Tag Archives: Washington Huskies

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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College Football: Week 8 Viewing Guide

If any team earned redemption last weekend it was Texas, both by avoiding a third loss and by beating a top 10 team on the road. Not to mention proving to the Cornhuskers that they weren’t the better team last December 5th. So there’s your parting gift, Nebraska, thanks for playing. The Longhorns will miss their home away from home.

The BCS standings came out earlier this week and with them a lot of analysis and grumbling about who is where. There is really very little we can glean from the poll this early as we still have half the season to play out with some big time match-ups featuring the top ranked teams. Does that mean Texas will rise to the top and play for another BCS title? No, that’s still highly unlikely, but if enough things happen, it’s possible. Let’s entertain some hypothetical outcomes to envision the best case scenario:

First of course, Texas must win out. Looking at the schedule, this could still be difficult. After a challenging game against Nebraska, they play perennial patsies Iowa State and Baylor at home the next two weeks, which should be easy street, but we thought that about UCLA didn’t we? Following those games, the ‘Horns go on the road against K-State, a team Texas historically struggles against, and then top 15 team Oklahoma State comes to Austin. Finally, after a gimme against Florida Atlantic and a short week, they host A&M which is a game never to be taken lightly.

Next, oklahoma has to lose to Missouri this weekend. For Texas to play for the Big 12 title, ou needs two losses and after Mizzou, they don’t face another ranked team until they go to Stillwater on Thanksgiving weekend. The Tigers will be one of the biggest tests for the Sooners, going on the road against a ranked team for the first time this year, and only their second road game period.

Next, Kansas State must beat Missouri and Oklahoma State. Texas doesn’t play the Tigers this year, so the net result of their game against K-State will only benefit Texas if the Wildcats win. Further, if the Wildcats lose that game, they could potentially fall out of the rankings before they play Texas. Either Nebraska or OSU could potentially fall out of the rankings this weekend with a loss.

That will get Texas to the Big 12 title game, though against who is still up in the air. Nebraska is likely to win out, but so is Missouri. After this weekend’s games, it should be a lot easier to predict.

For the rest of the country, we’d like to see Auburn beat LSU and Alabama, but lose the SEC title game to anyone from the East division. Currently, that would be South Carolina. The PAC-10 and Big Ten pose the largest obstacles in Oregon, Michigan State, and Ohio State, all three of whom have few challenging games remaining. And, of course, there’s always the Boise State and TCU problem.

This space will feature more meta analysis of the state of the BCS in the weeks to come and we’ll highlight the games to watch in hoping some of these scenarios play out.

All rankings below are from the current BCS poll. Also, make sure to check your local listings for channel availability, and also these coverage maps for the mid-Saturday regional games. There’s a lot of football left to play, so enjoy the roller coaster. Here’s your Week 8 viewing guide.

Saturday, October 23
12:00 PM ET
#7 Michigan State at Northwestern (ESPN)

Northwestern actually has a chance in this game. They’re playing at home, and they have some advantages on the stat sheet. It might not be enough, but they could give the Spartans a run for their money.

Iowa State at #19 Texas (FSN, Comcast Sports)
Texas returns home and hopes to keep the momentum going. It isn’t their style, but putting up about 60 points and really get that offense in gear wouldn’t be a bad sign.

3:30 PM ET
#6 LSU at #4 Auburn (CBS)

This is the game of the week. Les Miles is getting killed by everyone for the way he’s running this team despite their undefeated record and being three years removed from a national championship. Auburn has hardly earned any credit at all. Something’s going to give.

#13 Wisconsin at #15 Iowa (ABC/ESPN)
#16 Nebraska at #14 Oklahoma State (ABC)
Georgia Tech at Clemson, (ABC/ESPN)

These are your regional games this weekend. Most of the country will not see the Big 12 match-up and it looks to be one of the best of the weekend. On the flip side, most will see how the Big 10 is shaping up which will give some clarity to the rest of the season. Oh, and there’s a dreadful ACC game that no one wants to watch.

7:00 PM ET
#8 Alabama at Tennessee (ESPN)
This is likely to be a drubbing, but Alabama has not played well on the road and a home victory would make the season for Tennessee. Keep an eye on the first half in between the afternoon and later games.

8:00 PM ET
#1 oklahoma at #11 Missouri (ABC)

As mentioned above, Texas needs Missouri to win this game. This ou team has weaknesses, barely surviving at home against Air Force, and eeking out a win over a terrible Cincinnati. Most people don’t agree with ou being at the top of the BCS standings so it’s up to Mizzou to prove them right.

10:15 PM ET
Washington at #18 Arizona (ESPN)

Your night cap game this week features two teams that could stand in Oregon’s way of an undefeated season. Check it out if you’re not passed out by now.

Thanks to “Lil Pete” for his ongoing contributions to EyesOfTX.

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College Football: Week 5 Viewing Guide

After last week’s debacle in Austin, any hopes the Longhorns had of making it to the national title game went out the window. Nonetheless, there is still the prospect of playing in a BCS bowl game and for the Big 12 title. With this week’s game against ou, and Nebraska in two weeks, Texas has the ability to redeem themselves in a hurry. The ‘Horns have fallen considerably in both polls, to #21 and #16 in the AP and Coaches polls, respectively, but those rankings mean little when you’re out of the title hunt.

At this point it’s all about conference domination, but just for fun, we can hope for a late season run and focus on all the help we’ll need along the way. With more teams to root against, the rest of the season should be interesting.

The rankings listed here are from the AP poll until the BCS poll begins in mid-October. Check your local listings for channel availability, and also these coverage maps for the mid-Saturday regional games.

Now let’s get to it. Put on your “hater” hat and follow the week 5 viewing guide.

Saturday, October 2
12:00 PM ET
Louisiana-Monroe at #10 Auburn (ESPNU)

Auburn should handle business at home against an inferior team, but this game will do little to move the needle for them.

No. 16 Miami, FL at Clemson (ESPN2/ESPN3D)
Both of these teams will be playing their first conference game of the season. Expect this to be a good game with Clemson trying to make a statement at home.

3:30 PM ET
#21 Texas vs. #8 oklahoma (ABC/ESPN)

The Horns’ path to redemption begins in Dallas this weekend. Reference EyesOfTX’s game preview here. Note: This game will not be shown on TV in the mid- and south Atlantic regions. Check the coverage maps to see where you can find it in your area.

Virginia Tech at #23 North Carolina State (ABC)
Another regional coverage game. A Tech loss here only weakens Boise State’s case for their lofty ranking.

#11 Wisconsin at #24 Michigan State (ABC/ESPN)
The final of the regional trio this week has highly-ranked Wisconsin going on the road. Michigan State is getting a lot of credit for the way they’ve played the last few weeks, and they’ll prove they’re worthy of it if they knock off the Badgers. Their head coach Mark Dantonio will be coaching from the booth as he returns from the mild heart attack he suffered two weeks ago.

Tennessee at #12 LSU (CBS)
Keep an eye on what’s happening in Baton Rouge and hope for a major upset. LSU head coach Les Miles is beginning to take a lot of criticism, let’s hope it’s merited.

#19 Michigan at Indiana (ESPNU)
Michigan is finally getting on track for the first time since head coach Rich Rodriguez took over the team. A conference road game could be just what we need to see them lose their way again.

8:00 PM ET
#7 Florida at #1 Alabama (CBS)

This should be one of the better games of the season. From the standpoint of a Texas fan, there is no good scenario with this game. Both teams will remain ranked higher than Texas despite who wins here or what happens in Dallas. That said, the lesser of two evils would be for Alabama to roll on and knock Florida back a few slots, leaving the status quo at the top of the SEC for now and hoping for some other spoiler down the road.

#9 Stanford at #4 Oregon (ABC/ESPN2)
This is a similar situation to the aforementioned game, and ‘Horns fans should take the same position as before and hope for the higher ranked team to hold on to that position for the time being. The PAC-10 is usually a cluster, so it’s foreseeable that both of these teams will lose at least one more time as well.

Washington at #18 Southern California (ESPN2)
Ah, USC, how we’ve loved to hate you for these last few years. But now that you’re bowl ineligible, you can play hero. By wreaking havoc throughout the conference, USC can determine the fates of many teams this year, without taking a bowl spot for themselves. Let’s hope for an undefeated Trojans season going into their final game against UCLA on December 4th and then getting crushed.

8:05 PM ET
#22 Penn State at #17 Iowa (ESPN)

It would be easy to hope that Penn State could knock of Iowa on the road thereby removing one higher-ranked team from Texas’ path, but a victory like that would be one to vault the Nittany Lions over Texas in the rankings. For the time being that might be acceptable, being that the Big Ten has a way of knocking off all of its teams on its own. With this game, Iowa begins a four game stretch of ranked opponents and then still has to face Ohio State in late November. Penn State’s competition is more spread out and their one loss to-date was on the road at #1 Alabama. Hope for Iowa to win this one knowing that they’ll likely fall again in the next few weeks.

Thanks to “Lil Pete” for his ongoing weekly viewing guide contributions to EyesOfTX.

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Filed under Big 12, Longhorns, NCAA Football, Sooners

Game Preview: Texas Longhorns v. UTEP Miners

September 26, 2009
2:30 p.m. Central
FSN

Last week, the ‘Horns escaped with a critical redemption win against Mike Leach’s Red Raiders in Austin, winning the game 34-24. “Escaped” because the offense didn’t play great in the first half, but the defense continued its dominance despite giving up 420 yards to the Red Raiders passing attack.

It was confirmed that Texas QB Colt McCoy had the flu earlier in the game week, and that could have affected his slow start, but unfortunately, Eyes Of TX sees the flat-footed offensive output as one aspect of Texas’ game this year that has been consistent. To their credit, the ‘Horns picked it up in the second half, as they did against both Louisiana-Monroe and Wyoming, but they need to fix this before seeing the likes of ou and Oklahoma State later this season. To Tech’s credit, junior QB Taylor Potts looks fantastic – he was spot on against Texas, and looks to have absolute command of the offense – expect see hear more on Potts, as every Big 12 writer in drooling over his capabilities. The play of the Tech game was, no doubt, Texas DE Sergio Kindle’s sack of Tech QB Taylor Potts in the 4th quarter which has been the center of controversy this week among football pundits and Leach who has officially complained to the NCAA. To be clear, there was no penalty on the play for a helmet-to-helmet hit, and it looks as though Kindle’s helmet hits Potts’ shoulder pads first.

All in all, another good win for the ‘Horns in week three, and they maintain their #2 ranking in the latest USA Today polls. On the national scene, while #1 Florida won a battle with unranked Tennessee, they looked unimpressive doing so, and combined with former #3 USC’s loss to Washington, there was some re-shuffling in the top five this week. Alabama has moved up to the #3 spot, Penn State continues to quietly creep up the standings at #4, and former Texas QB Jevan Snead couldn’t will his #5 Ole Miss Rebels to a win against South Carolina on Thursday night, so his Heisman campaign and the Rebels top 10 ranking are all but over, and Cal might creep in to the #5 spot if they win this weekend.

Let’s get in to this week’s match-up of the Longhorns and Miners.

This Week
Eyes Of TX’s Prediction
Texas 49, UTEP 13

University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP) Miners (1-2)
While UTEP gave Texas an early run for its money last year in El Paso, this year figures to play out differently. Coach Mike Price and the Miners have struggled early this season with losses to Buffalo and Kansas, before beating New Mexico State last week for their first win. In Austin, with the defense playing at an extremely high level, Eyes Of TX doesn’t see this game being competitive. Then again, if the Texas offense stalls for a half of football again, anything can happen.

Quarterback Trevor Vittatoe returns for the Miners, but his 2008 numbers have not. He’s a solid athlete, with both running and passing ability, although it’s nothing spectacular. This year, however, he hasn’t seemed to click offensively, as he’s only completed 55 percent of his 102 pass attempts for 602 yards for one TD and one INT. He seems to be running the ball less this year as well, accounting for just 40 yards through three games. Those just aren’t the offensive numbers you want your QB putting up for your team. At wideout, he has talent in Jeff Moturi and Kris Adams, but they have generally been as unproductive as their QB. Moturi is the smaller, faster wideout who will sacrifice his body over the middle of the field, and Adams is the deep threat and leads the team with 13 catches for 117 yards and no TDs. UTEP seems to try and utilize their running game to set up the passing game, but running back Donald Buckram has been largely ineffective with exception of New Mexico State game when he rushed for 113 yards and two TDs. The problem is the offensive line for the Miners, which has allowed nine sacks in three games and is only allowing the running game to average 3.6 yards per carry. Sounds like the anemic Texas running game of “old.” Coach Price will probably try to spread out the Texas defense and attack the sidelines consistently to set up the run, as the Texas front seven just won’t budge. Expect to see a lot screen passes and hot routes, or Vittatoe rolling out, to try and combat the constant pressure from the Texas defensive line.

On defense, the Miners run a 3-3-5 scheme, which puts more speed on the field and allows them to attack the line of scrimmage with their linebackers. Last year, UTEP’s consistent blitz threw off the Texas offensive line in the first half before they adjusted. Nothing has changed this year, the Miners still blitz more than any team Texas will face all season, with the exception that this year they’re not getting the production in sacks or tackles for loss. The defensive line is small up front, although defensive end Aaron King is their top threat – he’s accounted for three of the team’s four sacks on the season, including two tackles tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and 13 tackles total. If they get pressure on the quarterback with their blitzes, the secondary is capable of takeaways, tallying three INTs and six pass break-ups. The linebackers will need to be more productive this week, however, or else the Miners secondary will be picked apart by McCoy and Co.

The UTEP special teams is decent, although their biggest deficit is kick coverage. They give up 23 yards per return on kick-offs, and 12 yards per return on punts, meaning opposing teams have typically started with excellent field position.

#2 Texas Longhorns (3-0)
Overall, the Longhorns need to make sure they don’t overlook this game. There is no way the Miners should compete with the ‘Horns, but with another slow start or a focus on next week’s bye week could create some early tension on Saturday.

With McCoy healthy again, we’ll see if he can return to 2008 form, and he seems to have found a new favorite target in flex wideout Dan Buckner, which takes some of the pressure off of Jordan Shipley to be the go-to wideout. In addition, John Chiles and James Kirkendoll have proved solid in various games this week, and fans saw a bit more of the “Wildcat” offense with Chiles taking some snaps last week – although they’ll need to let Chiles throw the ball from time-to-time make to give opposing defenses something to think about when he lines up in the backfield. The running games seems to have found some stability with Tre Newton, and based on his experience in the Southlake Carroll spread offense, Eyes Of TX likes his ability to pick up the blitz, catch the ball out of the backfield, and run north-south. This week, Texas needs the running game to run downhill via the I-formation, as the zone-read could seriously be disrupted by UTEP’s consistent blitz and the running backs starting flat-footed. And, believe it or not, running back Fozzy Whittaker might have recovered from his knee injury enough to play a bit this weekend – can he stay healthy?

Expect the defense to absolutely dominate the Miners offense, as Kindle, defensive tackle Lamarr Houston and linebacker Rodderick Muckelory should be living in the backfield and creating misery for Price’s offense. They need to play smart, not over-pursue, and have the secondary shed blocks to make tackles on screens and the edge.

From a special teams perspective, anything is possible with Shipley back returning punts, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see some more fireworks there this week.

Overall, if the ‘Horns focus, they’ll get a well-deserved mid-season bye week next Saturday (during Austin City Limits Festival in Austin) to heal some injuries and continue to tweak and fix those minor issues leading in to Big 12 play against Colorado on October 10.

Pre-game Resources
2009 Texas Longhorns Roster
2009 UTEP Miners Roster
University Co-op Gameday Newsletter / Pod casts

Hook ‘em!

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Filed under Big 12, Conference USA, Longhorns, Miners, NCAA Football

Texas QB Vince Young v. Washington QB Jake Locker

There will always be a debate over whether certain players are better than others. Each season, it happens on team’s two-deep depth charts, or in the determination of the Heisman Trophy and other post-season award winners. In addition, comparisons across sporting generations occur – between current and former college sports team legends, across conferences, and across a specific athletic event. For instance, will any college football player ever be as good as Ohio State running back Archie Griffin, who is the only two-time winner of the Heisman Trophy? Is Vince Young, Major Applewhite, or James Street the best Texas Longhorn quarterback? Is a non-BCS team quarterback better or worse than a BCS team quarterback? Are the D-I and D-II national championship teams on an equal playing field?

This week, in particular, USC’s head football coach Pete Carroll discussed his thoughts on Washington quarterback Jake Locker, who just led the Huskies to an upset of the now former #3 ranked Trojans, with a writer from the LA Times. Carroll’s conclusion – or at least the way it was portrayed in the article – was Locker was a better quarterback than former Texas quarterback Vince Young, who led the Longhorns to a national championship in 2005 over the vaunted Trojans and their star California trio of Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush and Lendale White. Carroll’s justification: Locker is the best quarterback he has ever coached against, while Young played the best quarterback game he has ever seen. Sounds like a bit of spin to Eyes Of TX; well done, Pete – smoke and mirrors.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, and having watched Jake Locker grow up under center at Husky Stadium for the past three years, Eyes Of TX thought Carroll’s comparison was suspect – much to the chagrin of my U-Dub friends. Below, broken down to the best estimations, Eyes Of TX’s analysis to see who was/is the better passing quarterback.

Some clarifying points before reading on: 1) Analysis is based on Young’s three-year starting role, and Locker’s projections on his three-year starting role – estimating for lost time due to injuries in 2007 and 2008 and his 2009 projections; 2) Eliminated the “team” factor as much as possible (i.e. – what if Locker played for the current Florida Gators, would he be better because of the talent around him? What if Texas ran a more proficient passing offense, and Young didn’t rush as often in the offensive scheme?); 3) Focus on the passing game, since we’re under the solid assumption that Young was the best rushing quarterback of the two athletes, based on “escapability,” but not to take away from Locker’s obvious rushing prowess; and finally, 4) Young holds a two-game advantage in games played (13-12-13) to Locker’s estimated (12-12-12).

Vince Young, Texas Longhorns
3-year starter at quarterback

Career:
444-for-718 (completions to attempts) for a college career 62% completion rate
Total passing yards: 6,040
Total passing TDs: 44
Total INTs: 28

Jake Locker, Washington Huskies
3-year starter at quarterback

Freshman year (12 games; injured for one game):
Passing yards: 2,062
TD passes: 14
INTs: 15

Sophomore Year (3.5 games; injured in game four):
Passing yards (actual): 512
Passing yards (estimation of full season, or 12 games, based on 3.5 game performance): 2,052
TD passes: 1
TD passes (realistic estimation of full season, or 12 games, based on 3.5 game performance): 6
INTs: 0
INTs (realistic estimation of full season, or 12 games, based on 3.5 game performance): 5

Junior year (through three games):
Passing (actual): 811 yards
Passing yards (estimation of full season, or 12 games): 3,244
TD passes (actual): 5
TD passes (estimation of full season, or 12 games): 20
INTs (actual): 1
INTs (estimation of full season, or 12 games): 4

TOTAL to-date:
268-for-526 (completions to attempts), for a college career 51% completion rate
Total passing yards (actual): 3,385
Total passing yards (estimated, through 3 full seasons): 7,358
Total passing TDs (actual): 20
Total passing TDs (estimated, though 3 full seasons): 40
Total INTs (actual): 16
Total INTs (estimated, through 3 full seasons): 24

Net-net, Young and Locker net-out near equal in most every category. The clearest exception, however, is their actual completion percentage, which Young leads with the 62% to 51% advantage. Locker, however, would clearly win the career passing yards battle (7,358 to 6,040). When it comes to ball security and leading the team to points via the passing game, it’s a draw: Young is +4 in TDs thrown, and Locker is -4 in INTs thrown.

Who do you think is the better college quarterback? Eyes Of TX still says Young, but will whole-heartedly concede that it was much closer than initially imagined. Maybe the 2005 national championship ring is blinding the analysis of the data.

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