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  1. with 2 months until Texas vs Notre Dame here is my very early depth chart QB: Beuchele,Heard,Swoopes RB: Foreman,Warren,Porter,Johnson (Kirk to me has all the tools to be NFL safety) TE: Blueitt,Beck,Aucoin WR: Burt,Foreman,Joe WR; Johnson,Humphrey,Leonard WR: Duvernay,McNeal,Newsome,Curtis LT: Williams,Delance,Uriquidez LG: Hodges,Hudson,McMillon C: Shackleford,Rodriguez,Cuney RG: Vahe,Perkins,Major RT: Perkins,Nickelson,Okafor, K: No one all 2pt conversions and going for it on 4th down P: Dickinson Fox: Hughes,Hager,Roach if Fowler makes it on team in time he would be 2nd team DT: Boyette,DCG,Nelson,Wilbon DT: Elliott,Ford,Daniels,Southall DE: Omenihu,Cottrell,Fitzgerald,Vasser LB: Jefferson,Cole,Boyd LB: Wheeler,Freeman,McCullouch,Townsend CB: Hill,Boyd,Cuffee CB: D.Davis,A.Davis,Evans NB: Locke,Bonney, SS: Hall,Elliott,Brown FS: Haines,Joes,Vaccaro
  2. Mr. Trotter, After reading your tweets/comments about the “Florida 5â€, and specifically this tweet “@Jake_Trotter: W/ Cecil Cherry leaving, only Davante Davis left from Charlie Strong's touted "Florida 5." Gamble to recruit heavily out of TX backfiring", I decided to respond with an open letter to clear the air. To insinuate the “Florida 5†could end up as the “Florida 1†due to the recruits/athletes not being from the state of Texas, or “in-state†recruits, is laughable and a weak argument at best. But before I go further, I’d like to be clear. I completely agree that each year the majority of the athletes on the Texas Longhorn football roster should be from the state of Texas. A) As a state, Texas has the best recruits year in and year out. That’s why many major college football programs usually have at least a few recruits from Texas sprinkled throughout their roster. C ) A recruit from Texas likely will be more familiar with the Longhorns and the other football programs within the state, as well as with the coaches that are recruiting them during their high school years. And C) an in-state recruit will still be close or reasonably close to home. Those are just a few reasons why I agree the Longhorns should always build their roster/recruiting classes with mostly athletes from Texas. But to try to argue that the recruitment of the “Florida 5†has backfired simply because they are not from Texas is false. Let’s take a look at the evidence to understand why. 1) Tim Irvin – (Palmetto Bay, Florida) - Auburn: Irvin was the first of the 5 to change course. Leading up to National Signing Day, Irvin decided to flip to Auburn largely in part to unite with former Florida defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson, who he had developed a close relationship with according to reports. There’s much more to this story of Irvin’s flip than the simple fact that he is not from Florida. Oh and Auburn isn’t in Florida either… Just sayin’. 2) Gilbert Johnson – (Homestead, Florida/Georgia Prep Sports Academy)/Devonaiire Clarington – (Miami, Florida): Let’s take a look and both Johnson and Clarington together. Johnson was unable to attend Texas because he did not qualify academically. And Clarington, who has been on his own academic journey in an attempt to qualify academically, is waiting to hear back from the NCAA on whether he has clearance to join the Longhorn roster. Would being an “in-state†recruit change anything academically? No. 3) Cecil Cherry – (Frostproof, Florida): There is a number of different reasons that have been stated as to why Cherry is leaving the Texas program just days into fall practices. The main reason seems to be that he initially went against what his father wants for Cherry (which is sad in itself that his father is calling the shots for him). Another reason is that he did not get the jersey number (#3) he wanted and instead received #52. At this point, It’s unclear exactly where Cherry will end up (he very well could end up at a school in Florida). But at the end of the day, it sounds like Cherry (though he’s denied this notion) and his father realized he would play behind fellow freshman Malik Jefferson during his UT days as long as Malik was on roster if Cherry and Malik both stayed at MLB. Was not being an “in-state†recruit the main reason why Cherry left? No. Though I will admit it may play a small role into his departure. But main reason? No. As for the remaining out-of-state recruit from the “Florida 5â€, Davante Davis, reports have been positive for the freshman during the first few days of fall practices. And only time will tell whether he will step into a game this season or not. Oh, and as a bonus point (because who doesn’t love bonus points?), freshman wide receiver John Burt (Tallahassee, Florida) has also been receiving positive reviews during fall practices. And there’s increasing momentum to the notion that he has the skills and athleticism to contribute right away during his freshman campaign. As I stated earlier, I agree Longhorn coaches need to keep “in-state†recruits as their main focus when recruiting. The state is consistently oozing with talent year-after-year-after-year. And if Texas can improve its win/loss record, it will be easier and easier to recruit the top-talent in the state to the 40 Acres. But adding some top recruits from outside of the state isn’t certain death for Texas… Ricky Williams says hey… More importantly, though, to use these specific 5 players as evidence for the argument that “[strong’s] gamble to recruit heavily out of TX [is] backfiring†is weak evidence and paints the wrong picture as to the real reasons of why 3, and possibly 4, of the “Florida 5†are not on the 40 Acres right now for fall practices. - Some chump with a perspective, Wes Crochet
  3. Hi newbie here, so forgive me if I'm crossing any lines, but I recently read the 2015 Texas Longhorn Football Prospectus: Thinking Texas Football and it's really good preview of the 'Horns, our opponents and the Big 12. It's thorough, well-written with an entertaining writing style. Maybe everyone already knows about it, but I wanted to pass on a rec. Hook 'em!
  4. Mike Roach did an excellent job of previewing the Texas defense - DOMINATING DEFENSE This is the first part of a four piece in-depth preview of the team. Let's talk football!
  5. Interesting day with coaches & players. Read about it HERE.
  6. Here is my preview of the Horns' first game under Charlie Strong - UNT Mean Green
  7. This week's edition of Questions Answered! Reactions? Comments?
  8. Here's this week's Questions Answered! Good stuff this week - you got us to disagree on a few things.
  9. This week's Horns Up discusses the retirement of Vince Young. What do you think?
  10. Coleman Feeley's 'Breakdown' piece that was part of Crossfire every week was so popular that we're going to make it a standalone article each week. This also provides a better forum for y'all to chat with Coleman about the topic (instead of having those responses buried in the Crossfire discussion). Here's this week's edition of Chalk Talk: 1-on-1's
  11. In his weekly article, Chris Flanagan ponders what starting Jerrod Heard would do for Charlie Strong - HORNS UP!
  12. Here's the next installment in Chris Flanagan's series - The Countdown
  13. In this week's Taking Sides, Sean and I debate Charlie Strong's comment about Texas not winning the national championship this year. What do you think - helpful or hurtful?
  14. Chris Flanagan is counting down through all 12 games of the upcoming season in order of importance. Here's the first installment in the series - #12 UNT.
  15. @TheFbBrainiacs: BREAKING: Have heard from two good sources that Nick Saban to Texas is a done deal. Will be making big bucks! The website is a page devoted to ou recruiting. It also has Ryan Broyles on its staff. http://thefootballbrainiacs.com/nick-saban-to-texas-appears-to-be-a-done-deal Take it as you will.
  16. Heard tonight that 2016 Baton Rouge University Lab High School Players Malik Antoine (D-Back) and Tre Jackson (D-Back) were contacted by Larry Porter about attending UT camp. Video below: Malik Antoine Tre Jackson Hookem
  17. From the second last season was over, the questions arose and the expectations were set. In order for the Longhorns to improve upon last season, and the past three seasons, a 10 wins, including a win over Oklahoma, were the expectations for the Texas football program and still are. And in order to reach these expectations, the question marks lie with David Ash, the defense, and the offensive line. But since that first second after the bowl game, I've seen many, many articles stating what the Longhorns must do, how it's now time for "so and so" to step up, that it's now or never for the Longhorns to rally together, etc. All of those articles are nice to read, often optimistic, and can usually get most Longhorn fans excited for the up-coming season. But what if the Longhorns don't meet expectations? What if David Ash has the same ups and downs we saw last season? What if the defense stills struggles to stop the run, and the secondary continues to miss tackles? And what if the offensive line still struggles to become the dominant force we are hoping they can be? Could we be looking at another 4 loss season? Luckily for the Longhorns, their schedule appears to be one of the easier ones around. The Big 12 is in a bit of a down year due to many turnovers on rosters, specifically at the QB position. But with that said, there are 3 games that stand out to me as potential losses and 4 additional teams that are wild cards. Oklahoma, TCU, and Oklahoma State are the three games that stand out as potential losses. Oklahoma: Sure OU may not be as strong as they were last season, but until David Ash and Texas beat the Sooners you can't write them off. Plus, this game is a rivalry game, it can never be written off. TCU: The Horned Frogs are in an interesting situation at quarterback with Casey Pachall returning to the roster. If he ends up winning the job over Trevon Boykin, TCU's passing game would be elevated from last season. And on top of that, you know a Gary Patterson led football team always plays tough. Oklahoma State: Plug whoever you want in at quarterback, the Cowboys seem to have a handful of QB's that can get the job done in Gundy's offense. The Longhorns got the best of them last season, but it was a close game. You better believe OSU will be fired up to come to Austin to try to take down the Longhorns again. Other than those three teams, I'd say Baylor, Texas Tech, Ole Miss, and BYU are all wild cards. Each have potential of some sort to perform better than expected. And if the Longhorns have a performance where the defense can't seem to slow down the opposing offense and consistency lacks from Ash and the offensive line, the Longhorns could find themselves in another depressing situation. Personally, I see the Longhorns having 10 win season. Or I may just be hoping it all comes together on both sides of the ball... But the Longhorns do have a relatively easy schedule and a lot of returning players compared to most teams. The expectations are a 10-win season and a win over Oklahoma. But the questions still remain and can only be answered during the season. Is it football season yet? Hook'em
  18. We are no where close to the start of football season, but I know all of you are like me and think about Texas football every day. When thinking about the team, it's still tough to put a finger on exactly who this team will be. But regardless of their identity, there is one thing that must happen in the fall for this season to be viewed as a success and that is winning 10+ games, and playing (we could even double down here and say "winning") for a conference championship. With that said, I wan't to know where you all stand right now. On a scale from 1-10, 1 being very low and 10 being die-hard/super Longhorn/with out a doubt, what is your level of confidence that the Longhorns will win 10+ wins next season and make it to the Big 12 Championship? And state why (can be a few words or as many sentences as you'd like). Personally, I'm at an 8. There are some unknowns, like if the offensive line and defense can improve. However, I like the fact that Texas not only has many players returning but these returning players line up at some key positions. Fire away.
  19. Spring Practice began today for the Horns and from all accounts it was a successful practice. David Ash is the clear-cut starting quarterback for this team and he knows it. No more worrying about looking over your shoulder every week - it's his job. Texas is refining the up-tempo, spread offense which Ash will lead. Mack mentioned the need for the tailbacks to stay healthy this year - Damn straight! It is only the first day but Ash looked quick and confident. He threw nice and crisp today and Mack wants him to be the defined leader of this team this season. The expectations for Ash are extremely high this year. Hopefully Ash turns the corner and leads us to great things.
  20. An article came out on CBS that featured Texas Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds and Head Coach Mack Brown where they basically stated they still have the drive and burn to win. My question to you all, are you convinced that Mack and DeLoss still have the necessary drive and burn to push the football program (and athletic program, for DeLoss) to perform at the elite level the programs are capable of and expected to be playing at? I'll leave my commentary until later, but I will say I've been impressed with Mack and his coaching staff's recruiting efforts this off-season because I think the efforts are finally on their way back to a level where it should always be at each year. Texas AD: 'The burn stays' for struggling Longhorns football - CBSSports.com
  21. The score was very close to what many people were predicting but I’m sure this game was played out unlike many had predicted. After and abysmal first half, the Longhorn offense woke up as David Ash rallied the group to a late score on a touchdown pass to a streaking Marquis Goodwin. Though it was ugly in the beginning, this win was important for the Longhorns in order to show improvement from last season and enter the off-season on a positive note. 1. David Ash says “What QB Competition?”: This quarterback has been a guy that has been a roller coaster to watch all season long. He messes with my brain and I don’t like it. Ash has physical tools that allow him to have success at the college level. But the knock on Ash is his inconsistent mentality and confidence. When it’s there, he plays well: Good enough to lead an offense and make plays. But when his mentality and confidence are off then he is way off and plays very poorly. One big positive tonight was how David Ash rallied his team to victory over the Beavers. Tonight he showed that he has the ability to bounce back from a poor performance early in a game. But tonight was also the first time he wasn't benched in favor of Case McCoy. I’ll be very interested to see if Major can connect with Ash and get him rolling in a way Harsin couldn’t. Before tonight’s performance I was confident in saying the Longhorns should have another QB competition to find the guy who can lead the team, complete the passes, and make the plays necessary at the QB position. But now I’m hesitant in saying that. Sure it’s 1 game, but the fact that Ash was able to pick himself up after a poor first half and lead his team late in the game is a big step for the young quarterback. We should also remind ourselves that Ash was just a sophomore in his first year as the full time starter. Of course there would be growing pains for a young QB. Aside from Ash, I also wonder what Mack will want to do. He has been clamoring that this next season is the season his Longhorns will finally have the success they should be having. So with that in mind, will Mack actually risk putting the offense and team in the hands of a new starter? Especially after that starter just won him a bowl game in a come-from-behind victory? Had Ash played poorly tonight I would have thought there was no doubt that there would be a QB competition, but now I’m not so sure. With all of that said, I still think the Longhorns should have another QB competition and at least see what the other guys bring to the table because I think back to the games which Ash struggled in, like against OU, and cringe. I also look around the nation and see young quarterbacks having more success than what Ash has done. But David Ash definitely has the advantage over the other quarterbacks right now, there’s no question about that. 2. Major Applewhite: In his first game calling plays for the Longhorns Major won in Major fashion. He got snubbed early on in the game by the Beavers defense but he didn’t quit and came back and called some great plays in order for his offense to rally and win the game in the end. Whether he had come away with a good game or not, this game should not really be used as an assessment of Applewhite’s offense at all. I liked what I saw in the second half but he will need the entire off-season to really put his influence into the offense and mold it the way he wants it to look like. I’m definitely glad he got the win and am really curious to see if he can connect with Ash in a way Harsin couldn’t. Who knows, maybe Major’s personality is exactly what Ash needs from an offensive coordinator. 3. Marquis Goodwin: I have asked this question hundreds of times this season and not found an answer. Why was Goodwin not a larger part of the offense? (D.J. Monroe and Daje Johnson as well). Tonight Goodwin, the Alamo Bowl Offensive Player of the Game, showcased his skills by scoring a 64-yard touchdown and also had 4 receptions for 68 yards and a game-winning touchdown catch. I cannot figure out why Harsin/Mack did not utilize Goodwin more during the season, but Major figured it out in 1 game and unleashed the Olympian on the Beavers. This is another case of Texas confusing me by not using a player more than I would think they should. Hopefully Major will carry this change into next fall and use Daje Johnson in more ways where Harsin failed to. Great game by Goodwin though, and we will also be seeing him on Sunday’s in some fashion. 4. Where was the running game? Maybe the O-line knows: If you would have only told me the rushing stats for both teams tonight I would have thought Texas had lost this game for sure. Marquis Goodwin led the stats in yardage with his 1 64-yard touchdown run. Behind him David Ash was second with 22 yards and a touchdown off of 7 carries. The running backs totaled 37 yards of 19 carries and 0 touchdowns. Joe Bergeron didn’t even punch one in. I blame this performance largely on the poor play of the offensive line. They struggled to open holes all night. It also didn’t help that Texas was playing from behind for much of the game and had to throw the ball a lot in the second half. But a large reason they were playing from behind is because they couldn’t establish the run early on in the game. The offensive line is another area that needs major work this off-season. It’s great to have a handful of talented running backs and playmakers on offense that can move the chains but they become very handicapped without an offensive line that can block for them, let alone get a push off the line. This is another area of the roster that confuses me. Texas should be able to get the biggest and nastiest linemen in the state of Texas each year. There’s no reason why this group should be playing at this low of a level as a unit. 5. Defense got by but still needs improvement: Tonight the defense played well enough for Texas to win, and luckily the Longhorns got the win. But the performance wasn’t spectacular and they still have a lot to improve upon. If I were the defensive coordinator for the Longhorns my priority would be improving the ability of my unit to stop the run. The interior of the defense has been weak against the run all season long and it’s a big reason why the unit has had its struggles. Storm Woods ran for 118 yards and 2 touchdowns tonight. He deserves credit, but it’s not like Oregon State’s QB was really a threat to throw the ball so I’m frustrated Texas STILL could not stop the run. When teams can move the ball on the ground then it opens up their playbook and allows that team to have good control of the game. I think players will need to be shuffled around in the interior and the scheme needs a bit of a change as well. I’d start Malcolm Brown at DT and then have a competition for the DT that would be playing next to Brown. And Santos and Edmond are not the answers at middle linebacker. 6. Alex Okafor: 9 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and a forced fumble… Okafor just locked himself into the first round of the 2013 NFL draft. That performance was icing on the cake of the great season he has had. The Alamo Bowl defensive player of the game has been show casing his pass rushing skills all season long. In one sense I’m disappointed Okafor’s great season has been over shadowed by poor play of the defense as a unit. But you have to love how Okafor brought it each and every week, regardless of how the unit plays as a whole. We will be watching him on Sunday’s. 7. Steve Edmond/Dalton Santos: All season long I’ve been hoping one of these guys would take the next step into becoming more of a presence in the middle of the defense. But all season long neither has. Sophomore Steve Edmond and freshman Dalton Santos have great size and aren’t afraid to tackle anyone. But the problem is both lack the necessary speed and ability to read the plays in order to get to the ball carrier to tackle him. If I’m the defensive coordinator I immediately open the middle linebacker position up for a competition. My first thought would be to possibly move Kendall Thompson to the middle because I love having Tevin Jackson and Peter Jinkens on the field at the same time too. Texas has some other young guys to look at as well. But as of now I don’t think Edmond or Santos should be the starters in the middle. I want someone who can get to the ball carrier faster before he gets up field. 8. Justin Tucker, you’re needed back in Austin: I don’t exactly know why Mack hasn’t done more in recruiting to address this or why he didn’t have a better plan for the ‘Post Justin Tucker Era’ but what Texas currently has at the kicking position is not good. Kickoffs are fine, but if Texas ever has to kick a field goal over 40 yards to win a game then they are screwed. And I also don’t know why Anthony Fera has disappeared as a kicker once he got to Texas. The guy was pretty good for Penn State but he has done next to nothing while at UT. And Nick Jordan makes me nervous every time he attempts a field goal, and he doesn’t have the strongest leg either. Alex King has been killing it all season long punting the ball, but he is a senior so Texas will also need to find a replacement for the golden leg of Alex King. 9. Mack Brown can take a breather: It’s been somewhat easy to tell that this season has been unlike any season Mack has had at Texas. He has shown more stress and frustration than in any season before. But after tonight’s win, Coach Brown can take a breather and relax. He did a great job handling the situation with McCoy and Hicks earlier in the week and didn’t let that distract his team. I liked the energy from the team all night and Mack did a great job regrouping his team at half time and leading them in the second half as they rallied for their 9th win of the season. Sure the team isn’t back where Mack wants them, but I’m glad he got his bowl win. 10. Resilience: What happened tonight is something that had seemingly disappeared from the Longhorn football team for the past few years. Tonight the team was faced with a challenge in the second half and rallied together to succeed and win the game. I’m sure many fans thought Texas would eventually turn belly up and stall out in the second half to lose the game, but the Longhorns had something else in mind and fought to the very end to win the game. It was great to see and definitely a positive to build on going into the off-season. Wow, what a season it has been. Before the first game was played there were all kinds of speculation as to what type of year the Longhorns would have. Some of the expected scenarios happened, like the roller coaster ride at QB. And some unexpected scenarios happened, like the underachieving play by the defense. In the end the team did end up improving on their play from the previous year by finishing the season with 9 wins, 1 better than last year’s total. But this group still has many steps to make in order to bet back to being national contenders. There are a lot of question marks all over the roster. And as usual it will be fun sifting through the roster and learning about the new recruits to see how everything falls into place in time for kickoff next fall. Though I think I experienced every emotion possible with this Texas team, it’s what makes sports unique and fun, and I’m still proud to be a Longhorn and a fan of Texas. Hook’em Twitter: @WesKCrochet
  22. Out of the three running backs (Gray, Brown, Bergeron) who would you start at tail back against Oregon State? Has Jonathan Gray separated himself as the clear starter? Or is that even a question that matters? Personally, I don't think it matters who starts. All three backs have talent and all have shown they can take over games. They each bring a unique running style to the game and give Texas a luxury in the backfield. But fine, If I'd have to choose then I'll take Malcolm Brown. Why? Because out of the three back's I like watching the way he runs the best. He runs with power but has a nice burst. I'd also like to see Brown add to his good Kansas State performance (7 carries/40 yards/1TD) and continue to get more engaged back into the offense. Gray is a close second to start for me though because that dude is relentless and brings confidence and passion to the game that fires everyone up. Who do ya got?
  23. Take it for what it is, but a friend of mine plays basketball at Gregory GYM on campus with one of the UT football players from time to time. I'm not naming this player right now. Anyways, my friend said the player and him were talking about the team a little bit. The player said David Ash could be good but he isn't focused on football enough right now. And that Case is too into himself. The player also said Mack is pretty much there to try to be the inspirational leader, but he really hasn't done that much coaching at practices. Not as much as the coordinators. Once again, I got this from a friend, but it's someone I trust and I know he's friends with the player.
  24. The first non Texas A&M Thanksgiving game couldn’t have gone any worse for the Longhorns. The team played from behind the entire night and was embarrassed on a national scale during a day when the entire nation was watching them self-destruct in the only college football game that was being played on Turkey Day. It’s been a roller coaster of a season and I think the most obvious thing we can take away from this game, if you haven’t already learned it, is that the fans, the media, and even the coaches really never know what Texas team will show up on a week to week basis. Sigh… 1. Recipe for Disaster: The blueprint for Texas to lose was almost perfect. Both quarterbacks turned the ball over badly in a game where they were going to need to be relied on more than most, since TCU has one of the nation’s best run defenses. The Longhorns ended the day with 4 total turnovers compared to TCU’s 1, they were 3/11 on third downs, they lost the time of possession battle, and also managed to fail to rush for more than 100 yards for the first time since their embarrassing loss against OU earlier in the season. Though this loss wasn’t even in the same category as the loss to OU, it was still a very, very bad loss to a beatable TCU team and it hit home the point that there is still a lot the Texas football program needs to improve on. 2. David Ash: Wow. Where do you even start with him? Some games he looks great and other games he makes bad decisions, poor throws, and his confidence is no where to be found. For Texas to have won this game Ash would have needed to at least make a few plays in the air, manage the offense, and not turn the ball over. None of that happened, and on Ash’s second pass of the game he under threw an open Mike Davis that probably would have led to a touchdown but instead the interception led to his demise in the game (0n the night, Ash was 10/21 for 104 yards, 2 interceptions, and 1 ugly fumble) and a long night for the Longhorns. For me, the David Ash quarterback situation is very delicate because of his mentality, leadership and up and down confidence. I don’t know the guy personally but he seems like someone who isn’t outspoken as much as quarterbacks usually are and need to be. He seems shyer than most and is the type of leader whose leadership depends largely on how he plays rather than being confident up front, like Case and Colt McCoy are. This entire season, each game I’ve been keen to watch how Ash carries himself and how he performs after mistakes he’s made or games that he has been benched. But I have also been someone who has preferred roll with David Ash instead of Case McCoy because Ash simply has a stronger arm that can open up the playbook more and he can make more throws than what Case can make. Don’t get me wrong; I understand that Case can bring a different element to the game, which largely is his leadership ability, along with his mentality. But I don’t think he has the arm to make half the throws Ash can make down the field, leaving Coach Brown with the decision of playing McCoy and his weak arm or Ash and his weak mentality/confidence. The problems I have with Ash lie in his accuracy, decision-making, and confidence. He’s really made some great throws this season. But for as many good throws as he’s had I can go back to each game and point out some terrible throws and poor decisions he’s made. I’m not saying I expect him to be perfect in each game, that’s dumb. But the mistakes he continues to make aren’t getting fixed and that’s a problem. We still see under thrown balls, we still see him make some boneheaded passes into double (and triple…) coverage, and he still has a tendency to stare down receivers. But what makes the problem even worse is how is confidence comes and goes so quickly that you never really know what you may be getting with Ash each game. Some games he is slinging it all over the field with out hesitation. And other games, for whatever reason, he is hesitant, he tries to force passes that lead to interceptions, he throws balls to the ground, and/or he looks out of sorts. If David Ash is going to be the starting quarterback in 2013 then he has to become more confident in himself and improve as a leader. There’s no way this football program will get any better if their quarterback can’t lead them consistently no matter if the game is going his way or not. 3. Coaching Staff on Ash: What David Ash does on the field, how he carries himself, and how he leads is one thing. But I’m very, very curious to know exactly how confident Mack Brown and the rest of the coaching staff are with David Ash. I’m not going to sit here and argue whether or not it was right for Ash to be benched in any of the games in which this happened this season. But if I was on the team and I consistently saw David Ash get pulled when he made some mistakes in games then I would have to come to one of two conclusions. Either the staff really thinks Case McCoy can come into the games and physically make all the throws and plays that Ash has the ability to make. Or that the coaching staff is not confident in Ash’s ability to fight through adversity and over come his own mistakes. So when the going gets tough and Ash starts making bad decisions the staff knows he will continue to spiral down so they pull him before things get even uglier… I don’t think the first choice is the real choice. Case McCoy has entered a few games since Ash has been here and actually led Texas to wins. So if Coach Brown and the staff thought McCoy could actually make all the throws that Ash can then there would be no reason as to why McCoy wouldn’t be the starter after games he had won. And McCoy’s stats are actually pretty good in the games he has come into to relieve Ash. But Ash has continued to start each game. So that leads me to believe that Coach Brown and the staff realize Ash has the better arm but they are not confident that David Ash can overcome his own mistakes, maintain his confidence, and lead his offense out of trouble when adversity strikes… And that’s not good at all. The remaining games (KSU game and bowl game) will tell more about the quarterback situation going into 2013. But the same problems will be there next fall if Coach Brown and the staff aren’t confident in Ash, or whoever the quarterback is, to not only start the game and play the entire game, but also finish a game if mistakes happen or problems arise. 4. Manny Diaz and HIS Defense: This is easily the one problem with the team I’m most disappointed in. We all knew the offensive line would be a work in progress. We knew the quarterback situation would be one to monitor. We knew the kicking game would be shaky. But no one, I mean NO ONE, thought the defense would be this bad the entire season. They have consistently had problems stopping the run, missing tackles, being out of place, and just playing poorly. I cannot think of any reasons as to why Manny Diaz should be brought back. But honestly, as much as it pains me to say this, I can see Mack bringing Manny back… It just isn’t in Mack’s DNA not to. That’s not what history tells us. But I can only hope that Coach Brown realizes the state that the program is in and how poor of a job Manny Diaz did coaching and preparing this defense that was thought to be one of the best in the country. 5. Bad Day On The Ground: Give credit to TCU’s run defense. They are one of the best in the nation and they showed why on Thursday by holding Texas to 86 yards on 33 attempts. That’s good (or bad) for an average of 2.6 yards per rush… That’s really bad. Jonathan Gray, the bright spot of the Texas running game the past few weeks, was the leading rusher for the Longhorns but he ended the game with a dismal 47 yards on 15 attempts, 0 touchdowns and a fumbled ball that he was able to jump back on and recover. Joe Bergeron had another one of his no show games and ended the day with 12 yards on 5 carries with 0 touchdowns. (It really is amazing how Bergeron either has big days or does absolutely nothing in the game.) The only other running backs we saw were Daje Johnson, who ran twice for 14 yards, and Jeremy Hills, who ran once and scored an 8 yard touchdown run on his only attempt of the entire game. Malcolm Brown was sidelined with his injury and D.J. Monroe was not given any carries, which disgusts me. But I’ll get to that in a bit. It was impressive seeing Texas and Gray run the ball on the opening drive of the game. Jonathan Gray ripped off runs of 8 yards, 9 yards, and 6 yards on his first 3 attempts before the David Ash interception. Gray basically racked up half of his yards (23 yards) on the opening drive alone. But after that first turnover the rushing attack was never the same for the Longhorns and they continued to fail to do much of anything on the ground the rest of the evening. 6. Playmakers: I harp on this quite a bit after each game but can anyone tell me why Marquis Goodwin, Daje Johnson, and D.J. Monroe continue to not touch the ball multiple times on offense? Marquis had 1 catch for 18 yards, Daje Johnson had 2 carries for 14 yards, and D.J. Monroe failed to receive any touches on offense. These guys are home run threats and game changers and should be touching the ball way more than that. I find these three guys to be similar to Tavon Austin and Stedmon Bailey of WVU. Go look at what those guys do when they actually get a good number of touches per game. They change games and score points. And I’m even more confused as to why these guys wouldn’t touch the ball if the run game were being slowed down. Get anyone of those three speedsters in space and let them fly all over the field. It was sad to see senior Marquis Goodwin get 1 touch, and sadder to see D.J. Monroe fail to get any touches on offense the entire game on their senior nights. That’s terrible. 7. Offensive Line: It’s great for the Longhorns to have many weapons on offense and talented running backs in the backfield. But all that talent gets hindered with a bad offensive line… Has the line improved over the course of the season? Yes. Are they playing at the level the University of Texas offensive line should be capable of? No, they aren’t. The Texas football program is obviously in a funk and has been for the past few seasons. And the offensive line has definitely been in a funk too. It’s frustrating to see the Longhorns continue to get these top-rated recruiting classes that end up failing to produce any big time quality linemen. I can’t even remember the last Texas offensive linemen to be drafted in the first 3 rounds of the NFL draft (I looked it up, it was Justin Blalock in 2007. He went in the 2nd round to the Atlanta Falcons. The only other lineman to be drafted at all was Tony Hills, who went 4th to the Steelers – MackBrown-TexasFootball.com - Official website of the Texas Longhorns - Texas Football). In my mind there should be no reason as to why Texas cannot recruit and develop top rated linemen each year. The school has some of the nations best training facilities, it’s in the heart of the state that has the nations best recruits, and the school should have the top position coaches around. The fact that the offensive line is even an issue is mind-boggling. On the plus side, there are a number of talented young linemen on campus and headed to the 40 acres. It’s time for new offensive line coach Stacy Searels to show why he was sought after and brought to Texas. 8. Jaxon Shipley/Mike Davis: Both Shipley and Davis finished the day with 6 catches and 0 touchdowns. Shipley had the edge in yardage with 80 compared to Davis’ 54. Davis should have had about 30 more yards and a score on the first drive of the game but an under thrown ball by Ash led to an interception and a swing in momentum. It was a tough day for the receivers due to poor play from their quarterbacks. But these two guys have been one of the more refreshing pair of players to watch all season long for the Longhorns. Sure there have been games when Shipley wasn’t involved in the offense like he should have been and when Davis had some drops that could have been big time yardage and points. But they still continue to make plays all season long and are fun to watch with the ball in their hands. If Texas just had consistent quarterback play… 9. Has a TE Emerged?: If you haven’t noticed him or know his story then get to know the sophomore tight end Greg Daniels. Before the season the question of who would emerge as the Longhorns starting tight end was still up in the air. But over the past couple of games Greg Daniels has started to show up more in the passing game and also in the run game. Though he only had 2 receptions for 18 yards against TCU, he also hauled in the deep pass in the Iowa State game and ended that day with 2 receptions for 62 yards. But what makes his story interesting is he was recruited and brought to Texas as a defensive end and was one of the top 25 defensive ends in the nation from his recruiting class. This past off-season he was moved from the defensive line to tight end, and he and his 6’5” 258 frame have really started to show some good progress these past few games. I still don’t know why the TE position isn’t utilized more in this offense because I think it would really help the quarterbacks out. But in order to use the TE more the team first needs to find a viable option at TE and I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Greg Daniels recently. 10. Place Kicker: Nick Jordan was 2/2 on the evening and his longest field goal was for 25 yards. That’s all fine and dandy but I have 0 confidence in any of the kickers on the roster outside of 35 yards. Again, here is another position I’m confused as to why Mack Brown wasn’t able to recruit anyone better than what is currently on the roster. Nick Jordan doesn’t have a strong leg. And Nick Rose, usually designated to only kick offs, isn’t the most accurate kicker either. I know the junior transfer Anthony Fera was brought in to try to help out this position after losing Justin Tucker, but he has also had problems with accuracy. And even before Fera was recruited to leave Penn State for UT all Texas had were Nick Jordan and Nick Rose as plans for kicking duties. And currently there isn’t a kicker that is committed to come to Texas next fall either. This makes me nervous because kickers are always important in football and currently the three options the Longhorns have on roster have all been rotating in a carousel for field goal duties. I was actually ecstatic when I learned that Anthony Fera was transferring to Texas. He had been nominated for a couple of awards while at Penn State and had actually held the punting and kick off duties as well as the place kicking duties. But since arriving to the 40 Acres he hasn’t been able to secure the kicking job yet and that has really disappointed me in what I had thought was one of the question marks on the roster that he could have answered. After seeing Texas play well against Iowa State, knowing the team had extra days to get ready, and the fact that it was a home game I had hoped the Longhorns wouldn't come out flat and instead would come out fired up, prepared for TCU, and play a great Thanksgiving Day game. I couldn't have been more wrong and more disappointed with Texas. It was a complete embarrassment on a national level and reiterated the fact that there is still a lot of work to be done to this program before it is back at a level where the team can compete nationally and be a dominant force in their own conference. There really should be no excuse as to why Texas has played this poor going on three seasons. But instead of dwelling about it I hope the team continues to improve and answer the questions that are scattered all over their roster and throughout the program. Hook'em Texas will travel to Manhatten, Kansas to take on KSU on December 1st. Kick Off is TBD. Twitter: @WesKCrochet Email: Wes.Spors@hotmail.com
  25. For those of us that doubted Texas, Coach Brown not only showed us up but had some fun of his own too. I for one can say that Tech is one of the few teams that I thoroughly enjoy watching the Longhorns beat. Of course I love every Longhorn win, but Tech fans are by far some of the most annoying fans to lose to (no offense to my good buddies in Lubbock. Y’all are straight.) Resilience was the name of the game this past Saturday as Texas kept fighting back and hung in there for the last punch. Instead of escaping with a win, this young Longhorn team showed that it isn’t about to roll over and quit on this season like some had thought. That not only made fans happy but it made Mack happier than I’d see him in a long time. These are in no particular order. 1. Mike Davis: Who knows what exactly happened last season or what caused Davis to get into a funk but there’s no question that the Mike Davis of old is back as he continues to make big time plays for the Longhorns. He may not have the best hands anyone has ever seen, but they aren’t terrible and when he’s on he’s really on. This past Saturday Davis set a new, personal career high in receiving yards by catching 4 passes for 165 yards. In addition, he also found the end zone twice, once on a 75-yard bomb and the other on a 25-yard strike, both thrown by David Ash. Texas has two great receivers on the outside with him and Shipley. And when both these guys are playing well together it opens all kinds of opportunities for Ash to sling the ball around the field. 2. David Ash: Mike Davis had a big day, no question about it. But he wouldn’t have been able to set a new career high if it weren’t for Ash’s big throws. He only attempted 19 passes but that’s really all Ash needed to do. Of the 19 throws he attempted, 11 of them were completed for a total of 264 yards. And of those 11, 3 of them were for touchdowns (2 to Davis, 1 to Shipley). You probably don’t know how relieved and happy I was to see David Ash come out Saturday and play with confidence after he was pulled last week late in the game against Kansas. The fact that he was able to make some big time throws, and some deep throws, all after watching his replacement, Case McCoy, enter the game and lead the team to victory in Lawrence told me that David is a strong competitor. Sure, he’s young and still has some throws that are off and/or leave you cringing, but his throws continue to get better and his confidence level and competiveness this year have taken a big step forward. That’s a positive sign for any young quarterback as he continues to mature as a football player and a leader. 3. Jonathan Gray At It Again: Before the game many of us were wondering how freshman running back Jonathan Gray would perform in his first start as a Longhorn and at his Dad’s Alma Mater. Once again the talented freshman stepped up to the challenge and performed like a seasoned veteran. He never found the end zone but Gray rushed for 106 yards off of 20 attempts, which was good for a 5.6 YPC average. I cannot stress enough the luxury it is to have Jonathan Gray this year. I know Malcolm Brown was listed as ‘probable’ for the game but he was never really needed in any emergency fashion and in result never saw the field. Jonathan Gray is not only a luxury just because he can pick up yards, but more so because of the type of back he is and how he uses his talent in his running style. Jonathan Gray is the type of back that can essentially do it all. He has burst to get through holes at the line. He is small enough to get through creases at the line. He is strong enough to break tackles and continue to run after initial contact. He is quick and shifty enough to get around players. And he has a competiveness and fight of a winner. This combination of skills and talent gives Texas a big weapon on offense, especially when Malcolm Brown is hurt and Joey B just can’t get it going, like we saw this week and against Kansas last week. This freshman is the real deal and will be a big time player for years to come. 4. Carrington Byndum: ‘Defensive Player of the Game’ award goes to (yes this defense actually played well enough to have one of these awards from me after this past weekend) Carrington Byndom. I don’t know what got into him but Carrington basically said “screw it, I’m just going to play football†and then did. Up until the game on Saturday, Byndom has had an up and down season. He has seemed out of place and lost at times, and wasn’t the same player we had seen performing well last fall. That wasn’t the case Saturday. Though he didn’t force any turnovers, but he did prevent some big plays with pass break ups and also blocked a Tech field goal on special teams. It’s only one game and he still has things to work on but it was refreshing to see him show signs of his old self on Saturday. 5. Texas Stopped the Run?: Well, well, well… Whaddya know. The Longhorns didn’t allow a single running back to rush for more than 75 yards and they end up beating a ranked opponent who also happened to be ranked higher than them. Interesting how that works… Okay sure, Tech isn’t really known for running the ball. But the Longhorns defense has failed time and time again stopping the run from of spread offenses this season and there’s no question that this was an improvement and one of the factors that helped Texas win this game. I still, for the life of me, cannot figure out why this group has had so much trouble stopping the run compared to in years past. But it’s finally time to give some credit to the defense after a game. Though they didn’t force any turnovers they held a high-powered Red-Raider offense to just 22 points. That’s not only a big positive for this year’s defense, but that would be considered a positive for many Texas’ defenses of the past and many teams that play Tech. 6. Alex Okafor: With his 8th sack of the season, senior defensive end Alex Okafor broke his 2011 mark with 3 game left to go in the regular season. The defense has had problems all season long but Okafor has continued to be a consistent pass rushing force on the defensive line. I’m happy he has continued to have success this fall by getting into the opposing team’s backfield, but I’m disappointed his good season has been somewhat over shadowed by the poor play that the entire defense has shown. This guy is the real deal and will be playing on Sundays very soon. 7. LB’s Take Another Hit: If this group wasn’t already having enough problems to deal with, sophomore LB Kendall Thompson was carted off field after a nasty hit during a Tech punt return. The injury is a concussion and you can only hope that this injury will heal quickly and won’t cause any recurring injuries or lead to any other concussions down the line. Thompson was starting to make some strides and show growth after a slow start to his sophomore season on the field, and you can only wish the best for him. As for the linebackers, this doesn’t bode well for an already thin and inexperienced group. I imagine Tevin Jackson, Dalton Santos, and even Peter JInkens will see more action while Thompson recovers. 8. Play Makers: Once again the touches for the speedsters were limited. It’s sometimes nit picky to complain after a win, but if I were running this offense I’d be spreading the ball around a little differently. This week the speedy trio (Goodwin, Monroe, D. Johnson) combined for 8 touches that resulted in a total of 28 yards. On one hand, and in Harsin’s defense, the plays for these guys may not have been working last Saturday day. But on the other hand, if I were Harsin I’d being doing anything I could to create more plays for these home run threats. I guess in the end the Longhorns stuck with what was working and rolled with Jonathan Gray and Mike Davis all day long. 9. Mack Brown: All season long Mack Brown has been under a lot of pressure, heat, and stress from the media and fans. I’ve been guilty of it and it definitely appears to have gotten to him a bit by the way he has spoken after games and in press conferences. But I was glad to see Coach Brown smiling and as happy as he has been in a long time this past weekend after he got the win. Winning a road game like this after a sloppy performance on the road the previous week is a big win for this young team and it definitely showed Mack that his team still has the ability to compete and fight for him even when many onlookers are doubting his group. I was happy for Mack and glad he was able to not only get a win but enjoy the victory as well. 10. Darrell K. Royal: This morning the most successful coach to ever lead the Longhorns at The University of Texas passed away. Though this has nothing to do with the Tech game I couldn’t post this today without mentioning Coach Royal. I had the good fortune of attending the same church as Coach Royal for as long as I’ve been alive. Though my parents (who have both worked at the church in one fashion or another) have had the opportunity to get to know Darrell and Edith over the years, I actually never talked to him all that much but I remember seeing him and his wife Edith on many different Sundays as they would enter the building before the service while smiling to everyone and saying their ‘hellos’. After the service the smiles would be back on their faces and they would both make small talk and shake hands to anyone and everyone who approached them. If you didn’t know who he was, you’d think he was just your regular, older gentleman who enjoyed life. But Darrell K. Royal was a man who instilled expectations into the Texas football program that are still expected of the team and players today. He won 3 National Championships (2 outright, 1 shared) for the university and was one of the best football coaches that college football has ever known. Off the field and outside of the stadium, Coach Royal was also more than that. He not only was a football coach, but a coach of life. He taught his young players how to be young men and gave them lessons and teachings that stretched far beyond the white lines of the field. Today is a sad day as we mourn the loss of a truly great man while we cherish and respects to the teachings and memories he has left us. Coach Royal will be greatly missed, never forgotten, and always honored. Rest In Peace Darrell K. Royal: July 6, 1924 – November 7, 2012 Hook’em Next Game: Texas vs. Iowa State – November 10th, 11 A.M. at DKR in Austin, Texas Twitter: @WesKCrochet Email: Wes.Sports@hotmail.com

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