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Aaron Carrara

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Aaron Carrara last won the day on July 27 2016

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  1. New State Fair Foods

    New foods were released today. What are your thoughts? The Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Cheeseburger looks niiiiiccccety! https://bigtex.com/food/newfoods/
  2. Defensive Line There may not be a player on the entire roster that has improved more than DE Charles Omenihu. For the third straight game, Omenihu dominated the tackle across from him. The junior recorded 3 tackles and a sack, along with playing solid against the run. His sack came on a straight bull rush where he pushed the right tackle so far into the backfield that he found himself directly next to Sam Darnold. Chris Nelson played an excellent game at the other end position, and is quietly having himself a big junior season. Senior Poona Ford collected 4 tackles and continues to hold the point of attack well at the nose tackle position. Malcolm Roach finally had his presence felt, and it could not have come at a better time. Roach demonstrated his ability to play the run when he stood up Ronald Jones II at the goal line. Although the stats are not where many expected them to be, Roach showed why many were so high on him entering his sophomore year. The entire defensive line played with physicality and played with an aggression that I have not seen in years. Roach, Ford and Omenihu all asserted their will and did an excellent job at establishing the line of scrimmage. Grade: B+ Linebackers The linebacker unit thrived off of the opportunities the defensive line was creating for them. Malik Jefferson played his best game of his career and strangely enough has seemed to discover a comfort level at the middle linebacker spot. Jefferson had 11 tackles and 2 tackles for loss, and continually shot through gaps to help stifle the USC rushing attack. Gary Johnson and Anthony Wheeler both had solid games, with Wheeler collecting a team high 12 tackles and Johnson adding 3 tackles. Wheeler still has a tendency to think too much and play hesitant at times, but he recorded a huge 14-yard sack of Sam Darnold in the 4th quarter that took the Trojans out of field goal range. It is no coincidence that an improvement in defending the run has occurred with Gary Johnson seeing the field more. Number 33 constantly flashed around the ball and plays with reckless abandon. Breckyn Hager and Jeffrey McCulloch saw a lot of time on 3rd times. McCulloch recorded a big sack and both players always seem to be around the QB in pass rushing situations. The one knock I saw is when they lost containment on the last play of the first half, when Darnold got outside the pocket and was able to find Ronald Jones, who eventually found the endzone. The difference between the linebacker play from week 1 to week 3 is night and day. Todd Orlando continues to instill confidence in allowing players to thrive in roles that suit their skill sets. Grade: B+ Defensive Backs Against a potential Heisman finalist, the Texas secondary held their own. Sam Darnold threw for close to 400 yards, but was challenged by the Texas defensive backfield for most of the game and never seemed to find a consistent rhythm until the final drive in regulation. There is no doubt that Holton Hill is the best corner on the roster. Hill recorded 2 pass breakups to go along with 7 tackles, including a key 4th down open field tackle. Devante Davis got his first start of the season and performed admirably, but gave way to Kris Boyd about midway through the second quarter. Boyd is lucky that he was not burned several times on pump fakes. John Bonney saw meaningful snaps, but unfortunately the only time you heard his name called was when he was de-cleated by a receiver on Ronald Jones touchdown on the last play of the first half. Speaking of Jones’ touchdown, it is tough to lay blame entirely on the defensive backfield for that play. All 4 receivers ran to one side of the field and allowed Jones the entire left side to navigate once he caught the ball. It did not help that Texas had Collin Johnson back playing safety and had several defenders following receivers into the endzone when the ball was caught. Brandon Jones and Deshon Elliott picked a good time to deliver their best games of the season. Elliott had 2 interceptions, including a pick 6 at the end of the first half, and was flying around the field all night. Texas could not defend the screen the entire game, but Elliott delivered the one bright spot when he blew up a screen 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Jones saw an overall slight decrease in snaps, but looked comfortable for the first time all year. He played the run solidly and was not asked to do too much in the passing game. PJ Locke flashed once on a 4-yard tackle for loss. Overall, the defensive backfield kept Texas in the game most of the night. When the Texas offense was struggling most of the game, the DB’s continued to stand strong and not let USC beat them with the big play. When it really counted though and Texas needed a stop in the 4th quarter with 39 seconds left, the defense allowed Darnold to hit big plays through the air to set up a game tying field goal. Texas will need to continue to get performances like these with quarterbacks that are awaiting them, but the progress being made is undeniable and Todd Orlando has to be pleased with how the unit is progressing. Grade: B- Special Teams The good news: Texas was a 100% on field goals in the game. The bad news: everything else involving special teams was not good. Joshua Rowland converted a 39-yard field goal for his first make of the season, and his kicks look to be getting better height. Michael Dickson had a rough night. The junior averaged a respectable 41.3 yards per punt, but shanked one early in the game. Later in the game, Dickson successfully ran for a first down on a fake punt, only to have the play called back due to a holding penalty by PJ Locke that was completely unnecessary. The coverage and return units still need a lot of work. Reggie Hemphill-Mapps fielded punts at his own 1-yard line, twice. He took the first one back 27 yards to give the Longhorns good field position, but pinned Texas inside their 5-yard line on the next return. The coverage units continue to allow good returns at the most inopportune times. After Texas took a 17-14 lead, the coverage unit allowed a 37-yard return to give USC excellent field position. For the 3rd straight week, I saw Rowland involved in having to try to slow down a return man on a kickoff, and that is not a good sign. Grade: D+
  3. *****Texas vs. USC Game Thread*****

  4. *****Texas vs. USC Game Thread*****

    Darnold to Burnett for a 15 yard TD. USC 7, Texas 0 - 2:40 left, before the half.
  5. *****Texas vs. USC Game Thread*****

    Connor Williams is out for the remainder of the game - knee injury.
  6. *****Texas vs. USC Game Thread*****

    Total class by USC for doing this.
  7. The Longhorns (1-1, 0-0) and Spartans (2-0, 1-1) will meet for just the sixth time in history on Saturday at the Los Angeles Coliseum in a prime-time matchup scheduled for 7:30 PM CST. USC holds an all-time record of 4-1 against Texas, which last upset the favored Trojans in the 2005 BCS Championship under former head coach Mack Brown. USC, ranked 4th in both the Associated Press and Coaches Top-25 Polls, enters the contest as more than a two touchdown favorite. As a head coach, Tom Herman has a perfect 6-0 record against ranked opponents and a 3-0 record against Top-10 opponents. Does Texas have what it takes to leave the Coliseum with an upset win? The HornSports staff give their predictions on the outcome of tonight’s game. Harrison Wier The last time the Longhorns played at the Coliseum, something magical happened. Vince Young defied all odds and led his team to their first national championship in 35 years. That was over a decade ago. Since then, the Longhorns have been on a downhill slide. The mojo of Texas continued throughout the Colt McCoy era, but after his devastating injury in the 2009 National Championship, something changed within the Texas program. Since that game, the Longhorns have a 47-45 record. The Mack Brown era ended on a sour note and a new coach failed to bring back the “pride and winning tradition” of Texas football. Now, another coach is trying to instill a winning mentality that seems to have been lost for decades. Tom Herman has had monumental success in his coaching career. But in his debut with the Longhorns, he got a taste of what it was like to be the head man in charge of a Power 5 program. That will all go out the window if Herman can manage to defeat the Trojans on Saturday. As a head coach, Herman has never lost to an AP top 25 opponent or as an underdog. That may change on Saturday. Not because Herman isn’t capable of out-coaching a tough opponent, but because his team is nowhere near the caliber of a veteran squad making a case for the CFP. Herman does not have the luxury of coaching the Heisman frontrunner at quarterback or an All-American at running back. And with the way Todd Orlando’s defense has played this season, that could spell trouble. Further, the Texas offense has proven to be inconsistent. Even though the USC run defense is subpar, Texas is working with either an injured quarterback or true freshman behind center. Building a winning culture takes time. Right now USC has that, and Texas is still trying to find its way back to the glory days. The better team will win on Saturday. Score Prediction: USC 45, Texas 21 Jameson McCausland The question I have wondered all week is what Texas defense is going to show up in Los Angeles on Saturday? The one that gave up 51 points at home to Maryland or the one that dominated San Jose State? The coverage bust, biting on pump fakes and leaving men wide open is not going to fly against USC. Sam Darnold is the real deal and Ronald Jones is very good. If Texas holds the Trojans under 30 points, I think they have a chance to win, but it’s just hard to envision that happening. The Texas offense is going to go as far as the quarterback play will take them in a game of this magnitude. Whether its Shane Buechele or Sam Ehlinger, both quarterbacks must take care of the football. Texas has the playmakers to give USC some trouble, but they will need to be nearly flawless on the offensive side of the ball. Finally, I have concerns about the kicking game. It’s hard enough to go on the road and beat a top 5 team as is, but throw in shaky special teams play and it’s nearly impossible. I think Texas shows some positive signs in this game and it it will be something they can build off of, but USC is a playoff caliber team who dominated Stanford last week. It will be a good game, but Sam Darnold and USC will away in the 2nd half. Score Prediction: USC 34, Texas 21 Daniel Seahorn I’ve been looking for a reason all offseason to pick Texas to win this game, but it never came about. The season opener against Maryland and Texas likely trotting a true freshman out at quarterback doesn’t exactly help my confidence either. The Longhorns have a tall task ahead of them when it comes to slowing down an offense headlined by a future NFL draft pick in Sam Darnold. With the Texas secondary still trying to find their way, I think this could be a recipe for a disaster. If the Longhorns find a way to keep this game close for four quarters I will call that a win. Score Prediction: USC 42 Texas 28 Ross Labenske The sixth iteration of this rivalry won’t nearly compare with the previous match-up, but expect plenty of fireworks to fly as both teams will score a lot of points early and often. Any hopes of Texas coming in and upsetting Southern California will be squashed when USC QB Sam Darnold lights up a Texas defense that gave up 51 points to Maryland in the season opener. The Longhorns will shift between multiple quarterbacks this game, whether it be Shane Buechele, Jerrod Heard, Sam Ehlinger, a combination of 2 of them or perhaps even all 3. But this won’t fool the USC defense, as I expect the Trojans to win easily. Chris Warren III and Kyle Porter should prove to keep up their dominant rushing attack against a USC rushing defense that through 2 games has given up 60+ yards more per game than the Longhorns. Unfortunately for Texas, the Longhorn defense will be exposed by the dominance of the star sophomore Trojans QB Darnold. The game will be a shootout much like the last time these two teams met, but the Trojans will get their revenge match and take care of business at home. Score Prediction: USC 41, Texas 27 Aaron Carrara In the biggest game of Tom Herman’s early career at Texas, the backdrop surrounding Texas vs. #4 USC has nothing to do with the last meeting between the two teams. In my opinion it has very little to do with Tom Herman’s 5-0 record when playing ranked opponents as an underdog. It has everything to do with the reality of where these two programs are right now. Texas is reeling from 3 losing seasons under Charlie Strong, they are looking for an offensive identity, consistency on defense and a kicking game that can produce game-winning results. Headed into the third game of the season, the search is still underway. USC boasts an NFL-ready quarterback in Sam Darnold, who leads a prolific offense that averages 45.5 points per game. The Trojan rushing offense ranks 18th in the nation, averaging 270 yards per game. The Texas defense will have its hands full and things could get out of hand if Texas doesn’t find a way to slow a Darnold & company early on. I don’t expect to see Shane Buechele behind center this game as he is still rehabbing an injured shoulder, which means the Ehlinger-Heard tandem will have to suffice at quarterback. The Longhorn rushing effort should see success against a USC defense that ranks 110th against the run. Expect Chris Warren to easily break the 100 yard mark tonight. USC has home field advantage and Tom Herman will get his guys up for the matchup, but Darnold’s precision will be the difference in the end. The Texas secondary has struggled through two games, and USC will exploit poor matchups and soft coverage to their benefit. Score Prediction: USC 45, Texas 31
  8. Friday Night Lights – Week 3

    Manvel is crushing Pearland 35-0 with 6:08 left in the 3rd quarter.
  9. The Texas Longhorns (1-1, 0-0) will face the USC Trojans (2-0, 0-0), the sixth meeting between the two teams, at the Los Angeles Coliseum today at 7:30 pm. Texas looks to carry their momentum from the 56-0 win over San Jose State last weekend and win its second straight game, in the team’s first road contest of the season. USC, ranked #4 in the country, holds a 2-0 record after defeating Western Michigan in the season opener, and dismantling #14 Stanford at the Coliseum last weekend. The two teams last met in the 2005 BCS National Championship Game in which the Longhorns prevailed 41-38. Texas coach Tom Herman boasts impressive career numbers against ranked opponents as a head coach, with a perfect 6-0 record against ranked opponents, including a 3-0 record against Top-10 opponents. Texas Longhorns vs. USC Trojans Date: Saturday, September 16th, 2017 Time: 7:30 PM CST Television: FOX Venue: Los Angeles Coliseum Location: Los Angeles, CA Relevant Articles and Information: Staff Predictions – Texas vs. San Jose State The Line: Trojans favored by more than two touchdowns over Longhorns Get to know USC: Offense Texas – USC: Can the Longhorns pull off the upset? Get to know USC: Defense/Special Teams
  10. Texas (1-1, 0-0) will travel to Los Angeles on Saturday to take on USC (2-0, 1-0). The Trojans enter the game coming off an impressive win against Stanford, 42-24. Let’s take a look at what USC has on defense and special teams: Defensive Line The USC defense will operate out a 3-4 look. The nose tackle position is held down by former junior college standout Josh Fatu. Fatu has already recorded 2 tackles for loss and a sack in 2017. The end positions are occupied by Rasheem Green and Malik Dorton. Green was an honorable mention All-PAC 12 member in 2016 and had an excellent game last week against Stanford. Right tackles Tristan Nickelson and Denzel Okafor will draw the task of having to try to slow down Green, who possesses the speed and strength to give the offensive line fits. Dorton has a quiet first few games of the year, only totaling 3 tackles and having no sacks or tackles for loss. Stanford had pretty good success running to Dorton’s side of the line, and with Connor Williams matched up against him on Saturday, it may be smart for Texas to replicate that plan. Linebacker Inside linebacker Cameron Smith is widely considered to be the top player on the Trojan defense. Smith was a second team All-Pac 12 member in 2016 and is one of the top run defenders in the entire country. He is the team leader in tackles with 14 to go along with 2.5 tackles for loss. Beside him is fellow inside linebacker John Houston Jr. The sophomore has 9 tackles on the year to go along with a quarterback hurry. If Texas wants to establish the run game, they will have to find a way to get bodies on Smith and Houston, who both shoot gaps well and have high football IQ’s. The two outside linebackers for USC each serve a different purpose for the Trojan defense. Senior Uchenna Nwosu is seen as an athletic linebacker who the Trojans can rely on in pass coverage and to handle athletes out in space. Nwosu has 9 tackles and a tackle for loss on the season, and will play a vital role in defending the screen game that Texas has utilized through the first two games. Porter Gustin would the starter at the other outside linebacker spot, but Gustin is every questionable for Saturday with a toe injury. The 6’5, 255 pound junior was the named honorable mention All-Pac 12 in 2016, when he lead the team in tackles for loss with 13 and also collected 5.5 sacks. Texas would catch an extreme break if Gustin is unable to play, and sophomore Connor Murphy would likely start in his place. Murphy has seen limited playing time this season, recording 6 tackles. Defensive Back In 2016, Adoree’ Jackson took home the Jim Thorpe award for the top defensive back in the country. Despite Jackson’s departure to the NFL, another defensive back on the Trojans was named to the Jim Thorpe award watch list prior to the 2017 season. Junior Iman Marshall is the top cornerback on the roster, and for good reason. Marshall is in his 3rd season as a starter and has 6 career interceptions. Collin Johnson will again draw a tough corner and will most likely be bracketed by a safety for the third straight game. Opposite of Marshall, the other starting corner is sophomore Jack Jones. Jones had a great game against Stanford a week ago, recording 6 tackles. The Trojans boast a solid safety pairing that is led by senior Chris Hawkins. The 2016 honorable mention All-Pac 12 member has 24 career starts. Hawkins brings a lot of versatility to the USC secondary, having started games at both safety positions and at corner. Marvell Tell III is the starter at the other safety spot and has recorded USC’s only interception through 2 games. Converted wide receiver Ajene Harris will play nickel when the Trojans choose to employ an extra DB. Texas will bring in the most talented receiving group that the Trojans have faced so far this season. Offensive coordinator Tim Beck will need to try to create matchup problems against a USC secondary that has length and plays with good discipline. Wide receivers Reggie Hemphill Mapps, Armanti Foreman and Lil’ Jordan Humphrey will need to find way to get open to help alleviate some of the double coverage Collin Johnson will be facing. Special Teams Interestingly, the Trojans have yet to attempt a field goal in 2017. Redshirt freshman Michael Brown and true freshman Chase McGrath competed for the field goal duties throughout fall camp. Brown tore his ACL in last weeks game and will miss the remainder of the season. This leaves McGrath has the only player left at kicker. The walk on is a perfect 13 for 13 on extra points, but it remains to be seen what he will look like when USC is forced to attempt a field goal. Junior Reid Budrovich is in his first year as the starting punter and is averaging close to 50 yards per punt. Budrovich has had 2 punts land inside the 20. Velus Jones Jr. and Jack Jones serve as the primary kick returners.Velus Jones has returned 2 kicks for total of 61 yards, while Jack Jones has 2 returns for 14 yards. Texas has been vulnerable to long kickoff returns so far this year and USC will have the opportunity to exploit a shaky coverage unit. On punts, Ajene Harris handles the returns. Harris has only had 1 returnable attempt, a 15 yard return against Western Michigan. The Longhorns can not afford to give USC points off of special teams if they have any hope of pulling an upset on Saturday.
  11. Sean Adams

    Hey guys, wanted to let you know that Sean Adams passed away today. Don't know the details but Sean will be sorely missed. Many of you hear him on the radio talking sports or you see him at Texas FB games or in team-related press conferences. Thoughts and prayers are with his family. This is tragic news.
  12. By Jameson McCausland The Texas Longhorns throttled the San Jose Spartans 56-0 on Saturday at Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium to give Tom Herman his first win as head coach at Texas. Let’s take a look at how the Texas defense and special teams graded in shutout win. Defensive Line The entire defensive line held the point of attack well. Unlike last week, the linebackers were able to make the plays that the defensive line was opening up. Poona Ford had a very solid game and was a constant presence in the San Jose State backfield. Chris Nelson and Malcolm Roach had good games at the end positions, but both still need to work on not letting the QB break containment. Roach has still yet to record a sack this season, but his biggest improvement has been playing the run well. Behind the starting 3, Charles Omenihu had another quality game and junior college transfer Jamari Chisholm had a tackle for loss. Texas will need Omenihu, Chisholm and freshman Ta’quon Graham to continue to develop and give the defense 10-15 quality snaps as they face more high powered offenses in the future. Grade: B+ Linebacker After receiving a D- grade a week ago, the entire linebacker unit took a step forward in week 2. A lot of the improvements seen can be chalked up to overall better fundamentals, but some of it was going against a San Jose State offense that was way in over its head. Malik Jefferson played perhaps his best game in nearly 2 years. His 4th and 1 stop is the perfect example of not thinking too much and just using his athleticism to make plays. Jefferson was credited with 7 tackles and a quarterback hurry. Anthony Wheeler also did a much better job of plugging run holes and finished the game with 5 tackles. The most pleasant surprise of the game was the play of junior college transfer Gary Johnson. After only playing on special teams in week 1, Johnson flashed several times on Saturday. He had a tackle for loss his first possession and was all over the field when defending the run. Texas went with a 4-2-5 look on multiple occasions, with Johnson and Jefferson manning the two linebacker spots. The duo allows Texas to get the two most athletic linebackers on the roster in the game at the same time. Naashon Hughes had a very quiet game, but did his job and does not seem in danger of losing his starting spot. Breckyn Hager and Jeff McCulloch did not get many opportunities to pin their ears back and rush the passer. San Jose State only had 52 total plays and Texas was not forced to go to their primary pass rush package as often as week 1. Hager and McCulloch will both play big roles going forward in helping slow down the passing attacks of USC and big 12 opponents. Grade: B Defensive Back Texas was lucky that Bailey Gaither did not bring his hands to Austin. Twice Gaither got behind the defensive backs and could have scored. Both times the ball hit off his finger tips. Brandon Jones and Kris Boyd continue to vulnerable against pump fakes. Jones showed improvements in taking better angles and helping out in run support, but must improve on providing good pass coverage over the top. Deshon Elliott looked a lot better than he did week 1. Elliott seemed play under control and understood what he was doing in coverage. Holton Hill has been the best defensive player on the roster through 2 weeks of play. Hill added another interception returned for a touchdown, giving him 3 for his career. It’s safe to say that Hill has rebounded from whatever off the field problems he had in 2016. One player I would like to see more of his Jason Hall. The senior safety forced a fumble on special teams and has extensive starting experience. Hall may not have the speed and athleticism that Jones and Elliott posses, but he has a history of defending the run game solidly. Hill’s pick 6 and shutting out a team benefited the defensive back’s grade, but the performance was not as good as it seemed on paper. Cornerbacks coach Jason Washington and safeties coach Craig Naviar need to find out what is still confusing their position groups, and get it quickly corrected. Facing Sam Darnold, Jesse Ertz, Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph in 4 of the next 5 games is not a good recipe for success if you can not defend the pass. Grade: C Special Teams Through 2 games, Texas is 0-3 on field goal attempts. Kicker Joshua Rowland missed his only attempt on Saturday, a 42-yarder that went wide right. The blocking looked more solid on field goals and Rowland seemed to get more air under the ball, but overall Texas may just have to start going it if a field goal attempt is greater than 40 yards. Armanti Foreman muffed his first punt return of the game, but fortunately Texas recovered the muff. Reggie Hemphill Mapps is the more talented punt returner and will see the bulk of the returns going forward. Tom Herman was quick to point out in his postgame press conference that the kickoff coverage has to improve. Bailey Gaither had a 39 yard return and it is the second week in a row where coverage problems have arisen on kickoffs. A more talented returner is going to take one all the way back if Texas can not fix the gaping holes they are allowing blockers to create. It is not good when your kicker is credited with a tackle in a game. Michael Dickson averaged 45 yards on 3 punt attempts and is weapon that Texas will have if they get into a field position battle in a game down the road. Grade: C
  13. Game Recap: Texas 56 - SJSU 0 (by Aaron Carrara)

    To clarify - surpassed the 1K career yard mark at Texas. He has 1033 yards.