Editor's Note: AR returns! Welcome back, sir. For those new to the site, Andrew is our esteemed intern and the source of every great BON-produced video you've seen around here.
In any season opener against a Sun Belt cupcake you're going to end up with your fair share of rushing yards. For the 'Horns since 2002, rushing in the opening game has been somewhat indicative of future success.
In 2002, North Texas shut down Cedric Benson and the 'Horns to the tune of 42 total rushing yards and in 2003 the 'Horns only rushed for 168 yards, a fairly decent sum against a top shelf team, but pretty lame against New Mexico State, whereas the 2006 team, which was a weaker rushing team, broke 200 going for 212 against the Mean Green.
But in the two most successful seasons in that span, 2004 and 2005, they rushed for 513 and 418, respectively, presaging great things.
Now I'm completely on board with the idea that the Texas offense in 2007 should use the pass to set up the run, but in the first game the benefits of rushing the hell out it are easy to enumerate.
1. It's fun
No one would argue that LSU's win last night was fun, but Arkansas State can't defend the run like a bottom of the pack SEC team. Passing causes a lot of anxiety, a couple errant passes can stall a drive, not to mention interceptions. If you can run with impunity, there's really no reason to pass. It's also fun for your linemen. Ask any lineman, attacking, mauling, pancaky run blocking is tons more fun than back-em-off pass blocking that is only a stall no matter how good it is. I'm sure these green linemen are excited to get out and maul some overmatched defenders.
2. It's a great way to break in the revamped run game
The passing game is pretty good. We get our key guys back, and we should be fine for the rest of the season. What's still a question mark is the run game, and Arkansas State is the perfect opponent to build confidence against. The more big runs JC breaks the better. It'll be great!
3. Running the clock faster: It's just classy
There are definite benefits to being classy. Other teams respect you. Everybody likes you more. Isn't that what you want?
So here's to a season where the offense thrives on tossing the ball around, and an opening game in which we rush for more than 300 yards.