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  1. Well this past week has been a quiet one news-wise BUT don't confuse what is seen by the eye as to what is really going on underneath the surface- as the saying goes "still waters run deep!" A couple of weeks ago I had mentioned that information was going to get scarcer to come by going forward and that in fact has been the case. Why? We'll discuss that in week's edition of Crossfire as well as information that had already been shared as it pertains to the hiring of Steve Patterson and validate some of the information that has been already discussed as it pertains to his hiring. We will also talk in more detail about Terry Saban and her house hunting in Austin. Is it true that Saban upset with the Hicks boys? What does this mean for Nick Saban and his chances of coaching at the 40 Acres next season? We will answer all of that and more in this weeks' "Crossfire." First, I spoke to my contacts and shared information back and forth over the past few days and as I mentioned in the outset- information is tougher to come by these days. Why is that? Well first of all, things have changed a bit with the hiring of Steve Patterson as AD. One of the things that was shared with me by one of my contacts pertains to keeping things on the "DL". Saban was/is furious about these types of distractions taking place. Noise is clutter and Saban does not like clutter. He detests it! Saban's comment was, "Do these guys even KNOW HOW to go about hiring a Coach?" He was PISSED! Now before anyone panics reading this and says McPhaul is saying Saban aint coming to Austin let me be clear: I AM NOT SAYING THAT! I will get to predictions later I promise! What I AM saying is expect all negotiations to go into "double-secret probation" mode going forward with Patterson at the helm. There's a reason Steve Patterson is respected by agents the way he is. He is a professional and he truly DOESN'T do Clown Shows. Things will be done in a professional, confidential manner going forward with Sexton/Saban. During my previous "Crossfire" I posted that I had been told that there were a few AD's that Saban would prefer working with as opposed to others. Patterson, Haden (USC), Castilogne, Long (Arkansas), & Tanner (South Carolina's) were all included on the list that Saban would prefer working with. Glaringly missing on that list was Oliver Luck- but why? Keep in mind, Luck was the "odds-on" favorite of the Bellmont establishment. Powers felt comfortable with him as Deloss' replacement. Dodds felt comfortable with him as his replacement. We've been told that Mack was comfortable with Luck as the new AD. So what gives? Well perhaps THAT is the reason at the end of the day Saban didn't include Luck on that list? Perhaps he wanted someone OUTSIDE of the establishment as the new AD? Perhaps he wanted someone that he could go into a relationship with carte blanche from the outset as opposed to an AD that has loyalties with the previous establishment. Keep in mind, Saban has a certain way of doing things and doesn't deviate from that plan. If Luck is AD then Saban's approach to building a program might be compromised and prevent Saban from coming to UT altogether. In contrast, Patterson has been a President at a Professional Sports Program before. Patterson has been hired and Patterson has been fired. That being said, Patterson is the ONLY candidate that has faced all of the adversity of building a franchise/program from the bottom-up with professional organizations AND a Collegiate Athletic Program None of the other candidates can say this. Debate this if you want but this is what was shared with me. Furthermore with Patterson as AD, it is expected to be less bureaucratic and more "results oriented" than where we are today. I was told by several of my contacts to a person that one of the things that differentiated Patterson from Luck was the way Patterson talked about the ENTIRE Athletic Department AS A WHOLE and Luck seemed to be more focused on the Football Program throughout the interview process. Being an Athletic Department with more than 1 program limping along right now, that is probably a HUGE selling point to the AD Selection Committee- it would be to me and it was to my contacts! Another thing to consider is there are currently 500 student athletes and 400 folks in the Athletic Department to support each of those student athletes. With that kind of student athlete/Athletic Department support personnel you are talking about a bureaucratic monster that needs to be DRAMATICALLY reshaped and resized altogether! Hell, we are damned-near looking today at our Athletic Department having a ratio of damned near 1 administrator for every student athlete. As my contact said, "WHAT THE HELL IS THAT ALL ABOUT?" You would expect if we had an administrator for every student athlete that we would be winning National Championships in EVERY sport we participated in wouldn't you? You sure wouldn't expect that the University of Texas have a JUCO transfer football player not knowing whether or not they are academically qualified to practice/play until the 3rd week of Fall Camp! Keep in mind these 400 bureaucrats loyalties are going to lie with the powers that be that put them into power- namely Deloss Dodds. The bottom line is that that type of model for our Athletic Department cannot sustain itself and remain successful- there is just too much bureaucratic red-tape to hide behind. Now on to the reason you're REALLY here- what is going on with Saban coming to Texas. Cut to the chase McPhaul! Why is it so quiet on the Saban front? The Hicks' stuff you're referencing concerns us. Well, in the past I have been more conservative than Jesus and others coming in at 60%. Today that number changes. For the worse? For the better? What gives? From what I hearing, this quiet that we are witnessing means the relationship is very serious. Here is the rub on the Saban front. As I mentioned from the outset, Nick Saban is extremely disappointed in our inability to keep things quiet (Hicks brothers). However Saban is also concerned about our ability to effectively manage the Brown resignation in the time period we had led Sexton/Saban to believe we would receive Mack's resignation by. In addition, Brown still has the ability to make this an ugly situation with each victory with a Big 12 Championship and BCS Bowl all still a possibility. Saban does not want to appear as the coach that was hired at the expense of forcing the removal of Mack Brown when in reality THAT IS THE CASE! As things stand today, you are hearing it hear first: AS THINGS STAND TODAY, Nick Saban will be the Head Coach at the University of Texas next season. There! I said it! It's out of the bag! Now the fallout from Mack's perspective: from an image standpoint, Mack is extremely upset that his departure from Texas will look like he has been forced out. That is why his camp has continuously puts out the message that Mack will leave on his own terms when in reality they know it is the end for Mack Brown Texas Football. Understandably so, the members of the Selection Committee are squirming in their collective seats! You could not get anyone one of them to admit in public that they had wished Texas had already lost a game or two more but. Nevertheless, there is no denying that with each win, Mack Brown delays the deals they are trying to cement in bringing Saban to Austin. Consequently everyone involved from both sides wants the talks about Saban squelched. The good news is Mack has indeed confided to confidants that he is retiring at the end of the year (would match perfectly with his more relaxed demeanor on the sideline and in post-game interviews). Now for some additional information, I just finalized a conversation with my friend on the Board of Regents and he made an interesting comment. My friend told me that "Hicks absolutely had the blessing of Powers to approach Saban. Hicks got Hall involved for reasons he can't understand. Then he dropped the bombshell that there is money available from the people that you would expect to go and get Saban no matter what the cost." My contact however believes that the money will be so large that eventually Powers himself will be the person to push back on the finances of the deal. Right now, we're hearing the deal is $8.4M/yr. Our friend Santa Gertrudis leaked yesterday that Terry Saban had looked at a friend of his home on her last trip to Austin. To reiterate, the price on the home in question was $6.5M, 8,000 sq. ft home. On a different front, Paul Finebaum had been stating that the home in question was being looked at as a home for one of the Sabans' children (age 26 & 21). Santa somewhat debunked the assumption by Paul Finebaum that the house was a purchase for one one of the kids (again, who purchases a 8,000 sq. ft home for $6.5M for their 20 something year old kids as a starter home?). Well what I have learned is that Nick & Terry Saban have put a contract on a house in Austin that will close in late January. The contract would not be publicly available information and the purchaser was an LLC that has not been used before. I heard this prior to what was posted on IT last night, but that information is consistent with what I've been told. Finally, I have been catching some heat for my 60% belief that Saban will be the Head Coach at the University of Texas next season. My goal is to ALWAYS be truthful to our members and if I post something then it is genuine and NOT pre-fabricated for effect! Having said that, after what I have heard over the past few days I am ready to bump that percentage AS OF RIGHT NOW to 100%! That's right. I said it! 100%. Things change but AT THIS MOMENT UNLESS THINGS CHANGE I am saying it is a 100% chance Nick Saban is the Head Coach at the University of Texas next season. How's that for a "Crossfire?" Anyway, that's all I've got for now- and that should be enough. Until next week, "Hook em Horns and BEAT THE HELL OUT OF THE COWPOKES!" --McPhaul
  2. HornSports.com's Big Mike was able to wrangle a few minutes with CBS Sports Senior College Football Analyst Bruce Feldman to talk about the Longhorn program, conference realignment and the college football playoff system. Feldman discusses his thoughts on the Patterson AD hire, coaches out there that should get a look if the head coaching job at UT becomes available, and a whole lot more. The interview is approximately 17 minutes long and was conducted on Thursday, November 7, 2013. Click the play button below to listen. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mobile listeners click the following link to listen - http://www.hornsports.com/audio/HornSports_Bruce_Feldman_Interview.mp3
  3. Jones was charged today reportedly with aggravated assault (2nd degree felony) after punching a UT Tennis player in the jaw and breaking it. [tweet]311578605492781058[/tweet] This is unfortunate because Jones was poised to be a HUGE asset to the wide receiving corps this season. This is an aextremely severe charge and I expect him to be released from the team at some point in the near future.
  4. With the combination of a poor basketball season and an article written recently by a guy (C.J. Moore) in Kansas who was trying to defend Rick Barnes, I've been really thinking a lot about this Texas Men's Basketball program. In the article Moore states "What if [barnes] left Texas? Would the Longhorns be better off?" ...I have one answer to that. Yes. Yes a thousand times over. Article: http://www.basketballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2515 Of course my "yes" depends on the coach that is brought in... No average joe would do the trick. But The culture of Texas basketball is flawed. In the article, Moore raises good points. And I'll admit that there is no question Rick Barnes has elevated this program to a new high. But he has reached his ceiling, and has been stuck there for years now. And I strongly disagree with the overall argument Moore is trying to make. One that is defending Rick Barnes and basically saying "get off his back". Being a senior at The University of Texas, I sometimes have the opportunity to talk to people I know who are close to the athletes; who hang out with the athletes when they aren't in front of reporters or cameras. One of my friends who I sometimes speak with is close with the Texas basketball team. Today I ran into him on campus and began asking him how the team was holding up through this rough season. I'm not going to quote him directly because I didn't write down what he said word for word so you can take this for what it is, but he went on to tell me the team was doing alright. But that the players weren't huge fans of the culture Barnes has created. And that it's been that way for some time now. He added that the players were even beginning to be honest with recruits and telling them like it is. Telling them that if they want a good culture to try a place like Kentucky. It was disheartening to hear that. And I don't blame the players at all. They were being honest. But this reiterated to me that the culture of the Texas basketball program is flawed and not where it should be at a school like The University of Texas. Take from this what you want. It was a short conversation with a friend of mine who knows the entire Texas basketball team on a first name basis with every player. Rick Barnes may have elevated the program and put some players in the NBA. But I still believe the culture of the team needs to be improved, and that will only happen if Texas goes in a new direction at Head Coach. Hook'em
  5. 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
  6. 2014 UT qb commit Jerrod Heard led Denton Guyer to the 4A Division 1 State Title yesterday when the Wildcats beat Georgetown yesterday. Heard had 7, YES 7 touchdowns in the win yesterday. This kid is everything and a cup of tea. I am excited about Swoopes but staring at my watch for this kid to get on campus. WOW.
  7. Take it for what it is, but a friend of mine plays basketball at Gregory GYM on campus with one of the UT football players from time to time. I'm not naming this player right now. Anyways, my friend said the player and him were talking about the team a little bit. The player said David Ash could be good but he isn't focused on football enough right now. And that Case is too into himself. The player also said Mack is pretty much there to try to be the inspirational leader, but he really hasn't done that much coaching at practices. Not as much as the coordinators. Once again, I got this from a friend, but it's someone I trust and I know he's friends with the player.
  8. Just as many thought, the game Saturday was a shootout between two teams that are growing their young offenses while failing to fix their problems on defense. Led by Joe Bergeron’s 5 touchdowns, the Longhorns held on to beat the Baylor Bears 56-50 in a game that revealed more of the identity that this Texas team is showing; one that is very opposite of what many of us had thought before the season. These are in no particular order. 1. Joe Bergeron: I don’t feel comfortable saying that ground game is back on track because Baylor’s defense, like Texas’, has been one of the weakest in the conference. But it was reassuring to see Joey B and company have success against the bears like they were expected to. Bergeron had 19 carries for 117 yards and 5 touchdowns, just 1 shy of tying Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams’ six, which he accomplished twice in his college career. Though I would have been happy for Joey B, I found it fitting that he felt 1 shy because I have yet to see anyone at UT as good as Ricky was in the backfield. Along with Bergeron’s big day, freshmen Daje Johnson and Jonathan Gray both scored their first rushing touchdowns of the season. I said this before the season, but the strength of UT’s running game wouldn’t be displayed due to one running back taking over as the lead back, but because each of the running backs provide a different running style and brings something different to the offense. And that was very evident on Saturday night. This rushing attack will need to continue to be a strength of the team because it looks like the offense will have to carry the team to wins. 2. Jaxon Shipley, Mike Davis: For the second straight week Jaxon Shipley had only one catch the entire game. And for the second straight week Mike Davis had at least 5 catches. Some people are saying there may be something wrong with Jaxon but I’m not buying that right now. I think it’s more of a combination of defenses focusing in on Jaxon, and Ash spreading the ball around to different options. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see Shipley touch the ball 5-10 times a game. (But it is what it is… just kidding.) But I don’t think his lack of production is because of a secret injury. As for Davis, he is looking like the Davis of old and I’m happy for him because he is producing. Though he can still work on avoiding drops. He’s had a bad drop every now and then that has cost the team big time yards or points. 3. David Ash: Though he didn’t have a big game, he had a good performance and a solid showing after a rough weekend in Dallas. Ash eased a lot of my nerves and concerns by passing for 274 yards, 1 touchdown, and 0 interceptions. Aside from the OU game, Ash has continued to provide the offense with the passing plays that can make this offense one of the strongest and most balanced in the nation. And not only does he continue to make some nice throws but he isn’t doing anything to necessarily lose the game or put the team in a tough spot by making dumb mistakes (once again, aside from the OU game). The Bears defense wasn’t anything special but the fact that he was able to bounce back and have a solid showing the entire game after falling flat on his face in Dallas is a big sign of maturity and confidence for him. 4. Offensive Line: Give credit where credit is due, the offensive line was solid Saturday night. Ash was protected well, but more importantly the O-line was able to open up holes and get a push off the line for the running backs. Whether or not they were playing against a weak Baylor defense, as a team Texas rushed for 251 yards and scored 7 touchdowns, and that could not have happened without the offensive line playing well. 5. Turnovers: The game was a shootout and the difference was six points. But this game was won largely because Baylor committed two turnovers while Texas had 0. The defense did give up a lot of yardage and points, but the turnovers they forced played big parts in the game and led to two touchdown scoring drive for the Longhorns. Texas has had its problems on both sides of the ball all year, but the turnover ratio has actually been a bit of a strength this season, which is a good improvement from the past couple of seasons. Currently the Longhorns have tossed 3 interceptions (all by Ash) and lost 3 fumbles, but have gained 4 fumbles and picked off opposing teams a total of 9 times. That’s good for a ratio of +7, which is 22nd in the nation. If you want to see who ranks ahead of Texas, here is the link: SI.com - College Football - FBS Season Statistics - Team Turnover Margin 6. Flags, Confusion: There are a few signs in football that can almost always signal that a team is lacking discipline, adequate coaching, or both. Texas had problems with both. If I counted correctly, Texas committed 5 flags that totaled 52 yards for the Bears. Of those 5 flags ALL 5 were committed by the defense (defensive holding, rouging the passer, personal foul, pass interference, & offsides). In addition to the flags there were multiple times when the defense struggled to line up correctly with the offense, had substitution issues, and/or had to look to the sideline for the play because they were confused on what exactly to run. All of these problems fall on one person and that is defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. Sure the players are the ones causing the flags but Diaz is the one who should be coaching them not to. Diaz should also be the one coaching the defense to be ready for the play call, to be ready for the substitutions, and to play with discipline. I’ve been very impressed with the offense this year at how well they are able to substitute in between plays. It’s a luxury to have a plethora of players to insert onto the field, but sloppy substitution efforts, as displayed by the defense, completely nullify that advantage. Also, this far into the season there should have been no reason why the defense was having as many problems as they did lining up or understanding which play was called. There were at least 2 instances in the game where LB Demarco Cobbs was lined up on a Bear’s player who was split out furthest to the sideline in a multiple WR set. Normally you’d think a corner would be playing that far out. I’ll admit I’m not exactly sure if that was actually by design… But if that’s the case then that’s one weird play design. Either way, in addition to points allowed/yards allowed, the defense continues to show signs that they are not being coached well and are not playing up to standards expected. 7. Stopping The Run: In a game dominated by offense, Texas again struggled with stopping the run. Baylor rushed for a total of 255 yards and scored 4 rushing touchdowns. Watching the defense against the run is very frustrating and the problem starts at the line and with the linebackers. The D-line continues to get swallowed up and fails to shed their blocks. And the linebackers make poor reads and take themselves out of the play more times than not. This is very uncanny of Longhorn teams in the past and the defensive problems will continue to appear as long as teams are able to run the ball with success, like they have all season. 8. Lacking Instincts: Of all the injuries the Longhorns are dealing with, in my opinion Jordan Hicks’ injury is easily the most significant. Not only is the defense lacking leadership, but also his instincts and strong ability to react to plays are missing, especially at the linebacker position. Though Steve Edmond and Demarco Cobbs have different playing styles than Hicks, every great linebacker is usually good at having an idea of where the ball is going and/or being able to react to plays quickly as they develop. So far Cobbs, Edmond, and any of the rest of the linebackers haven’t shown any consistency or strength in that area. It should be noted that this is basically the first year that any of these guys are getting significant playing time. But currently all of them can still make large strides at reading the play faster and getting into the right position to make a play on the ball carrier. 9. Stepping Up: With injuries and inadequate play starting to plague the defense I liked how both Josh Turner and Cedric Reed played against the Bears. Turner made some good tackles and was responsible for the only interception of the night. And Cedric Reed showed some decent pass rushing ability and recorded a sack during the game as well. On the offensive side of the ball M.J. McFarland finally made a splash as he hauled in 1 reception for 29 yards. It appears that M.J. is finally improving his blocking enough to see more playing time. All of these players are underclassmen and have the entire rest of the season to display their skills in hopes of solidifying their roles and positions. I’d love to see each of them step up and win a starting job. 10. History: Texas continues to add to an uncanny year defensively by allowing the most points ever scored during a win for the school (Baylor’s 50). This defense is one of the worst in the country and I’ll be surprised if Manny Diaz is retained after this season. It took a lot of points and some turnovers to help the Longhorns get the win against the Bears. It may not have been a dominating victory, but this win was very important for this young Texas team after being completely stomped on by OU in Dallas. There are still a lot of problems with this team, specifically on defense. But at the same time there are things to like, such as the play of David Ash. If the defense could play at a high level like we all hoped they would then there is no question this Texas team would be a top-10 team. But according to Mack “it is what it is†and for now the offense is carrying this team while the defense continues to struggle. Hook’em Twitter: @WesKCrochet Email: Wes.Sports@hotmail.com
  9. What to Watch For Texas Longhorns Vs. Baylor Bears Here are 5 things I’m interested in most for this game. (No particular order). 1. David Ash: Much like the WVU game, this game against Baylor is shaping up to be a shoot out. I want to see how David Ash responds after his worst game all season. The Longhorns will need him to play his best football if they want to keep up with the Baylor offense all day. 2. Secondary: Baylor has many fast, quick receivers that are the strengths of their strong offense. Once again the secondary will be put to a test. Watching this squad has been deflating and I’d love to sit down with Duane Akina and get his take one what’s causing the regression in play. But you better believe Art Briles will challenge that group all night long. 3. Running Backs: The Longhorn offense was lack luster in Dallas last weekend and the running game didn’t even eclipse 75 yards. But I fully expect Joe Bergeron, Jonathan Gray, and the rest of the running backs to have big days against the weak Bear’s defense. 4. Defensive End: Jackson Jeffcoat is done for the season, which leaves the defensive end position opposite Alex Okafor open for any player to take it. Reggie Wilson will get the first crack at securing the job but freshman Shiro Davis and sophomore Cedric Reed will also get a chance to get playing time and compete for the spot as well. 5. Stop The Run: Though the Bear’s are more known for their passing attack, I want to see if the Longhorns defense has finally figured out an answer to stopping the run. This may be the most important aspect I pay attention to all evening long. If Texas could figure out how to stop the run, like have had for so many years, their defenses would make a big step in improvement. This game will tell everyone a lot about what type of team Texas really is this year. I think a win could put this team back on track. But a loss could derail the entire season. Right now the Longhorns are in a crossroad, and how they come out and play after the worst loss I can remember will say a lot about how they will come out and play the rest of the season. Hook’em The game on Saturday will be played in Austin, Texas. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 P.M. (CT) Notable Injuries: David Ash, QB (wrist – Probable); Jordan Hicks, LB (hip - Questionable); Donald Hawkins, OL (ankle - Questionable); Brandon Moore, DT (neck - Doubtful) Join in on the conversation. What will you be looking for? Twitter: @WesKCrochet E-mail: Wes.Sports@hotmail.com
  10. Prior to the annual Orange-White game, The University of Texas honored Heisman Trophy winner and former Longhorn running back Ricky Williams by unveiling an 8-foot bronze likeness of the star. With 20,000 + fans in the stands and a cast of notable attendees including famed sportscaster Brent Musberger, who made the call on November 20th, 1998 when Williams broke the all-time rushing record held by Tony Dorsett, Ricky Williams' place in Texas football was solidified... literally. "Ricky Williams provided the greatest run I have ever seen, against Texas A&M," said Musberger. Ricky's good friend and former teammate Wayne McGarrity was part of the celebration and addressed the crowd: "If Ricky were not here in 1998, there is no telling where this program would be today." Alumnus and long-time donor Joe Jamail praised Ricky's accomplishments and even poked a little fun by mentioning Austin's "Keep it Weird" slogan and saying "Ricky has done his part to contribute to that." Williams mentioned how honored he was to have a statue that will sit next to Earl Campbell's but noted that the statue represents the accomplishments of the past, the present and the future of Texas football, not just his individual achievements. The ceremony and the energy, passion and nostalgia that surrounded it will live in the hearts, minds and now, the reality of all fans of Texas football. Catch Ricky's record breaking run and call from Brent Musberger (and the Texas radio guys) below.

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