Morning Coffee

I know some readers are lucky enough to have tickets to tonight's volleyball showdown with #1 ranked Nebraska at Gregory gym. Though the Huskers thoroughly beat the 'Horns in Lincoln in September, Texas was without its two best players for the match. The atmosphere in Gregory tonight should be pretty electric, so if you're going to try to get in as a student - get there early. The match begins at 6:30 p.m.

This week's BlogPoll is out, with Texas moving up to #17. If you read yesterday's post on our resume, you know the 'Horns have very little to hang their hat on, other than not having a disastrous loss to account for. Even then, the home loss to Kansas State is pretty inexplicable. The dearth of quality wins (I had to reach to give Texas one) is the primary reason why Texas ranks so poorly in the various computer rankings; Texas simply hasn't defeated anyone meriting applause.

The question as to whether the 'Horns could sneak into BCS at-large consideration is an interesting one which will be discussed in a post of its own. Strangely enough, it's possible, but only because this year has been so thoroughly bizarre.

Alan Trubow has an article on Colt McCoy's running ability, characterized as improved due to offseason conditioning. The telling part of the article comes towards the end, when the quarterback admits that no running plays were called for him, that when he runs it's because he's buying time to make a play, and that the rushes do wind up helping the offense as a whole.

All that is true. Many of Texas' best offensive plays have come on broken plays, with McCoy improvising outside the pocket. And, yes: when your running game is mediocre and you don't (can't?) call any rushing plays for the quarterback, McCoy's evasive scrambling is critical to keeping the defense somewhat honest. Hey, it ain't how you'd draw it up, but at least he's providing that right now. Hopefully, more systematic improvements in the running game are to follow.

It sure looks like the conversation here at BON has been out in front of the curve with regards to Jamaal Charles' inability to establish consistency. The talented tailback was not made available to the media this week, but Colt McCoy said some of the very things which have drive the conversation around here:

"Jamaal's going to be fine. He knows he hasn't done as well, but we've got to play to Jamaal's strengths," McCoy said. "I think we've got to get him up inside a little bit more instead of running him sideways.

"We've got to spread him out and let him catch the ball. ... He knows he can run the ball. He's just got to get his confidence back up."

Chip Brown characterizes the running game as suffering an "identity crisis" as Nebraska comes to town, but I'm not sure that's quite right. I think the staff is slowly but surely identifying what hasn't, isn't, and won't work (horizontal Jamaal) and adjusting toward things that have, can, and will (McGee for the straight ahead stuff, Jamaal being better deployed in areas where he can thrive). I guess we'll find out this week: the Huskers allow an astounding 227 yards per game rushing, 115th in the country.

--PB--

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