Is that the Real McCoy I see? Colt McCoy looked nothing short of spectacular on Saturday evening, earning a coveted helmet sticker from Tim Griffin and alleviating (at least for now) most of the concerns Texas fans normally have with him: 1) lack of aggressiveness in the running game, 2) fixating on on his primary receiver and not going through his progressions along with poor pocket presence, and 3) his perceived lack of arm strength.
I'll focus on the running in the interest of space. I was particularly impressed with Colt running the option. I never thought the play was effective in the past, and it still might not be effective against a better defense, but he did an excellent job of taking the corner when available and forcing the defense to commit to him when he couldn't. He also beat Franz Joseph, one of the Sun Belt's best linebackers, to the edge on a run/pass option play on the goal line, making the decision quickly and looking fast taking the corner. You've probably also read that only McCoy and Vince Young have run for over 100 yards and passed for over 200 in the same game more than once. Colt McCoy=VY-lite!
I'll take my depth chart with fewer Or's, thank you. It appears that the first game of the season eliminated many of the Either/Or situations on the depth chart. Looks like PB might get his wish for depth chart definition by OU. Changes of note:
- Hunter Lawrence is the starting placekicker. That means Ryan Bailey and his groin injury will have to earn the job back when he gets healthy.
- Vondrell McGee is the lone starter at tailback over Chris Obgonnaya.
- Cody Johnson is the starting fullback over Luke Tiemann.
- Malcolm Williams is the third starting receiver.
- Blaine Irby takes over at starting tight end.
- Earl Thomas and Blake Gideon are the starting safeties.
- John Gold is the punter.
The article mentions that Brandon Collins sat out the game "because of a possible violation of financial aid rules." Hadn't heard that before and have no idea what it could mean, or if he will play against UTEP. Something to keep on eye on.
A-Lew makes the move inside. With Lamarr Houston missing the UTEP game (at least) for his drunk driving arrest, Aaron Lewis is moving inside full-time. Will Muschamp called it "unfair" for Lewis to have to play two positions, which seems an odd choice of words. At any rate, it should increase the learning curve for Lewis at the defensive tackle position, obviously one of need with the depth taking a hit for an unknown period of time until Lamarr Houston returns. My favorite memory of Lewis was at the Cotton Bowl in 2006 when he chased Adrian Peterson down the line of scrimmage and actually caught him. Every team needs a player like Aaron Lewis.
How long till the Aggies get jealous? Anybody else recall the Aggies issuing a statement saying their smaller screen at Kyle Field was better than the Godzillatron? I wonder how long until they start getting jealous of the new DKR, which received a positive review from srr50 over at Barking Carnival, who enjoyed the perspective over the field from the new north end zone. For those who went to the game, what were your impressions of the new field? Was it louder than normal and how intimidating was it?
When a freshman isn't a freshman. In his Monday press conference, Mack Brown spent some time talking about the advantages of early enrollment:
It's different than the old freshmen days four to five years ago, when a guy wouldn't get here until August, because that's a hard transition. But when you go through an off-season program, spring practice, summer work and then two-a-days, you are much more prepared to play as a freshman than any other time in the past.
Brown was talking about Blake Gideon, a perfect example of how young players benefit from early enrollment. A growing trend in college football, it seems likely to continue to grow. It's especially positive because it forces students to take care of their schoolwork and demonstrates their resolve in doing so. It also gives the players a semester to adjust to college life, a benefit that freshmen enrolling in the fall do not receive. Good for the program and good for the players.