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  1. Photo: @LonghornNetwork Following the conclusion of Day 1 at fall camp, Steve Sarkisian met with the media on Friday night to share his thoughts and answer questions. In his opening statement, Sarkisian emphasized how much better the practices flow when you have the whole team there. He mentioned he was able to see drastic improvement in a lot of areas, but mentioned the biggest challenge on the day was cramping. Sark says they will monitor that moving forward but says guys need to stay hydrated and he did say that he felt the cramping wasn't related to physical conditioning. Outside of the cramping, it was a much cleaner day than the first practice of spring football according to Sarkisian. When asked which players have "transformed their bodies" since the new staff took over, Sark mentioned WR Josh Moore, DB Jerrin Thompson, TE Jared Wiley and LB Demarvion Overshown. On Ja'Tavion Sanders, Sarkisian says that this was really the first time the staff has been able to be on the field with him. Sanders was working one-on-one with Jeff Banks toward the end of practice and this was by design. "There were some intricate things that we need to work on with him individually to get him up to speed." Gunnar Helm and Juan Davis were also putting in work at TE but Sark mentioned again that Sanders was working on fundamentals so that he could do more intricate things in the future. On which newcomers and transfers impressed today, Sarkisian said he was impressed with DL Ovie Oghoufo, saying he looked both athletic and physical. He mentioned Alabama transfer RB Keilan Robinson as showing athleticism and getting the ball in space. Xavier Worthy stood out out, as did DT Byron Murphy. On if the staff is looking to change/swap things from a position standpoint, Sarkisian said they are primarily trying to find the right combination with their safeties and nickel and into the corner position. They are working rotations and seeing which guys work best together at those spots. Sark was asked about rotating players and if he will rotate players just to rotate them, like the previous staff did, Sarkisian answered by saying he feels like he has a responsibility to his team to put themselves in the best position to play. He mentions earning the right to play but also acknowledges that there are multiple talented players at multiple positions on the team. Ultimately, he says the best players will ultimately play but he is not too stubborn to rotate players when needed. On Derek Kerstetter's progress and where he is at after coming off the injury in the Alamo Bowl, Sarkisian leads with stating how impressed his is with Kerstetter's leadership. Says he doesn't think there are any limitations to Derek's game but he will go back and watch tape to confirm. The OL is about finding the right combination of your best five, according to Sarkisian and Coach Flood. And once you find those five you find the right spots on the line for them. Then identifying your next best 3-4 linemen is important because depth on the line is so important. While nothing is set yet, Sark says they will learn a lot more about the OL in the upcoming days. Sarkisian says he is looking for improvement from his QBs and what they learned in the spring. He said both Thompson and Card both did that today and there was a "better feel" from both players. They split time with the first and second teams and this was the best "practice" for both since Sark and staff have been on campus.
  2. University of Texas head football coach Steve Sarkisian met with the media on Thursday, ahead of the team starting Fall Camp on Friday. Sarkisian, who is in his third stint as a head coach at the collegiate level, outlined his plans for camp and talked about the challenges related to the surge in COVID-19 cases and mental health of his players. The Longhorns open their season on September 4th against Top-25 ranked Louisiana at Darrell K. Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium. Notes from Sarkisian's press conference: Sark opened by giving credit to the strength and conditioning staff and players for their hard work over the last eight weeks, putting themselves into position to have a productive fall camp. He emphasized he believes that the team is not a finished product, and the remaining 5 weeks before the season opener to get the team prepared to play to the best of their ability On the quartebacks Thompson and Card, Coach Sarkisian said both guys helped organize and run a total of 16 player-led practices of the summer. He emphasized the leadership aspect and the ability to develop the trust and confidence of fellow players and coaches in situations like this. REGARDING THE QUARTEBACK BATTLE - "At some point, like I've said before, you know I'm going to have to go with my gut here. I don't know if either guys is just going to relinquish the job to the other guy. That it is going to be such a drastic gap. At some point I'm going to have to do what's best for the team, but I do believe we are going to need both these guys this fall." On the SEC, Sark says he has complete faith in the leadership at UT. Says when the team gets to that point of playing in the SEC then they will worry about that. He underscored the fact that Texas has unfinished business in the Big 12 that they want to take care of and this year is the start of it. When asked about the number of touches Bijan Robinson should get each game, Sarkisian said roughly 20. He said he doesn't really have a set number but rather uses the flow and personality of the respective game to determine how many touches Robinson will get. On expectations for the start of camp Sark says everyone will come out excited and fresh and he wants to see retention/ minimal mistakes. Route running, coverage and technique should all be clean. Coach was asked about if he needed to share a message with his players about the reaction of fans on the road. His response: "I didn't take this job blind. When you take a job at The University of Texas, you know we are everybody's biggest game. You have to recognize the elephant in the room." He followed that up by stating that after everything that has happened, their bullseye got a little bigger. It's one thing to recognize the situation and have awareness, but not to let it cloud your focus on executing and playing good football. On the health of his players entering fall camp, RB Gabe Watson and LB Ben Davis will be limited at the start of camp. Nothing serious but they will be monitored. When asked about the linebacker corps, Sark says they are pretty deep at the position. Credits the staff with solidifying the unit. With Overshown back and the transfer portal additions as well as a healthy cadre of returning players who were injured last season, he is excited about the versatility at the position. Says all linebackers will have a role on special teams. When asked if he has a championship roster: "I think we are plenty talented to compete for a championship. Now, what I need to recognize is are we playing at a level to compete for a championship and there's a lot that goes into that. I do believe we have the talent, I think we have the depth to do it, I think we have put in a lot of really good work over eight months and now we have to tie it all together." On recruiting conversations with players and parents regarding the SEC, Sark says it's sort of like recruiting a bit to the unknown and trying to forecast the future. Says its hard to sell it because you don't know when you will be playing your first game there and that they are focused on what they are doing now. Sark says there is a real balance to the staff's approach when it comes to fall camp leading up to the season opener. Says the team will start preparing for Louisiana (Game 1) around a week and a half/two weeks before that game. On what makes Texas different as a program.... Sark says UT is one of the best jobs in America. Says the biggest thing for him here is that there isn't a big competition for professional sports (like in LA & Washington). Says the Longhorns are "that team." A question about support for the mental health of his players was asked. Longhorn Network captured Sarkisian's answer which was spot-on (video is worth watching). With COVID still being a factor, Sarkisian says the team is over 90% vaccinated as a team and hopes to have 100%. The biggest shift for the team is when school starts back up and in-person classes begin. He says he is encouraging the players to mask and be mindful of their spacing. Mentions the testing of non-vaccinated players will continue. Sark likes where the players and staff are right now. Says this is a checkpoint in the journey and they will move onto another checkpoint which presents a new agenda for them to attack during camp to prepare them for the season. 'Horns will likely have two full scrimmages and then more of a situational scrimmage. "The game of football is full of adversity. The team that responds better to that adversity is generally the team that comes out on top. To be the team that we want to be, we have to be the more mentally tough football team every Saturday, and we have to capitalize on the mental weakness of our opponent." -- Steve Sarkisian
  3. Photo: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports The University of Texas and University of Oklahoma have taken the first step towards leaving the Big 12 Conference, with the schools sending out a joint statement on Monday morning. "The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Oklahoma notified the Big 12 Athletic Conference today that they will not be renewing their grants of media rights following expiration in 2025. Providing notice to the Big 12 at this point is important in advance of the expiration of the conference’s current media rights agreement. The universities intend to honor their existing grant of rights agreements. However, both universities will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving collegiate athletics landscape as they consider how best to position their athletics programs for the future." Both schools are expected to join the Southeastern Conference, but it is unclear when the move will happen. The Big 12 grants of television rights span through 2025, but if the Sooners and Longhorns stick around that long it would be surprising. The Big 12 held a virtual meeting with member institution presidents and athletic directors last Thursday to discuss all options and potential paths forward. Neither Texas or Oklahoma participated. This is a fluid story, and will be updated as more information develops.
  4. We take a brief break from 'Texas to the SEC' talk and continue our position preview series with kickoff against Louisiana just 43 days away. Let's talk about the tight ends: Departures Malcolm Epps (Portal)- 3 catches for 42 yards and 2 touchdowns in 2020 Epps began his college career at wide receiver but was moved to TE prior to the 2020 season. He was used a red-zone target a handful of times throughout last season, but was never able to carve out a consistent role. He went through spring practice with the new coaching staff before opting to enter the portal and transfer to USC. Additions Ja'Tavion Sanders- #12 overall player in the country, #1 ranked ATH Juan Davis- #542 overall player in the country, #34 ranked TE Gunnar Helm- #663 overall player in the country, #34 ranked TE The Longhorns added some talent to the TE room from the 2021 class, headlined by Ja'Tavion Sanders. The Denton Ryan standout played DE and TE in high school, but will start his career on the offensive side of the ball. He has a chance of making an immediate impact and could see the field early this fall. Davis and Helm were both early enrollees who participated in spring ball. Both flashed during the spring game but are likely headed for redshirt years. Returning Players Sr Cade Brewer (2020 stats)- 15 catches, 169 yards and 2 TD's Jr Jared Wiley (2020 stats)- 9 catches, 166 yards and 1 TD Rs-So Brayden Liebrock (2020 stats)- 2 catches for 11 yards Texas will have plenty of experience returning as they welcome back Cade Brewer and Jared Wiley. Brewer will be entering his 5th season in the program and has 22 career starts. He appeared to drop some weight over the winter and looked more athletic throughout the spring. Wiley saw his snaps increase as the 2020 season progressed and has shown a lot of potential as a pass catcher. The big question with the junior will be if he is able to hold up in the run game and when he is asked to stay in for pass protection. If the answer to those two question are yes, then Wiley could be in for a big year. Liebrock is a little bit of a wildcard at the position. He battled injuries in 2020 but came to campus known for his pass catching ability. With a strong fall camp, he could be in line for role as a pass catching TE in Steve Sarkisian's offense. Outlook Several months ago, Sarkisian mentioned that tight end was one of the most important positions in his offense. Texas will be in 11 and 12 personnel the majority of the time on offense, so it makes sense that a premium will be placed on the position. Lucky for Sarkisian and offensive coordinator Kyle Flood, this is probably the deepest the Longhorns have been at TE in quite a while. The expectation is Sarkisian's system will be more tight end friendly, allowing both Brewer and Wiley to fit into roles that maximize their skillsets. Liebrock and Sanders are both likely to provide positive contributions as well, setting the table for what could be a productive year from the tight end room.
  5. Pre-season camp is right around the corner, and it is only appropriate to start looking ahead to the 2021 season. HornSports will go position group by position group as we break down what to expect in Steve Sarkisian's first season. Let's start with the wide receivers: Departures (2020 stats) Brennan Eagles (NFL)- 28 receptions, 469 yards, 5 TD's Tarik Black (NFL)- 10 receptions, 240 yards, 1 TD Jake Smith (portal)- 23 receptions, 294 yards, 3 TD's Semi Departure: Brenden Schooler (moved to Safety)- 12 receptions, 140 yards, 2 TD's One of the first things Steve Sarkisian mentioned when he arrived on campus was that the Longhorns had way too many wide receivers on the roster. Even with Brennan Eagles and Tarik Black moving onto the NFL, the Longhorns entered spring ball with 14 scholarship WR's. Brenden Schooler quickly made the move back to safety, a position he played at the beginning on his career at Oregon. Some unexpected attrition occurred this summer when Jake Smith entered the transfer portal and 2021 signee Keithron Lee was arrested, putting his status with the team in limbo. Lee is no longer listed on the Texas roster. The loss of Smith was mildly surprising, but the junior had been battling injuries his entire career and missed all of spring practice with a broken foot. The loss of Eagles and Black to the NFL can be looked at a few different ways. Both are 6'3 and profile as big body possession receivers. Sarkisian has made it known he wants to get as much speed on the field as possible. Regardless of their potential fit if they would have returned, the loss of Eagles in particular hurts the Longhorns from an experience standpoint and leaves the Longhorns thin on returning production. Additions Casey Cain- #842 ranked player in the 2021 class, 129th ranked WR Jaden Alexis- #349 ranked player in the 2021 class, 56th ranked WR Xavier Worthy- #61 ranked player in the 2021 class, 8th ranked WR Neither Cain or Alexis are expected to make major contributions in their first year on campus, but Worthy will likely be in the rotation right away and could see an expanded role depending on how quickly he adapts to the college game. The former Michigan signee was able to get out of his letter of intent earlier this year and quickly signed with Texas. He has elite speed and could take on an even bigger role with Jake Smith departing. Returning Production (2020 stats) Joshua Moore- 30 receptions, 472 yards, 9 TD's Jordan Whittington- 21 receptions, 206 yards, 1 TD (rushing) Kelvontay Dixon- 3 receptions, 76 yards, 1 TD Kai Money- 10 receptions, 76 yards, 1 TD Marcus Washington- 4 receptions, 56 yards, 1 TD Al'Vonte Woodard- 4 receptions, 34 yards Troy Omeire- DNP; knee injury Moore, Whittington and Money are the only Texas receivers returning who recorded double digit catches last season. Moore and Whittington will be leaned on heavily, but both are still looking for consistency. Moore disappeared for long stretches after a hot start to 2020 and Whittington has battled injuries throughout his career so far. Speaking of injuries, Troy Omeire will be fully healthy when fall camp opens after tearing his ACL last August. The redshirt freshman dominated fall camp a season ago and was set to log plenty of snaps before getting hurt. Omeire, who stands at 6'3, is one of the few big body receivers Texas has on the roster. Outlook Texas has a lot of bodies and a lot of question marks with camp set to open up next month. If the Longhorns had to play a game tomorrow, 2 of the 3 starting receiver spots would likely go to Whittington and Moore. Dixon, Omeire, Washington, Money and Worthy will have opportunities to cement their spot in the receiver rotation. The big question will be how snaps are allocated. Tom Herman loved to rotate receivers, which is likely part of the reason Texas had so many scholarship players at the position. Sarkisian wants to his best receivers to receive as many snaps as possible, meaning the Longhorns will likely only have 4 or 5 guys they play regularly. The big x-factors will be the development of Worthy and how Troy Omeire performs. If both prove to be reliable targets, the floor for the position group rises significantly. If not, it would be another rollercoaster season for Andre Coleman's position group.
  6. Hey guys, @Aaron Carrarais at Big 12 Media Days today. Updates/Streaming Thoughts from AT&T Stadium will be posted here. DAVE ARANDA - BAYLOR Aranda talked about the importance of mental health due to COVID and talked about the importance of relationships. Says he's excited about the Bears being a "running team" and having a good competition at quarterback. When asked about the Bears' quarterback battle, Aranda said he is excited for the competition. He says he is being transparent about where things are at with his guys. Sounds like Aranda will use multiple QB's based on the plays they want to run and opponents they face. On defense - Aranda says there is a lot of pride in the unit and they recognize what great play is. Says it's personal to his defensive players. He was asked about the Oklahoma game last year and Aranda said that OU is such a deep team that is very-well coached. Aranda says if he can so the simple things better, the Bears' defensive unit will be really good. When asked about the defense in this league, Aranda said he sees the Big 12 as a defensive conference. References Gary Patterson's defenses, OU's defense and Iowa State's transformation to a defensive emphasis team. Says the Big 12 has really become more of a Big 10-ish conference in terms of the look of defenses and formations. On offenses, he references more 12-13 personnel looks and the need to run more instead of the spread-offense sets we have traditionally seen. KANSAS - The KU team's plane is grounded and they are currently not at Media Days.
  7. Texas added their 15th commit of the 2022 class Wednesday afternoon when Denton Ryan DB Austin Jordan pulled the trigger in favor of the Longhorns. The Denton Ryan product is ranked the 196th overall player in the country and 10th ranked safety, according to the 247sports composite rankings. Jordan had previously released a top 3 of Texas, Oklahoma and Ohio State. Jordan could profile to a number of different spots in the secondary, but his biggest upside might be at safety. He joins a defensive back class that already includes Bryan Allen Jr. and Jaylon Guilbeau. Terry Joseph and the rest of the Texas coaching staff will continue their pursuit of Denver Harris and Bryce Anderson in hopes of rounding out one of the best defensive back classes in the country.
  8. Rudder High School wide receiver and Texas Class of 2021 football signee Keithron Lee was arrested in Bryan, Texas on Sunday as first reported by 247Sports. Lee, a 3-star prospect, signed with the Longhorns on National Signing Day in February over schools such as Baylor, TCU, Tennessee, Texas Tech and Washington. Lee was arrested on charges of assaulting of a family member with bond set at $5,000. Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian issued the following statement about Lee: "We're aware of the situation with Keithron Lee. We have talked to his family and he has been suspended from all team activities at this time as we continue to monitor the legal process."
  9. Photo: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports Sophomore linebacker Jake Ehlinger, the younger brother of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Sam Ehlinger, was found dead on Thursday according to a report from the Austin American Statesman. "Police said they received a call at 12:18 p.m. and found Jake Ehlinger in the 1200 block of West 22nd Street. Authorities did not specify how they found him but did say his death is not considered suspicious." Ehlinger did not appeared in any games for the Longhorns in his first two seasons on the 40 Acres. He played high school football at Westlake High School in Austin. Our sincerest condolences are extended to the Ehlinger family. Statements on Jake’s passing from CDC and Sark: Chris Del Conte: “Our hearts are truly broken and we are just devastated today to learn of the passing of our Longhorn family member Jake Ehlinger. Jake was an amazing young man from an extraordinary family with such a bright future ahead of him. It’s just such a tragedy that we are all really struggling with. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones and friends, especially the Ehlinger family and our entire football program. Jake’s family — Sam, Jena and Morgen — are such vital parts of our Longhorn family, and we will be here to support them in any and every way we can during this very difficult time. While the sense of pain and loss are deep, our focus at this time is on providing support to Jake’s family, our football student-athletes, coaches and staff, and everyone so greatly impacted by this in our athletics department. We have resources in place and grief counseling available as we help support everyone in our program. With that said, we sincerely hope that everyone will respect their privacy as we deal with this devastating news." Steve Sarkisian: “We have an extremely heavy heart with the news of the passing of our beloved teammate, friend and Longhorn family member Jake Ehlinger. Words cannot express the depth of our sadness and the huge void we are feeling, but above all else, our hearts pour out to Sam, Jena, Morgen and the entire Ehlinger family. Jake was a tremendous person and was everything you could ask for in a student-athlete. Being a Longhorn meant everything to him, and he truly embodied all that it means to be one. In the short time we were able to get to know him, he always was a joy to be around and gave everything he had in workouts, meetings, practice and in life. This is a tragedy beyond measure, and as I told the team today, in a time like this all we can do is open our hearts, pull together and do our best to provide love and support to each other, especially to the Ehlinger family.”
  10. Photo: Austin American Statesman-USA TODAY NETWORK The Texas Longhorns had five of eight eligible players selected in the 2021 NFL Draft, serving as the most by the program since 2015 and tied for the most by a Big 12 program. Offensve lineman Sam Cosmi, linebacker Joseph Ossai, defensive tackle Ta'Quon Graham, safety Caden Sterns and quarterback Sam Ehlinger were all drafted by NFL teams on Friday and Saturday. Wide receiver Tarik Black, defensive back Chris Brown and wide receiver Brennan Eagles went undrafted but will look to sign undrafted free agent contracts with NFL teams. SAM COSMI, OL - Second Round (pick #51) University of Texas offensive lineman Sam Cosmi became the first Texas player selected in the 2021 NFL Draft. Cosmi, who started at tackle in the Longhorn's last 34 games, was drafted by the Washington Football Team with the 51st pick in the second round on Friday evening. Last season Cosmi was selected as a first-team All-Big 12 member and a third-team All-American by the Associated Press. On being selected by Washington, Cosmi had this to say: "I was just excited and I can’t wait. The first thing that crossed my mind was that I get to block against Chase Young. I admire his game so much, and I’m excited to be able to get better going against him. Iron sharpens iron and being able to play against the best is just going to make me even better. I’m looking forward to blocking him in practices and doing that." JOSEPH OSSAI, LB - Third Round (pick #69) Linebacker Joseph Ossai was drafted with the 69th pick in the third round by the Cincinnati Bengals. Ossai served as a team captain for the Longhorns last season and capped his time at Texas with six tackles for loss and three sacks against Utah in the Alamo Bowl. He finished a productive playing career with the Longhorns with 165 tackles, including 30.5 for a loss, 11 sacks, five forced fumbles and two interceptions. Ossai credits his time at Texas for helping prepare him to play at the next level. "Texas has taught me a lot. I think the most important thing it’s taught me is hard work pays off. Everything else I can learn when it comes to developing skills or the ins and outs of the league, but the part of the determination and the grind, I’m confident in that. I’m confident in the amount I’ve learned at Texas." Ta'Quon Graham, DT - Fifth Round (pick #148) Temple, Texas native and defensive tackle Ta'Quon Graham was the first Longhorn to hear his name called on Day 2 of the NFL Draft. The Atlanta Falcons used the 148th pick in the fifth round to select Graham, making him the fifth player in school history to be drafted by the Falcons. Graham was a team captain in the 2020 season and an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection last season. He started in 23 games in the last two seasons for the Longhorns and finished his time at Texas with a four tackle, one sack performance in the Valero Alamo Bowl. He had this to say about receiving the call from Atlanta: "The feeling was amazing. It’s something that you definitely dream about as a kid and for it to finally come true and to hear those words that they’re going to use a pick on you, it’s just crazy. I automatically started breaking down and it got really emotional really fast." Caden Sterns, S - Fifth Round (pick #152) Caden Sterns became the 26th defensive back selected in the NFL Draft over the last 20 years, and will continue his career with the Denver Broncos. Sterns was a Day Two, fifth round selection (152nd pick), and became the sixth Texas player drafted by the Broncos. Sterns was a team captain last season and started in all 13 regular season games as a freshman, and had four interceptions as a freshman. He finishes at Texas with 172 tackles, eight pass breakups and five interceptions. Sterns is excited about playing for the Broncos and moving to the mile-high city. "It’s dope to go to Denver. I’ve always talked about that I’ve never been to Colorado, but always wanted to go and live there. I love the mountains and nature, so to go there just in that aspect is cool within itself, but to go to such a great organization that has such a strong line of safeties, it’s awesome." Sam Ehlinger, QB - Sixth Round (pick #218) Sam Ehlinger became the first quarterback drafted since Colt McCoy in 2010. He was selected in the sixth round with the 218th overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts. Ehlinger made 43 starts for the Longhorns and played in 46 games, leading Texas to 27 wins as a starter (good enough for fourth most in Texas history). Ehlinger was a team captain in each of the last two seasons with the Longhorns and leaves Texas with his name in the record book. He ranks second in completions (923), passing yards (11,436), total offense (13,343), passing touchdowns (94), and total touchdowns responsible for (127). Ehlinger also ranks second in rushing touchdowns by quarterbacks (33) and third in rushing yards (1,907). He threw for more than 200 yards, and surpassed 300 yards 10 times, both the second-most in school history behind only Colt McCoy. On the national level he is only one of three players in history to throw for at least 11,000 career yards and rush for more than 1,500 yards. Ehlinger won three bowl games as the starter for Texas, something only Colt McCoy has done.
  11. The Annual Orange-White Football Scrimmage is solidified for Saturday, April 24th at 1:00 PM. Spectators are allowed and admission is free. Seating will be available in designated chairback seats on a first-come, first-served basis with social distancing measures in place. Gates will open at Noon. The game will be televised on Longhorn Network.
  12. The 2020 season is set to officially come to a close on Tuesday evening in San Antonio when Texas takes on Colorado in the Alamo Bowl. The Longhorns will be playing in the Alamo Bowl for the second consecutive season and look to wrap up a disappointing season with a victory. Colorado had a surprisingly good year, going 4-1 in their shortened PAC-12 schedule that featured several cancellations. Let’s take a look at what to expect from the Buffaloes: Offense Former head coach Mel Tucker was not shy about his preference to win games by running the ball and playing great defense. Current head coach Karl Dorrell’s background comes from the offensive side of the ball, so it is no surprise that Colorado has opened up the offense a little more this season. Offensive Coordinator Darrin Chiaverini has been on the Colorado coaching staff since 2016 and was promoted to offensive coordinator once Dorrell took over. The Buffaloes will operate primarily out of the spread, but still feature a strong running game. Sophomore running back Jarek Broussard handles the bulk of the carries and has rushed for over 800 yards on the season to go along with 3 touchdowns. Despite standing at only 5’9 and 185 pounds, Broussard runs hard and has been a big bright spot for Colorado this season. At quarterback, Sam Noyer got the starting nod to begin the year after spending 2019 as a safety. Noyer initially entered the transfer portal following last season but chose to return to Colorado to fight for the open QB position. He has had an up and down season, completing 58% of his passes with 6 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He will be used in the running game (5 rushing touchdowns on the season) and the Texas defense will have to account for his legs, especially in the red zone. The Buffaloes only have 3 receivers who have caught 10 or more passes on the season. Noyer’s favorite targets will be slot receiver Dimitri Stanley and outside receiver La’Vontae Shenault. Stanley has a team leading 249 receiving yards and is averaging over 15 yards per reception. Texan native KD Nixon will also be involved and has 10 catches on the season. Defense Former Georgia Southern head coach Tyson Summers coordinates the Colorado defense. This is Summers second season in Boulder after spending two seasons as a quality control coach at Georgia. The Colorado defense operates out of multiple fronts and has been effective at getting pressure on the quarterback (12 sacks in 5 games). Outside linebacker Carson Wells has a team leading 4.5 sacks and will provide a big test for the Texas tackles. In the secondary, junior Makhi Blackmon and freshman Christian Gonzalez occupy the two corner spots. The Buffaloes secondary as a whole has struggled at times this season. The unit allowed over 300 yards passing in their first two games of the season against UCLA and Stanford before putting together more respectable showings against run heavy San Diego State, Arizona and Utah. The opportunities will be there for the Longhorns to move the ball in the passing game, even without leading receiver Brennan Eagles, who announced yesterday he was opting out of the bowl game to prepare for the NFL draft. Final Thoughts On paper, this matchup heavily favors Texas, even with all the players that will be missing for the Longhorns. The Colorado offense struggles to push down the field in the passing game, meaning they will likely want to win the game in the trenches against a tough Texas defensive line. Keondre Coburn, T’Vondre Sweat, Moro Ojomo and Alfred Collins will have an opportunity to make their presence felt. Offensively, Texas still has Sam Ehlinger at the helm and Bijan Robinson coming on strong to end his freshman year. It will be interesting to see how the Texas offensive line looks after an excellent performance in Manhattan, but the opportunities will be there for Texas to put points on the board.
  13. The Texas Longhorns (3-2, 2-2) will meet the undefeated sixth-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys (4-0, 3-0) in Stillwater, Oklahoma on Saturday. The Cowboys have had the Longhorns’ number as of late, winning seven of the last ten, including the last two in Stillwater. These two programs have met once before on Halloween, with the Longhorns walking out of Stillwater with a 41-14 victory in 2009. The Cowboys are clicking on all cylinders, hoping to continue their winning ways en route to a berth in the Big 12 Championship game and possibly more. The Longhorns had high expectations to start the season but are left struggling to find their identity five games through a shortened ten-game season. The stakes are high for both programs, but Tom Herman needs a win over a ranked Oklahoma State team in order to keep the season alive and possibly his job. What: Texas Longhorns (3-2, 2-2) vs. #6 Oklahoma State (4-0, 3-0) When: Saturday, October 31, 2020 Time: 3:00 PM CST Venue: Boone Pickens Stadium Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma Television: FOX The Line: Oklahoma State -3.5 Last Meeting Between the Two Teams: Texas defeated Oklahoma State 36-30 (September 21, 2019, Austin, TX) All-Time Series Record: Texas leads Oklahoma State 25-9-0 The Coaches Oklahoma State Head Coach: Mike Gundy Head Coaching Experience: 1st year as a head coach Years as Head Coach at Oklahoma State: 16 Career Record: 133-64 Career Record at Baylor: 133-64 Texas Longhorns Head Coach: Tom Herman Head Coaching Experience: 6th year as a head coach Years as Head Coach at Texas: 4 Career Record: 50-21 Career Record at Texas: 28-17 Relevant Articles & Information Depth Chart – Texas vs. Oklahoma State Eight Questions With Pistols Firing Blog About Texas vs. Oklahoma State Staff Predictions – Texas vs. Oklahoma State Scouting Report: Oklahoma State Win a HornSports Lid by guessing the final score of Texas – Ok. State
  14. As an NFL draft nerd, I love watching tape on players going into the draft and tonight I've been watching all i can find on Vaccaro. But when watching Vaccaro, Diggs stood out the me multiple times by breaking on the ball nicely. At the same time, Josh Turner and Mykelle Thompson often delayed before breaking on the pass or made poor tackles that led to big gains. I think Quandre Diggs moving to safety is a must. He is a very smart player on the field and reads the quarterback and receivers well. We all know the difference a good safety can have on a defense. In most recent years, Earl Thomas made tons of plays back there. I don't think Diggs is quite as fast as Earl, but he definitely reads the passing game almost as well as Earl did. I also like his tackling ability better than Josh Turner, Mykelle Thompson, and Adrian Phillips. Diggs for Safety 2013.
  15. The college football season may be over but there is still a lot of college football swirling around in my head. As I watched Alabama tonight I began to think back to when Texas made their 2 National Championship runs in recent years and started asking myself what the Longhorns needed to do in order to get back there. Below are just some quick thoughts on the entire team about what I'd like to see changed and improved upon. Offense - QB play must be consistent if this team wants to seriously take it to the next level. Some like Ash, some don't, but I think he will be under center to start the season off in 2013 and he can't have "no-show" games like he did in 2012. He has shown he is capable of having success in the offense, but now it's on him to bring it each week. I also think Applewhite's personality will help create a better relationship with Ash. -Along with consistent play, I want to see Ash run the ball more. I'm not talking zone read or anything like what VY did. I'm talking more along the lines of what Colt did. Just having the ability to pick up 5+ yards at least a few times a game will not only help add another dimension to the offense and keep defenses honest, it also will help Ash settle down much like we saw in the second half of the bowl game. Major will likely also improve on this because Harsin was the one who hindered Ash from running more. Which is ironic since he was brought into games for run packages as a freshman. - The offensive line has to get more of a push off the line on running plays. It's great that Texas has a stable of talent running backs but that strength of the offense gets neutralized when there aren't any running lanes for the backs to get upfield through. -Texas had a luxury by having 3 guys (D.J. Monroe, Goodwin, Daje) who have blazing speed. Many coordinators would have been thrilled to have just 1 of these guys to utilize during a game. All season long I wondered why these three weren't a larger part of the offense. In just weeks after taking over Major understood what speed can do for an offense and fed Marquis Goodwin the ball enough to where he had his best game of his career and help lead the Longhorns in their come from behind bowl win. I'm sad to see Monroe and Goodwin graduating right when Major is taking over because I think he would have used them in much better ways but I want to see Applewhite move Daje Johnson around and take advantage of his speed. -Ever since Jermichael Finley left for the NFL the Longhorns have also failed to find a consistent threat at tight end. Finding a tight end that can be relied upon in passing and block also will add another dimension to the offense in the form of play action, miss matches against opposing defenses, and check downs for Ash. Defense -STOP THE RUN! This one improvement will cause a ripple effect of improvement for the defense. Look at what Notre Dame failed to do against Alabama. When a team can run the ball effectively on a defense it opens up the playbook and causes all kinds of problems for the D. Part of the problem falls on the schemes Diaz was running. They were too cute and too fancy at times. Instead just let the guys line up and go win their individual battles. Also the front 7 really needs to improve on shedding their blocks. Time after time I'd see running backs get past both the D-line and the LB's while barely getting touched because the defenders were stuck on blocks. That should be a large area to focus on in the spring. -In order to stop the run the interior of the defense needs to be strengthened, and that starts with the defensive tackles. Right now I think Malcolm Brown should be starting and playing majority of the games. He is an aggressive player and has a relentless mentality on the field. Next to him I'd insert Desmond Jackson. But regardless of who's plugged into the middle of the line, they have to be able to at least demand double teams in order to free up the linebacker's so they can make plays on the running backs if the DT's can't get to them. -The linebackers Outside LB's (who are specifically coached by Manny Diaz himself) need some shuffling around on the depth chart. My starters right now on the outside would be Peter Jinkens and Tevin Jackson. Sure, we haven't seen them play all that much but both those guys play with the attitude I want at linebacker. Middle Linebacker - But The larger area to improve on at linebacker is in the middle. Steve Edmond may have the perfect size for a MLB and tackles just as hard as anyone in the Big 12. But all that means nothing if he can't get to the ball carrier. Though he lacks the speed to keep up with many of the players in the Big 12, his instincts largely made him a monster in high school. But coming from a 2A school and being a first year starter this past season, his instincts and reactions to what opposing offenses were doing were not at a level that could allow him to have consistent success in the middle. Edmond isn't the most outspoken guy on the field and I'd rather have an MLB who isn't afraid to bark out orders and get players lined up correctly. Edmond can be an effective MLB but it all falls on his ability to find a way to get to the ball carrier faster. I'd also like to see more of Kendall Thompson in the middle during the spring to see what he could bring to the position. Though he's smaller than Edmond, the guy is much quicker and made positive strides towards the end of the season. Either way, the interior has to improve. - The secondary was also a major disappointment as a specific group. The tackling of the secondary was largely in question, though later in the season they picked it up a bit. I think the secondary can bounce back from this past season, especially since they return everyone except Vaccaro. At corner, Carrington Byndom had a down year. But We've seen him have success in the past and I'm confident Akina will re-focus him and help him get back to playing at the level we know he is capable of. Rumors are swirling that Quandre Diggs may make the move to safety. Personally I think he will be effect at safety or corner. To me it doesn't really matter. He is a play maker and a leader, so having him in the back of the defense may help organize the secondary as well. I see Mykelle Thompson remaining at safety with Diggs as well. Which would most likely push Josh Turner to corner. I'd be a fan to try that out because I always like corners who a bigger than the average at that position. And at 6'0", Turner fits that mold. Duke Thomas will also be in the mix a lot more than he was this past season and he has shown flashes that he can be very good. Regardless of how this group shuffles around and who starts where I think the secondary will bounce back from a down year. But their potential to bounce back also relies on the front 7's ability to stop the run. If the front 7 can't stop the run then the secondary will be forced to play closer to the line and have the potential to get out of position more than the should. Special Teams - Texas still needs to find a reliable field goal kicker, and preferably one with a strong leg. The problem is other than Fera, the other kickers don't exactly have the strongest leg. I'm not sure if Mack has come plan in recruiting to still snag a kicker but this is one of the more confusing positions on the team for me because I still don't quite understand why Mack didn't have a better plan to replace Justin Tucker. -Texas also needs to replace Alex King, who was underrated all season long. I assume Fera will also get a crack at this positon. And if he doesn't win the FG job, then I'd like to at least see him win the punting job because I still think he has talent that just hasn't gotten back on track since he left Penn State. -Kick and Punt coverage can always be improved upon. And that's an area where young players can start to make a name for themselves. Coaches -There are still many quality coaches on this staff. I'd love to see Mack get more in tune with his coaches and show more energy with the program, especially since I believe he is close to his last go at it. And I don't want to hear "it is what it is" from him or any coach because that saying to me sounds a lot like "we are still average, deal with it". It's not okay for Texas to be 22-16 the past 3 seasons. Expectations should always be high. -Manny Diaz needs to get his act together, tone down his craziness, put the right players in the right spot and let them make plays. Some creative blitzes are nice, but he runs too many and it caused many of this players to get out of position. He also needs to teach the team how to tackle again. -Major had a nice bowl game performance, but improving upon that to keep the offense rolling an entire season will have to happen if Texas wants to win the conference. -I've given Stacy Searels somewhat of a pass these past few seasons because many of the offensive linemen he was having to use in the lineup weren't guys that naturally fit into Texas power running scheme. They were guys left over from Greg Davis' pass-blocking oriented offensive line. But heading into the 4th year of this transition it's now time for Searels to coach these players into a stronger and more dominant offensive line. There are still numerous areas where Texas can be improved upon to help Texas regain it's strength as a team. These are just some that popped into my head. What are areas of the team that you would like to see improvement in? Provide an area or position and briefly say why. Hook'em
  16. Unlike the Under Armour All-American game that featured only 1 2013 Longhorn commit (OL (4-star) Darius James) the Army All-American Bowl will feature 7 players, 6 of which will play in the game. Linebacker Deoundrei Davis has an injury and will be held out of the game. Longhorn Commits at the Army All-American Bowl DT A'Shawn Robinson - A great athlete playing DT, Robinson can dominate linemen almost at will anytime he wants. But the problem has been a lack of consistent play from him. There are plays he makes that wow you, but then there are times you kind of forget he's on the field. I think he can turn into a great college player but it's on him to make it happen more consistently. OL/DL Ath (4-star) Jake Raulerson - easily one of my favorite commits of this class, Raulerson has the personality and mentality that matches an elite skill set that will allow him to be the best linemen for Texas at some point in his career. Mark my words now, this guy is special. I'm not sure which side of the ball I'd rather have him on but he will make an impact at which ever position he plays at. OT (4-star) Kent Perkins - Solid tackle with mammoth like size and has the potential to be nasty on the offensive line, standing at 6'5", 300 lbs. Stacy Searels, let's see what you can do. QB (4-star) Tyrone Swoopes - Some think he is the next coming of Vince Young. IMO there will never be another Vince Young, ever. But the dual-threat QB is similar in size (6'5", 229 lbs) and will enroll in the spring ready to make a name for himself. Right now I think he takes a red-shirt his freshman year, like VY did. Swoopes has talent but needs a little time to develop. CB (4-star) Antwuan Davis - Remember this name. Davis top-end speed, but I really like that he has a 6'0" frame to go along with his speed. Davis hopes to be another popular name to graduate from "DB-U". WR (4-star) Jake Oliver - standing at 6'4", Oliver is a natural at the wide receiver position. Though he doesn't have quite as much speed as the Shipley brothers, he runs routes and has the great hands both of those brothers had. My favorite position on the field is Wide Receiver and I'm excited the Longhorns were able to get Oliver. LB (4-star) Deoundrei David - Davis has an injury and will not be playing in this game but Though I hope Texas can still had at least 3-4 more top guys, this class is very solid and is filled with players who can come in right away and make an impact for the Longhorns. It's also important to remember that now that all the new coordinators and coaches have established themselves at Texas these are their guys and it will be interesting to see how their recruits pan out once they get to the 40 Acres. Hook'em

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