Texas Football 2012: Second Fall Scrimmage Notes

Johnathan Gray looks better in burnt orange and white (Photo courtesy of Under Armour).

Less than a week after holding the first scrimmage of fall camp, the Texas Longhorns once again took to the field for some live action on Sunday night, once again working special teams in the morning and the full team in the evening.

While it doesn't sound like it was a earth-shaking scrimmage that will result in some profound shifts on the depth chart (when Texas actually decides to reveal one), and head coach Mack Brown has not yet met with the media to discuss the results, as he did last week, there are some highlights, as well as pictures.

  • According to most reports, there were no interceptions thrown by either quarterback on the night, continuing to build on the efforts of sophomore David Ash and junior Case McCoy in the first scrimmage, when the only pick came on a tipped pass. But was there separation created? With the lack of turnovers, it does not appear that there was anything decisive that happened, but there were more big plays from the offense, for reasons that will be discussed below.
  • Ash hit senior wide receiver Marquise Goodwin for a 70-yard touchdown on what was apparently a well-thrown go route. Is it a sign that Ash has started to turn the corner with his downfield accuracy, a major issue last season?
  • Plenty of buzz about freshman running back Johnathan Gray, who was using his vision and speed to strong effect on the night, scoring at least one touchdown that was pictured in the slideshow. Gray has scored some touchdowns before at DKR, including the game-clinching run in Aledo's first state title victory over Brenham, but it looks so much different in a Texas uniform, even the ugly practice jerseys. Oddly enough, reports differed on just how well Gray played, with several notably more glowing than others.
  • By virtually all accounts, freshman running back Daje Johnson continues to out-perform senior DJ Monroe and is in line to possibly completely consign Monroe to the bench.
  • Of the receivers, junior wide receiver Mike Davis was said to have had the best night, including a touchdown pass from McCoy. Davis also may have caught a touchdown pass from Ash. The Magic may be back for him.
  • Not much said about the tight ends. It does not appear that they had an impact on the evening, which is a developing trend after neither senior DJ Grant nor redshirt freshman MJ McFarland made positive plays in the first scrimmage.
  • After being limited at times during camp due to an ankle injury, junior linebacker Demarco Cobbs apparently went full speed on Sunday. a good sign for a guy the staff is now taking cautious approaches with whenever he gets dinged.
  • Sophomore Desmond Jackson and junior Brandon Moore are currently the starters at defensive tackle. Junior Ashton Dorsey may have gotten behind because he's been dinged during fall camp and has missed some reps. Either way, the Longhorns look extremely deep at the position.
  • Another guy who was limited earlier in camp also appeared to participate -- freshman defensive tackle Alex Norman, who appeared to beat redshirt freshman Taylor Doyle on one play.
  • The coaches took the opportunity to give the starting secondary a rest for most of the night, opting instead to let the young players get some extensive action. The young defensive backs were responsible for the big plays being given up -- they aren't ready to compete against the first-team offense, which is probably a better sign for the offense than it is a bad sign for the defensive backs, though more growth and seasoning is clearly needed with them. Barring injuries, they should get those opportunities before being thrown into larger roles.
  • It does not seem that there were any injuries of note, a major positive after the scares throughout fall camp regarding guys going down. Really, any time the offensive tackles put on pads and go out there and compete, it's a good thing when they make it out safely. It's going to be a terrifying year in that respect.
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