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My 10 Thoughts from the Texas vs. New Mexico Game By: Wes Crochet Score: Texas 45, New Mexico 0 The final score in this game was about what everyone expected but the way the game played out was completely different than what anyone would have expected… 1. First off, who in their right mind would have thought the Longhorns would have more yards passing than rushing and would score just as many touchdowns in the air as they would on the ground by the time the game was over? I sure as hell didn’t see that one coming. I figured they would want to open up the playbook passing wise to get Ash more experience passing the ball but not to the extent that they did. I liked it though. 2. What happened to the running game? As a unit the box score will show it was a pretty successful night on the ground as the Horns racked up 146 yards for an average 4.7 yards and 3 touchdowns. But when you break it down Joe Bergeron was the leading rushing with 49 yards and 1 touchdown on 11 attempts. Malcolm brown had a whopping 5 yards on 2 carries (anyone know if he was hurt or any explanation for that?) and the other running backs were either “ok” or produced in trash time during the game once Texas had a big lead. The offensive line looked like it was confused and struggling, and the run game was completely opposite of what it looked like last week. The running backs on this team are very talented but that doesn’t matter one bit if the offensive line can’t open up some holes (or even creases…) for the backs. I’m confused right now. 3. The defense was shaky again to start the game. In their defense it was a completely different style of offense than what they saw last week… At the same time they have the talent and potential to be one of the best, if not the best, in the nation. They need to clean up their act in the beginning of games if this team expects to win 9+ games. 4. So David Ash. He did pretty well huh? Actually I think so. Here’s my take on Ash. He is currently the best option at QB that the Longhorns have. And since Texas has moved toward more of a run first offense then Ash actually just needs to be decent enough to complete short-mid range completions when called upon and get lucky on the deep ball from time to time. Ash did that tonight. Sure he was playing a terrible defense but he out performed the running game and didn’t throw a single interception. I liked what I saw, even if the passes were mostly short-mid range throws. If he plays as well or better than what he did tonight then he will do exactly what he needs to do the rest of the season. 5. Another disappearing act for the night was D.J. Monroe. Where was he all night besides his td scamper towards the end of the game? To be optimistic, I hope that Harsin was trying to stash D.J. tonight so he can use him for more important games… I hope… 6. Why doesn’t Texas use Marquis Goodwin more and in creative ways? That’s a waste of talent to not utilize his skills set during the game. Same with Shipley. Come on now. 7. Along the lines of receivers I was happy with the way Mike Davis ran once he caught the ball. He only had 3 receptions but he made the most of those short passes by converting them into a total of 30 yards and 1 touchdown. He played well. 8. The current kickers are terrible. Get Fera healthy. 9. We all finally got to see Daje Johnson and more of Jonathan Gray tonight. Though this was against a sub par defense they both still played well and look like they will be big time players soon. 10. For anyone at the game tonight did you catch the announcer calling Jaxon Shipley “Jordan Shipley” on an occasion or two? I had a laugh at that one. I also loved seeing the Alumni Band. I was never in band but I love the UT band and tonight the half time show was stolen by an older baton twirler who was launching his baton into space and then managing to catch it as it came screaming back down to earth. He wasn’t able to catch it every time but everyone in the stadium loved his effort and the stadium erupted the times he did catch it. I know it’s very early in the season and there is still a lot of football to be played, many practices to be had, and much growth to occur but at the moment I feel as if Texas is still an 8 win team. But they do have the talent and potential to be a 10-win team again. They just need to clean their act up a bit. Hook’em. Twitter: @WesKCrochet E-mail: Wes.Sports@hotmail.com
What to Watch For Texas Longhorns Vs. New Mexico Lobos Of course everyone wants to see the two starting running backs go wild again. And of course everyone wants to see if David Ash can improve. But here are some things beyond those I just listed that I will be looking for and you can too. Texas is coming off its 13th straight home opener as they go into week 2 against the New Mexico Lobos. Last week the longhorns saw more of a spread attack but this week the Lobo’s triple option style offense is almost completely polar opposite from Wyoming’s in week 1. Here are 5 things I’m interested in most for this game. (No particular order). 1) How will the defense, specifically the inexperienced linebackers, handle this triple option style attack? This is a great test of their discipline, ability to make a play, and tackle well. 2) I want to see if D.J. Monroe can continue to be a factor on offense. He will be a valuable weapon all season long if Harsin/Applewhite can continue to figure out creative ways to get him the ball, and if he can continue to produce. In addition to his speed, he ran with surprising physicality last game. I like it. 3) Along the lines of Monroe, Daje Johnson could see his first action as a Longhorn and Jonathan Gray could build off his limited first performance and get some significant snaps. It’s only a matter of time before Gray gets used to the game speed and turns it on. His burst is unreal. 4) I harped on the offensive line harder than most last week but again I want to see if they can continue to gel into a stronger unit. Come on Espinosa… 5) We all know how bad the kicking game was last Saturday. But let’s say Fera isn’t ready to go by week 3 at Ole Miss… Can Nick Jordan or Nick Rose actually make a long field goal? I said this in a recent post, but the difference between Fera and the other kickers could be at least 1-2 wins this season. Like the Horns, the Lobos are coming off a big day on the ground. Last week they racked up 350 yards and 5 touchdowns on the ground (just 70 yards in the air). But Texas is way too big, athletic, and talented for the Lobos to have anywhere near the same success. I expect another big day on the ground for the Longhorns. *Side Note: New Mexico didn’t have a single turnover and only had 1 penalty flag last week. That’s impressive for any team. Prediction: Texas 41, New Mexico 10 Join in on the conversation. What will you be looking for? Twitter: @WesKCrochet E-mail: Wes.Sports@hotmail.com