Tag Archives: Rice Owls

It’s For Real, ‘Horns Fans

It’s about time. No one ever wants to see wholesale changes in a coaching staff, especially one that has been together as long as Mack Brown’s Texas Longhorns staff. But, after the first losing season for Texas football since Brown’s arrival in 1997, it is time for some change.

Early reports indictate that several coaches have either resigned, or at a minimum told their players that they won’t be returning next season. The key departure (good or bad depending on your alliances) is offensive coordinator Greg Davis, who has been with Brown for all 13 years at Texas, not to mention his tenture at North Carolina and Tulane before coming to Austin.

In addition, offensive line coach Mac McWhorter, defensive line coach Mike Tolleson, have confirmed they are resigning, and wide receiver coach Bobby Kennedy is rumored to also be leaving the staff (although that has not yet been confirmed). That leaves a lot of holes to fill on the coaching staff, but they were all areas where the Longhorns have struggled the past 2-3 years. You can find more on the departures here, and it appears as though Mack Brown will not try to fill the positions until after the bowl season concludes. The resignations will also not be effective until August 31, 2011, when each of the coach’s contracts expire, although they could leave sooner if they are hired away by other teams.

Who are the likely candidates to fill some of those roles, you ask? Let’s pontificate, based on some rumors circulating Longhorn nation. Keep in mind, current defensive coordinator and future Texas Longhorns head coach Will Muschamp will also have some pull in hiring the new coaches, so he might help Brown and the staff dig in to SEC coaching talent as well. No doubt, with some top coaches departing, the ‘Horns will have some money to spend in the off-season to get top-notch talent.

Dana Holgorsen (Oklahoma State offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach): Lead the nation’s #1 offensive juggernaut in 2010, and made a former Major League Baseball pitching prospect one of the best quarterbacks in the Big 12. It could be tough to grab Holgorsen, though, as he’s an in-conference coach, and Cowboys alum and millionaire Boone Pickens has plenty of money to donate to keep a winning staff together in Stillwater.

Bob Bostad (Wisconsin running game/offensive line coach): When you think of the Badger’s offense, the first thing that comes to mind is a stout running game that is based on the success of an offensive line that can run block with the best in the counry year-in and year-out. The downside is Bostad hasn’t called the plays and would have to learn on the fly or defer to another member of the current Texas offensive staff (see also: Major Applewhite). Would be a solid hire as an offensive line coach, but that might not be the type of “promotion” or long-term growth opportunity that is attractive to a successful assistant coach.

Major Applewhite (Texas running backs coach): A natural progression for Applewhite, and more the likely one of the reasons he took a demotion from previous roles to come to Texas in the first place – to be Greg Davis’ replacement. As a former quarterback, he can help groom future talent, and he’s also called the offensive plays for Rice and Alabama (under none other than Nick Saban) in previous stints. He’s young – yet experienced, more than capable, repsected by the players, has name recognition and in-roads to Texas-state talent, and it is a guarantee that he wants the job.

Mark Helfrich (Oregon offensive coordinator): As much as EyesOfTX despises all things Ducks, this might be a great hire. Helfrich has only called the plays for the “Zeroes” for two years, but their offense has been prolific during that time – and he’s got the Ducks playing in the national championship game the year after his starting quarterback transferred and his best running back went off to The League. Not bad. This one comes down to how much Nike, er…Phil Knight, er…the university is willing to pay to keep him around.

Bryan Harsin (Boise State offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach): This would be an interesting hire, but might be difficult given Harsin’s a Broncos graduate. It’s hard to get talent out of Boise, as head coach Chris Petersen has a well-oiled machine under his helm. The question remains whether Boise State talent can climb up the rungs and be successful at the next level – see also: former head coach Dan Hawkins, who floundered in his attempt to translate his success in Boise to Boulder and the Universityof Colorado.

Stacy Searels (Georgia line coach): There is some history with Searels and Will Muchamp, and the SEC connection might help draw him to the Lone Star State. While Searels has seen success at Georgia in previous years, the past several years have been struggles for the Bulldogs. Is that what Brown and Muschamp want to bring to town?

We’ll see how things pan out, but expect some big changes in the next month or two.

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Week 2 Game Preview: Texas Longhorns v. Wyoming Cowboys

One week is in the books, and by the look of the Longhorns on the sidelines at Reliant Stadium last weekend, they couldn’t be more relieved. Unless they were the oklahoma sooners or the LSU Tigers. Texas wins handily, 34-17, but it’s not without some work to be done heading in to week two. For college football fans everywhere, it was a fun five days of college football to open up the season.

Everyone says that a team improves the most from week one to week two, and ‘Horns fans across the nation who have lambasted the team since Saturday want to see some changes. Let’s be clear, nothing was awful, and Rice was a much improved team from their 2-10 season a year ago. But, the coaches need to get the guys back in front of the tape and fix some issues before an emotionally-charged Wyoming team comes to town.

Here are some quick thoughts on the ‘Horns in week one:

QB Garrett Gilbert looked solid – no mistakes, no sacks, a few missed throws, and some lasers that NFL scouts would get excited about. He finished 14-of-23 for 172 yards, with no TDs and no INTs.

The running game isn’t quite we expected after the pre-season hype. Maybe offensive coordinator Greg Davis needs to reset expectations for Longhorn nation. Starting RB Cody Johnson (15 rushes, 59 yards) looked good early, but apparently sprained an ankle on the second play of the game. Tre Newton (18 carries, 61 yards, 3 TDs) was the most productive in the red zone, and Fozzy Whittaker (9 carries, 51 yards) had the most “excitement” potential.

The offensive line blocked better for the run than they have in the past, but there are improvements to be made on blocking the back side of a running play. They didn’t give up any sacks. Continue to block downhill, boys, and finish those blocks downfield.

The secondary looked solid, but gave up some poor plays for TDs at the end of the half and the game. CB Chykie Brown looked as lost as Michael Oher staring at balloons in “The Blind Side.” Plus, they should have had two more “pick-sixes.” On a positive note, safety/nickel back Kenny Vaccaro looked ridiculous and was all over the field.

The defensive line was spectacular – they controlled the line of scrimmage and made key plays to pressure Rice’s QB all game – whether sacks or poor throws. Someone still needs to step up to fill the DT spot next to Kheeston Randall.

The player of the game was definitely LB Keenan Robinson, who tallied six total tackles, an INT, and a fumble recovery returned for a TD – good enough to be co-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week.

Alright, enough about last week, let’s focus on head coach Dave Christensen’s Wyoming Cowboys and week two.

Texas Longhorns v. Wyoming Cowboys
6:00 p.m. CT (FSN, Comcast Sports)

Prediction:
Texas 52, Wyoming 17

Wyoming’s Keys To The Game:
Wyoming head coach, formerly of Missouri Tigers offensive coordinator fame, enters his second year in Laramie, and while his Cowboys gave Texas a run for their money for one half of football in 2009, he’ll want to bring his work-in-progress, high-powered spread offense to DKR-Memorial Stadium with an upset on his mind. Let’s face it, he’s had enough of a bashing from the ‘Horns during his days in Columbia.

Wyoming QB Austyn Carta-Samuels

To lead his spread attack, Christensen has entrusted sophomore QB Austyn Carta-Samuels (a.k.a. ACS), who saw some time in last year’s contest replacing their starter, going 7-for-12 for 68 yards. Against a sub-par Southern Utah team in week one, ACS was 26-for-32 for 319 yards, with three TDs and one INT. He’s a solid QB in that he has decent speed, a good arm, and makes good decisions – but, against a stout Texas defensive line, ACS could struggle to find time to get the ball to receivers. Expect to see him roll out to avoid pressure, and complete short passes to keep the offense on the field and producing positive yards in minimal increments.

Their top receiver is the returning David Leonard, who has the size to create plays for himself downfield – he’ll be the focus for ACS in the passing game. Wyoming typically runs an offensive scheme with four wide outs, but none of the other WRs pose a major threat – they’ll do what their asked, but nothing spectacular. The running game is even more anonymous, and given they only ran for 36 yards on 25 carries last week against a D-II team, Christensen won’t work on the team’s running game against the ‘Horns. Rather, those backs will be used for pass protection, or slip screens out of the backfield to keep the Texas linebackers honest.

On defense, they struggle – even though they have some talent on the field. They gave up 24 first downs to Southern Utah last week, including 191 yards rushing and 193 yards passing. The Cowboys defense kept their team in the game just enough to win, 28-20. The expectation is that they’ll focus on stopping Texas’ running game – like everyone else, they know Texas is keying its offense early in the season on rushing yards – and force Gilbert to throw the ball downfield and convert first downs and points.

If the Texas defense performs up-to-snuff, the Cowboys are going to have a hard time in Austin – especially in front of a home-opener crowd that has 70,000 more screaming fans than War Memorial Stadium can hold in Laramie. Rumor has it they’ve been pumping crowd noise in to their practices this week – but, perhaps that shouldn’t be their focus.


Texas’ Keys To The Game:
Keep it simple, but grow the offense. In week one, the ‘Horns looked solid. Nothing spectacular, but they went out and did their business. Head coach Mack Brown chastised the team in his post-game news conference saying they didn’t seem excited. With the youth on this team, it was probably nerves, but it’s the regular season and time to get jacked up. Not in the “get you arrested” kind of way, either.

With week two, Will Muschamp’s defense will see their first Big 12-like offense, and the secondary will be put to the test. Tackling in the open field to prevent yards after the catch will be key, and coverage schemes will be criticized from both sidelines – most importantly for Texas, keep the opposing man in front of you. Time of possession will be key for the Cowboys – they’ll want Gilbert and the Texas offense on the sidelines as much as possible to stay in the game – so the ‘Horns defense needs to force turnovers or push hard for three-and-outs. This week, Vaccaro might very well take a Wyoming receiver’s helmet home with him, if S Christian Scott doesn’t first.

Texas RB Tre Newton

On offense, the ‘Horns need to keep working on the running game – Newton is expected to get the start – and the offensive line needs to finish their blocks to spring the quicker and faster backs, including Whittaker. But, expect to see offensive coordinator Greg Davis open up the playbook with Gilbert this week, and WR Malcolm Williams to have another solid day…the spark was lit last week. If the offense can get on the field consistently and is balanced and successful the ‘Horns should be able to eclipse 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing on the day.

All-in-all, the ‘Horns can’t look past Wyoming at the Texas Tech game…it’ll get here soon enough. Go out and handle business, have fun, continue to create chemistry on both offense and defense, and make some plays on special teams!

Hook ‘em!

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Thoughts: Week 1 in College Football

It was an exciting five days of college football to open the 2010 season, and more frequently than not, additional beverages, food, DVR space, and beverages (and perhaps a brief nap) were needed to keep pace with the torrent of games hitting the airwaves. It was a football nirvana that exists only once a year, and that is nearly orgasmic for any college football fan…no matter your allegiances.

Before we look ahead to week two, let’s take a look at some highlights and lowlights, as well as some perspectives on the ‘Horns after their 34-17 win over Rice in Houston.

Of the “contenders,” no team lost in week one that shouldn’t have. While Virginia Tech might argue, it was clear Boise State was the better team throughout Monday’s contest. You saw it here first, Boise State will play for the BCS National Championship in January 2011.

FBS schools Jacksonville State and North Dakota State made some noise with victories over BCS conference teams Ole Miss and Kansas, respectively. Not the way Turner Gill wanted to re-load in Lawrence…give him time, though.

sooners QB Landry Jones

oklahoma struggled. And we loved every minute of their metal-row-stadium-seat-squirming in Norman. While RB Demarco Murray looked in mid-season form, QB Landry Jones played mediocre at best. If you’re Texas offensive coordinator Greg Davis, the ‘Horns throw the ball on every play against the sooners and run up the score in October at the Cotton Bowl.

Don’t read much in to Oklahoma State or Texas A&M’s victories in week one. The Cowboys might as well have played the local high school’s JV team for a more competitive match-up than they had with Pac-10 bottom-dweller Washington State. And the Aggies – who did show more defensive prowess in their new 3-4 scheme than at any time in 2009’s campaign – had less rushing yards on more carries (55 carries for 192 yards) against a lesser opponent than did Texas against Rice (46 carries for 197 yards). Yep, you read right.

The Tuberville era began in Lubbock, and despite the victory, QB Taylor Potts didn’t look that spectacular and the defense was mediocre at best against SMU’s defense. All-in-all, it wasn’t a performance to write home about. What did look familiar was the half-empty stands at Jones Stadium from the third quarter through the end of the game – with the game’s outcome still in question. Time for the afternoon drunken pass out in the West Texas plains.

While Kansas State eeked out a victory over recognizable-name UCLA at home on Saturday, it was unimpressive. UCLA is dragged down by head coach Rick Neuheisel (“Hey Rick, who do you have in the national semifinals of the 2011 NCAA tourney bracket?”), so they basically don’t count. Plus, the Wildcats remain a big question mark without the legs of RB Daniel Thomas. Yep, he’s a stud.

The ‘Horns, while racking up 197 rushing yards, looked unimpressive and flat on offense. Offensive coordinator Greg Davis needs to reset fans’ expectations of the running game – it’s not going to change overnight – but it did look better than any point last year. But, it was also Rice. The defense hasn’t missed a beat – they looked solid (after the first series in a base scheme) – but need to hold on those picks for TDs. Solid, but unenthusiastic…there is work to be done. Rice is going to rebound big time from last year’s 2-10 record, they looked solid in a week one game against a top contender.

Finally, it’s 12:24 a.m. Pacific time and ou still sucks. Week two represents a big weekend for a lot of the top 25 – perhaps determining 2010 BCS legitimacy – so rest up, my legions, and get focused.

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Week 1 Game Preview: Texas Longhorns v. Rice Owls

It’s finally time for the start of the 2010 Texas Longhorn football season, and Mack Brown’s team is looking to avenge their disappointing loss in last year’s BCS National Championship. Honestly, it’s time to put it behind us. EyesOfTX will say it, though: if QB Colt McCoy hadn’t gotten hurt in Pasadena, Calif., the ‘Horns would’ve beat Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide going away. That stupid ESPN “College Gameday” commercial would have Brown bragging about his two championship rings getting in the way during Jenga. OK, done with it. For now.

A few quick notes before jumping in to week one. The 2010 off-season held a lot of question marks for this Longhorns team, as several team leaders and experience took their talents to the next level, including QB Colt McCoy (Cleveland), WR Jordan Shipley (Cincinnati), DE Sergio Kindle (Baltimore), LB Rodderick Muckelroy (Cincinnati) and S Earl Thomas (Seattle; watch this video!) to name a few. That left offensive coordinator Greg Davis (EyesOfTX’s favorite coach to hate) and defensive coordinator / future head coach / crazy man Will Muschamp with some big holes to fill. Luckily, Brown’s recruiting prowess year-in and year-out has the ‘Horns filling out the roster nicely this fall. Some of the key positions will be filled with viable young talent that has learned from watching their elders, and they will only improve as the season progresses. Isn’t that cliche and catchy? Thought so. Worked all summer on it.

Key aspects to watch in September and October will be Gilbert’s progression at quarterback (does his name remind anyone else of the movie “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?”), the “007” martini-like offensive line changes, filling the gaps in the defensive line – specifically at defensive tackle, and the using our former-star-QB-turned-running-backs-coach to find the ever-elusive running game. Who’s calling former UT great RB Ricky Williams to push grad school classes?

On a serious note, the ‘Horns are stacked with a mix of experienced talent and young hot shots that will make this season interesting – they could go undefeated, or lose up to three games. How’s that for not being decisive? The team opens the season as the #4 team in the nation according to USA Today, with some select powerhouses – Alabama, Ohio State, and Florida – ahead of them in the race to Glendale, Ariz., and the 2011 National Championship. Watch out for #5 Boise State – if they win on the road against #10 Virginia Tech in week one, and beat #24 Oregon State at home late in the season, have no one stopping them from getting on the national championship ballot come December. Hooray for small schools with blue football turf everywhere!

Texas Longhorns v. Rice Owls
2:30 p.m. CT (ESPN & ESPN HD)

Prediction:
Texas 48, Rice 10

Rice’s Keys To The Game:
The Owls and head coach David Bailiff (of Texas State fame) had a tough year in 2009 (Bailiff’s third season), going 2-10. While they run a spread offense – with no notable wide receivers to speak of – if they have any chance of beating Texas on Saturday, it starts with the running game and Michigan transfer and current RB Sam McGuffie. Name sound familiar? Yes, it’s the McGuffie of YouTube fame – the top RB prospect in the country a few short years ago. Haven’t seen him on film? Take 6 minutes, it’s worth it. EyesOfTX will be here when you get back. [Pause] Told you so. Unfortunately, McGuffie won’t get 100 touches in this game, which means Rice is still up a creek without a paddle, but don’t be surprised if McGuffie makes the fans gasp a time or two at Houston’s Reliant Stadium.

Rice RB Sam McGuffie

Outside of McGuffie, the Owls don’t even know who their starting quarterback will be. Junior Nick Fanuzzi is the incumbent, a dual-threat QB, but he struggled last year throwing the ball accurately. They could start Miami QB transfer Taylor Cook, a 6’7” 240-pound behemoth with a monster arm but cement for feet. Or, how about true frosh Tyler McHargue, the better of the dual-threat QBs on the roster? It’s like picking lotto numbers out of tumbler – you don’t know what you’re going to get. Surely, Muschamp had fun writing out this week’s defensive schemes.

If the Owls offense is anemic without a running game, then the defense isn’t much better. They were 117th out of 120 teams last year in total defense, and gave up the most points per game – 43 – of any team in the country in 2009. In a 4-2-5 scheme, with four down lineman, two linebackers, and five defensive backs, they’ll play to Texas strength (passing game), but get brutalized by Texas’ punishing ground attack. Like how that was set up?


Texas’ Keys To The Game:
Let’s be clear – Texas can drop way more than 48 points on Rice. But, they won’t. On purpose. Per the commentary the fans have heard all off-season, this game is all about clock control and the to-date-non-existent Texas running game. Stop messing with you, right? Honestly, prepare to be David-ized – “is this real life?” You won’t believe what you see. Rumors have it that Cody Johnson will start at RB for the ‘Horns after dropping virtually no weight, but changing that fat to muscle and becoming a fast as all get-out, extremely conditioned athlete in the off-season. Texas rolls for more than 200 yards rushing on Saturday.

Texas QB Garrett Gilbert

Expect to see “experienced” QB Garrett Gilbert come out firing too, though. Reports have it that he threw only one interception in all of fall ball. Against what is being touted as the best defensive backfield in the country in 2010. Plus, he’s able to make throws that McCoy just couldn’t – I’m referring to downfield, of course. You’ll see more (gasp!) I-formation, with (gasp!) Gilbert under center, and (gasp!) a fullback…er, H-back. Promise. Although the offensive line was juggled around in the off-season, the starters are solid contributors with some experience under their belt. And, they’re finally being asked to fire off the ball in run blocking schemes, so they shouldn’t be a bunch of gigantic pansies blocking for the zone read as in year’s past. They want to go knock someone over. Preferably two.

The wide receiving core is re-tooled as well, but Brown has recruited well at the position, and after 7-on-7 drills this summer it sounds like WR Malcolm Williams found some consistency. He’ll be the scoring threat, with cohorts John Chiles and James Kirkendoll holding down the fort, and the quickness of D.J. Monroe or Marquis Goodwin adding sub-4.4 speed. Expect to see youth get some playing time here – the ‘Horns are deep on talent on the edge.

Defensively, this could be the year that no one forgets. Brown is already saying this could be his best unit ever at Texas. When you had the #1, #3, #4, and #8 defenses in the country in the last few years under Greg Robinson, Gene Chizik, and Will Muschamp, that’s hard to believe. We do know this – the secondary will be lights out…a perfect compliment to the offensive schemes of most Big 12 teams they’ll play. The defensive ends stay the same, with All-American talent and a lot of young studs to add depth. The tackle spot is a question mark, but some guys have stepped up this fall to fill the void. Linebackers will be lethal again this year too, although you’ll see one new name at starter on the weak side – Dravannti Johnson.

Let’s start the season off on the right foot – go get ‘em ‘Horns! Hook ‘em!

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Texas Adds to 2011, 2012 Football Schedule

The University of Texas football team continues to add to its future schedules, most recently locking down additional non-conference games for the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 seasons. In addition, Mack Brown & Co. have been tweaking the conference schedule, similar to the 2009-2010 season when the ‘Horns faced Texas Tech in the third game and had a non-conference game later in the season.

The new scheduling changes, which build on the ‘Horns previous announcement of non-conference additions for later in the decade, include:

September 10, 2011
Texas v. BYU
Texas is 0-2 against BYU, having played them in 1987 and 1988.
BYU has won at least 10 games in each of the past four years.

September 8, 2012
Texas v. University of Texas-El Paso
UT has beaten UTEP all four times the teams have played, most recently, the past two seasons.

Other notable schedule tweaks/commitments, include:

  • The ‘Horns will play their first game of the 2010 season on the road (the first time since 1995), against Rice, at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
  • The game against Texas Tech, in Lubbock, has been moved to September 18, 2010, for TV purposes. Thus, Texas will play Florida Atlantic (originally scheduled for that date) to November 20, 2010.
  • For 2010, the Longhorns will have a second straight season without a bye week prior to the Texas A&M game.
  • For the next two years (2010, 2011), the Texas A&M game will occur on Thanksgiving.
  • Texas will face UCLA, in Los Angeles, on September 17, 2011 – a week after the BYU game.
  • Texas will face Mississippi, in Oxford, on September 15, 2012 – a week after the UTEP game.
  • The Longhorns have one more open date during the 2012 season that they are looking to secure a team to play.

The Longhorns full schedule, for 2010 and future seasons (as they stand today), can be found here.

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Recap: Week 2 in Big 12 Football

Big 12 Conference LogoWow, it was another big weekend to forget in Big 12 football last Saturday. Big time upsets, a few scares, and some teams maintaining their focus and continuing their string of non-conference wins. In fact, it’s only been two weeks, and the Big 12 is already being considered the most overrated conference in all of college football – ESPN has an interesting segment arguing the conference’s value at this point in the game. For the record, Eyes of TX would never hire Lou Holtz to represent the Big 12 – can you even understand him? – no wonder he gets taken to task by Mark May. Thanks, ESPN.

Let’s take a quick look back at week two in the Big 12 football.

Baylor Bears
Bye week. Can the Bears continue their good start this week in their first home game of the 2009 season? Connecticut has been one of the better teams in the Big East over the past few years, although their starting quarterback is out for this game in Waco, which is expected to bring more than 40,000 Bear fanatics to the season-opener. No dancing allowed, though. Next up: Connecticut (1-1)

Colorado 38 v. Toledo 54
The story in Boulder just keeps getting worse for head coach Dan Hawkins. Playing for the second time in five days, the Buffaloes looked horrendous against the Rockets. The Buffs defense gave up a whooping 624 yards of offense, more than 300 in both passing and rushing. Watching this game, it shouldn’t have even been this close – the Rockets thought they had it sealed at halftime, and Colorado crept back in to the game before the Rockets exploded for more points in the second half. The rushing game continues to be a struggle, only 95 yards the entire game, but running back Darrell Scott accounted for 85 of those yards on 12 carries, all in the first half. To their credit, the Buffs were throwing the ball trying to catch up all game. Think Hawkins might be out as coach next season? Don’t be so sure – former coach Dan McCarthy stepped up to defend Hawkins this week, and the cash-strapped CU athletic budget might not allow for a buy-out. Next up: Wyoming (1-1)

Iowa State 3 v. Iowa 35
Apparently the Hawkeyes got their wake-up call last week when they nearly lost to Northern Iowa. And, playing for the annual CyHawk trophy, the Cyclones were outplayed in this game from the start, and turnovers played a huge role in the result, as Iowa hawked five INTs in the game, four from starting quarterback Austen Arnaud and one from back-up Jerome Tiller. All told, the Cyclones only culled together 303 yards of offense. A tough loss for Iowa State, but they should be able to get back on track next week against Kent State, especially with a freshman quarterback expected to start for the Golden Flash. With a tough road schedule in 2009, this could be the Cyclones only chance for a road win this season. Next up: @ Kent State (1-1)

Kansas 34 v. UTEP 7
Who knew? The Jayhawks defense showed up in a big way in El Paso, and held the Miners to seven first downs on the game, only four yards rushing, and kept them scoreless until late in the 4th quarter. While quarterback Todd Reesing was 25-of-41 for 260 yards, with one TD and one INT, it was the KU running game that surprised coach Mike Price’s UTEP team this week, as senior running back Jake Sharp accounted for 104 yards and two TDs on only 16 carries to lead the Jayhawks to another solid victory. The return of suspended wide receiver Dezmond Briscoe didn’t hurt either, as he notched 8 catches for 154 yards on the day. This week, Reesing faces the only other D-I football program to offer him a scholarship – Duke – and he should have no trouble showing the Blue Devils how his SAT scores have helped him command the KU offense. Next up: Duke (1-1)

Kansas State 15 v. Louisiana-Lafayette 17
Ouch. While several Big 12 teams lost last weekend, this could be the most embarrassing. Wildcats coach Bill Snyder might be writing his own team’s obituary before his own. Despite outgaining the Ragin’ Cajuns by almost 100 yards on the day, the KSU defense gave up a late, 42-yard field goal for the win – the first of the Ragin’ Cajuns junior kicker’s career. Wow. Wildcats running back Daniel Thomas continues to be the highlight of Synder’s offense, as he rushed for 136 yards and one TD on 27 carries. With the resurgence of UCLA in the Pac-10, and head coach Rick Neuheisal leading the charge in L.A., you can bet (sorry, Rick) that the Wildcats are in for another tough ride this weekend. Next up: @ UCLA (2-0)

Missouri 27 v. Bowling Green 20
After looking amazing in his first career start, Tigers quarterback Blaine Gabbert struggled in week two against Bowling Green, but managed to finally get things on track in the second half to lead Mizzou to the win in Columbus. Behind 20-6 in the third quarter, the Tigers’ offense picked up behind the strong running effort of Derrick Washington who had 120 yards on 23 carries, and one TD. Can you believe this stat – Bowling Green had more passing yards than Missouri. Yep, it’s true. Even the Tigers’ punter got used seven times on Saturday, after being used only 26 times all of last season. Gabbert’s still got some growing up to do, but fans can see the potential, and that should once again be on showcase this weekend against lowly Furman. Next up: Furman (2-0)

Nebraska 38 v. Arkansas State 9
Granted, it was Arkansas State, but the Nebraska offense looked unstoppable on Saturday, as the Cornhusker scored on five of their first 6 possessions to take 24-6 lead at halftime. Quarterback Zac Lee continues to impress, as he completed 27-of-35 passes for 340 yards and four TDs, completing passes to 11 different receivers. It’s funny, now, to think of Nebraska as a wishbone offense back in the day. Nebraska seems to be clicking on all cylinders, although they’ll get their biggest test this weekend at Virginia Tech. Next up: @ Virginia Tech (1-1)

oklahoma 64 v. Idaho State 0
Well, something sure clicked in Norman since week one. With stars Sam Bradford and Jermaine Gresham out, freshman quarterback Landry Jones used his work with the first team offense to absolutely decimate the Bengals in week two. Jones threw for 286 yards and three TDs – all to wide receiver Ryan Broyles – as ou put this game away early in the first half. The stout sooners defense held Idaho State to minus-2 yards in the first half, and only 44 yards of offense on the day, and the Bengals never made it past ou’s 49-yard line in the game. Running back Demarco Murray also rushed for 101 yards on 12 carries, scoring two TDs. The re-tooled offensive lane appears to be working for coach Bob Stoops in week two, but they will have a tougher test against one of the most proficient offenses in NCAA football the last few years in the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes this Saturday. Next up: Tulsa (2-0)

Oklahoma State 35 v. Houston 45
Whoops. Someone forgot to tell Oklahoma State that they play more than one game in a season. After defeating former #13 Georgia in week one, the Cowboys looked flat all game against the potent Cougars offense, which racked up 512 yards on the day, behind quarterback Case Keenum’s 366 yards passing. ‘Pokes quarterback Zac Robinson, on the other hand, threw for only 240 yards, including a TD and INT on the day. In addition, the Cowboys lost starting running back Kendall Hunter for the game in the second quarter, and standout wide receiver Dez Bryant also suffered through cramps all day while accounting for 85 yards on five catches. All told, the Cougars outplayed the ‘Pokes on their home turf (with a little luck to go along with their courageous play), and the Sports Illustrated cover jinx continued this week in Stillwater. Head coach Mike Gundy finally has a chance to get his team in rhythm and on track this week against Rice, and with a few key victories could bring the ‘Pokes back in to the top 10 by season’s end. Next up: Rice (0-2)

Texas 41 v. Wyoming 10
So, the altitude WAS an issue. In front of the third biggest city in all of Wyoming (the stadium) last Saturday, thriving at more than 7,000 feet above sea level, the Cowboys and their fans were jacked up and ready to play – and it was very evident from the get-go that the ‘Horns were either flat or pushing too hard, looking miserable in the first half on the offensive side of the ball. Thankfully, the defense showed up ready to play and basically pitched a shut-out as Wyoming only put points on the board after Texas special team’s mistakes – a blocked punt for TD and a missed fake punt conversion. Quarterback Colt McCoy turned it on the second half, and ended up 30-for-47 for 337 yards, three TDS, and an INT. While wide receiver James Kirkendoll might have led the team in receiving yards, it was the play of tight end/flex receiver Dan Buckner that raised some eyebrows in Laramie. Buckner ended the day with six catches for 86 yards and a TD, and it appears he has adapted to the position and has become a go-to outlet for McCoy. The defense really was the story of the game, giving the ‘Horns a chance going in to the second half, as they held Wyoming to 273 yards of total offense. This week, the ‘Horns secondary gets their big test against head coach Mike Leach’s lethal spread offense. Can the ‘Horns overcome last year’s disappointment – it’s the question everyone wants answered. ESPN’s College Gameday will be in town for the early season conference match-up. Next up: Texas Tech (2-0)

Texas A&M Aggies
Bye week. This year’s Big 12 mystery team suits up for their second game on Saturday against Utah State. After a big win in week one against New Mexico, the Aggies need to show they’re not a one-show circus. Quarterback Jerrod Johnson looks much more comfortable this year in the pocket, and the running game behind freshman Christine Michael looks solid. Two in a row, Ags? Yell practice might be paying off in College Station. Next up: Utah State (0-1)

Texas Tech 55 v. Rice 10
Has there ever been a quarterback that has thrown 10 TDs in a game? And, if not, has head coach Mike Leach called the Guinness Book of World Records to have them come to town for the fireworks? Geez. Well, the Red Raiders got their offense on track in week two, as quarterback Taylor Potts nearly tied a school record for TDs thrown with seven against the struggling Owls. With three quarterbacks playing for Rice, the Owls couldn’t get much of an offensive rhythm, managing only 257 yards on the day. Potts’ ended the day with 456 yards, and he completed passes to 13 different wide receivers, including his high school teammate Lyle Leong, who caught three TD strikes. The defense looked solid, but not remarkable – especially after losing NFL talent off the defensive line since last year. Once again, Potts didn’t have to deal with any pass rush, and it will be interesting to see how Potts reacts under pressure from the front seven and his first road game in a hostile environment in Austin. Next up: @ Texas (2-0)

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Other Texas-state Football Week 1 Recaps

In addition to the Big 12 Conference’s opening weekend of football, here are the outcomes of other Texas-state football squads that opened their 2009-2010 campaign over the Labor Day holiday, as well as what teams they’ll be facing this Saturday.

Conference USA

Conference USA
Houston 55 v. Northwestern State 7
It’s like Andre Ware was back in red and white! Houston quarterback Case Keenum completed 23 of 30 passes for 359 yards, four TDs, and no picks to absolutely demolish the demons. No need to run when you can throw, as the Cougars racked up 91 yards rushing. Can their pass-happy offense stand up to Okie State’s stout defense? We’ll find out Saturday.
Next up: @ Oklahoma State (1-0)

Rice 24 v. Alabama-Birmingham 44
The Owls defense got taken to the barn on Saturday, to the tune of 516 yards of UAB offense, in their opening game loss. Rice gave up 295 yards rushing and 221 yards through the air – not a good sign going to Lubbock next week – and the Owls look undecided at quarterback between Nick Fanuzzi (12/20, 154 yards, 1 TD) and John Thomas Sheperd (10/22, 81 yards, 1 INT).
Next up: @ Texas Tech (1-0)

Southern Methodist (SMU) 31 v. Stephen F. Austin (SFA) 23
SMU scrapes by, as the Mustangs scored on fourth-and-one with 7 minutes to play to overcome a 9-point deficit and win their home opener. Running back Shawnbrey McNeal looked solid, rushing for 158 yards on 19 carries and accounting for one TD, while quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell (could this be the second best Texas-state quarterback name behind Texas’ Colt McCoy?) completed 23 of 45 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown.
Next up: Alabama-Birmingham (1-0)

Texas El-Paso (UTEP) 17 v. Buffalo 23
Even though UTEp outgained the Bulls on offense, Buffalo was efficient and capitalized on UTEP mistakes to take the lead in the second quarter and hold on for the win in west Texas. UTEP quarterback Trevor Vittatoe threw 45 attempts, completing 27, for 233 yards but no TDs.
Next up: Kansas (1-0)

Mountain West Conference
Mountain West Conference
Texas Christian (TCU) – no game in week one
Next up: @ Virginia (0-1)

Southland Conference
Southland Conference
Sam Houston State 28 v. Western Illinois 35
One yard. One measly yard – and a bit of pass defense by SHS – and this game potentially ends differently. SHS drove to the WIU 1-yard line with 21 seconds to play, down by seven, but couldn’t score on three straight plays to end the game and the Leathernecks pull out the victory in Huntsville. Just criminal, if you know what we mean.
Next up: North Dakota State (0-1)

Stephen F. Austin (SFA) 23 v. Southern Methodist (SMU) 31
A tough night defensively for the Lumberjacks, as SFA had more total yards of offense than the Mustangs (460 to 355) but couldn’t come out with a win. Quarterback Jeremy Moses threw 52 times for 391 yards and 2 TDs, but also completed five passes to the Mustangs for INTs.

By the way, who the heck is SFA’s next opponent – Texas College? The Steers have no logo and play only five football games on the year (wrap it up in October) – watch out, Texas College, Kansas State’s Bill Snyder might come calling next year.
Next up: @ Texas College (0-1)

Texas State 48 v. Angelo State 28
Texas State quarterback Bradley George threw for 328 yards and three TDs in the win, while the Bobcats racked up 463 yards in total offense.
Next up: Bye

Sun Belt Conference
Sun Belt Conference
North Texas 20 v. Ball State 10
North Texas put up 512 yards of offense on the road for the win, including quarterback Riley Dodge’s 216 yards passing and one TD, as well as 296 yards on the ground from Cam Montgomery, Dodge, and Lance Dunbar.
Next up: Ohio (0-1)

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