Bevo's Daily Roundup - Spring Football Is Finally Here

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"This guy can be good," Brown said.

Garrett Gilbert is settling in.

The Longhorns begin spring practice on Friday and Garrett Gilbert will formally step in to replace Colt McCoy. Coach Mack Brown is already saying he expects Gilbert to be "really good."

It's easy to see why.

Less than two months ago, Gilbert, a former national high school player of the year, was pressed into duty five plays into the BCS championship game against Alabama when McCoy went down with an injury.

There are some big shoes to fill around Austin.

Gilbert, a sophomore, replaces Colt McCoy, the winningest starting quarterback in FBS football history. McCoy was knocked out of last season's BCS national championship game early because of a shoulder injury that rendered his passing arm numb.

Although he threw four interceptions and lost a key fumble in the loss to Alabama, Gilbert also threw two touchdown passes and played well enough to show quarterback still can be a strong point for Texas even without McCoy.

Preparing Gilbert to take over the offense will be the Longhorns' primary focus this spring. But they also need to work hard on bolstering the running game and filling holes at defensive tackle.

The Horns want to complement their fine passing attack.

Stop us if you've heard this one before, but the Longhorns hope to revive their running attack during spring football drills.

That hasn't exactly been an uncommon refrain the past few years. But there was a conviction in Mack Brown's voice Thursday that hinted Texas truly aims to get it done this time.

"We want to run the ball more and run the ball better," Brown said.

 The defense will rise again. The big names are gone, but don't count out the Horns' D next season.

If you ask Mack Brown whether he expects any drop-off on the defensive side of the ball, he almost jumps out of his chair.

The answer is, uh, no. An emphatic no.

Boise State was here for a visit.

Texas coach Mack Brown has coaches from Boise State on campus this week to discuss bringing some innovation to a Texas offense that hasn’t been very big on imagination in the last few seasons.

Jackie Sherrill had some advice for Mack Brown back in 1999:

After the 1999 Cotton Bowl, Texas football coach Mack Brown received a warning from Mississippi State counterpart Jackie Sherrill.

"You'll be looking for Ricky Williams the rest of your life," Sherrill told Brown, "and you'll never find him."

While Brown found pretty good encores like Cedric Benson and Jamaal Charles, Texas has recorded just one 1,000-yard rusher since 2005. In the last two seasons, no Longhorn has gained 600 yards on the ground.

I really like this guy. Defensive tackle Taylor Bible is quite the optimist.

"The teamwork, the chemistry, the trust, the coaches and the talent we possess," he said, explaining why Texas will four-peat, "the fact that we know we’re high caliber enough to win four." 

Mack knows.

I don’t want to say Mack Brown said Thursday that he’d be the last to know if Texas were going to leave the Big 12 and join the ranks of the Big Ten. But the Longhorn football coach said he’d be way down the list of those who find out first.

Baloney.

Mack knows when the custodians at Royal-Memorial Stadium change shifts. Mack didn’t become the best CEO in college football by not being in the loop. He knows all. After all, he is the consummate politician.

The UT athletic department has official music.

 

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ESPN has a list of the toughest non-conference Big 12 games next season. Texas comes in at No. 10.

10. UCLA at Texas, Sept. 25: The Bruins look to snap the Longhorns’ 19-game winning streak in nonconference, regular-season games. It’s tied for the nation’s second-longest active nonconference winning streak.

A little more on the rumbling discontent in the Big 12.

* The Big 12 is not exactly one big, happy family. Folks involved with the old Big Eight schools are not happy with the old Southwest Conference schools. When the league headquarters went south (moving to Dallas), the unity among universities went south as well.

* Texas is a monster. A monster! No athletic program generates more revenue. It may form its own television network -– and thus preclude the Big 12 from building something along the lines of the Big Ten Network.

Kyle Field is just like every other college football stadium. Really, it is.

I hope someone also warned him about walking on the grass. New Texas A&M defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter has never attended a game at Kyle Field.

"I've seen it on TV," DeRuyter said, smiling. "You don't get quite the same feel, but it's impressive."

A&M coach Mike Sherman sold his program to DeRuyter, late of Air Force, without DeRuyter experiencing the single best thing about Aggieland — game day at Kyle.

Turner Gill has one big goal for his first year at Kansas:

So Gill stares out at this snowy field and a season that seems so far away, and he's asked what his biggest hurdle will be in his first year at Kansas, a proud basketball school that is trying to move on from the Mark Mangino mess. He doesn't hesitate.

"Earning their trust," he says. "And only time is going to do that."

Colorado's Tyler Hansen feels right at home at quarterback.

"I feel like the team is kind of rallying behind me," Hansen said. "I feel like I`m getting more leadership. Guys are listening to me more. I feel like the coaches have more respect for me. I can go up there and speak my mind without them judging me or being like, 'You`re a young guy. What have you done?`

"I feel like I`ve proven myself on the field and off the field to earn the leadership I have right now."

 

And finally...

Big hits from the 2008 season. This is why we love the game. (Music probably NSFW.)

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