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  1. Texas 2018 Schedule and Way Too Early Predictions 1. @ Maryland Terrapins (4-8 in 2017) – After the debacle in 2017, you'd think Tom Herman and the Horns will have this one penciled on the calendar already. Its the first game of a new season and its on the road. Plenty to worry about for Herman and staff. That said, we're not the same team we were last year. We no longer start a freshman QB and now have an OL worthy of game planning for. Orlando's defense should get a test here with some new faces in the secondary and in the interior. Texas 42 Maryland 21 2. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (2-8 in 2017) – Tulsa will hope to rebound from a dismal season last year. But even last year, they had the potential to do great things as evidenced by their convincing win over Houston. So Texas can't dismiss this as a gimmie game. The Horns will have to work for it. Its the home opener. Texas 56 Tulsa 17 3. USC Trojans (11-3 in 2017) – Texas will be looking for payback after the heartbreaker last year in LA. And I think they'll get it. USC is no doubt a talented team every year. But they will be looking to replace an AA at QB, AA at TB and many other notable departures. Texas will have home field advantage, as well. Everything spells a Texas win here as USC appears to be rebuilding at the skill positions. This will be USC's second road game in a row, following their conference opener at Stanford. Texas 34 USC 14 4. TCU Horned Frogs (11-3 in 2017) – What a way to start conference play. Gone is TCU QB Hill and now we have Shawn Robinson. He's athletic and dangerous both in the air and with his feet. This might be our toughest conference game. Its at home though and TCU plays Ohio State the week before. Texas 17 TCU 14 5. @ Kansas State Wildcats (8-5 in 2017) – KSU is one of the few teams in the Big 12 not breaking in a new QB. They have Ernst back and plenty of weapons around him. Defense appears to be the same Snyder tough standard they usually have. I believe this is Snyder's last season at KSU and I even think he announces prior to the Texas game at some point. Its tough to beat KSU, even tougher to do that in Manhattan. Kansas St 27 Texas 24 6. Oklahoma Sooners (12-2 in 2017) @ Dallas – Gone is the Heisman winner. Gone is his AA left tackle Orlando Brown, and a host of other big players on both sides of the ball. Texas matched up well with OU last year despite being very young. The tables are much more even if not tilted in Texas' direction this time. By the way, don't be surprised if OU comes into this game with a loss in their opener against FAU. Texas 36 OU 14 7. Baylor Bears (1-11 in 2017) – The only way Texas loses this game is if we come into it sleepwalking and looking ahead. I don't think that happens. Texas 54 Baylor 25 8. @ Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-3 in 2017) – Stillwater is never an easy place to play, especially at night. But gone are a number of their primary weapons, including their AA QB. Nevertheless, the Mullet seems to have established a plug and play system that works for them. OSU will be down, but should not be taken lightly. Texas 24 OSU 21 9. West Virginia Mountaineers (7-5 in 2017) – Returning arguably the best QB in the Big 12 and possibly a Heisman candidate, the Mountaineers are going to contend for the title in 2018. Their weakness is their depth. If they stay healthy, Texas will have their hands full. West Virginia 32 Texas 30 10. @ Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-7 in 2017) – I expect Tech to struggle, even offensively, in 2018. Another new QB must emerge and at other key positions. While Kingsbury has a knack for finding QBs, he's not in a position to not have success. I expect this will be his last season in the panhandle if the season heads south for them, again. Texas won't save him this time. Texas 45 Texas Tech 16 11. Iowa State Cyclones (8-5 in 2017) – The Cyclones always play Texas tough. Any time they win, its a signature win for their program. They established some momentum last year that I expect to carry over, despite their losses to graduation. Still, this one's at home and we're finding ourselves by this time in the season. Texas 47 Iowa State 18 12. @ Kansas Jayhawks (1-11 in 2017) – Texas will not overlook KU this time, especially with a possible date in the conference championship on the line. Herman convinces his team KU is primed to upset us and his team will believe him. Texas 57 Kansas 10 Obviously, my predictions reflect a belief in resolving many of the issues we had last year. In 2018, we'll have depth and options along the OL. We'll have depth at QB and WR. We'll have two TEs who are going to be VERY good. Brewer is already showing glimpses of David Thomas. At TB, I think Ingram starts soon after the season begins. He's that good. He just needs to stay healthy. Hopefully, Johnson can return and log some time without injury. What say you?
  2. The point on a brisket is typically the fattiest cut. Pitmasters often trim the point (and select edges) off a brisket and return those pieces to the smoker. Are burnt ends tough, chewy worthless cuts of meat, or are they heavenly bites of smoky goodness? It depends on who you ask… Rather than discard the trimmings and fat, we choose to savor all the information that flows through the site. So, sit down and help yourself to some burnt ends. This is a free site, so anyone can read this report. If you share it with someone, please take time to attribute the information to HornSports. Remaining Texas Targets and Confidence Levels Keondre Coburn Coburn sent folks into a panic over the weekend when it was reported he would be in Austin for an unofficial visit then never showed up. Coburn proceeded to send fans into a bigger panic by removing Texas related stuff from his profile. Miami thinks they have a shot at the flip, but I am not buying it. If a flip is going to occur, it is going to be A&M or TCU, who have been deemed bigger threats for some time now. To our knowledge he didn’t trip to either campus after not making it to Austin. Unless Coburn took a stealth visit somewhere this month, I am putting my money on him sticking with Texas on Wednesday Confidence: 8 Keaontay Ingram Ingram made a quiet visit to College Station recently with some of his teammates, but it doesn’t seem like it moved the needle at all in his recruitment. I still fully expect him to sign with Texas on Wednesday. Confidence: 9 Vernon Jackson Texas had a pulse going into the weekend as Jackson took his final visit to A&M and coming out of the trip it sounds like Texas is still alive and kicking. There is buzz that Texas is the leader when it comes to in-state options and with Jackson considering staying close to home, the Longhorns could potentially pull off an upset here. Stay tuned. Confidence: 6 Andrew Parker Coming into the weekend, I felt optimistic about Texas’ chances of flipping the Arkansas commit from NOLA, and it seems that visit to Austin went over well with him and his mother. The Arkansas side of things doesn’t seem confident they can hold onto him heading into the dead period. I think Texas is trending in the right direction here. Update: Sources have indicated Parker could announce sooner rather than later, and Texas looks good. Consider the confidence boosted to a 9. Confidence: 7 Tommy Bush When Bush announced he was taking his final official visit to Baylor over the weekend I figured there was nothing left to see here in regards to Texas. Then Bush and his family decided to make a stop in Austin on their way home to San Antonio today. I don’t know if Texas is going to pull it off, but they are alive and kicking with a chance to still sign the four star pass catcher heading into the dead period. Confidence: 4 Lawrence Keys Texas made a solid push with Keys in the final month of the cycle, but I’m afraid it was too little too late. Notre Dame is still viewed as the leader here as we head into the final stretch and I think the Irish will be able to hold off Texas. Confidence: 3 Jaylen Waddle This one is a bummer any way you slice it given Texas’ need for a dynamic slot receiver. The word going around is he is bound for Tuscaloosa. Confidence: 0 Christian Jones Did he make it to campus or did he not? Jones has been radio silent the entire weekend, but I have a hard time believing he didn’t make the two hour trip up the road to see his childhood dream school on the final weekend before NSD. If he indeed made the trip like some think, then I like Texas’ chances here. Otherwise, not so much. Confidence: 8 if he made the trip, 3 if he didn’t. Calvin Anderson Probably the most important recruit Texas is after right now since he is an instant starter a huge need position. After taking an official to Michigan, Anderson reported that Texas and Michigan were out in front with other schools behind them. Anderson was in Austin this weekend to see his family and made his way to campus to take in the basketball game against Oklahoma and go some face time with the staff. I already liked where Texas stood after his official and I like it even more when he is able to make impromptu follow up visits like this. Confidence: 8 Mailbag This is a friendly reminder to submit your questions for the mailbag every week, available until Sunday at 5:00 p.m. You may submit a question by posting on the HornSports.com mailbag thread or by emailing us at hsmailbag@gmail.com. Q: Will Texas hoops make the tourney? How far will they advance? A: As it stands right now, Texas should make the NCAA tournament. They have several quality wins and should reach at least the 8 win mark in conference play, which will be good enough to punch their ticket to the Big Dance. It’s hard to envision the Longhorns receiving anything higher than a 7 or 8 seed with their body of work, which means a potential second round matchup against an elite team. They have shown all year they can play with anyone in the country, but it would be a tall task having to beat a team like Purdue or Michigan State. Right now, I see Texas getting their first NCAA tournament win since 2014, but ultimately failing to make it out of the first weekend. Q: What are the weak positions in-state for 2019? A: The weakest position in-state is probably LB. After Marcel Brooks, the state does not have much talent at the position. Don’t be surprised to see Texas reach into other states here, similar to what they did with Ayodele Adeoye in this class. Other than that, DT isn’t as abundant as one would like past DeMarvin Leal, but there are options there. Q: Will Tom Herman be the play-caller next season? A: This is a tricky one to answer. Tom Herman was heavily involved in play calling during the Longhorns bowl win over Missouri. Offensive Coordinator Tim Beck is still on staff and Herman has added Herb Hand, who was given the co-coordinator title. If there is no more shuffling among assistant coaches, we expect Tom Herman to take on a larger role in play calling, similar to the bowl game. It is not likely that Herman would come out directly and name himself the play caller, but all plays would go through him and he would have a play sheet at his disposal to make calls. Q: How do you think Jimbo Fisher’s recruiting will go next year? A: Jimbo Fisher is off to a really good start in the 2019 class. He has gained commitments from Brian Williams, Kam Brown and Bobby Wolfe in the past 8 days, and has put the Aggies in good position for several other highly rated recruits. The 2018 class should be relatively small for A&M, allowing them to take a big number in 2019. Fisher is a great recruiter and has several assistants who are known for their recruiting ability. A&M should end up with a good class if the early signs are any indication. How good remains to be seen, because the state of Texas is deep at certain positions and not everyone can go to the same school. It will be an interesting battle between Tom Herman and Fisher once focus fully shifts to the 2019 class. Q: Who is the No. 1 target for the 2019 class? A: Texas needs to load up in the trenches. This is no secret. The No. 1 player in the state right now is OT Kenyon Green, and Texas is prioritizing him as such. Green is easily the top must-have target on the Longhorns board, and they are in a good position early on. On the other side of the ball, DT DeMarvin Leal is a must-have. If Texas can keep Keondre Coburn in the fold, that’ll be 2 high-end DT prospects in two straight signing classes - something the Longhorns have failed to do for the past half decade. Note on Reggie Hemphill-Mapps Although there have been rumors that Hemphill-Mapps would end up staying with the football program after all, that does not appear to be the case. Mapps is not participating in team activities right now and is actively weighing his options. That does not mean he will not ultimately decide to stay with the football program, but at this point, it seems unlikely. We will continue to monitor the situation and update you with any new information we receive. PWO’s Deserve Love, Too In every recruiting class, recruits are defined by stars. Major programs such as The University of Texas focus on 4 and 5-star players, with some higher end 3-stars joining the mix. But what about high school players that love the game just as much and work just as hard, but don’t get the same attention major prospects do? Major programs have uses for these types of players, and Texas took advantage. Stars may define some prospects, but heart and a sheer will to succeed define the class of 2018 PWO’s at The University of Texas. Matt Frost As a junior in high school, Frost had to overcome multiple obstacles. As an offensive lineman at only 200 pounds, it was difficult to see any playing time on the field. This led Frost to work harder than he ever had before. “Because I played for one of the premier programs in California, I rode the bench most of my junior season. This led me to hopping the fence to the football field every weekend of the offseason to push sleds. I spent countless hours in the weight room and managed to get up to around 260 pounds by the start of the season. I’m comfortable with the grind. I embrace it.” You can’t teach determination and work ethic, and Frost has both of those. With other opportunities at high-end DII schools and several Ivy Leagues, one would think the choice to come to Texas would be difficult. Not for Frost. “I grew up watching Texas football and have gone to a game nearly every year since I was 6-years-old. I’m excited to prove myself at the program I have idolized since I was 5.” At Texas, Frost will be apart of the School of Undergraduate Studies, where he plans to transfer into the Cockrell School of Engineering. If there’s one thing that Frost’s story can demonstrate, it’s that hard work pays off. “It feels good to know that all the hard work my family and friends have put in and the work I put into both football and school has paid off.” P.S. for all of you Longhorn trivia fans out there: Matt’s full name is Matt Wilson Frost. The Wilson comes from his great grandfather, Wilson Homer “Bull” Elkins, who played football for the Longhorns in the 30s and is recognized in the Texas Sports Hall of Honor. Jarrett Smith Smith is the perfect example of a deserving athlete that is passed up by most major programs due to one measurable - height. At 5-foot-5, Smith is not your ideal running back. He doesn’t play like an average running back, either. For Smith, being overlooked only adds fuel to his fire. “It only makes me want to prove myself even more, work harder each and every day and just get better one day at a time. Hopefully one day, people will start to notice what kind of football I am, without even paying attention to my height.” Smith was in a similar situation to Matt Frost, but was majorly considering playing for an Ivy League school like Princeton or Cornell. What made him pick Texas? “Texas had the best of both worlds for me. It had the successful football program that I wanted to be a part of and contribute to, and it has the best collegiate academics I could possibly dream of. It has one of the best chemical engineering programs in the nation and one of the best finance programs in the nation. I also chose Texas because it was closer to home. I didn't want to be far away from my family and friends, yet still be able to get a good education. Texas made me feel welcomed, and made me feel like I was apart of the family before I was even admitted into the college.” A large part of what made Smith feel like he was part of the Texas family was running backs coach Stan Drayton. “I think of coach Drayton as a role model. He has believed in me ever since he met me, and I respect that, because a lot of programs have overlooked me because of my height. I feel like coach Drayton can relate to me and I just have the utmost respect for him.” Texas fans should keep an eye out for Jarrett Smith in the future. Don’t be surprised to see him on the field sooner rather than later. Justin Mader As the No. 2 long snapper in the country, Mader’s recruitment has been anything but ordinary. For long snappers, the recruiting process is a little different, even if only being offered roster spots as a PWO. “The process has definitely been unlike anything else. Especially at my position, where a lot of times I’m recruiting the schools more than they recruit me.” Even though other schools like Army and Air Force are recruiting Mader hard, Tom Herman and Craig Naivar have done a good job recruiting Mader. “They have been up front with their situation since the spring, and Coach Naivar has visited me at my high school multiple times. I really appreciate their honesty how they have made me feel wanted.” If there’s one thing to learn about this recruitment, it’s that Tom Herman will leave no stone unturned. If Mader sides with Texas, Herman will have completed the special teams trifecta for the 2018 class - kicker, punter, and long snapper. Mader is set to visit Air Force on February 8. Texas Baseball Prepares for 2018 Season In their first year under David Pierce, the Texas baseball program fell one win short of a super regional berth. Expectations remain high for the 2018 season despite losing 5 starters and 2/3rds of the weekend rotation from the 2017 squad. Here are some baseball nuggets to chew on as the team prepares for the season opener against Louisiana Lafayette: Two new players who will play key roles on the 2018 squad are infielder Masen Hibbeler and outfielder Duke Ellis. Hibbeler makes his way to Austin after 2 years at Odessa Junior College, where he hit .493 with 10 home runs as a senior in 2017. Those around the program rave about Hibbeler’s bat and ability to make consistent hard contact, as evidenced by his 15:22 strikeout to walk ratio in 144 at bats last season. When Hibbeler announced his commitment to Texas over the summer, I talked to an opposing pitcher who faced him last season, and he point blank said, “He was the best hitter we faced all year.” Ellis spent last season at Panola Junior College, and figures to slide into to the CF vacancy left by the departure of Zane Gurwitz. The sophomore hit .415 with 21 stolen bases in his lone season at the JUCO ranks. As far as the rest of the outfield, Tate Shaw and Austin Todd seem to be the favorites to take over starting roles in LF and RF, respectively. An outfield of Shaw-Ellis-Todd would give Texas one of the most athletic outfields they’ve had in years. Todd was said to have had a great fall and is a guy who will be counted on as a run producer. One of the storylines to watch as the 2018 season begins is the health and role of LHP Josh Sawyer. After battling injuries the past few seasons, Sawyer is fully healthy and figures to be major bullpen piece this season. In 2016, Sawyer was up to 96 with his fastball coming out of the bullpen. This past fall, that type of velocity was on display and there is a growing sense of confidence that Sawyer is in store for a big 2018 season. A healthy season from the left-hander would be a huge boost for the bullpen.
  3. The Texas Longhorns (6-3) will host the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (7-3) at 1:00 PM CST on Saturday at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. The teams have met previously three times, with the last meeting taking place on November 10, 2010 in Austin. Texas is 3-0 all-time vs. Louisiana Tech. The Longhorns fell to Michigan 59-52 on Tuesday, suffering from poor shooting, turnovers and missed free-throws. Texas will face the Bulldogs without their leading scorer Andrew Jones, who continues to rehab a wrist fracture. Tulane transfer Dylan Osetkowski is averaging 17.7 point per game, while freshman Mo Bamba is averaging 10 rebounds per game and 4 blocks per game, which leads the Big 12 and ranks 3rd nationally. Junior guard Kerwin Roach is averaging 11.1 points per game and ranks third on the team in scoring. Louisiana Tech lost on Tuesday evening at home to Louisiana-Lafayette 75-71. Sophmore guard and Texas native Jalen Harris leads the Bulldogs in scoring, averaging 16.4 points per game. Complimenting Harris is DaQuan Bracey, also a sophmore, averaging 14.3 points per game. Rounding out the trio of guard play for head coach Eric Konkol’s team is Jacobi Boykin, who averages 14 points per contest. The Bulldogs are a talented team that can compete with most teams on any given day. With the Longhorns’ recent shooting struggles and playing without Andrew Jones, Texas must play smart basketball to avoid a potential upset. The game will begin at 1:00 PM and will be televised on Longhorn Network.
  4. The Texas Longhorns (4-4, 3-2) will face the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth on Saturday evening. TCU (#10 AP, #12 Coaches Poll, #8 College Football Playoff Ranking) has beaten Texas three-straight, including a 31-9 victory last season in Austin. Texas is 2-0 in conference road games this season, while TCU maintains an undefeated record at home this season. TCU head coach Gary Patterson holds a 19-0 record at home when playing as a Top-10 ranked team by the Associated Press. The Horned Frogs are currently ranked #10 in the latest AP Poll. A win by the Longhorns would propel the team to a 5-4 overall record, leaving them one win shy of bowl eligibility. Texas hosts Kansas next weekend in Austin and has remaining games against West Virginia (11/18 – Morgantown, WV) and Texas Tech (11/25 – Austin, TX). Texas Longhorns (4-4, 3-2) vs. TCU Horned Frogs (7-1, 4-1) When: Saturday, November 3, 2017 Kickoff: 6:15 pm Venue: Amon G. Carter Stadium Location: Fort Worth, Texas TV: ESPN Current Line: TCU -7.5 Series Record: Texas leads TCU 62-24-1 Last meeting: TCU beat Texas 31-9 (11/25/2016, Austin, TX) Relevant Articles/Information Grading the Offense: Texas vs. Baylor Grading the Defense: Texas vs. Baylor Baylor Film Review: Clearing the Trap Game Get to know the TCU Offense Get to Know the TCU Defense/Special Teams Texas Longhorns Depth Chart vs. TCU
  5. By Ryan Bridges I won’t repeat my rant from last week. This team is close — objectively closer than they’ve been in years. (Eleven of their 21 losses the past three seasons came by 14 points or more. There’s some teams left on the schedule that could pull that off, but it hasn’t happened yet.) The offensive coaches aren’t doing a good job. The players aren’t taking advantage of enough opportunities either. Let’s rip the Band-Aid off and start there. Side note: I’m throwing this together in a hurry because I’m preparing to move across an ocean later this week. I gave the videos a lot of attention but the text was rushed at the end. At least you’re not paying $9.95/mo. for this. The Last Play Yes, this was the same route concept against man coverage that Clemson used to beat Alabama in the national championship last year. I hate the idea of running it to the left, but if I’m stretching for excuses, maybe there were defensive tendencies the coaches factored into their decision. Seeing the play-call and knowing that Reggie Hemphill-Mapps was out, the personnel makes more sense than it did at the time: Collin Johnson would have been a decoy where Dorian Leonard lined up; Lorenzo Joe is a smart player who they thought could execute the pick; and Jerrod Heard was the next man up after Hemphill-Mapps. I like the idea of having Lil’Jordan Humphrey out there somewhere, but that’s not egregious in my opinion. Two man defenders lined up at the same level against receivers with tight splits are begging to be picked. Heard did not take a good angle but he was still briefly open because his man had to bend around his teammate. I’m not interested in arguing about degrees of openness or whether the result would have been 1st & Goal or touchdown — this ball has to come out. Missed Opportunities P.J. Locke had a chance to recover the fumble at the 1-yard line on the drive that ended with the game-tying field goal, but someone blew a whistle, so I can’t blame him too much. There were also like four dropped passes on offense, and this offense isn’t good enough to drop passes. But let’s look at the two missed interceptions, because there’s some interesting schematic stuff. The first play is a good example of what makes Todd Orlando’s defense so confusing to offenses. The boundary side is playing Cover 2 and the field side is playing Quarters. That’s nothing fancy. Four players will be rushing the quarterback. You’d expect it to be the three down linemen and a linebacker — it’s almost always been Malik Jefferson. Instead, Charles Omenihu drops into the middle hook, Gary Johnson blitzes the B gap and John Bonney blitzes off the edge. I’m not sure what Mason Rudolph was thinking, but this throw was never going to be a good idea. An interception there gives Texas the ball at its own 39 or 40; after the punt, they took over at the -19. The receiver did a great job becoming a defender, though. The implications of the second drop, which was truly a drop, were much worse. Texas’ offense would have taken over at the Oklahoma State 36 with 1:07 left to play — four more yards and they’d be in range to attempt to replicate Josh Rowland’s season long of 49 yards. The defensive call exemplifies what the defense did most of the game: rushing three and playing three-deep, five-under zone coverage. Much like opposing teams have been doing to Texas’ offense, the Longhorns defense challenged Oklahoma State to run the ball, and they couldn’t consistently do it. Coverage Sacks and Quickness Sacks Breckyn “Brecklyn” Hager is a one-trick pony, but he’s probably the best on the team at that trick. The first of Hager’s two sacks was the definition of a coverage sack (Rudolph had close to six seconds in the pocket). This drive was Oklahoma State’s chance to answer Texas’ touchdown. It was 3rd & 4 near midfield, and Texas was playing Cover 2. There’s absolutely no one open. Good job, good effort. Hager’s second sack came in an equally critical situation. Without it, the Cowboys may have been able to attempt a field goal to end the half or get into range to run a play other than a Hail Mary. Note that it’s a three-man rush again with three-deep, five-under coverage on the back end. It’s a huge advantage for a defense if it has a pass rusher who can win one-on-ones when he gets them. Malik’s Game-Saving Tackle Last week, Naashon Hughes and Malik Jefferson teamed up to make back-to-back tackles that gave Texas’ offense the ball and a chance to win the game. Malik did it again on Saturday. 3rd & 3 at the Texas 13, five minutes left in the game. Oklahoma State runs zone read, with Rudolph pulling the ball and trying to run off-tackle. Technically, Bonney would be responsible for the quarterback, but he’s nine yards deep. Malik has the frontside A gap, but when he sees Rudolph pull the football, he scrapes over the top and makes the open-field tackle. The result: OK State attempted, and missed, a 29-yard field goal. Bullets Dodged It seemed like Texas had more lucky breaks go against it than in its favor — especially when it came to the officiating — but it caught a break here. They’re again running their three-deep, five-under zone. Oklahoma State is in a 3×1 set. They run four verticals, with the #3 receiver occupying the deep middle defender (Bonney). This puts Brandon Jones over the top of the #2 and #1 receivers, but fortunately he has the cornerback and nickel trailing them. In theory, this should force Rudolph to float the ball over the shallow defenders, hopefully giving Jones time to intersect the route. Somehow, Jones is slow to react to the throw. Splicing the two shots together, we know Rudolph started his throwing motion when the receiver was between the 35- and 30-yard lines. The ball looks to be at least two-thirds of the way there as Jones is planting his foot in response. Almost certainly he wasn’t disciplined with his eyes. And I don’t know what was wrong with his cleats, but he’s way too athletic to be stumbling and slipping around out there like he was. Speaking of poor eye discipline, for the second straight week we have a Texas DB looking for the football while out of phase with the receiver, enabling the receiver to get even more separation. The ball isn’t going to you, it’s going to him — focus your energy on catching up. Run D Locke seemed like he had a rough game again. He was tentative against the run on Oklahoma State’s lone touchdown, getting owned by a receiver who gave up 30 pounds to him. What I’ve seen of Malcolm Roach at defensive end this season has been mostly disappointing. He should get stronger, but he just hasn’t looked like the same player that he was playing in space as a freshman. He didn’t read his key on this 3rd down on a drive that led to the game-tying field goal. He’s supposed to drop back into the middle hook area, but only if he reads pass. He has to play the run first. He abandons the edge, and the Cowboys narrowly convert. Here’s a more positive play by the defensive front — one that potentially saved Texas from falling behind by 14 in the early second quarter. OSU runs outside zone, and Texas slants that way and brings a blitz off the backside edge. Poona Ford is a goddamn monster, breaks through and forces the cutback, right into the waiting arms of Chris Nelson. First man wraps up, second man rips at the football. Hell of a play. Ehlinger Every game, Ehlinger has made a number of plays that Shane Buechele can’t make. Against Oklahoma State, he made fewer of those types of plays than he had in any previous game. I don’t know whether that was due to linger effects from the totally-not-a-concussion he suffered last week, or whether it was because there’s enough tape on him now that defenses have him figured out (the same thing that happened with Heard and Buechele). Still, it’s hard to look good behind this offensive line. They had worked their way downfield behind a couple of nice runs by Ehlinger and had converted a 4th down, putting them inside the OSU 30. Then the right side of the line does this. The splits is not a good position to start a play for any player. Terrell Cuney gave it a shot anyway. Then he kicked it up a notch by not helping Derek Kerstetter at all. Against a twist stunt, it’s not enough to give the lineman a friendly nudge in your teammate’s direction. I’m running out of time to type more notes, so briefly, OSU’s coverage to the trips side was interesting — they were trying hard to take away the WR screen, but Texas had Hemphill coming across the formation for a quasi screen anyway. Sam’s got to throw this ball away. And briefly, the touchdown. I haven’t been able to find this cable cam view in the high-quality version of the game that I saved, so here it is in potato definition. I guess because this play yielded points once, Tim Beck decided to try it a hundred more times. I don’t know. I don’t think it worked again. But let’s celebrate the time when a two-yard gain on it was enough for six points.
  6. Two new head coaches. Two storied football programs. One big stage. The Texas Longhorns (3-2, 2-0) and the #12 Oklahoma Sooners (4-1, 1-1) will square off for the 112th time on Saturday at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. Each team brings different momentum into one of college football’s oldest and largest rivalries. The Longhorns won a double-overtime game 40-34 against Kansas State in Austin last weekend, while the Sooners suffered their first loss of the season, at the hands of Iowa State 38-31. Last week doesn’t matter and neither do records in this rivalry. A win by either team lays out a path for success as they head down the second-half of the college football season. The Longhorns would maintain an undefeated Big 12 record by upsetting the Sooners, while the Sooners would get back on track for competing for a shot at the league’s crown and more. AT&T Red River Showdown Texas Longhorns vs. Oklahoma Sooners When: Saturday, October 14th, 2017 Time: 2:30 pm Venue: Cotton Bowl Location: Dallas, TX TV: ESPN All-Time Series Record: Texas leads Oklahoma 61-45-5 Last Meeting: Oklahoma defeated Texas 45-40 (October 8, 2016) Texas Longhorns Depth Chart Oklahoma Sooners Depth Chart Game-related news and information: Get to know Oklahoma: Defense/Special Teams Get to know Oklahoma: Offense Texas vs. Oklahoma Game Preview Staff Predictions: Texas vs. Oklahoma
  7. Article by Jameson McCausland The Longhorns found a way to grind out a double overtime win over Kansas State in Austin on Saturday evening to improve to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in conference. Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger got the start for the Longhorns at quarterback and never looked back. The true freshman threw for 280 yards and rushed for 107 yards to propel Texas and Tom Herman to their third victory of the season. Let’s take a look at the offensive grades from Saturday evening’s win over the Wildcats. Quarterback If there was any doubt about who the starting quarterback should be going forward, those questions were answered last night. Sam Ehlinger is the best option at quarterback moving forward, and he proved it all game. Ehlinger still makes freshman mistakes and is far from perfect, but he is a winner and brings a moxie to the position that the Longhorns have not had since Colt McCoy. The true freshman finished the evening 30 of 50 passing for 380 yards and 2 touchdowns, while adding 107 yards on the ground on 20 carries. After an interception on the first play of the game, Ehlinger settled in and delivered a terrific performance. His physicality and ability to get chunk yardage in the run game was evident all night and was capped off when he leveled Denzel Goolsby in the second overtime. In the passing game. Ehlinger showed good accuracy in the intermediate game and looked comfortable in the pocket despite playing behind an offensive line that has been suspect all year. To compete in the Big 12 you must have great quarterback play, and I think Texas may have found their man Saturday night. Grade: A- Running Back All 3 running backs made their presence felt in different areas of the game. Toneil Carter actually led the running backs in yards with 32 on 6 carries. Carter was utilized in the zone read game, where he could use his speed on the edge. He also showed good pass blocking ability and was not afraid to take on defensive lineman. Kyle Porter finished the evening with 7 carries for 13 yards and 2 short touchdowns. At this point everyone knows that you are getting with Porter, and he showed it again against Kansas State. He showed very little wiggle on his runs, but was very solid in pass protection and rarely ever misses an assignment. Chris Warren also had 7 carries, which he turned in 14 yards, including the game winning 2 yard touchdown run in double overtime. Warren also came up huge in the passing game, hauling in his only reception for a 33 yard touchdown. For as much heat as he has taken for his blocking abilities, Warren showed well when he was asked to stay in and keep his quarterback upright. He also recovered a huge fumble in the 4th quarter. Texas does not have a dominant running back on the roster and is making due with the skill sets they have. Running the ball into loaded boxes is not going to be effective, regardless of who is playing running back. Outside of some solid 5 and 6 yard runs from Carter, the running game was non-existent. The running backs are having to make their presence felt in other areas, and I was pleasantly surprised with how they were utilized and how they performed. A 2 touchdown performance by both Kyle Porter and Chris Warren, along with the effective use of Toneil Carter, is something that the running back group can build on in the weeks to come. Grade: B- Wide Receivers/Tight End The wide receiver group is starting to settle into their roles nicely. Collin Johnson, Reggie Hemphill Mapps and Lil’ Jordan Humphrey lead the pack in terms of effectiveness, reliability and consistency. Jerrod Heard is as athletically gifted as anyone on the roster and is a huge weapon out of the slot. Dorian Leonard and Lorenzo Joe are seniors who are reliable blockers and more than serviceable in the passing game. Hemphill-Mapps led the charge against Kansas State, hauling in 12 passes for 121 yards. Mapps was deadly in the screen game and catching passes in the middle of the field. Johnson finished the night with 7 catches for 92 yards despite being the focal point of the Kansas State defense. Ehlinger did an excellent job of getting the ball to his 6’6 playmaker. Johnson’s willingness as a blocker is also something that shouldn’t go unnoticed. Humphrey and Heard both added 4 catches, with Heard adding a touchdown on the first play of overtime. Overall, the receivers had an outstanding game. The only negative was some dropped passes and Humphrey putting the ball on the ground while attempting to hurdle a man, but the unit as a whole helped their true freshman quarterback a lot and continues to be the strength of the team. I bunched the tight ends with the receivers for this game because Texas utilized the tight end less than they have any game this season. The offense opted to use 10 personnel groupings (1 running back and no tight ends) a lot, but Cade Brewer and Kendall Moore still saw meaningful snaps. Brewer seems to be taking over as the primary tight end because his blocking continues to improve. Moore came in on several short yardage situations and always finds someone to block. On the game winning touchdown, Moore was one of the guys who helped push Warren into the endzone. Grade: A- Offensive Line Tom Herman and Derek Warehime opted for a shake-up to try to help a struggling offensive line, and the unit responded with a respectable game against a good Kansas State defensive front. Denzel Okafor was inserted at left tackle and looked comfortable for most of the game. He still needs some work in pass protection, but offers an upgrade in mobility and lateral quickness that Tristan Nickelson can not match. Terrell Cuney saw his first meaningful action of his career and never seemed overwhelmed at any point of the game. There were a few times where an assignment was missed and a rusher got through, but Cuney performed about as well as anybody could have expected. After rewatching parts of the game, it was obvious that it was not the best game for guards Jake McMillon and Patrick Vahe. Pass blocking is not their strength, and when Texas chooses to throw 50 times then the duo is going to struggle some. Both had several missed assignments and were beat multiple times. The important stat for the offensive line is 0 sacks. The unit was able to keep their quarterback upright for most of the night and allowed Ehlinger to make plays in the passing game. Texas is having to make do with the parts they have on the offensive line, and they performed admirably against one of the best defensive lines in the Big 12. Grade: B Offensive Play Calling I have added a section for this week and for the remainder of the season. Tim Beck had his best game of the season on Saturday. Whether it was Tom Herman or Beck, or maybe a combination of both, there was an effort to put players in a position to succeed for the first time all year. The outside zone play that had become a staple for a 2 yard loss was replaced in favor of effective zone reads with Sam Ehlinger and Toneil Carter. Beck brought back the screen game that had seemingly disappeared and made an effort to get Reggie Hemphill Mapps the ball in space. I felt like for the first time this season, Beck wasn’t trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. In the passing game, he used slants and screens heavily in the second half to beat the blitzes Kansas State was bringing. One improvement that will need to be made is play calling in the red zone. Texas found itself unable to punch the ball in on first and second down multiple times when they were inside the 5. The absence of a reliable running game becomes apparent when the Longhorns get inside the 20, but with the weapons the Longhorns have at receiver and the dual threat ability of Sam Ehlinger, there are ways for Beck to find something that can be relied upon. Maybe it’s because Sam Ehlinger is a better fit for the offense or maybe it’s because Beck finally realized that he needed to make adjustments, but whatever the reason, for the first time all season Texas played a complete game on offense. Grade: B+
  8. Article by Jameson McCausland Texas held Kansas State to 140 yards rushing and DeShon Elliott intercepted quarterback Jesse Ertz en route to a 40-34 victory over the Wildcats in double overtime. The Longhorns currently boast the 42nd best defense amongst FBS teams and the 17th best, nationally, in rushing defense. Let’s take a look at how Todd Orlando’s unit performed on Saturday against Bull Snyder’s Wildcats. Defensive Line Texas got huge games up front from Malcolm Roach and Charles Omenihu. With Chris Nelson not registering a snap, the duo was asked to play a lot. Roach tallied 6 tackles and a sack, while Omenihu had 4 tackles with one tackle for loss. Both played very solid against the run and I continue to be impressed with the pass rush skills they are demonstrating. Poona Ford had a solid game in the middle and continues to be rock-solid up front. Gerald Wilbon and Taquon Graham saw snaps in backup roles, but there is a noticeable drop off in disruption when they are in the game. Overall, the defensive line had a good game and did their jobs. A lot of the mistakes happened behind them. This is a completely different unit than a season ago and it has been fun to watch them become the strength of the defense. Grade: B+ Linebackers Let’s start with the good. Malik Jefferson is playing at a very high level and is making plays all over the field. Jefferson finished with 10 tackles, and 2 tackles for loss to go along with .5 sack. Now for the bad. Aside from Jefferson, Texas does not have many linebackers that can cover receivers. Todd Orlando entrusted linebackers to help cover Dalton Schoen and it went poorly. After a first half of playing solidly against the run and keeping containment, it was a complete 180 in the second half. I feared coming into the game that facing a true dual-threat QB would revert the linebacker play to how they looked against Maryland, and that’s what the second half ended up looking like. Once Alex Delton entered the game, the Wildcats ran the same 2 or 3 plays to perfection over and over. Anthony Wheeler repeatedly chose wrong gaps and Naashon Hughes got sucked out of plays too often. Gary Johnson played well when he got in the game, but he needs to play more against teams who can run the ball like Kansas State. The linebackers still have a lot of work to do, but the unit was able to get stops in the 4th quarter and overtime to help Texas pull out the W. Grade: C+ Secondary The secondary also took a step back on Saturday. Receivers were left wide open frequently. Kris Boyd lost time to Davante Davis in the second half, mainly due to his inability to not bite on pump fakes and not playing under control. Holton Hill played well, but even he had his moments where he got beat. The big head scratcher is PJ Locke. Locke played similarly to the linebackers in the second half and had a tough time defending the run. In pass coverage, Locke was burned by Schoen several times. Brandon Jones played his best game of the season at safety. He led the team in tackles with 11 and seems to be growing more confident by the week. Deshon Elliott added an interception to his total (5) and played good in run support. Both safeties had some mistakes in the run game, but continually make up for it with athleticism and physicality. The secondary made Jesse Ertz look too good for a guy who was completing 52% of his passes. With Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph awaiting the next 2 games, the secondary will need to play better than it did on Saturday. Grade: C+ Special Teams Texas is fortunate that shaky field goal kicking did not cost them a win. Joshua Rowland missed a chip shot 27-yarder and then later missed a 45-yarder that would have won the game. Rowland has been all over the place this season, and now the chip shot field goals will be an adventure the remainder of the year. Michael Dickson was his usual self, averaging 53.3 yards per punt, including a 67 yarder. He’s solid. Kyle Porter saw action at kick returner and showed good patience along with decent burst. Reggie Hemphill Mapps had a 10 yard punt return and looks to have gained the job back from Armanti Foreman. The return units and coverage units seem be taking steps forward and showing improvement. Grade (field goal kicking): F Grade (everything else): B+
  9. The Texas Longhorns (1-2, 0-0) will face the Iowa State Cyclones (2-1, 0-0) on Thursday evening in a prime-time matchup scheduled to air nationally on ESPN. The meeting is the 15th between the two schools, with the Longhorns holding a 12-2 record all-time against the Cyclones. Texas looks to carry momentum from a disappointing 27-24 overtime loss to USC two weeks ago and win its second straight game as conference play begins at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames. Iowa State boasts a 2-1 record after winning its opener against Northern Iowa, followed by an overtime loss to in-state rival Iowa and throttling Akron 41-14. . Last season Texas defeated Iowa State 27-6 in Austin to snap a 3-game losing streak. In their most recent trip to Ames (2015), the Cyclones shut out Charlie Strong’s Longhorns 24-0 Texas Longhorns vs. Iowa State Cyclones Date: Thursday, September 28th, 2017 Time: 7:00 PM CST Television: ESPN Venue: Jack Trice Stadium Location: Ames, IA Relevant Articles and Information: Stock Report on the Longhorns – Week 3 Quarterback controversy in Austin? Are you #TeamEhlinger or #TeamBuechele? Get to know Iowa State: Offense Get to Know Iowa State: Defense/Special Teams Game Preview – Texas vs. Iowa State Longhorns & Cyclones – Staff Predictions on the outcome of the game
  10. Article by Jameson McCausland The Texas Longhorns (1-2, 0-0) begin conference play on Thursday night in Ames, Iowa against the Iowa State Cyclones (2-1, 0-0) in a prime-time matchup which will be nationally televised on ESPN. Texas defeated Iowa State in Austin last year 27-6, behind quarterback Shane Buechele’s 296 passing yard performance to snap a 3-game losing streak. In their previous trip to Jack Trice Stadium the Longhorns were shutout by the Cyclones 24-0. Let’s take a look at what the Longhorns can expect from the Iowa State offense. Quarterback Iowa State boast one of the most underrated QB’s in the conference in Jacob Park. After starting the final 5 games a season ago, Park is off to an excellent start in 2017. The junior is completing 66.7% of his passes for 935 yards and 8 touchdowns. Park was the 5th ranked QB in the country coming out of high school and attended Georgia. Following a redshirt season, Park left Georgia and took a season off of football before enrolling at Iowa State. Park stands at 6’4, 210 pounds and is seen as a QB that can beat a team more with his arm than his legs. Head coach Matt Campbell is in his second year at Iowa State and Park is the perfect fit for the spread based offense he brought with him from Toledo. Former QB Joel Lanning now plays linebacker, but has seen action on offense in short yardage and goal line packages. Campbell loves the screen game, and after seeing how Texas defended it against USC, expect the Longhorns to be forced with trying to stop it all night. Park has a very accurate arm and is very reliable on short to intermediate throws. Running Back The running game for the Cyclones will be centered around David Montgomery. Montgomery is considered one of most elusive backs in the country, leading the nation in 36 missed tackles forced. The sophomore has rushed for 321 yards and 4 touchdowns on 56 carries. He is also averaging 9.9 yards per reception and is a receiving threat out of the backfield. Matt Campbell and offensive coordinator Tom Manning will line up Montgomery all over the field to try to create favorable matchups. The Texas linebackers will have to do a better job of defending running backs in the passing game then they have so far this season. Junior Mike Warren will also receive carries and ran for 159 yards against the Longhorns when the two teams met in Ames 2 years ago. Warren is a former Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year in 2015, when he ran for 1,339 yards and 5 touchdowns. Wide Receiver/Tight End The Cyclones certainly do not lack height at the receiver position. 6’5 senior Allen Lazard is viewed as the number 1 receiver and has hauled in 19 passes for 178 yards and 3 touchdowns. Lazard was the highest ranked recruit to ever sign with Iowa State when he came out of high school, and was an All-Big 12 selection in 2015 and 2016. Sophomore Hakeem Butler stands at 6’6 and will start opposite of Lazard. Butler currently leads the Cyclones in receiving yards (234) and has caught 3 touchdowns. Once Iowa State gets in the red zone, Lazard and Butler will be targeted heavily in jump ball situations. Kris Boyd and Holton Hill will need to be sound in coverage and not allow the 2 big receivers to get leverage. Trever Ryen and Marchie Murdock will also be involved in the passing game. The duo has combined for 21 catches for 284 yards and 2 touchdowns. Iowa State will use Chase Allen at tight end. Allen overcame a car accident, the mumps and viral meningitis during the 2016 season, when he took a redshirt year. He responded by winning the starting tight end job in fall camp. Allen has only recorded 1 catch for 9 yards this season and will give way to blocking tight end Sam Seonbuchner in short yardage situations. Seonbuchner stands at 6’3, 232 pounds and will pave the way in the run game. Offensive Line The offensive line will be anchored by a pair of seniors on the left side. LT Jake Campos. Campos stands at 6’8, 300 pounds and has made 26 career starts. Next to Campos will be Robby Garcia, a former defensive lineman who made the transition to the offensive line during the 2016 season. Sophomore center Julian Good-Jones is one of the top centers in the Big 12 and started 11 games during his freshman season. Jones was named to the Rimington Award Watch List prior to this season for the top center in college football. Two more sophomores will make up the right side of the offensive line, where Texas will most likely try to attack. Junior college transfer Josh Knipfel will start at RG and Bryce Meeker will start at right tackle. As a whole, the offensive line unit does not bring a ton of experience, but they have performed well so far in 2017. The unit has only allowed 1 sack and has paved the way for Montgomery on the ground. The offense is designed around quick hitting passes and screens, which help out the offensive line a lot. The defensive front for Texas will be tasked with trying to cause disruption in the back field. Chris Nelson will be matched up against Meeker, who is only making his 4th career start. If Texas slows the running game like they did against USC, the opportunities for Nelson, Charles Omenihu and Malcolm Roach to get after the quarterback will be there.
  11. Defensive Line There may not be a player on the entire roster that has improved more than DE Charles Omenihu. For the third straight game, Omenihu dominated the tackle across from him. The junior recorded 3 tackles and a sack, along with playing solid against the run. His sack came on a straight bull rush where he pushed the right tackle so far into the backfield that he found himself directly next to Sam Darnold. Chris Nelson played an excellent game at the other end position, and is quietly having himself a big junior season. Senior Poona Ford collected 4 tackles and continues to hold the point of attack well at the nose tackle position. Malcolm Roach finally had his presence felt, and it could not have come at a better time. Roach demonstrated his ability to play the run when he stood up Ronald Jones II at the goal line. Although the stats are not where many expected them to be, Roach showed why many were so high on him entering his sophomore year. The entire defensive line played with physicality and played with an aggression that I have not seen in years. Roach, Ford and Omenihu all asserted their will and did an excellent job at establishing the line of scrimmage. Grade: B+ Linebackers The linebacker unit thrived off of the opportunities the defensive line was creating for them. Malik Jefferson played his best game of his career and strangely enough has seemed to discover a comfort level at the middle linebacker spot. Jefferson had 11 tackles and 2 tackles for loss, and continually shot through gaps to help stifle the USC rushing attack. Gary Johnson and Anthony Wheeler both had solid games, with Wheeler collecting a team high 12 tackles and Johnson adding 3 tackles. Wheeler still has a tendency to think too much and play hesitant at times, but he recorded a huge 14-yard sack of Sam Darnold in the 4th quarter that took the Trojans out of field goal range. It is no coincidence that an improvement in defending the run has occurred with Gary Johnson seeing the field more. Number 33 constantly flashed around the ball and plays with reckless abandon. Breckyn Hager and Jeffrey McCulloch saw a lot of time on 3rd times. McCulloch recorded a big sack and both players always seem to be around the QB in pass rushing situations. The one knock I saw is when they lost containment on the last play of the first half, when Darnold got outside the pocket and was able to find Ronald Jones, who eventually found the endzone. The difference between the linebacker play from week 1 to week 3 is night and day. Todd Orlando continues to instill confidence in allowing players to thrive in roles that suit their skill sets. Grade: B+ Defensive Backs Against a potential Heisman finalist, the Texas secondary held their own. Sam Darnold threw for close to 400 yards, but was challenged by the Texas defensive backfield for most of the game and never seemed to find a consistent rhythm until the final drive in regulation. There is no doubt that Holton Hill is the best corner on the roster. Hill recorded 2 pass breakups to go along with 7 tackles, including a key 4th down open field tackle. Devante Davis got his first start of the season and performed admirably, but gave way to Kris Boyd about midway through the second quarter. Boyd is lucky that he was not burned several times on pump fakes. John Bonney saw meaningful snaps, but unfortunately the only time you heard his name called was when he was de-cleated by a receiver on Ronald Jones touchdown on the last play of the first half. Speaking of Jones’ touchdown, it is tough to lay blame entirely on the defensive backfield for that play. All 4 receivers ran to one side of the field and allowed Jones the entire left side to navigate once he caught the ball. It did not help that Texas had Collin Johnson back playing safety and had several defenders following receivers into the endzone when the ball was caught. Brandon Jones and Deshon Elliott picked a good time to deliver their best games of the season. Elliott had 2 interceptions, including a pick 6 at the end of the first half, and was flying around the field all night. Texas could not defend the screen the entire game, but Elliott delivered the one bright spot when he blew up a screen 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Jones saw an overall slight decrease in snaps, but looked comfortable for the first time all year. He played the run solidly and was not asked to do too much in the passing game. PJ Locke flashed once on a 4-yard tackle for loss. Overall, the defensive backfield kept Texas in the game most of the night. When the Texas offense was struggling most of the game, the DB’s continued to stand strong and not let USC beat them with the big play. When it really counted though and Texas needed a stop in the 4th quarter with 39 seconds left, the defense allowed Darnold to hit big plays through the air to set up a game tying field goal. Texas will need to continue to get performances like these with quarterbacks that are awaiting them, but the progress being made is undeniable and Todd Orlando has to be pleased with how the unit is progressing. Grade: B- Special Teams The good news: Texas was a 100% on field goals in the game. The bad news: everything else involving special teams was not good. Joshua Rowland converted a 39-yard field goal for his first make of the season, and his kicks look to be getting better height. Michael Dickson had a rough night. The junior averaged a respectable 41.3 yards per punt, but shanked one early in the game. Later in the game, Dickson successfully ran for a first down on a fake punt, only to have the play called back due to a holding penalty by PJ Locke that was completely unnecessary. The coverage and return units still need a lot of work. Reggie Hemphill-Mapps fielded punts at his own 1-yard line, twice. He took the first one back 27 yards to give the Longhorns good field position, but pinned Texas inside their 5-yard line on the next return. The coverage units continue to allow good returns at the most inopportune times. After Texas took a 17-14 lead, the coverage unit allowed a 37-yard return to give USC excellent field position. For the 3rd straight week, I saw Rowland involved in having to try to slow down a return man on a kickoff, and that is not a good sign. Grade: D+
  12. The Texas Longhorns (1-1, 0-0) will face the USC Trojans (2-0, 0-0), the sixth meeting between the two teams, at the Los Angeles Coliseum today at 7:30 pm. Texas looks to carry their momentum from the 56-0 win over San Jose State last weekend and win its second straight game, in the team’s first road contest of the season. USC, ranked #4 in the country, holds a 2-0 record after defeating Western Michigan in the season opener, and dismantling #14 Stanford at the Coliseum last weekend. The two teams last met in the 2005 BCS National Championship Game in which the Longhorns prevailed 41-38. Texas coach Tom Herman boasts impressive career numbers against ranked opponents as a head coach, with a perfect 6-0 record against ranked opponents, including a 3-0 record against Top-10 opponents. Texas Longhorns vs. USC Trojans Date: Saturday, September 16th, 2017 Time: 7:30 PM CST Television: FOX Venue: Los Angeles Coliseum Location: Los Angeles, CA Relevant Articles and Information: Staff Predictions – Texas vs. San Jose State The Line: Trojans favored by more than two touchdowns over Longhorns Get to know USC: Offense Texas – USC: Can the Longhorns pull off the upset? Get to know USC: Defense/Special Teams
  13. The Vegas line on Saturday's Texas vs. San Jose State game has the Longhorns opening as 27.5 point favorites over the Spartans at Darrell K. Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin. Texas (0-1) lost its season opener to Maryland 51-41, struggling to find an identity on both sides of the ball in Tom Herman's debut as head coach. Quarterback Shane Buechele threw for 375 yards and two touchdowns, but the lack of a running game and offensive line issues proved problematic for the offense throughout the game. While the offense had its share of problems, Todd Orlando's defense wasn't without blame. The Maryland rushing offense gashed the Longhorns for 263 yards while the quarterback tandem of Tyrrell Pigrome and Kasim Hill combined for 219 yards passing. When it was all said and done the Terrapins amassed 482 yards of total offense. The loss to the Terrapins extended the team losing streak to four games, dating back to November 12, 2016. San Jose State (1-1) lost its season opener to Charlie Strong and South Florida 42-22, following up the loss by defeating Cal Poly 34-13 on Saturday. True Freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger could see playing time on Saturday against the Spartans, as Shane Buechele is nursing a shoulder injury sustained in Saturday's contest. Regardless of which player starts at quarterback on Saturday, wide receiver Collin Johnson says his focus is on his game. Whoever is in, I’m just going to do my part. I can’t control who is playing, but I can control what I do. My route depth, how I run my routes – that’s all I can worry about. I try not to get outside of what I can worry about. Whoever is in, I’m just going to do my part. This week San Jose State named redshirt freshman quarterback Montel Aaron as the team's starter for Saturday's contest. Aaron won the starting job after coming off the bench against Cal Poly, replacing a struggling Josh Love and leading the Spartans to victory. Texas, ranked #23 in both the Associated Press and Coaches Preseason Top 25 Polls, dropped from both after starting the season 0-1. The Longhorns look to right the ship on Saturday at 2:30 pm in front of an exasperated crowd that threw trash trash on the field as the game clock expired in the loss to Maryland. Game: Texas vs. San Jose State Date: Saturday, September 9, 2017 Time: 2:30 PM CST Venue: Darrell K. Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium Location: Austin, Texas Television: Longhorn Network
  14. Everyone in Corpus, Rockport, Port A, Port OC, Galveston, Houston, Padre Island, etc., please be safe this weekend. This is a bear of a storm. Don't take any chances and be smart. Hook Em! 🤘🏻
  15. The #23 Longhorns open the season against the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday at DKR. Texas (0-0, 0-0) vs. Maryland (0-0, 0-0) When: Saturday, September 2, 2017 Venue: Darrell K. Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium Location: Austin, TX Time: 11:00 AM TV: FS1 Relevant Articles/Information: Longhorns Name Team Captains for Season Opener Will Herman, Longhorns live up to Preseason Expectations? Analyzing the Longhorns Depth Chart against the Terrapins Texas vs. Maryland: Offensive Position by Position Breakdown Texas vs. Maryland: Defensive Position by Position Breakdown Staff Predictions: Texas vs. Maryland
  16. Article by Ross Labenske Longhorns begin the season ranked #23 in Associated Press and Amway Coaches Preseason Polls. Less than 9 months after former head coach Charlie Strong’s departure, the Longhorns find themselves ranked in the Top 25 of the Associated Press Preseason Poll - their first such ranking (#23) since the 2013 season. New head coach Tom Herman appears to be putting the pieces in place to right the ship in Austin, but success will ultimately be measured by wins and losses on Saturdays. Is a preseason ranking in the Top 25 warranted? Charlie Strong coached Texas through 3 losing seasons, losing 7 games in each of those seasons. And even though his efforts to change the program’s culture were considered successful, the football team didn’t perform on Saturdays. As a result the Longhorns found themselves looking for a new head coach. Tom Herman coached Houston for 2 seasons and won at least 9 games each year, including a big win against Florida State in the Peach Bowl in 2015. Herman followed up that win by beating Oklahoma to start the 2016 season and dismantled Heisman winner Lamar Jackson and Louisville the following Saturday. In short, Herman proved to the Texas administration that he could win and was the man for the job in Austin. But the Longhorns, ranked #2 all-time in games won by a collegiate football team, are desperate to turn things around. And with newly acquired head coach Tom Herman, heads are starting to turn towards Austin. Under Herman the program has renovated the locker room, weight room, and first floor of the Moncrief Athletic Complex to ensure that Texas has top-class facilities that can be used to grow and bring in new recruits. But will Herman and the new facilities translate to wins on Saturday? That much can’t be determined, but Texas has received the benefit of the doubt in years past when it comes to rankings. A recent article written by Greg Guglielmo of FiveThirtyEight provided evidence that suggests the Longhorns get more love than most teams in the August preseason rankings. In fact, over the last 20 seasons, the Longhorns have averaged a preseason ranking of 13.4, but ending the season as high as their preseason ranking has proved difficult. Texas has maintained the same ranking it started with 10% of the time, while improving just 20%. The other 70% of the time the Longhorns have gone down in the rankings. What does that translate to? Over the past 20 seasons (3 under Charlie Strong, 16 under Mack Brown and 1 under John Mackovic), the Longhorns ended with the same ranking they started with in 2 seasons, had a better ranking than what they started with in 4 seasons, and had a worse ranking than what they started with the remaining 14 seasons. This data suggests that since Texas is a traditional football powerhouse, and under (primarily) Mack Brown, his success on the recruiting trail allowed the Longhorns to achieve a high preseason ranking, only to not deliver the expectations that come with such a ranking. That, compounded with Strong’s failures and the hype from new maverick head coach Tom Herman (who proved he can win), has allowed the hype to reach a fever pitch in Austin. But many Texas fans are weary, as FiveThirtyEight’s data suggests, that the Longhorns may not live up to the expectations of the rankings, fans, and boosters. But this is a new era under Tom Herman. And for the first time in almost 5 years Texas is ranked in the preseason Associated Press poll at #23. And while fans may argue about the validity of such a ranking, the Longhorns are sitting pretty in August. But will it last? The data doesn’t suggest so, but at such a ranking the margin for error is slim, and even more so when the expectations are at a peak level for the new head coach. Will this Texas team fall prey to the past and fail to live up to expectations? Or will they light a spark that proves this data wrong and turn a dormant powerhouse around? Only time will tell, but the Longhorns begin work on September 2nd when they host the Maryland Terrapins in Austin.
  17. Story by Ross Labenske On Friday, Tom Herman announced his team captains for the 2017 Texas Longhorns football season. Included in the honor were seniors Poona Ford and Naashon Hughes, and juniors Connor Williams and P.J. Locke III. The announcement hardly comes as a surprise to most, but it represents a significant change from the previous coaching regime. Herman’s predecessor, Charlie Strong, did not use team captains during his tenure at Texas. Strong’s philosophy was centered around the notion that individuals didn’t define the team. Instead, the team should raise each other up together. There were designated leaders for the team in place of captains. While Strong’s rationale was noble in its intent, it deviated from the previous 122 seasons in which Texas football teams named captains. Senior defensive lineman Poona Ford has become more vocal since Herman and his team arrived, and was named the hardest working player on the team following the Orange-White scrimmage in April. His leadership and efforts were noted, as he was voted to become a captain and represent his teammates. Senior linebacker Naashon Hughes (only 1 of 3 players left from Mack Brown’s tenure) has emerged as a team leader entering his final season in Austin. His leadership has been praised in much of the same way Herman praised Poona Ford, and both seniors are looking to bring together a defense that has been decimated by opposing offenses the past few seasons. Junior offensive tackle Connor Williams is arguably the most talented player on the team and a budding NFL prospect. He will anchor an offensive line that has seen its share of injuries and lack of depth throughout Strong’s tenure. Junior nickelback P.J. Locke III rounds out the group. His leadership has been noted and praised by the Texas coaching staff, and his vocal personality and solid game performances have earned him the honor of being one of four season captains. The Longhorns have their work cut out for them, as they hope to bounce back from losing their head coach last season – and for Naashon Hughes and 2 others players, their 3rd coach in 5 years. As the old saying goes, “a new sheriff is in town,” and the energy in Austin, Texas is growing by the day in anticipation for the season opener against the Maryland Terrapins at Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium.
  18. Foreman makes another big play tonight against New England. Heck of a catch and run. https://twitter.com/joshnorris/status/899092293139017728
  19. I think Colin Johnson draws some heavy attention early in the season. This opens things up for John Burt. John Burt returns to the scene this year in a big way. Sophomore slump is ovah. 2nd choice goes to Brandon Jones. IMO, he solidifies himself in the secondary and ends up all conference as a sophomore.
  20. For possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of a weapon. Not going to go over well with the brass in Houston.
  21. After finishing as a finalist for the award last year, Texas offensive tackle Connor Williams has been named to the Outland Trophy Watchlist. And if we are being honest, he probably should have won it last year.
  22. Texas punter Michael Dickson has been named to the 2017 Ray Guy Award pre-season watch list, along with 28 other candidates. Dickson was a finalist for the award last season (first ever for the Longhorns) and ultimately lost the honor to Utah punter Mitch Wishnowsky. In 2016 Dickson averaged 47.4 yards on 65 punts for a total of 3079 yards.
  23. If you look at Texas schedule you have 4 games each month for 3 months also Sept & Oct each month has 1 Marquee game away from DKR. September Texas has to be no worse than 3-1. weakest opening 4 games in some time (Maryland,San Jose & Iowa st) but USC is best team Texas has played non conference since Ohio St 2005-06. October is the key with ou in Dallas and home games with Kstate & Osu road game at baylor. 3-1 record here and Horns bowl destination improves. November has road games at Tcu & Wvu Texas needs at least split here to have legit chance at 8 wins. home games with Kansas & Tech. if Herman can get 9 wins he will sign top 3 recruiting class for 2018
  24. Per Ian Rapaport, JC has signed a 1-year contract with the Broncos.

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