2013 Texas Spring Football Analysis
2013 Texas Longhorns ... Head Coach: Mack Brown
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 …
8/31 New Mexico St
9/7 at BYU
9/14 Ole Miss
9/21 Kansas State
9/28 OPEN DATE
10/5 at Iowa State
10/12 Oklahoma (in Dallas)
10/19 OPEN DATE
10/26 at TCU
11/9 at West Virginia
11/16 Oklahoma State
11/23 OPEN DATE
11/28 Texas Tech
12/7 at Baylor
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.