Texas fans have spent a lot of time talking about the relative struggles running the football in 2006. One of the debates that's grown loudest has been whether or not Texas should stay in the shotgun formation, a question the Statesman explores today.
Greg Davis and Mack Brown say the shotgun isn't just preferable for the options it presents the passing game, it's been more productive for their running game as well. The coaches cite a "study" they conducted of all 275 of Jamaal Charles' carries, noting that he's averaged 6.6 yards per carry from the shotgun, and 6.0 out of the I-Formation.
Now, I'm all for the use of data in making decisions about how you run your football team, but the full story isn't being presented here. Charles picked up a lot of his biggest yardage in 2005, as a freshman, playing alongside Vince Young. There's not even a moment's question that Texas was right to run the offense out of the shotgun with Vince. The question is whether the running game can be as effective out of the shotgun when there's a mortal at QB.
I happen to be a proponent of keeping Colt in the shotgun (I love what it does for our passing game), but this is a question that's worth exploring in greater depth. A poster at HornFans tackled this question in detail recently, and it's one we'll be looking at from a more theoretical perspective in the next Smart Football Series here at BON.
My oh my how things change. Just one year after earning the nickname Tweedle Dum here at BON, senior Brandon Foster is making headlines everywhere I look. K-EYE TV 42 had a nice feature on him last night, while Orangebloods.com profiles him this morning ($). I have to admit, when I put the Eyes of Texas book to bed and sent it off to the press, I was nervous about putting Foster as the starting cornerback on the depth chart.
As it turns out, Foster's having as good a series of fall workouts as anyone on the team, positioning himself comfortably in a starting role right now. Foster has to overcome a size deficit (he's only 5-9) to succeed, something he's worked on by shedding weight and adding quickness. Count me as a touch skeptical that he's suddenly taken a giant leap forward, but what do I know? Everyone who's actually watching the kid play is simply raving. Congrats to Brandon on his improvement and I hope it carries into the season.
If there's a better Big 12 column around than Tim Griffin's at the San Antonio Express-News, I've yet to see it. Griffin's molded his column format after Peter King's NFL Report on SI.com, presenting a long series of interesting stories coupled with personal opinions. This week's report includes nuggets on the kickoff rule change (big effect on the game), non-offensive scoring (Texas is third in the country since 1999), and the Franchione-Stoops "feud" (Coach Fran got burned), to name a few.
Tim will be tomorrow night's guest on EDSBS Live, as we'll talk to him about his duties covering the Big 12 for both the Express-News and ESPN.com.
Briefly: OU beat writers discuss the first scrimmage... Jermichael Finley could be the best tight end in the Big 12... Barry Switzer joins XM Satellite Radio... Oklahoma tries to sweeten its violations record with the NCAA... The Associated Press forecasts a Texas-USC rematch.