What happened to the cool Longhorn logo Morning Coffee always uses? I dunno,it seems to have been lost from the archives as well, but the show must go on...Just imagine it's there, people. Liar. --PB--
Beware the Rak. According to my source embedded deep within the Arkansas football program (we'll call him Squealing Piggy), LT Ray Dominguez is a psychological wreck this week. He only managed several hours of sleep Saturday night before awaking in a cold sweat suffering from night terrors. He reportedly hasn't slept since. The cause? Well, Brian Orakpo, of course, the Defensive Player of the Week. Orakpo spent Saturday afternoon running around Dominguez, knocking Arkansas quarterback Casey Dick out of the game with one particularly vicious hit. To Dominguez's credit, he was able to tackle Orakpo several times, the only issue being the illegality of the move. Orakpo wasn't just rushing the quarterback, however, maintaining his contain and stopping a reverse on the second play and stretching one running play to the sideline. This is the season that Longhorn fans expected from Orakpo last year before the illegal chop block against Arkansas State in the first game.
Buffs panties still twisted. It appears the Buffaloes haven't gotten over the 70-3 beatdown Vince Young and the Longhorns laid on them in the 2005 Big 12 Championship Game. Which is understandable. The extent to which they haven't gotten over it, however, is not. CU coach Darian Hagan explains:
I remember warming up and those guys were laughing and joking over there. They didn't respect us. We thought we could go in there and hang with them. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would be 70-3. And then in the fourth quarter, blitzing and piling it on, I didn't think that would happen, but it did.
What they did was pretty much try to clown us on a national stage, but you can't carry that. We have to let it roll off our back, but it's going to be in the back of our minds, I can tell you that.
Cry me a river, dude, seriously. Let me break this down by points: 1) Vince Young and his teammates always joked before games--because it's just how they stayed loose and because mediocre teams like the Buffs weren't a threat, 2) Joel Klatt was knocked out of the game in the third quarter, if you don't like that, run the ball or take him out, 3) actually, I believe the Buffs did get clowned on a national stage since there isn't anything else to call 70-3, and 4) Mack Brown called off the dogs--the Longhorns scored all 70 points in the first 36 minutes of the game. Texas could have dropped 100 in that game, but didn't because Mack Brown is no Steve Spurrier. Sorry you got clowned, Hagan, maybe you should move past it.
Death of the Q Package? After an unsuccessful game for the Q Package (about the only thing that went wrong in the 52-10 demolition), Longhorn coaches wondered out loud about its future. According to the coaches, the reasoning is twofold: the young wide receivers are playing well and Chiles needs to develop at quarterback. I don't think many Longhorn fans will disagree with that assessment since many have been saying the same thing. James Kirkendoll and Brandon Collins have both shown flashes of elusiveness that suggest they need the ball in their hands more often. Elusiveness that Chiles did not show Saturday. Chiles also didn't run the correct route on the first series he was in, forcing McCoy to pull the ball down and run. A triple option play killed a drive later in the game. Since the offense is operating on every cylinder but the Q Package, the coaches need to determine if Chiles has a future at Texas as a quarterback or make a serious commitment to developing complimentary plays for the package.
Why the Buffs don't scare me. While OU's stunning loss last season in Boulder is all the argument necessary to establish to difficulty of winning at CU, the game on Saturday just doesn't scare me. Sure, there are a lot of things that could go wrong, like turnovers and poor special teams play, but besides a couple decent returns by Arkansas, neither of those potential problems scare me. Neither do the players on the CU team. I wrote a while back that I wasn't impressed by Cody Hawkins, who won't have much success, if any, throwing from the pocket against the Longhorns. Considering that the team is missing three offensive linemen, there probably won't be a pocket most of the game. They don't have any receivers other than Josh Smith, who is a threat, but the only player who scares me is little Rodney Stewart, the redshirt freshman running back who torched West Virginia. He will be the first serious challenge for the Texas run defense and, at 5-6, will test the Longhorns' ability to tackle. Scipio Tex has a good analysis of the game up at Barking Carnival, expounding on basically the same points I just made.
Carl Spackler admires the groundskeeping. Bill Murray stopped by the office of Mack Brown on Friday to get a look at the football field before attending the Arkansas game on Saturday. Always the comedian, the transcript of his interview on MB-TF is quite funny. He mentions that he had only been to Austin once before, driving through with Dan Akroyd headed across country. I can't even imagine what that must have been like. It's worth reading, but this is the best quote:
I was in Manhattan last year, I think it was the day Texas lost to Kansas State, and they just about tore the whole city apart. Kansas State beating Texas, that's bigger than the wheat coming in. That's big.
He also mentioned that the Texas staff made him a customized Texas jersey with his name on it "in about 90 seconds," expressing amazement they could do it that quickly. Interesting stuff. Hopefully, he came away from the weekend something of a fan of Austin and UT football.