Tag Archives: 2009

All My Exes Live in Texas

Well, at least more of them do now – and, of course, I’m referring to Texas Longhorn football coaches. With this week’s announcement that at least three, maybe four, coaches would be resigning from the Texas Longhorns football staff, there is quite a bit of work to be done to fill the void.

That said, there is one coach in particular that Texas fans can agree they’ll be glad to see go – offensive coordinator Greg Davis. While he did bring some success to Texas during his tenure (including a 2005 National Championship and the Frank Broyles award for the Top Assistant Coach), it’s been hard to assess whether his impact on his players and the program was good or bad. Now, he’s been reduced to fixing classic cars, ballroom dancing, and illeagl gun running, according to some sources.

Either way, after 13 years, Texas fans owe Greg Davis a “thank you” for all that he’s given the university, so on your behalf, EyesOfTX has taken a stab at a proper send-off, below.

Dearest Greg Davis:

It’s been quite a run you’ve had at the University of Texas and with the Longhorns football program. In your 13 years, you’ve given us many memories, and we couldn’t let you shrek off in to obscurity without highlighting out some of the moments to which we owe you thanks.

Thank you for convincing Ricky Williams to stay for one more year.

Thank you for benching Chris Simms in place of Major Applewhite in the 2000 Big 12 Championship game; one quarter sooner and we would’ve played for another national title.

Thank you for recruiting Vince Young, Colt McCoy, Garrett Gilbert, and Cedric Benson to Texas, but not for recruiting Chris Simms.

Thank you for starting Major Applewhite in the 2001 Holiday Bowl against #21 Washington.

Thank you for the bubble screen.

Thank you for allowing Vince Young to utilize his skills in the zone read offense.

Thank you for never getting the offense off to a fast start.

Thank you for figuring out a way to beat oklahoma 6 times (but not for losing to them 7 times).

Thank you for the play call to Quan Cosby on the final play of the game in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl.

Thank you for the quarterback option call on the fifth play of the 2009 National Championship game against #1 Alabama.

Thank you for boosting Colt McCoy’s sense of self-worth by limiting our running backs enough that he was the leading rusher 9 out of 10 games.

Advising Mack Brown on various weight loss schemes that took him from…in the words of “Can’t Buy Me Love,” geek status, to king status, to no status.

Thank you for resigning.

We appreciate your time in Austin, but are ready for and in need of an offensive change that doesn’t take three years to implement. We will try to forget your ignorance around teaching the quarterbacks how to read the blitz, for not figuring out how to run a successful screen pass to the talented running backs, for throwing for one yard wide receiver bubble screens on 3rd and long, for running a set type of offense with the wrong kind of player personnel, for never getting the most out of the talent on the field, and for thinking you were better than you were and never understanding where you made mistakes and fixing them.

We hope you enjoy your time away from football and the University of Texas, we will.

Best,
Fans of the University of Texas football team

What’s missing, ‘Horns fans? What would you like to “thank” Greg Davis for after all of these years?

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‘Horns QB McCoy Receives Davey O’Brien Award

This week, Texas QB Colt McCoy was finally presented with the 2009 Davey O’Brien Award, given to the nation’s best quarterback.

While the award winner was announced in December, McCoy traveled to Fort Worth with Texas football coach Mack Brown to receive the award at an awards banquet featuring former quarterbacks Dan Fouts, Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach, Jim McMahon, Charlie Ward, Brad Banks, and Jim McPherson.

McCoy, as quoted on MackBrown-TexasFootball, would say about the award, “It’s such an honor to even be mentioned with the quarterbacks who have won this award. To win an award in the state of Texas, an award that Vince (Young) won and honors the legacy of Davey O’Brien, it makes it that much more special. I’m truly humbled, and I wouldn’t be here without coach Brown, the coaching staff and my teammates.”

McCoy is the third Longhorn to win the award, following quarterback Vince Young (2005), and running back Earl Campbell, who won the award in 1997 when it was awarded to the best player in the Southwest.

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Texas Longhorn Football Updates

While there was some positive news in December for the Texas Longhorn football program – including their third Big 12 Conference title and their second trip to the national championship in five years – there have also been some foul-ups leading up to the big game in Pasadena on January 7, 2010. Let’s review the latest and greatest from Austin.

DB Marcus Davis To Transfer
Arrested earlier this season for driving while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance, Davis had been suspended by head coach Mack Brown indefinitely until the legal process had run its course. In December, Davis voiced his decision to transfer, and has been released from the program. He has not yet declared where he will transfer. Davis played in five games this season as a back-up defensive back and on special teams. He totaled four tackles, two on special teams, but hadn’t registered on the stat sheet since September.

WR Brandon Collins Arrested; Kicked Off Team
Collins, who was supposed to be part of the upcoming wide receiver leadership for the Longhorns in 2009, has been suspended since the beginning of the season due to lack of progress against his degree. While he had still been practicing with the team, the NCAA did not reinstate his eligibility throughout the course of the season. Only days ago, Collins was arrested in Pflugerville, Texas, driving a car that was part of an armed robbery outside a fast-food establishment, where apparently Collins and the other suspects were trying to buy marijuana. Charged with two felony counts, Collins – who did not travel with the team to Pasadena – has been dismissed from the football team.

HS Phenom WR Commits to Texas
On a more positive note, Fort Worth Dunbar wide receiver Darius White, ranked as the #1 WR on ESPN’s top 150 recruiting board and #9 overall, verbally committed to Texas at the Under Armor All-American game on January 2. At 6’3” and 195 pounds, White has the potential to come to Austin and make an immediate impact at his position with the departure of senior Jordan Shipley. White becomes Texas’ 22nd commitment for 2010, it’s first 5-star recruit in the class, and the 13th commitment from the ESPNU 150 list in a class loaded with defensive talent.

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Fantastic hits from the bowl season…

Although the Big 12 Conference and Oklahoma State didn’t pull the victory – a 21-7 loss, and 12 turnovers in the game, really? – this was one of the better hits in the 2009 college football bowl season thus far. Well done, Markelle Martin.

Unfortunately for Jevan Snead, in addition to getting nailed in this clip, he also didn’t have the season he had hoped for in 2009. If he’s smart, he’ll stay another year at Ole Miss before declaring for the NFL draft…he could use it.

Or, maybe he should have stuck around Texas – although on the bench – to have a shot at a national championship ring.

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Game Preview: Texas Longhorns v. North Carolina Tar Heels

Saturday, December 19
2:00 p.m. ET
ESPN

In what is building up to be one of the biggest games in recent Texas basketball history, the unbeaten and #2-ranked Texas Longhorns will face off on Saturday afternoon with the storied #10-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels in the new Texas Stadium in Arlington.

#2 Texas Longhorns (9-0)
The ‘Horns have yet to face an elite opponent in the 2009 season, yet after starting off the year ranked #3, they’ve quietly crept their way up to #2 right behind Big 12 Conference foe Kansas. As you may know, the 2009 squad is loaded with talent, including returning seniors center Dexter Pittman (13.7 points and 6.2 rebounds/game) and forward Damion James (15.4 points and 10.1 rebounds/game), not to mention a swath of talented freshman from across the country that allow Texas to go deep in to games with fresh players. All told, the ‘Horns have five players averaging double-digit points per game, but they will need to rely upon the experience and leadership of the seniors on the big stage, and lay off the 3-point shot, which has been their go-to shot selection early in the season.

Texas center Dexter Pittman

To be successful in this game, and down the stretch, head coach Rick Barnes has to get more production out of his players at the free throw line, where they have been miserable to-date with only two players shooting better than 70 percent from the line. Those “free” points will help Texas extend and hold a lead late in games, and it will be critical not only to Saturday’s match-up, but to their long-term success in 2009.

Coming in Saturday’s game, the ‘Horns have a few key injuries including guard J’Covan Brown (who has been cleared to play) and forward Shawn Williams (who will not play) – both sustained left ankle injuries in the game against Texas State last week.

#10 North Carolina Tar Heels (8-2)
The Tar Heels are young and talented as well, and despite two early season losses to #24 Syracuse and #4 Kentucky, they have knocked off #15 Ohio State and #9 Michigan State. In addition, the Tar Heels have experience on the bench against the ‘Horns by way of former Kansas coach Roy Williams, who led his Jayhawk teams against Barnes in year’s past. Williams’ current squad is led by two strong forwards in Deon Thompson (averaging 17.1 points and 8.1 rebounds/game) and Ed Davis (14.0 points and 9.5 rebounds/game), but also get strong play from their point guards Marcus Ginyard and Larry Drew II. All told, those four players average about 28 minutes a game, and the Tar Heels are capable of playing deep in to their bench just like the ‘Horns. Without a true center, however, it will be interesting to see how they match-up against Texas’ Pittman in the paint, not to mention guard/forward James who can play inside or out for the Longhorns.

For a full preview, including strengths and weaknesses of both teams heading in to Saturday’s match-up, check out this article on ESPN.

Hook ‘em!

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2009 College Football Award Results

2009 Heisman Trophy
In the closest balloting ever in the history of the Heisman Trophy, yet another sophomore was named to the lifelong fraternity of football elites earlier this month in New York City.

Following in the footsteps of Florida QB Tim Tebow and oklahoma QB Sam Bradford when they were sophomores, the 2009 award was presented to Alabama RB Mark Ingram, but he won only by the slimmest margins (28 votes), over surprise second place vote-getter Stanford RB Toby Gerhart. Texas Longhorn QB Colt McCoy finished third in the balloting, ahead of Tebow – who made his third trip to NYC as a finalist for the award – and Nebraska DT Ndamkong Suh. While McCoy finished third overall, he didn’t take the Heisman voter’s Southwest region, which went to Suh, and even failed to win over his hometown sports reporters (the Austin American-Statesman, whom has four Heisman voters, had only one pick McCoy as their 2009 winner – there reasoning here). Here’s hoping Ingram will one day help quiet annoying former oklahoma sooners RB Billy Sims, who continues to embarrass the trophy’s name with his awards show antics of yelling or promoting “Boomer! Sooner!” during the live broadcast.

In the end, Texas fans fear not. Recent memory proves that Texas football – including players who have been runners-up for the Heisman Trophy – have extremely good luck in the bowl games against Heisman winners. Especially when the national championship is on the line. Webster defines that: “See also: 2005.”

Other notable Big 12 Conference Award Recognition
Texas Longhorns QB Colt McCoy
Maxwell Award – Honors the nation’s best all-around player.
Walter Camp Football Foundation’s Player of the Year Award – Honors the nation’s player of the year; this is the second consecutive year McCoy has won the award.
Davey O’Brien Award – Honors the nation’s best quarterback.

Nebraska Cornhuskers DT Ndamkong Suh
Chuck Bednarik Award – Honors the nation’s best defensive player.
Outland Trophy – Honors the nation’s best interior lineman.
Lombardi Award – Honors the nation’s top lineman.
Bronko Nagurski Trophy – Honors the nation’s top defensive player.

While several other Texas-state (TCU DE Jerry Hughes) and Texas Longhorn players (WR Jordan Shipley and DB Earl Thomas) were finalists for the aforementioned and other national awards, including the Jim Thorpe Award honoring the nation’s best defensive back and the Biletnikoff Award honoring the nation’s best wide receiver, Tennessee DB Eric Berry and Notre Dame’s Golden Tate won those awards respectively.

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Saturday in Arlington: What went right, wrong?

With a national title berth on the line, Saturday night’s contest for the Big 12 Championship between the Texas Longhorns and Nebraska Cornhuskers was a game for the ages. While Texas QB Colt McCoy probably lost the Heisman Trophy with his performance, McCoy got his team’s wish of delivering on the chance to play for the national championship in Pasadena leading the ‘Horns to a 13-12 victory. Let’s take a look at what went right and what went wrong for both squads on Saturday night in Arlington.

Texas Longhorns
What went right?
Well, not much, really. While the Nebraska defense was superb, Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp and his squad’s effort should not be overshadowed. In a game where the Texas offense couldn’t stay on the field, the defense was asked to step up and keep the game within reach and they did. The defense gave up only 106 yards offensively to Nebraska – 39 passing and 67 rushing – and yielded only five first downs the entire game while tallying three turnovers.

The kicking game – and we’re talking the field goal unit only – was the star of the night. Senior kicker Hunter Lawrence was the epitomy of calm on Saturday night, as he was 2-for-2, including his game-winning 46-yard field goal as time expired.

What went wrong?
The Texas offense was absolutely pathetic. In large part, Nebraska’s defense is to blame – they played fantastic across the front four and in to the secondary – as they pressured McCoy all night, and locked down every receiver Texas threw at them. If Texas was going to play Alabama for the national title, the Nebraska defense gave them the best preparation they could ask for, and Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban will bring a similar defensive attack in Pasadena. As mentioned, with only 184 yards passing on 20-of-36 attempts and three INTs, McCoy did everything he could to potentially lose the Heisman Trophy race. As expected, the running game was also dominated by the Nebraska front four, gaining only 18 total yards (keeping in mind McCoy’s sacks contribute to that total). All told, the Texas offense gained only 202 yards of offense and 17 first downs on the night. Pure and simple, the offensive line played like a pee-wee team against one of the best defensive tackles in college football. Period.

Special teams continues to be a concern for the Longhorns as well. While there were no game-changing plays in the kicking game, they were far from perfect, as they gave up a big return late in the game that if not for Nebraska’s anemic offense, could have spelled trouble. Combine that with the partially blocked punt, and this group needs to get their edge back. Saturday’s game marks three games in a row where the specials have looked anything but, and it will need to get fixed before the national championship.

Nebraska Cornhuskers
What went right?
Obviously, the defense was phenomenal. The unit racked up nine sacks on the night, with 4.5 from defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh alone, and they held Texas to well under their season average in points and yards. More impressive, perhaps, was the effort from their secondary, which covered everything underneath and gave McCoy no where to throw when he was under pressure. They also kept Texas off the field with three key INTs, two of which were more on the receivers than McCoy, but eliminated Texas from getting any rhythm on offense. Despite the loss, the defense earned back the “Blackshirts” mantra of Cornhusker lore on Saturday night.

What went wrong?
The offense. If Texas’ offense was pathetic, the only word to describe the Nebraska offense is inept. Here again, the Texas defense played a large role in inhibiting the Cornhuskers to put up any points, but when your offense is geared to the run, and that is the Texas defense’s strength, you’ve got to try some different things offensively. The Cornhuskers’ offense managed only 1.93 yards per snap, and their stout running game had no back carry the ball more than seven yards on a single carry. Yikes. Early on, the Huskers tried to use play-action to tee up the long pass, but the Texas defensive backs came up with two big INTs when QB Zac Lee looked downfield. Lee can play better, but his Saturday night should leave all Big Red fans wondering his future at the position.

Moving Forward
In the end, a highly-desired BCS controversy was averted, and TCU and Cincinnati can sit back and think back to just how close they came to making their run for a national championship. Early BCS projections (although the final announcements will come 5:00p PT on Sunday) have Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl facing Florida, while TCU and Boise State would match-up in the Fiesta Bowl, the first time a BCS bowl outside of the national championship game would host two undefeated teams. To round it out, Iowa (most likely) or Penn State would play Georgia Tech (ACC champ) in the Orange Bowl, and Oregon (Pac-10 champ) and Ohio State (Big 10 champ) will play for the Roses in Pasadena.

In the coming weeks, post-season awards will be won and lost, and bowl games will decide the fate of many schools 2009-2010 seasons. Come late Saturday night, however, McCoy and his team won the best post-season award of all – the Big 12 Championship and a chance to play for the national title.

Hook ‘em!

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