of the Texas vs. [tag]Rice[/tag] game. Texas Tech and Oklahoma State have decided to forego defense and play a 9-hour offensive shootout. All is not lost however, if you’re a DirecTV customer the game will start on schedule on channel 667 and you can check out FSN Southwest’s contingency plan for the telecast over on the official UT football site. Plus I’ll post frequent updates on the game here on this post. Stay tuned…

First Quarter

  • Rice won the toss and will kick off.
  • Good deep kick and [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] takes a knee.
  • Chris Hall starting at right tackle again. Limas Sweed is healthy enough to make the start at receiver.
  • Colt McCoy misses Cosby on a 12 yard out.
  • [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] may never touch the football again. Another damn fumble. Rice football.
  • No surprises starting at linebacker. Same three veterans: Derry, Bobino, Killebrew.
  • Great penetration on the blitz by [tag]Rashad Bobino[/tag] results in a loss of yards.
  • [tag]Deon Beasley[/tag] got the start at cornerback over Brandon Foster.
  • How is that not grounding? Rice OL forgets to block Frank Okam and he gets a free run at the QB.
  • There’s a flag, they called it after all. Rice lining up for 50-yard field goal attempt.
  • Rice kicker misses wide left. My former coworker and former Rice kicker Derek Crabtree would’ve made that one. Or so he’d tell me.
  • Charles is still the running back. McCoy hits Jermichael Finley on a quick out for a 9 yard game.
  • Charles reverses field and gets a good gain. Kid has tons of talent, hold on to the ball and I’ll be your best friend.
  • Ugly option play and McCoy gets brought down hard. Guard Cedric Dockery got his ass kicked.
  • Great catch on a hitch by Cosby. Colt tried to get him killed. Short of the first down and Texas has to punt.
  • Texas sends out [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] with the rest of the punting team in some sort of likely fake but we screw it up and have to blow a timeout.
  • After the timeout we’ve got the regular offense out there for 4th and 2.
  • Lead dive out by Charles behind FB Atwan Cobb gets the first down.
  • Completion from McCoy to Nate Jones on a slant. 7 yard gain.
  • McCoy fumbles the shotgun snap but he rolls to his left and finds Cosby alone for a completion and a first down.
  • Terrible looking play where two Texas linemen are running laterally 3 yards deep in the backfield and Charles has to fight his way through them on the counter before he can get a couple of yards. Yikes.
  • Tony Hills with an obvious hold made more obvious by the fact that he threw his hands up in the air trying to claim innocence. Costs the Horns a first and goal opportunity.
  • McCoy and Cosby bail out Hills. Great pass and catch for the touchdown on 3rd and long. The inside receiver was even more open on the play.
Rice 0, Texas 7
  • About 1:30 left in the Tech/OSU game and OSU just scored to go up by four on a 54 yard TD catch.
  • Didn’t know Texas was using the Bill Bates air conditioned shoulder pads. Great technology.
  • Great job by Aaron Lewis to string out the play, Bobino flies to the ball and blows up the blocker, and Lewis is able to make the tackle.
  • The Rice receiver might have been bobbling that ball. Rice thinks so too and is running the no huddle.
  • Rice’s line is getting whipped right now. They’re doubling the two defensive tackles and that allowed the end to come and make the tackle untouched.
  • As I’ve said over and over again, that spread punt formation is the dumbest thing in college football. Texas gets the ball at their 33.
  • Colt is holding the ball a tick too long on the deep ball. Another underthrown bomb and another incompletion. He’s got a good enough arm if he gets rid of it a little quicker he’d be a lot more successful.
  • Long run by Charles on the single back counter.
  • Another ill advised deep ball. Come on Colt. Be smart. Interception but there’s flag on the play.
  • McCoy bailed out by the pass interference call. That could have gone either way. First down Texas.
  • John Chiles in the game. McCoy motioned left and Chiles ran the zone read. Nice idea but center Dallas Griffin got his ass beat and a Rice lineman blew up the play.
  • Two incompletions and Texas will have to attempt a field goal.
  • Ryan Bailey’s 44-yard field goal goes right down the middle.
Rice 0, Texas 10
  • If our corners are going to give 15 yard cushion they can’t miss freaking tackles. Beasley whiffs and there’s a good gain for Rice.
  • Ryan Palmer shows Beasley how to do it.
  • Sergio Kindle in the game. Texas defensive line is blowing up the zone read every time.
  • Looked like all the young linebackers might have been out there on that series. Rice has to punt.
  • Cosby fair catches a line drive punt at the 10 and Texas starts this possession with bad field position.
  • Charles lined up at wideout and McCoy puts a beautiful pass in his hands and Charles drops it. Would have been an easy 6.
  • Colt is leaving all these short passes up high. Doesn’t seem to have the zip on it he did last season.
  • The game is on regular FSN Southwest now so I’ll be doing less play by play and make more witty comments.

(more …)


Posted September 22nd, 2007 by Brian
Filed under: Football, Quick Hits

Five things to watch in the Rice vs. Texas game from an Owls point of view.


Posted September 22nd, 2007 by Brian
Filed under: Football, Quick Hits

Orakpo and Ulatoski are out against Rice. Sherrod Harris should be back but John Chiles is still listed at #2 QB.


Rice snaps 10-game losing streak against Texas with 7-4 win on Tuesday. Kyle Russell sets Texas home run record.

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