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  1. I might be in a minority here, but I think KSU is a formidable foe again this year. They're a disciplined team that doesn't make a lot of mistakes. I really hope I'm wrong here. K State 35 Texas 31
  2. Who: Texas Longhorns 3-3 (1-2) vs. Kansas State Wildcats 3-3 (1-2) When: Saturday, October 22nd at 11 AM Central Where: Bill Snyder Family Stadium – Manhattan, KS Television: (ESPN2) Odds: Kansas State -3 The Good: Kansas State continues to operate business as usual under Bill Snyder. The Wildcats rely on defense, physical running, and disciplined play. Jesse Ertz will start at quarterback according to Snyder, and appears to be a slightly lesser version of Collin Klein. Ertz is just south of 50% passing on the year, but he does present a run threat with a big physical body. Ertz is assisted in the run game by Charles Jones, who is averaging 5 yards per carry and leading the team in rushing. Byron Pringle is the man to watch in the passing game for K-State. Pringle is averaging nearly 17 yards per reception, and he teams with Dominique Heath to create a formidable receiving duo. The defensive side of the ball is carrying this team so far this season. The Wildcat defense ranks tops in the conference against the run holding opponents to around 90 yards per game on the ground. In home games this season, Kansas State is only allowing 58.3 rushing yards per game in Manhattan. The Bad: Kansas State has been pretty lucky to avoid injuries, but Ertz does enter the game banged up. Backup quarterback Joe Hubener drains what little punch their offense has. Snyder’s offense relies on a slow and steady approach while they wait to exploit a defensive mistake. Kansas State averages around 340 yards per game offensively, and are worse at home than they are on the road. The Uncertain: This game will come down to the K-State ability to stop D’onta Foreman and the Texas run game. If the K-State offense hopes score often, they will need to keep Jesse Ertz clean. The shoulder injury Ertz suffered could come into play as well if he is not completely healed. What’s at Stake: Both teams hold identical overall and conference records, and a win would put both taems above the .500 mark. Kansas State fans hold a special pleasure at the pain they’ve inflicted on Texas fans over the last decade, and they’d probably love to keep that going. For Texas, every game is a big game as Charlie Strong tries to rally and hold on to his job. The Longhorns are also trying to get a win in Manhattan for the first time since 2002. If the Longhorns can enforce their run game on the Wildcats stingy defense, and continue their own defensive improvement they might be able to generate some momentum as they enter the second half of the schedule.
  3. The point on a brisket is typically the fattiest cut. Pitmasters often trim the point (and select edges) off a brisket and return those pieces to the smoker. Are burnt ends tough, chewy worthless cuts of meat, or are they heavenly bites of smoky goodness? It depends on who you ask... Rather than discard the trimmings and fat, we choose to savor all the information that flows through the site. So, sit down and help yourself to some burnt ends. +++++ This is a free site, so anyone can read this report. If you share it with someone, please take time to attribute the information to HornSports. +++++ We’ll start with the team meeting that was reported on quite heavily last week. We had a chance to speak with a few people in regards to the happenings inside the locker room, and what we learned was that the reports were mostly exaggerated from the sources we spoke with. While there was an airing of grievances between players and coaches, everyone is on the same page going forward. Our sources specifically told us that any talk of “fireworks” were exaggerated and an attempt to stir drama. “Everyone knows what’s happened this season. Nobody took it personally, everyone knows this is a team pulling together. Were some harsh things said? Absolutely. There is no divide in this locker room though, everyone is focused on a common goal to win out for each other and for Coach Strong”. Another source we spoke to didn’t appreciate the attempt to make something more out of it than what it was. “Guys on this team know that everyone isn’t pulling their weight. Everyone who spoke in that meeting also acknowledged that they had to improve as well. We know there are people out there that want to see us torn apart, but we aren’t going to let them. This is a family”. Anyone who has ever played knows there are times when harsh truths have to be told in order to achieve accountability, and that sounds like exactly what happened. +++++ Several Texas coaches and players spoke with the media. Here are some of the other quotes we left out of the post game. Charlie Strong On the rest of the season: “You’ve still got six games left, so we’ll see. We’ve got a lot of football left.” On when he told the players to challenge themselves: “It wasn’t at halftime. It was before we played. It was last night when we have a meeting right before dinner, and today we had a meeting before pregame. I said challenge yourselves guys.” On if he yelled at halftime: “I usually yell a lot – Halftime, first quarter, second quarter. I don’t give too many breaks.” On defensive effort: “It was very pleasing. As I said, we talked about it, and I told them it’s going to be a challenge for us, our defense, trying to slow them down. I said if we keep the ball in front of us, guys, and we go tackle then we’ll have a chance to get up the field and just get the ball back for our offense.” On team meeting: “I don’t know that the big deal was made about that. I have a team meeting every Thursday. Every Thursday at 3:30 I meet with the team. And I just set out our plan to go win the game. A few guys had wanted to voice their opinion about some things, but it’s something I do every Thursday.” On the fans: “When we started to score I think they were pretty good. I was nervous myself being 6-3 and we weren’t scoring, but I just know this. Our offense is so explosive, and at any point we’re going to score.” On his pass rushers: “You look at our front, tonight you saw Roach, you saw 97 (Chris Nelson) inside. You saw 95 (Poona Ford) inside, and then you saw 44 (Breckyn Hager). 44 and Roach, they play with so much energy. And then 40 (Naashon Hughes) was able to come in, get his sack. Guys know they’re going to get a limited number of plays, so when you get your chance you’ve got to take full advantage of it.” Sterlin Gilbert On team unity: “I think day in and day out and week in and week out, anytime you get to go through adversity as a team or person or individual, people battle with you and fight with you, you’ll grow together. That’s what we’re in the process of right now.” On Shane Buechele: “I know it gets repetitive for ya’ll, but with himi it’s just about growth and just seeing pictures and making sure he’s taking the ball in the right spotsand seeing things happening in the back end.” On limiting wear and tear on Foreman: “Again, it just kind of goes with what’s going on in the game. We’ve got an idea maybe around that, of the carries we’d like to have on his legs and what we’d like him to do. Sometimes it just kind of depends on the kind of carries they are. Are they big runs? Are they short yard? Are they hard yards? So all that stuff goes into consideration when you’re talking about doing those things.” Paul Boyette On the mindset at halftime: “We played a decent first half. We had to come out and play a complete game. You can’t win in the Big 12 just playing one half. We need to go out there and not let them score any points.” On playing up to his abilities: “With it being my senior year, we want to make this a special year not only for [the seniors] but for the whole team in general. We know we have a talented team. We know we can get out there and compete with the best of them.” Devin Duvernay On team meeting: “Our destiny is in our own hands, and we are just continuing to get better each and every day at practice. We’re just going forward. Just taking it one game at a time, one play at a time, one practice at a time. We’re just going to keep believing.” John Bonney On the pass rush: “Those guys up front helped us a lot at secondary, especially today. We were able to get a lot of pressure on the quarterback, and at the end of the day that’s what you want out of the defensive line”. D’Onta Foreman On halftime: “Coaches came in there and said that we were playing really well and just to keep it up. We told those guys not to worry about it, and we were going to put some points on the board. We believed in it and we went out there and we did that.” On rushing streak/Earl Campbell: “I think that’s wonderful. I’m proud of the line, I went in there after the game and went up to each and every one of those guys personally and told them thank you, if it wasn’t for ya’ll this wouldn’t be possible.” Jerrod Heard On penalties in first half: “It’s one of those things where everyone is going to make mistakes, it’s just one of those things that these are things that happen. Let’s just fix it but keep playing at the moment.” On next weekend: “It’s always hard to play in Manhattan at their place, it doesn’t matter who you are. It’s a home base and a good home advantage they have, it’s just very critical for us that we mind the mistakes and execute.” +++++ With the way the season is going, we are constantly checking in with current commits to see where they are with Texas. Suffice to say there is a lot of negative recruiting going on from other schools. For some recruits it is having a bit of an effect. We reported this week that Kobe Boyce had some rumors going around about him, and while the Lake Dallas corner is still committed to Texas, the negative recruiting has made him think a bit. While Boyce isn’t set on what he’s going to do, he is definitely weighing his options. We’ll watch this recruitment closely, and we have very strong sources close to him. Josh Thompson is another player that is hearing the negative recruiting, but he told us it doesn’t bother him at all. “I’m fine with Texas, I’m 100%”. For Thompson this is a dream school situation for him, and he seems pretty firmly committed and is trying to make sure everyone stays on board. We spoke to a source near another commit that several schools all tried the negative pitch on, and he basically responded with something not fit for print. This particular commit didn’t take kindly to the school talking noise to him about UT’s performance, and he told that school they haven’t exactly had a stellar performance there either. The support for Charlie Strong from commits and players inside the program is pretty firm right now, and if he can save his job this season he will have quite a loyal core of players. +++++ One of the visitors on campus this weekend was 2018 John Tyler OLB/DE DK Goodson. We spoke to him following the win for his thoughts on the visit. “I loved the visit, it was very exciting to be there and just to be around everything. Their defense was the thing that stood out to me the most. They showed dominance. I really hope to go back soon.” Goodson is a very intriguing pass rusher that should rank top 50 in the state next year. Goodson is of course teammates with Texas commit Damion Miller, and when we saw him earlier this year he was a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks. Jeff Traylor is very familiar with Goodson and John Tyler, so we’d expect him to be a name to know going forward. +++++ Hebron 2018 Quarterback Clayton Tune was also in attendance, and we spoke to his father following the visit. “It went really well! Coach Gilbert spent some time with him before the game, as did Jordan Traylor. We had a Texas Angel hostess with us throughout the game, and it was fun to see a victory! It made for a great visit.” Texas hasn’t moved on a quarterback target in the 2018 class, but Gilbert has been on Tune for a while. Tune is having a strong year, and he looked very good at the Texas satellite camp this summer. +++++ Finally, we spoke with a source close to Bellaire Episcopal DT Marvin Wilson. The big man from Houston was on campus, and he enjoyed his time as always. We tweeted after the game with a picture of Marvin walking off the field while the student section chanted his name. That was a big hit for the family, and something that resonated with everyone involved. Wilson’s been very vocal about his support for Charlie Strong, and that support extends to his entire family. We were told that the visit felt like home for many of them. The Wilson’s stayed overnight and spent some time with the coaching staff on Sunday before going home. Our source told us they thought the staff was in an upbeat mood and optimistic about the future. Wilson has recently been listening to A&M a bit more, but we continue to be told that the family really wants Texas. Obviously this thing will go up and down with Charlie Strong’s job security and game results, but we believe if Texas won 7 or 8 games and kept Strong they would land the nation’s top defensive tackle.
  4. The point on a brisket is typically the fattiest cut. Pitmasters often trim the point (and select edges) off a brisket and return those pieces to the smoker. Are burnt ends tough, chewy worthless cuts of meat, or are they heavenly bites of smoky goodness? It depends on who you ask... Rather than discard the trimmings and fat, we choose to savor all the information that flows through the site. So, sit down and help yourself to some burnt ends. +++++ This is a free site, so anyone can read this report. If you share it with someone, please take time to attribute the information to HornSports. +++++ We’ll start this week with a heat check on Charlie Strong’s seat. Last week it was incredibly uncomfortable, and this week we were told it is scorching hot. While the outcome of the game (5 point loss) wasn’t an embarrassment, the 672 yards the defense gave up definitely were. We already knew that donors were moving behind the scenes to work towards transition, but we remain sure of the fact that the true decision makers (Greg Fenves) aren’t jumping yet. Still, the writing seems to be on the wall from everyone we’ve talked to. With the Longhorns trending down while Texas A&M is trending up, there is a sense of urgency to be quick and decisive in order to grab that momentum back. Tom Herman is the name that most fans want, and it seems the boosters do as well. As we reported last week, there is still a bit of in-fighting between the faction that wants to make another run at Nick Saban and those that want Herman. It’s unclear whether Herman’s loss to Navy last week will do anything to slow that momentum, but he’s still one of the primary targets. We were told once again there would not be an in-season firing, so for now we are in a bit of a holding pattern until we reach the end of the season. +++++ We spoke to multiple players following the Oklahoma loss, and everyone is at least trying to put on a brave face. Here is some of what we got from the media breakout sessions. Malik Jefferson On giving up 672 yards of offense: “Oh my God.” On what more they can do: “We’ve got to keep fighting. We know we have seven games left.” On failing to get off the field on third down: “That comes down to us and lack of focus. Guys have to stay on their man, we’ve got to get pressure on the quarterback and force something.” Shane Buechele On his first OU game: “It was a great atmosphere out there, it was a lot of fun. I just wish we would have come out with a win.” On second half improvement: “I was seeing everything well (in the first half), I just wasn’t making throws. I just have to execute and be better. I just have to start making throws and be a better leader.” On possible rebound: “We just have to go in next week and try to get better. It starts tomorrow.” Connor Williams On playing in his hometown: “I came here one year, and it was my senior year. It was incredible, and I’ve always been a Texas fan so it means a lot to me.” On second half run game success: “I think we just got more drive in the second half, and we started wearing them down.” On team confidence: “Of course we’re down that we lost. We all know we can get better, we all know that we made mistakes. We’re just going to try and take it week by week.” Dorian Leonard On second half touchdown catch: “That was just me trying to make a play. We were trying to get back on top and get some momentum going.” On earning more playing time: “Those years that I didn’t play really pushed me to work on my craft. Obviously there was a reason that I wasn’t playing. I went out there and worked hard over the summer and just kept encouraging my teammates.” On pressure to score because lack of defense: “We just know when we go out there we have to execute. We know the defense is going to help us out, but when we go out there we have to make some plays.” On team confidence level: “We know that it was a tough game. We went out there and we gave it our all. We see the possibilities that we could have. It was a confidence boost to know that we could go out and score in under a minute.” On Shane Buechele: “Shane is adjusting to the game very well, especially in this game. It’s a big time game and he’s still putting the ball exactly where you need it. He’s helping all of the receivers out a lot.” On emergence of young receivers: “We’re getting a pretty nice rotation with all of our receivers. We just boos them up on the sideline and give them confidence.” +++++ On the recruiting side of things it’s a mixed bag of news. We’ll start with the bad news first. The undecided prospects out there see what is happening with this team and likewise with Charlie Strong’s job security. Many of them (Anthony Hines, Baron Browning, Omar Manning) plan on making early decisions, and right now the Horns are in an incredibly unstable position. The early decisions ensure that Texas won’t have much of a chance unless they do something to seriously flip the script on their season. The other bad news is that A&M is undefeated, ranked in the top 10, and just pulled off a big home win over Tennessee with a bunch of big name recruits in attendance. Charlie Strong stole control of this state in the midst of two poor seasons, but it seems that control is slipping through his fingers at this point. +++++ Now for the good news. We talked to a number of the already committed prospects in the Texas class The core group of guys seem to be solid, though there are a few to watch out for. A couple of the prospects we talked to said they were onboard as long as Charlie Strong was here, and a couple of them even mentioned Tom Herman by name as a coach they would stick with. While things will most certainly change if the Texas season continues to tank, right now the committed guys seem to be even-keel for the most part as it pertains to their commitment to the Longhorns.
  5. From http://www.texassports.com/news/2016/10/7/baseball-announces-dates-and-opponents-for-2017-schedule.aspx 10.07.2016 Baseball announces dates and opponents for 2017 schedule In addition, the Fall World Series will take place from October 25-27 of this month at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. Printable Schedule AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas baseball program announced dates and opponents for the 2017 Longhorns season. Times and television assignments will be released at a later date. The challenging 54-game slate features 18 contests against seven opponents who reached the NCAA tournament last season. Of those 18 contests, nine will be played against teams that appeared in the College World Series (Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech). Of the 54 games, the Longhorns will play 34 home contests at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. Texas opens up the season with a four-game home series against Rice, where Longhorns head coach David Pierce spent 13 seasons as an assistant coach (1991, 2003-11) and 12 under current Owls head coach Wayne Graham. Following the Rice opening series, Texas will head to Sam Houston State for a Wednesday night midweek game before returning home to play three against last year's tournament participant UCONN. Another midweek contest rounds out the month, with Texas welcoming Lamar for a Tuesday night matchup. The Longhorns open their March schedule with four games on the road at Stanford before playing nine straight at home from March 7-19. During that nine-game stretch, the Longhorns will host Texas A&M on Tuesday, March 14, followed by a three-game set against Texas Tech to mark the start of Big 12 play. Other notable midweek games include a March 28 contest against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to be held at Whataburger Field, home of the Houston Astros' Double-A affiliate, the Corpus Christi Hooks. Texas will also head to Sugar Land on April 25 for a Tuesday night matchup against Louisiana Lafayette at Constellation Field, home of the Sugar Land Skeeters. In addition to the three-game series against Texas Tech, the Longhorns will host three other Big 12 Conference teams—Kansas State (March 24-26), Oklahoma (April 7-9) and West Virginia (May 19-21). The set against WVU closes out the regular season slate. In addition to the spring schedule, the annual Texas Baseball Alumni Game has been set for Saturday, February 4. It will air at 2 p.m. on Longhorn Network. To conclude the fall schedule, the Orange-White Fall World Series is scheduled to take place from October 25-27 of this month. More information will follow soon regarding the fall contests. Fall World Series Schedule Tuesday, October 25—6 p.m. on LHN Wednesday, October 26—4 p.m. on LHN Thursday, October 27—6 p.m. on LHN ************************************************************************************
  6. The point on a brisket is typically the fattiest cut. Pitmasters often trim the point (and select edges) off a brisket and return those pieces to the smoker. Are burnt ends tough, chewy worthless cuts of meat, or are they heavenly bites of smoky goodness? It depends on who you ask... Rather than discard the trimmings and fat, we choose to savor all the information that flows through the site. So, sit down and help yourself to some burnt ends. +++++ This is a free site, so anyone can read this report. If you share it with someone, please take time to attribute the information to HornSports. +++++ Was Saturday the beginning of the end for Charlie Strong’s tenure? It certainly felt like it if you were reading social media between 11-3. After the Longhorns had two weeks to prepare for Oklahoma State, they laid a huge egg defensively. There was a myriad of postgame fallout, so we will try to lay this out as best as we can. Anwar Richardson of Orangebloods.com reported that he spoke to Athletic Director Mike Perrin following the game, and Perrin advised that he would have to evaluate the situation. There has been some back and forth over exactly what happened here, but our own Mike Roach was on the scene when the question was asked, and he can confirm Anwar’s side of the story. Charlie Strong was asked about the comment in his postgame presser, and he responded with: “You’re evaluated each and every day here.” After speaking with our sources, we know that he is in no danger of being fired this season, but next week is critical for Strong. There was already a vocal minority last season looking to get rid of him, and that crowd has grown towards more of a majority. The push is going to be incredible with guys like Tom Herman up for other jobs this year, and the bar is rising on Strong. The players are saying the right things on the surface, but there was a lot of anger following the matchup yesterday. Coaches had to corral a couple of guys after the game was over. All momentum in recruiting the program had after Notre Dame has evaporated. We’ve reported all season that the Longhorns are in a great position for a number of targets, but they would have to improve and win to get those guys. The downside to Charlie’s late closing tactic could potentially leave a new coach scrambling to fill a majority of the class if Texas decides to move in a different direction. +++++ We had the opportunity to speak to a few coaches and players following the loss in Stillwater. Charlie Strong On defensive calls – “I made a few today. We’ve just got to make sure we execute the calls.” On defensive failure after two weeks to prepare – “We had guys in position, we just didn’t finish.” On fixing the defense – “It was just total execution. The thing that hurt us was third downs. 3rd and 10, 3rd and 15, 3rd and 12, those were the back breakers there. Those were the things that got us.” On effort – “It’s not so much they didn’t try. They tried, we just didn’t get it done.” On the feeling around the program – “It’s all about confidence. You can get that back if you get a win.” On defensive performance in second half – “We were able to get the stops and make some plays and big hits.” On missed tackles – “We had them stopped, we’re just not tackling. We’re trying to reach and pull him down instead of just wrapping them up. You can’t ever, when a guy is running at you and he’s an athlete, you can’t break down. You’ve got to go. If a receiver can freeze you then you’re in trouble.” On confidence – “They can get it back. If you win a game then all of a sudden it shoots back up to where it was.” Vance Bedford On the defensive failures – “There’s no magical answer, we’ve just got to go out and play and do a better job.” On second half success – “I wish I could sit back and say we were successful in the second half. We might have slowed them down. They were trying to defend the lead.” On player rotation – “We started out with our young guys. We wanted to get those guys out there. They have great potential to make plays. We had a few hiccups there, so we wanted to settle guys down.” On sharing playcalls with Charlie Strong – “It was fine. We’ve been together for a long time and he’s always been involved.” On difference between practice and games – “I wish I had an answer. They didn’t do anything we didn’t expect. When you have an opportunity to make a tackle that’s what you have to do. We spent two straight days working on tackling, and we didn’t get that done.” On his biggest frustration – “We lost. It’s that simple. The name of the game is to win. We need to cut down on giving up big plays. If we do that we’re going to be just fine.” Sterlin Gilbert On Oklahoma State pressure causing problems – “We’ll have to go back and watch the film and look and evaluate.” On Shane Buechele – “Every rep is a learning experience and a growth rep for him.” On throwing into tight coverage – “Some of those pitches were probably tight for him just because of what they were doing on the back end.” On lack of deep throws and Shane’s injury – “That wasn’t part of it. What they did on the back end, they kept it pretty high shelf for us and made us throw some things underneath.” Shane Buechele On his health – “My ribs feel good. I’m healthy, we just have to take what they give you.” On the loss of D’Onta Foreman and Chris Warren – “Losing those guys is rough. Kyle Porter can do just as well as those guys. He’s a great running back and we have trust in him.” On the Oklahoma State pressure – “I’ve just got to see things better. I need to trust in my o-line. They were doing their job up front, I’ve just got to be more patient.” On the interception – “It was just a bad read, a bad throw. You have to be better than that.” On the team attitude – “The attitude of the team is still good. We know what we can do, and we’ve shown what we can do.” On the defense – “We have trust in our defense. We should have scored more points than we did.” On lack of deep throws – “We were taking what they were giving us. We have trust in our play calling, and the play calling was good. We just have to execute.” On overall team confidence – “Right now everyone knows we have to get better. We still have confidence, and we have to continue to have confidence.” D’Onta Foreman On his injury – “It was during my run. When I was running I felt it. I didn’t think it was that bad. I tried to go back out there on the field and then when I made a move I felt it.” (Foreman said the injury occurred when he was pushed into the wall following his touchdown run and he tried to go back in but it affected him on the next play. He said he felt it was more of a muscle pull than a bone injury and he expects to play against Oklahoma) On his early success – “I was just trying to do what I’m asked to do. We ran the ball well, but it wasn’t enough to get us the win.” Offensive pressure to score and defensive failures – “We’ll get it together. It’s the little things. We’ve got to make tackles, and we’ve got to be more efficient on offense. We weren’t bad today, but it didn’t get us the win.” Team attitude – “Nobody feels like it’s over. We’ve got a good team, and we’ve got to clean up our mistakes.” Team confidence – “I don’t know. I can speak for myself and say I’m still confident in this team.” +++++ We want to stress that we are not aware of any concrete decisions related to a coaching change. While the Oklahoma game certainly is huge for Charlie Strong, there will be no rush decisions made. We will pass along a few things we’ve heard from sources we’ve spoken with regarding a possible coaching search in the offseason. Tom Herman seems to be the obvious candidate, and he’s certainly the popular choice among fans. A source close several boosters told us “not so fast”. From what we were told there is a certain faction of donors that want to make another run at Alabama’s Nick Saban. The thought is that Saban would be even more open to taking the job due to the increase in talent level and an opportunity to ride into the sunset after righting the Texas ship. It’s well known that Herman would love to have this job, but there will be several openings this offseason. LSU is already vacant, and USC could be as well. While Texas will have the inside lane it’s important to know that Herman will have a ton of leverage in upcoming negotiations. If Herman were to leave UH we were told that there is already a plan in place. In the spring we learned that recruits were notified that if Herman were to be hired away former Texas star Major Applewhite is one of the candidates in line to take over ensuring continuity. +++++ Sam Ehlinger made his return to the field last Friday after missing two weeks following a knee injury. HornSports was in attendance to watch Ehlinger against Buda Hays, and we were able to speak with him following a strong performance. Sam went into the half throwing 12/15 for 205 yards and 4 touchdowns. He did not return to the game in the 2nd half. HornSports: Have to start off with the obvious question. How’s the knee? Sam Ehlinger: “Oh it’s great. Both are great. Both are 100%.” HornSports: You had an incredible game, it’s like you made a statement that you are just fine. What set you off this game? Sam Ehlinger: “Just missing so many games, and having to watch my brothers go out and compete from the sideline just drives me to be better. I felt that once I got back in there I had to be the best that I can be, and that’s all that I was doing.” HornSports: Last time I talked to you, you said you wanted to be around 90% passing, today you were pretty dang close at 80%. Are you fine with that or still striving for 90? Sam Ehlinger: [pause and smiles] “Not close enough.” HornSports: Still not? Sam Ehlinger: “There were a couple of balls that should’ve been caught.” HornSports: How do you feel about the season so far for the Longhorns? Sam Ehlinger: “I think the Notre Dame win was big. I think they let it slip a little, but they have great coaching. I trust them going forward.” HornSports: Lastly, who are you working on for recruiting? Sam Ehlinger: “Still focusing on my boy Walker Little.” +++++ On the defensive side of the ball, Westlake linebacker Levi Jones had an incredible game. He started the game off by tackling the Hays running back in the endzone for a safety and finished out the half with another tackle for loss. Throw in a few huge hits into the mix, and Levi Jones had a very impressive game. After the game HornSports talked with the 4-star recruit about his interest in Texas. HornSports: What made you really come around on the Longhorns in the past few weeks? Levi Jones: “It wasn’t just now or the past couple of weeks. I’ve always had interest in the Longhorns because my brother went there and it’s right here in our backyard. So it would be nice staying home, but I’ve always just wanted to wait throughout the season, and assess my situation. I want to make my commitment after the Under Armor Game or on Signing Day. I’m still debating where I want to go very hard”. HornSports: Will you be taking a trip to Texas any time soon? Levi Jones: “Next home game. Well maybe. It depends who we play or if I want to go see one of my brothers go play.” HornSports: You started off the game with a safety. You ended your playing time with a tackle for loss. What got you so fired up for this game? Levi Jones: “Just playing back at home after being on the road for two weeks. You know it’s just always fun to play football. I’ve got mad passion for it. It was a big week for us. We treat every week like it’s a big game.” HornSports: Speaking of a big week y’all have Lake Travis next week. What is the main key for you in that game? Levi Jones: “Just to play my best. Limit mental mistakes. I just want to play football and have fun.” HornSports: What is the thing you want to improve on your game before you get to the next level next year? Levi Jones: “I’m not going to limit myself to one thing. It’s a little bit of everything. I’m always trying to get better and never be complacent. I never want to miss a tackle. I want to limit my mistakes.”
  7. Prior to the season, I was hoping and rooting for an 8-4 season for these Longhorns. After last night, I'm still looking for that. I thought they might have a chance for 9-3 after the ND game, but I was brought back to reality that we have a young team with a Freshman QB. Don't get me wrong, I hate my teams losing to inferior teams, but it happens. I honestly think we will split with the Oklahoma schools, lose to Texas Tech in Lubbock, and drop another to either Baylor or Kansas State That gets us to 8-4 and hopefully they learned a lot from this season. I'm staying with this and will not get caught up in hype again this season. Next season is a different story.
  8. The point on a brisket is typically the fattiest cut. Pitmasters often trim the point (and select edges) off a brisket and return those pieces to the smoker. Are burnt ends tough, chewy worthless cuts of meat, or are they heavenly bites of smoky goodness? It depends on who you ask... Rather than discard the trimmings and fat, we choose to savor all the information that flows through the site. So, sit down and help yourself to some burnt ends. +++++ This is a free site, so anyone can read this report. If you share it with someone, please take time to attribute the information to HornSports. +++++ Let’s start things off with some team notes coming off the bye week: A source tells us just about everyone is healed up and feeling better as they enter game week. The bye was a much-needed opportunity for the banged up guys to get some rest and recover from nagging injuries. We talked to more folks regarding possible defensive changes, and the alterations mainly appear to be on the personnel front. The usual names like Malcolm Roach, Breckyn Hager, and Brandon Jones got more run with the first team this week. The most important thing we heard and continue to hear is that the mood of the team and coaches is upbeat. The Longhorns know they can erase the bad taste of the Cal loss with strong performances against Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. The team knows that they have a shot to win the conference this season, and a sense of urgency is there with questions about the coaching staff. Finally, we’ve heard the offensive staff used the bye week to do some more install. They were also able to get extended looks at some players currently in backup roles. ++++ We expected a pretty quiet Sunday, but when LSU fired Les Miles and Cam Cameron our phones started ringing. While we went to checking on how things were developing, the Texas commits swung into action working the phones on LSU commits. We thought we’d give you a breakdown of how things could unfold in this recruiting string now that there is considerable instability on the bayou. Marvin Wilson – The Bellaire Episcopal defensive tackle had LSU high on his list, but he told us a few weeks ago that they would be out of contention if Miles was let go. Texas still needs to win to close on the top DT in the state, but this certainly doesn’t hurt. Kary Vincent – Many people think Texas finished second when the speedy Port Arthur Memorial corner chose LSU, and we expect them to go all in for him. Vincent already said he planned to take an official visit to Texas, and he has a great relationship with the Texas coaches. Mannie Netherly – The former Texas A&M commit visited Texas in the spring before ultimately committing to LSU. The Crosby wide receiver is close with Texas commit Sam Ehlinger, and he’s a fan of the new wide open offense. It’s tough to say where he would fit in to the Texas class, but he could be an option if they miss out on other targets. Grant Delpit – The IMG safety flirted briefly with Texas in the spring before focusing in on LSU. We were told this was one of the first players Texas commits reached out to when they heard the news. We’ll have to monitor the situation, because at this point there’s no good handle on how Delpit feels about Texas. K’Lavon Chaisson – The biggest competition for Chaisson appeared to be LSU, but obviously this impacts the LSU side of his recruitment. We were already hearing good things about Chaisson to Texas, and this will only make things stronger. Dylan Moses – A couple of weeks ago we talked about how things were turning behind the scenes between Moses and Texas. Our original thought was that LSU loomed large, but the biggest domino in his recruitment has fallen. Moses had a long standing relationship with Les Miles, and he was the primary reason LSU was still strong in this race. Edward Ingram – Texas is still recruiting the Desoto offensive lineman, and they have his teammate Xavier Newman committed. After speaking to sources this weekend we were told Ingram has no interest in the Longhorns. Austin Deculus – The Cy-Fair offensive lineman committed to LSU early on, and Texas was never really involved in his recruitment. Sources told us that Texas A&M would probably lead if he opened things up, but it’s worth getting involved. +++++ Taquon Graham has been pretty quiet since he committed to Texas, but we had the chance to speak with him following a victory over Waco University. Graham missed the first few weeks of the season due to injury, and the coaches held him out of action this week to make sure he was ready for the rest of the season. Graham pledged to the Longhorns following the victory over Notre Dame, and he talked about what went into that decision. “I called them before the game ever started and committed right then and there. I was just really was like sick of the recruiting game and everything. I just wanted to stay home, and stay close to my mom. It was just a little childhood dream of mine to play in Texas and represent my city.” Graham is a versatile defensive lineman capable of playing multiple positions, and he’s forged a strong relationship with Texas defensive line coach Brick Haley. “He’s kind of teetering back and forth between strong side and the fox. I really don’t know, but I really like Coach Haley. He’s really cool to me, I just vibe with him.” Graham has some strong connections to Texas in the form of Sterlin Gilbert, and former high school teammate Davion Curtis. Both Gilbert and Curtis were integral pieces of his recruitment, and he speaks with Coach Gilbert on a semi-regular basis. “I actually saw coach Gilbert today during the (athletic) period today. I saw “Q” (Curtis) last week, and even the week before that he came down. I talk to “Q” often.” Graham is a future piece for a struggling Longhorn defense, and he detailed what he’s looking for the rest of the season. “I just want to see improvement. I know everything is going to get better. The last game didn’t scare me at all. Everyone is going to have a bump in the road. I just want to see them play how they should play and like I know they can play.” Graham says he plans to be back on campus at the next home game. Taquon’s mother had a big voice in his recruitment, and she told us she liked the honesty from Charlie Strong. “When I talked to Coach Strong he was true to his word,” Graham’s mother told us. “He just told him to visit as many colleges as he could and when he’s ready to come he’d be there. He never talked down to any other colleges. I visit a lot with other coaches and colleges and they didn’t have nice things to say about UT or any other colleges.” Graham is excited to tell others he’s a Longhorn, and he’s firmly committed to playing for Texas. +++++ Cedar Hill vs. Desoto is one of the marquee matchups every year in the Dallas area. How big was it this year? The fire marshal closed the gates on about two hundred people because the stadium was at capacity. Coaches from Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech were in attendance to take in the wide array of talent on the field including Texas commit Xavier Newman. We spoke with Newman following their big win to get the latest on his injury recovery and recruitment. Newman and company provided a rock solid line for a powerful Desoto offense, and he was buzzing after the win. “It was a great game. Being my first game back I think I played well.” Newman was held out of action at the beginning of the season due to a knee injury he suffered during scrimmages. He told us the knee is in good condition and back to full strength. Desoto found success running the ball downhill on the Longhorns, and Newman described his favorite type of offense. “I love running the ball. Running inside zone with tempo.” Another person who loved seeing it should be Texas coach Matt Mattox who was in attendance. Newman will be an interior lineman at the next level, and he showed strong skills to his future coach. Newman was one of many attendees at the Notre Dame game, and he told us about the experience. “I loved it. Nobody was being selfish. Everyone was getting their fair share. They were rotating two quarterbacks and none of their quarterbacks were complaining. They came together as a team and finished it off in the end.” Newman also enjoyed the atmosphere in DKR to open the season. “Crazy,” he said when asked to describe it. “The fanbase was crazy. I couldn’t even hear the person next to me. I can’t wait to get to Austin.” In the summer Newman was looking strongly at Oklahoma but since then his wandering eye has died down a bit. Outside of Texas, Newman has an official visit planned to Colorado where two of his teammates are committed. Newman will also officially visit Austin on December 14th. Newman is part of the group text among commits, and he told us they are working on recruiting others to Austin. “One that we’re working on is Walker Little.” Newman told us he spoke with Little for a bit at the game, and that Little really enjoyed his experience. “He was thrilled at the end of it.” While official visits can always throw a wrench into things, we’d consider Newman strongly committed to Texas. The drama that once surrounded this race appears to be dying down.
  9. The point on a brisket is typically the fattiest cut. Pitmasters often trim the point (and select edges) off a brisket and return those pieces to the smoker. Are burnt ends tough, chewy worthless cuts of meat, or are they heavenly bites of smoky goodness? It depends on who you ask... Rather than discard the trimmings and fat, we choose to savor all the information that flows through the site. So, sit down and help yourself to some burnt ends. +++++ This is a free site, so anyone can read this report. If you share it with someone, please take time to attribute the information to HornSports. +++++ Following Saturday’s defensive debacle, the pressing issue on everyone’s mind is how the Longhorns go about fixing their defensive woes. Charlie Strong took the podium today, and he addressed some of the thoughts on everyone’s mind. "We have two weeks to look at it. I can and will be more involved. We are all accountable.” There seemed to be a sense of urgency during his press briefing to make more changes before they became bigger problems. This was not always the case during the first two seasons of his tenure. Strong was slow to change the offensive system, but once he did it injected a bit of new life into the program. We aren’t sure what changes will be made at this point in time, but don't expect firings or re-assignments at this point. It wouldn’t totally surprise us to see Strong take over play calling on the defensive side of the ball, but that might not even happen. Expect to see some of the younger players that Strong mentioned today with an increased role in an effort to try something new. Our sources within the program tell us that Strong is already hands on with the defense, but as a guy known for his prowess on that side of the ball this performance reflects poorly on him. The bottom line is it will need to be fixed quickly, because Texas has the offense to go places this year. +++++ What are the possible changes we could see on the defensive side of the ball? Nothing concrete yet, but here are some positions to think about. Fox – Malcolm Roach and Breckyn Hager both made impacts on the field in their limited time, and it might be the right moment to elevate them over Naashon Hughes. Texas is missing pass rush ability, and both Roach and Hager have provided that in the time they’ve been in. Safety – This has been a gripe all offseason, but we were told that Texas coaches liked the way Jason Hall and Dylan Haines directed traffic from the back end. On Saturday it looked like a unit that had never communicated together. Brandon Jones has flashed several times (mainly on special teams), and at this point it might be more advantageous to play Jones and simplify the coverages. Texas had more success in man coverage against Cal, and they will face many more air raid teams this season. Cornerback – Whatever Holton Hill has done to land in the doghouse we hope he learned his lesson, because he presents the most talent at the position. It remains to be seen what the extent of Davante Davis’s injury is, but someone needs to step up at the cornerback position, because the mistakes against Cal were largely on them. +++++ The Longhorns had two commits on official visits this weekend, and we caught up briefly with both of them. Nacogdoches DB Josh Thompson officially visited TCU where he was previously committed. We reported beforehand that Thompson was just going because he wanted to take a trip, and that sounds like it was the case exactly. When we caught up with Josh to ask him about his visit, he cut me off at the pass. “It was cool, but I’m still 100,000% a Texas commit.” We were told by someone close to Josh that Alabama has been looking into him lately, but there are no worries here as far as we know. Lake Dallas DB Kobe Boyce tripped to Norman to take in the Ohio State/Oklahoma game. We’ve seen in the past that Boyce can get excited a bit on visits, and that was apparent when we spoke with him. Boyce really enjoyed it, and when we asked for a comment on his recruitment he told us he planned to take all of his visits. Boyce will of course visit Austin, and he has trips planned to Ole Miss and maybe Houston. We’ve been through this before with Boyce, and the more telling thing will be what happens as this post-visit high wears off. Don't consider him a serious risk to de-commit, but it is something we will be keeping an eye on. +++++ It’s unusual to see a high school team with two of the top ten players in the state, but Bellaire Episcopal brings out a crowd of media when they play. We took in their game against an overmatched St. Mark’s team on Friday and spoke to both Marvin Wilson and Walker Little after the action. Wilson opted to rest a sore knee so that he would be ready for the remainder of the season. Wilson was cheering his teammates on, and he detailed the latest on his recruitment. Wilson attended the opener against Notre Dame, and he enjoyed the time on his visit. “Texas was great. It was great to see Texas be great again getting that big win over Notre Dame. I loved what I saw out of everybody, especially from the D line. They shut down the run right off the bat.” Wilson has been in communication with defensive line coach Brick Haley to discuss the depth on at his position. “I’ve been talking to him a lot more. They just told me they need to get to the quarterback a lot more, and I can help them out with that. That’s playing a big factor with me.” Another big factor is the tendency of Charlie Strong to play his young players up front. “That plays a lot. Especially Jordan Elliott from Houston. That really caught my eye.” Wilson told us he thought Texas returned to a stronger level, and he wants to see them win as many games as possible this season. The Notre Dame matchup was packed with elite talent, and Wilson got to spend some time with Kennedale linebacker Baron Browning. He and Browning are both seen as game changers for a recruiting class, and they talked about the idea of staying in state together. “We’ve talked about it a lot, and staying in state would be a great thing for us especially with our families and stuff being here.” Wilson told us that Sam Ehlinger is recruiting him hard, and he also talked to Westlake linebacker Levi Jones about possibly staying home. Wilson competed at The Opening in Oregon this year, and he took some of the things he learned to apply towards his game. “My get off is the main thing I wanted to get from The Opening. I want to use my hands a lot more.” Wilson has not set up an official visit to Texas yet, and he’s debating where exactly he plans to go. He visited Oklahoma this past weekend, and he’s headed to Florida State for their matchup against Clemson this weekend. Wilson did tell us that Texas is standing out among all other in state schools for his services. In the recruitment of a five star player, schools often need an extra push. For Texas that push comes from the involvement of Charlie Strong in this recruitment. “He’s really involved in my recruitment. Him, Coach Haley, and Coach Bedford are recruiting me hard. Out of all the schools I’ve been recruited by I’ve never been recruited by a head coach as hard as him.” Florida State, Alabama, Oklahoma, and LSU seem to be the main competition for Wilson, but LSU could drop if Les Miles is let go this season. Wilson told us he doesn’t have a preference on playing in state or out of state, but we know that his family would prefer he stay in Texas. +++++ Walker Little had a bit of a cold when he took the field Friday, but that didn’t stop him from looking like the elite prospect he’s rated to be. The big offensive tackle paved the way for a big offensive performance against St. Mark’s, and he talked to us about his recruitment. Little also attended the game against Notre Dame, and all reports were he had a great time. “It was just a great experience out there. I went out there and it was same thing as usual. Me and all the coaches had a really good time just building those relationships. The game was outstanding. Notre Dame is a top ranked team and they went out and played well. I was really impressed with the offensive line and what Coach Mattox has done. They went out there and drove the ball down the field, and were hitting hard. They just played really technically sound and that was really impressive to me. They dominated that game for the most part.” Little also took notice of the new offense, and the playmakers Texas has. “It was definitely a new look out there. Buechele looked really good, and Swoopes obviously had a great game as well. The offense looked efficient. They got out there quick with a hurry up offense, but what I really liked was they really pounded the rock with their big running backs which is something I like to do.” Little spent some time with Texas QB commit Sam Ehlinger, and he says they’ve forged a good relationship with each other. “Me and Sam are good friends, and we talk a lot. Especially at The Opening when we were together, and we text each other from time to time. We just talked about what it would be like playing there. Obviously he really wants me out there, and I really like him. I think he’s a good quarterback and can be a good leader so we just talk about the future and things like that.” The biggest competition for Texas in this recruitment is Stanford. Little detailed the similarities between both programs. “They are similar in the way I feel comfortable with both coaching staffs. Obviously their offenses are both pretty different.” Little is planning trips to Florida State, Georgia, Ole Miss, Stanford, and Texas. When we asked what he wanted to see from Texas, he gave us the same answer he’s given throughout his recruitment. “I’m not really looking for anything. I’m expecting them to have a good season this year based on what I’ve seen so far. They’ve shown me everything I needed to see.” Little is being recruited mainly by offensive line coach Matt Mattox, and he talked about that relationship and the growth he’s seen. “We talk a lot. He’s one of the coaches I have the most contact with. We have a lot of casual conversation. We don’t talk about recruiting much which is something I like. Me and Coach Mattox have had a really good relationship and I’ve been impressed with the way their offensive line has looked so far. That’s something I really wanted to see and I’ve been impressed by it.” Little also hears quite a bit from Charlie Strong, and he talked about the future for the Texas coach. “I felt good about him from the beginning. Coach Strong is one of the head coaches I have the best relationship with. I think he’s a great coach, I really think he’s a good guy, and I think he cares a lot about his players.” Stanford will be a team to watch, but Texas is in a very good position here.
  10. Aaron Carrara Prior to the season opener I said this game was a toss-up. After witnessing what the Texas offense is capable of after two games, there's no reason to think the Longhorns won't score a lot on Cal and leave Berkeley with a win. It's a late game on ESPN and the Longhorns will showcase an explosive running attack on a porous Cal run defense. San Diego State RB Donnel Pumphrey ran for 281 yards against the Golden Bears last weekend, and Foreman/Warren/Porter should all have success against the Golden Bear defense. On the flip side, Cal ranks 3rd in total offense – amassing a whopping 617 yards of offense per game. That’s concerning, regardless of the (in)capabilities presented by Sonny Dykes’ defensive unit. The storyline for me in this game is how the Texas defense holds up against the run and playmaking ability of quarterback Davis Webb. In the end the Longhorns leave Berkeley with a 3-0 record and enjoy a bye week next week before heading to Stillwater to begin Big 12 play. Score prediction: Texas 45 Cal 32 Daniel Seahorn Let me say this from the jump. Texas is a young team going into their first road game at night, so I expect there to be some miscues and struggles as they try to get acclimated to the West coast. That said, I watched Cal's entire first game against Hawaii (accumulated almost 500 yards and 31 points) and kept up with how they fared against San Diego State, and in my opinion the Cal team overall and specifically the offense was much better last year. Davis Webb is a good quarterback who will more than likely get drafted in 2017, but when you lose the number one overall pick in Jared Goff you are going to see some kind of regression. On top of losing Goff, Cal lost majority of their leading receivers and lost starting running back Daniel Lasco. I think this offense will provide a good test for the Texas secondary, but I think they will fare better than they did last year in Austin with more experience under their belt. As far as Cal's defense goes, there's not many nice things I can say about it right now. Cal's defense wasn't very good in 2015 and they lost their best player in Hardy Nickerson Jr. to a transfer. San Diego State's starting running back almost ran for 300 yards on the ground this past Saturday, and if D'Onta Foreman is healthy, I expect him and Chris Warren to have big days. If Texas is able to run the ball well (and they should) I expect Shane Buechele to gain confidence early and to lead the offense to another big day. I think Texas notches its third win of the year and gets prepared for conference play with the Cowboys and Sooners looming on the horizon. Score Prediction: Texas 45 Cal 21 Harrison Wier Texas travels to California looking to avenge a heartbreaking loss last season courtesy of the Golden Bears. This game has the makings of a shootout, with two of the fastest offenses in the country at the helm of an exciting matchup. This game will come down to whichever team creates the most turnovers. Fortunately, I believe Texas will be that team. Score Prediction: Texas 49 - Cal 42 Chris Flanagan Texas looks Strong to start the season. Even with a lineup that was a mixture of 1st and 2nd team players, they still handled their business against UTEP. No one was overly spectacular, but everyone played great. Cal, on the other hand, after having two week to prepare fell flat against San Diego State in San Diego. The Aztecs are not a scrub FBS program but they controlled the game on the ground. That must be concerning for Sonny Dykes as he is in his 4th year as Cal's head coach. The initial line for this game was Texas -4 and it quickly jumped 3 points as bettors seem to be favoring at least a touchdown victory for the Longhorns. However, this is Cal's home opener, under the lights with a huge crowd anticipated for the Battle of the Public Ivys. This is alsoShane Buechele's first road game of his career. I understand that Buechele seems like this mythological creature who cannot be stopped, but he is still 18 years old, traveling 2 time zones for a gametime that will likely end around 1am CST. That's a lot to ask of these players. Despite that, the Longhorns will win by 2 touchdowns. I might only sip the Kool-aid, but I'm not stupid. Score Prediction: Texas 58 Cal 44 Mike Roach This shouldn’t be too complicated for the Longhorns. Make sure the players are focused and not overlooking the Bears. Do your best to help them get adjusted to the west coast time zone. Mix in a steady diet of D’Onta Foreman and home run balls from Buechele. If Texas can do those things in addition to limiting key mistakes (penalties) they should win this game by 10 to 13 points. The California offense will keep them in this thing, but their defense has to be losing sleep thinking about this running attack. When two high speed offenses go at it with one another, give the advantage to the one that can control the clock with the run game. Score Prediction: Texas 47 Cal 34 Ryan Bridges Cal was much better last year and Texas was much worse — and played more than three quarters without its starting safeties — and this was a 1-point game. The Golden Bears' screen game and misdirection will be a problem, but as long as Texas tackles well — the tackling efforts in the previous two games should be adequate — and doesn't forget which direction it's going on offense, they'll be 3-0 by 3 a.m. on Sunday when this game finally ends. I didn't find anything or anyone on Cal's defense that concerned me, and I expect every back who gets carries to go off. If they miss tackles like they have in the secondary, we might see John Burt turn a 5-yard hitch into a 50-yard touchdown. Maybe this will be a 7-point game as Vegas expects, but there's a greater chance it gets ugly for Cal. Score Prediction: Texas 45 Cal 34 Taylor Smith Going into California will be tough for the Longhorns, but Texas will come out victorious. Shane Buechele and the offense will start off slow, but a come from behind drive in the fourth quarter will allow Texas to capture its first road win of the 2016 season. Chris Warren and D’Onta Foreman will run all over the Bears’ defense, each scoring at least one touchdown while accumulating a combined total of 150 yards. The defense will continue to shine and make stops, which will help the offense in the fourth quarter. Score Prediction: Texas: 38 California: 35
  11. I've stated my reasons for this pick in several other threads, so I'll spare you all reading that again. Let's just say I really like our chances. Texas 57 Cal 17
  12. Will Baizer and Mike Roach discuss the 41-7 win over the UTEP Miners and ask the question, "Was it enough?" They also analyze the top performers on the team and who needs to step up to carry the team forward. Afterwards they discuss the rest of the Big 12 after the crazy weekend of upsets that occurred. Listen below.
  13. AUSTIN, Tx. -- The Texas Longhorns (2-0) overcame a slow first-half start against UTEP (1-1) at Darrell K. Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday night, notching a 41-7 victory and extending their win-streak to five games over the Miners. Texas quarterback Shane Buechele picked up where he left off in last week’s win over Notre Dame, throwing with precision and using his mobility when forced to. Buechele finished 22-27 for 244 yards and 4 touchdowns in his second straight start for the 11th-ranked Longhorns. He also rushed 11 times for 50 yards, finishing the night as the team’s second-leading rusher. The Longhorns struck first when Buechele hit converted wide receiver Jerrod Heard for a 29-yard touchdown reception at the 9:32 mark in the first quarter. Heard, who was celebrating his birthday today, would haul in another Buechele pass for a touchdown in the 4th quarter. Touchdown passes to Jacorey Warrick and Dorian Leonard would round out a successful and efficient night for the true freshman Buechele, who was sacked 3 times by the UTEP defense. Chris Warren got the starting nod tonight at tailback for the Longhorns in the absence of the injured D’Onta Foreman. Warren barely missed the century mark, rushing 20 times for 95 yards against the Miner defense. He would add a touchdown midway through the third quarter to put the Longhorns up 27-7. Texas placekicker Trent Domingue hit field goals of 22 and 43 yards to improve to a perfect 3-0 on the season. Texas amassed 416 yards of total offense on the night. UTEP scored its only points of the game on a 51-yard touchdown run by running back Aaron Jones, thanks to a Texas defense that played with intensity, limiting UTEP to just 208 total yards (73 passing, 135 rushing). Notes: The Longhorns put up 91 points in the first two games of the season. Texas starts the season 2-0 for the first time since 2012. Texas will travel to Berkeley, CA next week to face the Cal Golden Bears in their first true road test of the season. The Longhorns lost 45-44 to the Golden Bears last season on a missed PAT. All eyes will be on Shane Buechele in that contest. Charlie Strong won his 13th game as head coach of the Longhorns
  14. Chris Flanagan Okay, now that you have relived Swoopes' epic TD run and argued ad nauseam about whether the Aggies or the Longhorns had a better Week 1 win, its time to get back to business. UTEP is, well, not good. However, on any given Saturday, any team can beat anyone. That doesn't mean I am going with the upset, but rather that the game will be closer than anticipated. Texas opens as 28 point favorites so I will go under with this pick but Texas wins comfortably and heads to Berkeley in the Battle of the Public Ivys. Score Prediction: Texas 48 UTEP 28 Daniel Seahorn Coming off the big double overtime victory over Notre Dame, you always have to beware of the hangover effect for games like these. Texas is far and away more talented than UTEP, but they need to come out early and play like it and not get off to a slow start and let UTEP get confident. If Texas gets off to a fast start and hits the Miners repeatedly in the mouth, I think this game becomes a blow out early on and allows the coaches to get the younger players some valuable playing time before heading out to Cal next week. Expect the Miners to lean heavily on their running game and running back Aaron Jones, so executing run fits and slowing him down will priority number one. Texas held Notre Dame's leading rusher to 88 yards this past weekend, so it will be a nice test once again. I am predicting that Charlie Strong gets his troops refocused for the Miners and puts away the game early. Score Prediction: Texas 52 UTEP 13 Taylor Smith Texas will take care of business like expected against UTEP this weekend. The Longhorns of the past would play to the level of their competition, meaning not stomp on opponents like UTEP. But, this team is different, and Sterlin Gilbert will run the same up-tempo offense like he did against Notre Dame, quick snaps with both quarterbacks seeing action on the field. The offense will score early and often. D’Onta Foreman will produce again, but we will see a more yards and a touchdown from Chris Warren this week. Jerrod Heard will even pick up his first receiving touchdown of the season. The defense will make stops and cause two turnovers – fumbles or interceptions – including taking one to the house for six points. Texas will be riding the high from the Notre Dame win and prove why the deserved the No. 11 spot in the AP polls. Score Prediction: Texas 58 UTEP 21 Jeff Cooperstein Going into week 2 against UTEP, I am looking for a few things from the Longhorns. Defense - I want to see the defense make some plays and force some turnovers. They got to the quarterback some in the week one victory against Notre Dame, but couldn’t apply consistent pressure. Against a lesser opponent like UTEP, Texas should be able to assert their dominance early and often in the trenches, making things happen. I would also like to see them get two or three turnovers, and showcase the playmaking ability of the linebackers and the secondary. Giving Buechele and co. short fields to work with will make life on the true freshman much easier going forward. Offense- The offense looked better than anyone imagined against Notre Dame, scoring 50 points, and posting 400 plus yards of offense against the Irish. Against UTEP, the main thing I want to see is what freshman receivers Collin Johnson and Devin Duvernay can do with the ball in their hands. Both played sparingly, and neither caught a pass last Sunday. This should be a game where Texas can show off the depth they have on offense, with their two prized recruits at receiver showing us what they can do. UTEP’s stellar running back Aaron Jones will have some flashes against the Texas defense, allowing the Miners to move down the field and put a few scores on the board. In the end, The talent level of Texas will be too much for the Miners to handle, and Texas will get to make any adjustments or tweaks needed going into next week against the Cal Golden Bears. Score Prediction: Texas 52 UTEP 21 Mike Roach I think there is some danger of Texas coming out flat in this game. After a big win over Notre Dame in week 1, they could be overlooking a pretty salty UTEP team. The Miners have a fantastic running back in Aaron Jones who runs in a power offense behind a huge offensive line. He’s going to make some yards and probably score a few times. UTEP will have to prove that their backup quarterback can be a threat passing so that they don’t see loaded boxes all day. On offense I think the Longhorns will rely on the running game and overwhelm the outmatched Miners. Expect John Burt to get deep for a score at least once. Texas pulls away late. Score Prediction: Texas 47 UTEP 17 Aaron Carrara After an emotional upset over a ranked team, there is always concern over how a team will fare in the next game. Texas is reeling after the big win over Notre Dame and UTEP did a pretty good number offensively, in the win over New Mexico State last weekend. Texas needs to limit UTEP RB Aaron Jones' rushing yardage to truly dominate in this game. The coaching staff has the team mentally prepared for the Miners and fans should expect to see an explosive offensive performance on the Texas side. UTEP will score a couple of touchdowns and keep the Longhorns on their toes early on, but Texas pulls away in the second half. Expect big things from the special teams guys in this contest as well as a defensive score for a TD. The Longhorns sail to 2-0 for the first time since 2012. Score Prediction: Texas 58 UTEP 17 Ryan Bridges This was never a game that worried me, but now it's a game I'm looking forward to because of the chance to see freshmen play and to see how the team responds to its first taste of massive success. I'm most excited to see Kyle Porter because I have questions about D'Onta Foreman's ability to carry it 20+ times every week, and Chris Warren does not look like a guy who can replicate what Foreman does. The offensive line had trouble last week with stunts, and the only thing I know about UTEP's defense is that they run a 3-4, so hopefully the O-line will get a nice easy quiz there. I wouldn't mind seeing Tyrone Swoopes or even Matthew Merrick get some work in the regular offense; Shane Buechele answered nearly every question I had about a freshman's ability to execute the offense already, so let's keep him healthy. And put Devin Duvernay out there, dang it! On defense I thought the run fits were much improved over last season, but that was with the starting group of linebackers. We'll give up some runs because of mistakes when the backups are in, but that's how they learn (or don't, and then they get passed up on the depth chart). Let's see who among the freshman defensive tackles can make disruptive plays, get Brandon Jones some work and get to 2-0. Texas wins, 41-14. Score Prediction: Texas 41 UTEP 14
  15. Mike Roach The sports books in Vegas predict this to be a very close game, but I just can’t buy in to what the line is telling me. I think this Texas team will be improved from last season where they were absolutely embarrassed by the Irish, and I think Notre Dame will have to adjust to a huge loss in talent. The Longhorns will have appetizing matchups in the Notre Dame secondary to throw against, and if the offensive line can play above their heads they could wear down the Irish front seven. Texas will struggle with the best offensive line they will see this season, and Brian Kelly has two quality quarterbacks at his disposal. I see it as a close game into the third quarter before Notre Dame pulls away near the end. There will be some things to build on from this game, but I don’t see Texas winning it outright. The running game (Swoopes/Foreman/Warren) will tally both scores, and new kicker Trent Domingue delivers two field goals to give fans hope in special teams. Score Prediction: Notre Dame 31 Texas 20 Chris Flanagan The time is now. No more talk, no more speculation, it's actual football time. Texas fans have certainly turned up the hype to 11 with the addition of Shane Buchele to the team. However, Notre Dame is strong, experienced, and very talented. They have the Sunday night spotlight as well which will help their case to be included in the CFB playoff conversation. They will take that opportunity and win comfortably. Texas might keep it close at halftime, but Notre Dame will win by 3 scores and it won't be surprising. Score Prediction: Notre Dame 38 Texas 20. Daniel Seahorn Last year's matchup in South Bend was a perfect storm of bad for the Longhorns. Tons of youth, road opener in a hostile environment, dysfunction at quarterback, and offensive coordinator who was in over his head. A year later, the youth in this Longhorn squad is more experienced and still plenty talented, but is still trying to find its way at the quarterback position. This time around Texas will have the benefit of playing in their own stadium, but this will still be a tough task. With guys like Will Fuller, Jaylon Smith, Ronnie Stanley, Nick Martin, and many others gone to the NFL combined with other offseason occurrences the talent gap isn't nearly as wide between the two squads this year in my opinion. Texas will still have to find a way to slow down the talented quarterbacks of the Fighting Irish in Malik Zaire and Deshone Kizer, which is something they were unable to do a year ago. I think this game has the potential to be a much tighter ball game this year, but I still think Notre Dame comes out on top, as Texas still tries to figure out who they are going to roll with at quarterback this year. I think if this game came in week three or four rather than week one, that the results could be different. Score prediction: ND 31 Texas 24 Ryan Bridges Texas will look very different this year compared with last year, and I expect a more competitive game. The Irish picked up a ton of easy third-down conversions last year because of coverage busts and a nonexistent pass rush -- they'll have to earn some of them this time. The offense SHOULD be more explosive -- more plays, more space and better playmakers. But Texas isn't equipped to win on either line of scrimmage. Having Hill and Davis in the secondary instead of Bonney and Echols should enable Vance Bedford to throw more rushers at the Irish quarterbacks, but anyone who reaches the QB still has to finish the play, something they struggled with especially early last year. And don't underestimate the challenges of running a new offense -- with multiple freshmen -- against a talented opponent. It doesn't matter how fast the receivers are or how tough to tackle the backs are if the offensive line can't hold up. Texas will get a score over the top and probably break another off a missed tackle in space, but I don't expect them to be able to sustain drives. Score Prediction: Notre Dame 31 Texas 17 Will Baizer What a match up. Two heavy weight college football power houses on a Sunday night with a packed house. Like an actually packed house. Just take a second to let that sink in. As for the actual game on the field, Texas will be fighting an uphill battle. Despite having lost a lot of talent on the defensive line, Notre Dame returns 79 starts and plenty of production. They have two insane quarterbacks that would have many people do unspeakable things to bring to Texas. They are a run first team working against a very weak defensive line. They may only be returning 4 starters on offense, but the ones that are replacing them are not to be overlooked by any means. Tarean Foster and Josh Adams are an incredible tandem at RB. Torii Hunter Jr. is one of the next big things at WR and has already shown he can fill Will Fuller’s shoes. In his seven years, Brian Kelly has built a machine at an institution where, unlike Texas, he is not given a blank check. There are plenty of spots where Texas has the advantage. That advantage lies within the skill players. Notre Dame has not seen a team this fast since 2014 when UNC put up 43 points on them on the road. Notre Dame’s secondary does not match up well against the speed of the Longhorn WRs. They will be playing two box safeties against the likes of Burt, Duvernay, and Johnson. Their LB depth is very shallow. If the Longhorns’ RB get into the second level then those LBs are toast. The Longhorns have the talent and depth on defense to run with any offense. The secondary the Longhorns have is better than the Notre Dame WR, and at LB… well, we have Malik and Anthony Wheeler. In the end, the game is won in the trenches. Unless Texas can hold the Notre Dame defensive rush and get some pressure on the Notre Dame offense in order to let the Longhorns skill positions shine, the Longhorns will not be able to get much production. Longhorns win this by holding in the trenches, going to the air early and often, and scoring first. Vegas give the Longhorns 40% chance at winning the game. I will do the same. Score Prediction: Notre Dame 38 Texas 27 Taylor Smith I am going to be the bold person that says Texas beats Notre dame behind freshman quarterback Shane Buechele. The Longhorns need to prove themselves after last year in South Bend, and I believe the Fighting Irish will be in for a rude awakening coming to Austin. Texas offense will struggle the first drive but will lock in after that. D’Onta Foreman will bust out from the beginning and finish with at least 80 yards. Chris Warren will also put on a show, and the Longhorns defense will surprise everyone, making a stop at the end of the game to win the contest for Texas. Score Prediction: Texas 28 Notre Dame 24 Aaron Carrara We will see a faster and improved Texas team take the field against Notre Dame this season, but there are still a number of questions to be answered. Can Texas get solid quarterback play from Swoopes/Buechele? Has the offensive line improved enough to be a force and help change the outcome of games? Notre Dame will throw and throw often on the Longhorns and the secondary will be tested all night. Texas will counter with heavy doses of Chris Warren III and D'Onta Foreman and should see success running the ball, but in the end Notre Dame's experience and efficient quarterback play will be the difference. Texas stays in this game in the first half but the Irish pull away late and win by a touchdown. Score Prediction: Texas 31 Notre Dame 38 This post has been promoted to an article
  16. When Texas and UTEP meet on Saturday evening it will be the fifth time the two programs have squared off on the gridiron. The Longhorns hold a perfect 4-0 record against the Miners, with the last game played (2009) resulting in a 64-7 win for former Texas Coach Mack Brown. Texas played for the national championship that year against Alabama. The Longhorns are surging after the upset win over Notre Dame, while UTEP starts the season 1-0 after a 38-22 win over New Mexico State. UTEP has the playmakers to put solid numbers up on offense, but can they keep up with what looks like a very capable, potent Texas offense? We caught up with Alex Nicolas, Senior Editor for MinerRush.com (SBNation), to learn more about the Miner football team that will take the field on Saturday night in Austin. HornSports: UTEP QB Zach Greenlee threw for 3 TD’s and 229 yards in Miners’ 38-22 season opening win over New Mexico State. Looks like UTEP will be without him for the Texas game due to injury. Who can the Longhorns expect to see under center for Saturday’s game? Miner Rush: For sure it will be Kavika Johnson who has officially been named the starter, but UTEP might employ two quarterbacks for diversion purposes. Both Kavika Johnson, and now second string quarterback Ryan Metz were the Miners quarterbacks last year as freshmen. Johnson will take majority of the snaps and also played wide receiver last week, but don't be surprised to see Metz who maybe the better pocket passer at this point. Johnson is one of UTEP's most dynamic athletes, and his fan club among fans is hoping for a coming out party for the former 3-star prospect. HornSports: Running Back Aaron Jones has some flash to him and racked up 249 yards on the ground last week. How do you see the Miner rushing attack faring against a Texas defense that gave up 444 total yards (206 on the ground) to Notre Dame last weekend? Miner Rush: I think they can have relative success, but the key for Texas is playing in the backfield and forcing UTEP into second and third and long situations. Jones will get his yards, but if Texas can stop or stuff him on early downs, it will be tough for the Miners to get a push and create some space for Jones to work. HornSports: On the flip side…. Texas has a formidable running back duo in D’Onta Foreman and Chris Warren III. What’s the UTEP game plan to limit the success of the Texas rushing attack? Miner Rush: That's the big question everyone is wondering. UTEP did a good job of stopping the run against NMSU, but the poor Aggies don't even have 250 pound linebackers, and Texas has two 250 pound backs. The main plan could be just to tackle these guys in the first level or a five yard radius from the line of scrimmage and not allow yards after contact into the second level because these guys will brush off arm tackles, and embarrass UTEP. HornSports: Give us a couple of players on the UTEP side that Texas fans should keep an eye out for. Miner Rush: Terry Juniel, WR/PR Juniel is a former JUCO all-american who averaged 17.3 yards in six punt returns in his UTEP debut last week, and is also a shifty slot receiver who can really run. Alvin Jones, LB Aaron Jones' twin brother is one of the top linebackers in C-USA, and is the straw that stirs the Miners defensive drink of havoc and physicality. Will Hernandez, OL Hernandez who is a junior and is a two year starter, and one of UTEP's top NFL prospects. He's huge, nasty, and has opened up major gaps for some of Aaron Jones' big runs. Devin Cockrell, Safety He missed all of last season with a knee injury, but had a solid camp and was back in form against NMSU. Cockrell is another one of the UTEP's top junior NFL prospects to keep an eye in the near future. HornSports: The Miners have only one winning season over the last ten years. Head Coach Sean Kugler is in his 4th year as head coach in El Paso. He brought in new offensive and defensive coordinators during the offseason. Have these additions to the coaching staff helped and is there any reason to think Kugler can straighten things out for the program and consistently yield winning seasons? Miner Rush: Yeah most definitely and we saw it in the latest recruiting cycle in a short amount of time. Guys like Brent Pease, and Tom Mason have been able to pluck guys from Cedar Hill, Allen, and even Zack Greenlee from Fresno State that has quickly upgraded the Miners recruiting approach. On the X's and O's side, Brent Pease's attention to detail has improved UTEP's fundamentals on offense. While Tom Mason who has been labeled by players I talk to as a players coach has really done a good job of getting guys to buy in into a less complex system to learn compared to the past three seasons. With a manageable schedule after this game, and the improvement you expect, there is no doubt Kugler has things in the right direction. HornSports: UTEP played Texas Tech last year in Lubbock and they will face Texas at home on Saturday evening. Tech got the better of them to the tune of 69-20. How do you think this one plays out for the Miners? Miner Rush: I think UTEP will be able to put a scoring drive together early and make some Texas fans on Twitter and message boards lose their minds for a second. But Texas' talent level will be the difference as the game goes on. UTEP's best bet is to run efficiently, and play keep away from Texas' revamped offense. If that doesn't happen, Texas will roll easily. For more information on UTEP Football visit Miner Rush on the web at www.MinerRush.com.
  17. The weekly Big 12 player awards were announced on Tuesday and both Texas quarterbacks were honored for their performances in the Texas vs. Notre Dame game. Texas Quarterback Tyrone Swoopes shares the Co-Offensive Player of the Week Award with TCU QB Kenny Hill. Swoopes rushed for 3 TD's including the game winner in the 50-47 2OT victory over Notre Dame. True Freshman Texas QB Shane Buechele was named the Conference's Newcomer of the Week with his 16-26/ 313 total yards performance that helped propel the 'Horns over the 10th-ranked Fighting Irish at DKR-TMS on Sunday. Texas DT Chris Nelson was named Defensive Player of the week. Nelson had 8 tackles in the Notre Dame game.
  18. This is a new hype song for the '16 UT Longhorn Football team. Press play and share to get the fans and players pumped up! Hook 'Em Horns!
  19. Story via Mike Roach Who: #10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (0-0) vs. Texas Longhorns (0-0) When: Sunday, September 4th at 6:30 PM CST Where: Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, TX (ABC) Odds: Notre Dame – 3.5 The Good: Notre Dame comes into this game with a strong advantage in the trenches. Their offensive line is again one of the best in the nation, and the left side might have the best duo in college football. The Irish will also play two quarterbacks in this game, but both Deshone Kizer and Malik Zaire look to be better options than the Texas duo. Notre Dame is also experienced on the defensive line, and they should have the edge over a young Texas offensive line. The Bad: Notre Dame was weakest in the secondary coming into this game, and it was made worse by injuries and suspensions. Starting free safety Drue Tranquill brings about the same criticisms from the Irish fans as Dylan Haines inspires in the Austin faithful. Devin Studstill will man the other safety position, and while his future looks very bright he’s still a true freshman starting his first game on the road. Tight End Alizae Jones was lost to grades before the season which puts a big hole in the Notre Dame passing game. The Uncertain: While Kizer and Zaire are both talented quarterbacks, there are always challenges when you have two players battling for the starting role headed into the season opener. All indications are that Kizer should separate as they go into the schedule, but they will have to work these issues out early on. Notre Dame also has an issue with proven playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. Their top returning skill player (Torii Hunter Jr) logged 363 yards and two touchdowns last season. Brian Kelly recruited a ton of talent in his past classes, but none of them have proven it yet in extended action. What’s at Stake: The Irish are after a playoff berth, and a stumble in Austin could throw those aspirations out the window. Like many other programs, Notre Dame recruits heavily in the state of Texas, and the opportunity to put on a show in front of the state’s best prospects can only help them going forward. For Texas this game will set the tone in what amounts to a pivotal season for the program. A win over Notre Dame could cement a starting quarterback and ignite the team to play above expectations. With many of the top targets on their board expected to be in attendance, this could also boost recruiting considerably.
  20. Mike Roach In what might be a make or break year for this Texas program, they enter the season with a freshman quarterback and new offense. The offensive line position and defense should be improved with another year under their belt. Last season was full of frustrating mistakes and losses from a team not quite ready to finish games. While much of the season will rest on the strong right arm of Shane Buechele, the new offense should generate more yards and points due to its schematic advantage over the Shawn Watson system. The formidable duo of Chris Warren and D’Onta Foreman are the workhorses for this offense that should be able to open up passing lanes. On defense it will come down to the ability for the defensive line to control the run game and pressure opposing passers. Emerging stars at the linebacker and secondary positions should play well on the back end. Texas should also have improved special teams play in the form of Trent Domingue and the second year of Michael Dickson. The schedule starts tough once again, with the toughest three game stretch coming at Cal, at Oklahoma State, and in Dallas for the OU matchup. If Texas comes through that stretch 2-1 they should be able to make some hay and gain some momentum. In my view, Texas has enough to win seven this season and have a chance to pick up an eighth win in a postseason bowl. Predicted Record: 7-5 (Losses to Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and TCU) Bowl Prediction: Motel 6 Cactus Bowl Ryan Bridges Let me say first that I am very optimistic about the future of the program because of what Charlie Strong has done -- namely, raise the talent to its highest level in years and instill discipline and toughness that's been absent even longer. But I can't ignore the youth on the interior of the offensive line, the struggles in run defense, and underwhelming safety play. Most of all, I can’t ignore the challenge of running a new offense without a clear-cut first-string quarterback. Defenses will attack the middle of the offensive line and get to the quarterback -- a lot. The backs are exciting, but outside of John Burt, the receivers are unproven. (Arguably, Armanti Foreman has proven that his hands are unreliable, and did you realize Jacorey Warrick has played in 22 games?) And don't get me started on quarterback. Tyrone Swoopes may be improved (where have we heard that before?), but we've seen him take more than 1,000 college snaps, and his limitations are his limitations. I love the corners but I close my eyes when a ball is thrown in the area where a safety should have been. Like Swoopes, we know what we're getting with Dylan Haines and Jason Hall. I don't trust the defensive tackles, and Peter Jinkens will be missed. The good news is that between the lockdown corners and some exciting young pass rushers, there should be plenty of takeaways. The even better news is that, even with all these question marks, Texas will still be better than most of the teams on the schedule. I'm not letting Vegas get my hopes up in the Notre Dame game, but I do expect the Longhorns to get revenge on Oklahoma State now that MVP Alan Eck has graduated to the NFL. I'm giving Oklahoma the edge for no other reason than that the universe has to correct itself in that game eventually. I'm counting Kansas State as a loss because it's in Manhattan and because I think the team, coming off a redemption game against Iowa State and with Baylor on the horizon, will be distracted. Baylor will be out for blood, but by late October they may not have anyone left on either line. The question for me is whether Strong can string enough wins together at the end of the schedule, and whether Shane Buechele can show enough promise, to buy Strong another year. If not, another coach will be reaping the rewards of Strong's recruiting. Predicted Record: 7-5 (Losses to Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Kansas State, TCU) Bowl Prediction: AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl Jeff Cooperstein It’s about that time of year, time where everyone makes predictions and the vast majority of them are all wrong. Texas is such a tough team to predict, because of all the variables being thrown at them. The unknown at Quarterback, how the new offense will work, and if the defense will turn into what everyone thinks it will. All signs are pointing to Tyronne Swoopes getting the start against Notre Dame, which is cause for concern in its own right. If Swoopes is starting, that means Buchele isn’t quite ready yet. Expecting a true freshman to be ready to play Notre Dame in his first collegiate game is quite the expectation, however the Longhorns have put themselves in this position with the lack of qb depth they’ve had since they thought they had Garrett Gilbert. Finally, on Sunday night, we’ll get to see what the Longhorns are all about this year. A win against Notre Dame makes them one of the dark horse teams in the country. A loss makes Charlie Strong’s seat a lot warmer than it already is. If they can get to 3-1 by the Oklahoma game on October 8th, Texas will be in a great position for a good season. Predicted Record: 8-4 (6-3 in conference) Bowl Prediction: Advocare V100 Texas Bowl Taylor Smith An unsure quarterback situation between Tyrone Swoopes and Shane Buechele is my biggest concern for the 2016 Longhorns. Swoopes has yet to really impress me and show he can take over the reins in his three seasons with the Longhorns, so it bothers me knowing that Buechele hasn’t beat him out in practice yet. However, if Buechele lives up to his expectations, I think Texas might have the quarterback of the future (or at least the season until Ehlinger arrives on campus). If Texas finds a quarterback, I think the offense will do just fine behind running backs D’Onta Foreman and Chris Warren III. But, the only way these guys shine is if Texas offense poses as a passing and running threat. I am interested to see what Lil’ Jordan Humphrey does in the wider receiver position. Defensively, I think the Longhorns will step up this year behind fifth-year senior Paul Boyette and junior Poona Ford. The defense gave up a lot of rushing yards last season, but if the offense can stay on the field longer, defense will be more refreshed and ready to hold its own. I think the Notre Dame game will give us a good look of how the 2016 season will be for the Texas football team. In my opinion, Charlie Strong should start Buechele and see what he’s got. Texas fans don’t want to see the same old, same old from players that have already disappointed them. My bold prediction is Buechele takes the first snap of the game, and the Longhorns beat the Fighting Irish to start the season. It will be a close game with Texas coming out on top, 28-24. I think the Longhorns finish the season with 7-9 wins. Predicted Record: 8-4 overall record (with losses to California, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and TCU) Bowl Prediction: Motel 6 Cactus Bowl Chris Flanagan As I stated in my Big 12 rankings for the year, Texas has the foundation and depth of talent to rebuild the program. However, what they lack is experience and that does matter. Only Florida State in 2013 were conference and national champions starting a freshman quarterback (redshirt freshman no less). So expecting a championship this season would be insanity. What also should be classified as insane is this should be a 9 win season or Charlie is gone as our partners at Campus Insiders suggest. Texas is a blue blood of college football, but that doesn't mean everyone else in the Big 12 is chopped liver. When Texas is on the schedule, teams get up to play the game. Texas doesn't have the experience and mental fortitude to handle the week to week grind required to be a very good team. Texas will be average, and that's okay because the future is very bright. Predicted Record: 7-5 (5-4 Big 12) Bowl Prediction: Advocare V100 Texas Bowl Aaron Carrara Year three in the Charlie Strong era at Texas will yield a better on-field product on both sides of the ball. Despite the quarterback situation being relatively non-convincing, there is reason for optimism. Senior Tyrone Swoopes has matured and made strides at the position since last season, and true freshman Shane Buechele has the capability to take the reins of Sterlin Gilbert’s offense and run with it, should he assume the starting role. 15 starters return on offense and defense, and an improved offensive line should support better offensive schemes and a solid running game from Donta’ Foreman, a bulked-up Chris Warren and other backfield weapons. The Longhorns’ defensive unit returns 8 starters, anchored by Preseason All-American Malik Jefferson. An improved secondary with immense talent will be interesting to watch. The Longhorns face many potent offenses in-and-out of conference play and we will learn just how much Vance Bedford’s unit has improved since giving up 453 yards per game last season. Without question, Charlie Strong is under the microscope this season, but a winning record should be enough to secure his return to Austin next season – and rightfully so. I’m not convinced his seat is “hot”, but it’s warm. Strong has his recruiting prowess in-motion, what looks to be formidable coordinators, and it’s all paying dividends. This year will be a slightly above average year for the Longhorns, but 2017 sees them back in the upper echelon of college football once again, with Charlie Strong at the helm. Predicted Record: 8-4 (Losses to Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and TCU) Bowl Prediction: Motel 6 Cactus Bowl Daniel Seahorn I've been wrestling with this prediction from some time now, and I'm finally trying to put it into words. This is a big year for Charlie Strong and the Longhorns not so much as they have a chance to compete for a national title, but they have a chance to grab ahold of the recruiting momentum in state in a major way. While many have sky high expectations for the Texas every year, I am going to be one to tell you that you must remain patient and trust the process of what Strong and staff are building in Austin. It's abundantly clear the talent is being stockpiled and they finally have a young quarterback who could finally put them back where they need to be inShane Buechele once he gets some experience under his belt. This was a true ground up rebuild for Strong and his staff and I think they will take a step forward in 2016 after struggling mightily in the first two seasons. While I am not predicting double digit wins this fall, I think they will show improvement in several areas and will surprise everyone and a pull an upset nobody (including myself) saw coming. Last year we saw the Longhorns fall flat on their face in South Bend against a much more talented Fighting Irish squad, but this year with more experience under their built and talent gap narrowed, I think we see a better game. If Strong can get his team to 8-9 wins, I think Longhorn fans are going to be very pleased with what happens in February due to the progress shown on the field. No, 8-9 wins isn't the standard in Austin, but in 2016 it will certainly help them get back to the standard that everyone in the state is used to. I'm predicting Buechele takes over under center at some point during the season and he never looks back. Make me look smart, Shane. Predicted Record: 8-4 (Losses to ND, OSU, OU, TCU) Bowl Prediction: Advocare V100 Texas Bowl

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