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CFN Take: Texas Blasts Tech, Stays Alive
2013 Texas Longhorns ... Head Coach: Mack Brown
2013 Record: 8-3|
8/31 New Mexico St W 56-7
9/7 at BYU L 41-20
9/14 Ole Miss L 45-23
9/21 Kansas State W 31-21
9/28 OPEN DATE
10/5 at Iowa State W 31-30
10/12 Oklahoma (in Dallas) W 36-20
10/19 OPEN DATE
10/26 at TCU W 30-7
11/2 Kansas W 35-13
11/9 at West Virginia W 47-40 OT
11/16 Oklahoma St L 38-13
11/23 OPEN DATE
11/28 Texas Tech W 41-16
12/7 at Baylor
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at Texas 41, Texas Tech 16
Basically … Texas got two touchdown catches from Mike Davis from 47 and seen yards out, and Case McCoy and Joe Bergeron ran for scores on the way to a decisive win to stay alive in the Big 12 chase. Texas Tech got up early on a 51-yard touchdown run from Ryan Erxleben, but the Longhorns took control with a 20-point first half scoring dash and were up 34-10 in the fourth helped by a strong performance from the D.
- Texas RB Malcolm Brown ran 27 times for 128 yards and Joe Bergeron ran 17 times for 102 yards and a score.
- Texas Tech QB Baker Mayfield completed 24-of-44 passes for 237 yards with a pick, and Michael Brewer completed 7-of-8 passes for 65 yards with a score.
- The red Raiders turned it over three times and committed 11 penalties for 102 yards. Texas lost two fumbles and committed six penalties.
- Texas WR Mike Davis caught four passes for 112 yards and two scores.
Oklahoma State 38, at Texas 13
Basically … Oklahoma State got up 14 -3 in the first half on two touchdown runs from Clint Chelf, and the O answered a seven-yard Malcolm Brown touchdown run with a 12-yard scoring pass from Chelf to Tracy Moore with just over a minute to play in the half, and the D came through with a crippling pick six from Justin Gilbert with 18 seconds to go for a 28-10 lead. Texas could only manage a 27-yard Anthony Fera field goal the rest of the way. Charlie Moore caught a 21-yard touchdown pass for the Cowboys.
- Oklahoma State QB Clint Chelf completed 16-of-22 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns with a pick, and he led the team with 95 rushing yards and two touchdowns on ten carries.
- Texas QB Case McCoy completed 26-of-39 passes for 221 yards with three picks.
- Texas outgained Oklahoma State 389 total yards to 380, but was -2 in turnover margin.
- This was the worst home loss for Mack Brown while at Texas.
Texas 47, at West Virginia 40 OT
Basically … In a wild back-and-forth game, Texas forced overtime with a 24-yard Anthony Fera field goal in the final seconds, and scored first on a two-yard Alex De La Torre catch. Steve Edmond snuffed out the West Virginia OT chance with an interception. It was a firefight that got wild late after West Virginia took a 26-16 lead on Charles Sims’ third touchdown run of the game. Case McCoy found Mike Davis on a 49-yard touchdown pass in the third and Joe Bergeron gave the Longhorns the lead on an eight-yard run. The Mountaineers wouldn’t go away with Dreamius Smith running for an eight-yard score and Mario Alford giving them the lead on a 72-yard touchdown catch. Texas had some chances to win in regulation, but had to settle for the Fera field goal and overtime.
- Texas RB Jonathan Gray was injured after running for 56 yards on eight carries, and Malcolm Brown ran 28 times for 89 yards and a score.
- In for an injured Clint Trickett, Paul Millard completed 16-of-32 passes for 259 yards and a score with two picks for the Mountaineers.
- Texas LB Steve Edmond made 12 tackles with a game-sealing pick. Desmond Jackson and Cedric Reed each came up with two sacks.
- West Virginia LB Jared Barber led the way with 14 tackles with a forced fumble.
at Texas 35, Kansas 13, Nov. 2
Basically … The Longhorns remained unbeaten in Big 12 play, getting a defensive score and a career-high four touchdowns from RB Malcolm Brown. Brown’s first two plunges in the second quarter broke open a scoreless game, while a Chris Whaley scoop-and-score gave Texas some breathing room in the third quarter. Kansas didn’t reach the end zone until Montell Cozart scored from 20 yards out with 3:39 left in the game.
- Texas DE Cedric Reed enjoyed a big day that included five tackles, three stops behind the line and a pair of sacks.
- Darrian Miller led the Jayhawks with 67 rushing yards on just nine carries.
- Longhorn QB Case McCoy had a rough day through the air, going 20-of-29 for 196 yards, no touchdowns and a pair of interceptions.
- Kansas amassed just 306 yards, while converting only 4-of-14 third-down attempts.
Texas 30, at TCU 7
Basically … A weather delay stalled the game in the first half, but that was the only negative for Texas as it got two touchdown runs from Malcolm Brown and three Anthony Fera field goals. TCU managed a 38-yard LaDarius Brown touchdown catch late in the first quarter, but the Longhorns answered with a 65-yard Marcus Johnson touchdown catch from Marcus Johnson to all but put the game away early in the second.
- Case McCoy threw two interceptions and only completed 9-of-19 passes, but the defense did its part and the running game was just effective enough to come up with the win. This wasn’t a perfect game by any stretch – Texas can’t seem to play the same game twice – but it’s still unbeaten in Big 12 play and has the world in its hands.
- With Kansas and West Virginia coming up, Texas should be 7-2 overall and 6-0 in Big 12 play before the fun final three games against Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Baylor. Before then, over the next few weeks, the offense has to find more pop, and it’ll probably have to do it without David Ash. Why? Super-frosh Tyrone Swoopes got in a few reps in place of a mediocre Case McCoy.
Texas 36, at Oklahoma 20
Basically … Texas stunned Oklahoma with a big start, getting a rumbling 31-yard interception return for a score from Chris Whaley and a 59-yard touchdown catch from Marcus Johnson on the way to a 20-3 lead. Two of Anthony Fera’s three field goals gave the Longhorns a 23-10 halftime lead, and the special teams did even more in the third quarter on a punt return for a score from Daje Johnson to put it away. OU had a pick six of its own from Geneo Grissom in the fourth quarter, but the offense only managed three points in the second half.
- 3-0, 3-0, 3-0. For all the problems, inconsistencies and issues, Texas is 3-0 in the Big 12 and it has a win over Oklahoma – that’s a pretty successful season by the standards of most places. It’s easy to point to the emotion of the game as the big reason for the great performance, but Texas simply tackled better. It wrapped up, it was more physical, and it was brilliant on third down D, allowing OU to convert just 2-of-13 chances. Texas, for once, used its athleticism and talent and it delivered a punch.
- Blake Bell looked lost. Most quarterbacks struggle under pressure, but Bell is at his best when he gets time to let the downfield plays develop, and he didn’t get that time. He completed just 12-of-26 passes for 133 yards and two scores, and while he connected on a few long plays, he didn’t deliver enough of them.
- Jackson Jeffcoat came up with a big, big game with two sacks, constant pressure, and tone-setting plays for the Longhorn defense. The entire Texas defense played one of its best and sharpest games of the year, but this win goes to Case McCoy along with the ground game. McCoy put the pressure on himself before the game, and outside of a pick six, he came through completing 13-of-21 passes for 190 yards and two scores. Johnathan Gray ran for 123 yards on 29 carries, and Malcolm Brown ran 23 times for 120 yards.
- The bad: Oklahoma’s offense put the defense on the field way too much. The good: Dominique Alexander had a great game making 19 tackles with a tackle for loss. Frank Shannon came up with 16 stops and a forced fumble.
Texas 31, at Iowa State 30
Basically … In a wild game, Texas avoided a disaster with two late goal line fumbles going its way, allowing Case McCoy to push his way in for the touchdown on the way to a 31-30 lead. Iowa State had one final shot, but after getting close to field goal range, a tipped pass fell into the arms of Jackson Jeffcoat to seal the Longhorn win. Texas started out the scoring with a 45-yard Johnathan Gray run on the way to a 10-0 lead, but Iowa State scored 13 straight points and appeared to be on its way into the locker room with a lead, but John Harris caught a 44-yard Hail Mary with no time left on the clock. The Cyclones took the lead back on a 97-yard Quenton Bundrage touchdown catch, and held a 30-24 lead late after Colt Netten’s third field goal of the day, but Texas rallied.
- Yes, Texas has a whole bunch of problems, and it might have gotten a huge break on the first of two Johnathan Gray goal line fumbles late, but the team could’ve seen the season go up in flames and it showed heart by coming back and hanging on. However, the Texas defense has to start wrapping up and stop bouncing off of runners.
- Iowa State’s Jeremiah George appeared to have come up with the big fumble recovery late, but Gray was called down. Even so, Georgia made 13 tackles with 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss in a brilliant day. He and running mate Luke Knott hit like the Texas defense should’ve.
- Case McCoy wasn’t perfect, but he didn’t throw any picks and completed 26-of-45 passes for 244 yards and score. Most importantly, he led the way on the final drive for the win.
- Iowa State deserved better. It was tougher and more physical, but the Hail Mary given up at the end of the first half, ten penalties and two turnovers hurt, and the door was left open. The Cyclones gained 100 more yards than Texas, but they settled for three field goals deep in Longhorn territory.
at Texas 31, Kansas State 21
Basically … Johnathan Gray ran for touchdowns from 21 and 15 yards out ad David Ash connected with Kendall Sanders from 63 yards away as Texas got control early and stayed in front throughout. Kansas State pulled within ten in the fourth quarter on a John Hubert four-yard run, and following a Malcolm Brown one-yard scoring run for Texas, the Wildcats kept it interesting with a one-yard Jake Waters score, but the Texas D held firm the rest of the way.
- The much-maligned Texas run defense allowed just 115 yards helped mostly by vastly improved play from the linebackers. Steve Edmond and Jordan Hicks combined for 18 tackles, while the line was most disruptive with Jackson Jeffcoat coming up with two sacks and five stops.
- Yes, the Texas run defense improved, but the secondary was lit up by Tyler Lockett, who came up with 237 yards on 13 catches. He also added 96 yards on kickoffs.
- In the nothing helps a defense like a good offense category, Texas settled things down with the ground game. The offensive line was more physical than it was over the last few weeks, and Johnathan Gray did his part with a tough 141 yards and two scores on 28 carries. The return of David Ash helped. Case McCoy completed 5-of-9 passes for 59 yards, while Ash added more to the mix hitting 14-of-25 throws for 166 yards and a score.
- Kansas State kept pressing, but it couldn’t do what it does best. Daniel Sams and John Hubert only got free for a few runs, and they couldn’t break off anything truly big. Hubert was kept to just 3.4 yards per pop.
Ole Miss 45, at Texas 23, Sept. 14
Basically … Ole Miss overcame a 23-14 first half deficit with 30 unanswered points. The Rebels took a 14-0 lead early on a five-yard Jeff Scott touchdown run and an 18-yard touchdown pass from Bo Wallace to Donte Moncrief, and roared back helped by Scott’s 73-yard punt return for a score and a 15-yard Wallace touchdown run. Texas scored all its points on a 23-poount first half run on three Anthony Fera field goals, a 13-yard Mike Davis touchdown catch and an eight-yard Johnathan Gray scoring run.
- Texas didn’t fare much better against the run. It wasn’t quite the disaster the BYU game was, but it wasn’t far off as the defense missed tackles and couldn’t come up with stops in the second half. The offense had its chances to get up big in the first half, but it settled for field goals on promising drives.
- Jeff Scott was unstoppable at times for the Rebels. The punt return for a score was a backbreaker, but he controlled the game with 164 rushing yards and a score. Bo Wallace ran at will, too, with 57 yards on 12 carries.
- How did Case McCoy do in place of the injured David Ash? 24-of-36, 196 yards and a touchdown with no picks. But where was the running game? Johnathan Gray wasn’t bad, but Malcolm Brown has gone MIA and Joe Bergeron was stuffed time and again.
- Ole Miss linebacker Senderius Bryant came up with a huge game against the Texas ground attack, making 11 tackles with a sack and three tackles for loss. There wasn’t much of a pass rush from the D, but it didn’t need one in the second half.
at BYU 41, Texas 20, Sept. 7
Basically … BYU ran for 550 yards with quarterback Taysom Hill tearing off big run after big run on scoring dashes from 68, 20 and 26 yards away. Texas tried to keep up early, helped by a 57-yard Mike Davis touchdown catch, but the defense couldn’t stop the Cougar offense. Davis added a 23-yard touchdown catch in the third, but the Cougars pulled away on two of Justin Sorensen’s four field goals.
- The Longhorns didn’t tackle, didn’t take proper pursuit angles, and always seemed two steps out of position. Linebacker Jordan Hicks made 15 tackles, and end Jackson Jeffcoat came up with seven stops, but there was almost no pressure into the backfield and few stops at the point of attack.
- Kyle Van Noy was Kyle Van Noy, making eight tackles with a sack, while Alani Fua came up with seven tackles and two sacks. The Texas running backs didn’t have any room to move.
- David Ash wasn’t horrible, completing 19-of-34 passes for 251 yards and two scores, but he couldn’t keep up the pace with Hill and the BYU offense. It was as if the Texas offense blinked and got down 20.
- How much does BYU want the Virginia game back? It’s all about consistency going forward. Hill didn’t throw all that well, but the running game was stellar for the second straight week. Jamaal Williams suffered a slight back injury, but he ran 30 times for 182 yards.
at Texas 56, New Mexico State 7, Aug. 31
Basically … Texas was a little sleepy early, getting down 7-0 on a Joshua McDonald touchdown catch in the second quarter, and then the alarm went off. David Ash bombed away with a 54-yard touchdown pass to John Harris and scoring passes from 66 and 24 yards out to Daje Johnson to pull away. The home runs kept on coming with a 55-yard run from Ash and a 74-yard pass play to Malcolm Brown as part of the 715 yards of total offense racked up.
- It took way too long to get going, but once Texas got everything in gear, it was a breathtaking show with speed, power and precision.
- Outside of two picks, David Ash was nearly perfect, completing 20-of-28 passes for 343 yards and four scores, and he showed off his speed with his long scoring dash on the way to 91 yards on the day.
- It’s a new era for New Mexico State football under Doug Martin, and at least the passing game worked. Andrew McDonald threw for 242 yards and a score with a pick, and he did what he could as a runner.
- On his return from injury, linebacker Jordan Hicks came up with six tackles. Also back from missing time hurt, defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat made seven tackles with a tackle for loss.
Why To Be Excited Enough is enough. Texas has the right mix of urgency, talent and experience to be back in the hunt for really big things once again. Considering the skill and athleticism across the board, this was one of the nation’s most underachieving teams despite the not-that-bad 9-4 record, but now there really aren’t any excuses. Ten starters return on offense with great depth, tons of speed and lots of young playmakers maturing at the right time. Major Applewhite is changing things up to a spread attack that should take advantage of the experience and the talent, but it’s going to take the entire offseason to make it all work effectively. Once the thing gets humming, look out. The focus will be on the offense this offseason, but eight starters return to a defense that led the Big 12 in sacks and tackles for loss. However …
Why To Be Grouchy Will the Longhorn defensive front be stronger, or will it get pounded on by anyone who decides to step up and bang away? Tackle Brandon Moore took off early to the NFL, and Alex Okafor is gone off the outside, but everyone else is back up front with the youth movement at the twos looking to step up. Texas gave up an unTexas-like 192 rushing yards per game and 29 scores on the year despite a who’s who of prep stars loading up the front seven and future NFL starter Kenny Vaccaro at safety. TCU, Kansas State and Oregon State combined for ten touchdown runs over the final three games. There’s plenty of work to do.
What Needs Working On The attitude. Again, everything is in place to not only have a great season, but to win the national title. Last year’s team was loaded with underclassmen still trying to figure out what they were doing, but now there shouldn’t be a weakness or an excuse if everything works like it’s supposed to. Oklahoma and Kansas State are rebuilding, Oklahoma State doesn’t have the same level of talent, and no one else in the league has the skill or experience the Longhorns do; anything less than at least a Big 12 title would be a miserable failure. The entitled team full players who came to Texas expecting more has to come out ticked off at the world while demanding nothing less than something special.
Non-Conference Games: New Mexico State, at BYU, Ole Miss
Realistic Best Case Record: 12-0
Worst Case Record: 8-4
Likely Finish: 11-1
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: New Mexico State, at BYU, Ole Miss, Kansas State, at Iowa State, at TCU, Kansas, at West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, at Baylor
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: Oklahoma
Schedule Analysis: The Longhorns can't take a favorable schedule for granted. Just when it seemed like things should've worked out over the last few seasons, they didn't. This time around, the first month should provide a few good non-conference tests with a road date at BYU and a home game against Ole Miss. Fortunately, the season opener against New Mexico State should help the team get ready. Unlike several other Big 12 teams, there's no off week to prepare for the conference opener - Kansas State comes to Austin right after the date with the Rebels.
It's not like Texas needs a bye week to prepare for the road trip to Iowa State, and it's going to be tough not to look ahead to the showdown against Oklahoma. The second of three off weeks comes before the trip to TCU to try to get revenge after last year's clunker. That's followed up by Kansas, at West Virginia and Oklahoma State for a not-that-bad run before getting a week to prepare for Texas Tech and the regular season finale at Baylor. Again, Texas can't assume wins like it used to, but the slate should be broken up enough to have a big year.
Team Concerns For 2013: It has to keep being said over and over and over again - can the Longhorns play up to their talent level? No one in the nation has more athletes and more prep superstars, but it doesn't matter if everyone doesn't start playing up to their potential. The biggest question is whether or not Mack Brown can actually find a way to take the team back to the level the program should be at after a disappointing year. The offense will be more than fine with ten starters returning, but it won't matter if the run defense isn't far stronger and far more effective after getting gashed time and again. Losing Alex Okafor and massive tackle Brandon Moore won't help the cause, but it's simple; the Longhorns have to be tougher and more physical.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Offensive linemen. After coming up with the nation's best class last season, there aren't a ton of holes to fill with this year's
paltry haul - it's not a top-shelf class. However, Mack Brown got his share of terrific talents for a few key spots. If Kent Perkins isn't the nation's best tackle prospect, he's close, while guard Rami Hammad and center Darius Hames are as strong as any linemen talents in America. the passing game didn't get elite of the elite receivers, but Jake Oliver and Jacorey Warrick would be class stars for just about anyone else, and quarterback Tyrone Swoopes is a future star.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 1. That Class Was Heavy On ... Production. Mack Brown opens the door and gets any in-state five-star talent he wants, but considering the top five-caliber recruiting classes year after year after year, the wins have to start coming. This year’s haul has no shortage of can’t-miss prospects with the secondary getting the most talent. The safeties will be strong, but the corners will be even better a slew of prospects coming in that would be instant starters for just about anyone else.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 3. That Class Was Heavy On ... Malcolm Brown. It’s Texas, so there’s the normal dizzying array of four and five-star talents across the board – the secondary, defensive line, and receiving corps are LOADED with this class - but the two things that truly matter are 1) the offensive line and 2) Malcolm Brown. The running back-by-committee thing hasn’t worked too well since Jamaal Charles left, and the hope is for the 220-pound Brown to be the fast thumper who can take over the ground game. Will the Longhorns finally have the front five to pave the way? Garrett Greanlea and Sedrick Flowers aren’t going to be ready right away, but they’ll need to be anchors as soon as possible. Fun stat: every recruit is from Texas.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 2. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Phenomenal
talent. The Texas haul of players would've been
gushed over even more if it wasn't for Florida's
epic class. The offensive backfield got a few
players, but there's superstar power everywhere else
with Mike Davis and Darius White leading a terrific
group of six receiver recruits. DE Jackson Jeffcoat
was the big pre-Signing Day story picking the
Longhorns over Florida, Oklahoma and USC, while
Reggie Wilson is every bit the star end prospect.
Mack Brown stole Ohio linebacker Jordan Hicks away
from Ohio State, Florida, USC, and Alabama, and got
Tulsa safety Demarco Cobbs from Alabama and
Oklahoma's clutches. Corner Adrian White should be
in the NFL in five years.
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 3. That Class Was
Heavy On ... defensive linemen. The Longhorns loaded up with elite players all across the board with the bulk of the star power coming on the defensive front. Alex Okafor will be a killer after he spends a few years in the weight room, and Calvin Howell and Derek Johnson will battle it out for the honor of being the next great Longhorn defensive tackle. Kyle Kriegel is a potential pass rushing terror, while Dominique Jones is a tweener who’ll see time on an All-Big 12 team before he’s through.