Texas Longhorns senior wide receiver Marquise Goodwin is back from London. Has been back from London. There was proof -- he was on the field Saturday night for Texas. He even touched the ball, twice, with an eight-yard catch and a 32-yard kickoff return.
Wyoming didn't seem to care for him getting the ball, choosing to sky kick to up-man Ryan Roberson following the return from Goodwin, which he was nearly able to break into the open field for an even bigger gain.
Texas didn't seem to care to get him the ball.
Not exactly the start to his senior season that he envisioned. Or those fans who expected him to quickly begin building on a strong 2011 finish that saw him record the vast majority of his catches and score both of his touchdowns after October.
Okay, here are some of those numbers:
In the last six games, Goodwin had 27 catches for 487 yards and the two touchdowns that he scored against Baylor and Cal, the former going for 80 yards off the hand of Case McCoy and the latter from David Ash for 47 yards.
During that time, four of his catches went for 25 yards or more (15%), eight went for 10 or more (30%).
Not to re-hash that which has already been hashed, but his good Holiday Bowl performance could have been even better had then-freshman quarterback David Ash been able to hit him on some long passes, including one that could have gone for over 90 yards. Re-hashed in summary.
Done now, finally. Moving on. But that is important stuff, no?
In a very 2010 DJ Monroe style, head coach Mack Brown said after the game that he was concerned with the lack of touches for the most explosive member of the receiving corps:
Like we said we do need to get it to [WR] Marquise [Goodwin] more. He didn't get it tonight very many times.
Indeed not. Offensively, only the unremarkable catch, which this author can't even recall having happened.
And despite using the screen game and jet sweeps liberally, Goodwin was not a recipient of either, with the screens going primarily to sophomore receiver Jaxon Shipley and junior wideout Mike Davis, while senior speed back Monroe received the jet sweep carries, along with Shipley, who threw one pass off the look and was going to throw another before stopping and cutting back on the play that saw Ash throw a block in the backfield and offensive guard Mason Walters his unusually far downfield for a lineman.
In any case, the result was that whatever intentions co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin had in regards to getting the ball to Goodwin, the "flow of the game" or whatever resulted in virtually nothing offensively. Was it by design or by simple coincidence?
Without asking the coaching staff directly, it's impossible to say why exactly he didn't get the ball.
After missing most of the spring and needing to acclimate after arriving back in the states just after the start of fall practice, it could be that Goodwin is simply behind the learning curve and as Harsin went relatively safe with his gameplan against Wyoming, the senior wideout was simply neglected in favor of guys who hadn't missed reps in the spring and fall.
If Brown's comment was any indication, the coaches will make it a priority to get Goodwin more involved against New Mexico this weekend, but it certainly wasn't on the mind of the beat writers covering the Longhorns, or Brown on Monday, or Harsin on Tuesday, as Goodwin wasn't mentioned in either press conference (at least in the transcribed sections).
However, there has been plenty of talk about needing more explosive plays, especially in the passing game (the only explosive play there through the air was the touchdown pass from Ash to Shipley). And, as mentioned above, Goodwin was creating them at pretty ridiculously high rate by the end of last season. Perhaps getting him involved this year would help produce more explosive plays? Crazy thought, clearly, but thought it might be worth throwing out there.
At some point, the breakout will likely happen for Goodwin. At least that continues to remain the hope, based on those tantalizing glimpses he has flashed throughout this career, but never entirely capitalized upon in a sustained fashion.
For now, an All Points Bulletin is in effect entering the second week of the season. This guy is dangerous, when armed with the football, and may be hard to apprehend. Will he be armed when he's finally tracked down?