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Bevo's Daily Roundup - October 5 2009

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"We're not as good as we can be," McCoy said. "We're not near as good as we're going to be."	  	 

What do we know about the Longhorns at this point in the season?

Texas does have a defensive line talented enough to effectively rush the quarterback.

The defense, as a whole, learned a lesson in the offseason about how to force turnovers, heeding coordinator Will Muschamp's pleas for more momentum-seizing plays.

The offense still needs a committee approach to rushing the ball because no one has stood out from the rest for consecutive games.

Special teams, despite stumbling badly against Wyoming, can break games open with their play, especially on returns.

McCoy, with some new go-to receivers, still is a bit prone to interceptions.

Our season comes down to one thing: Colt McCoy.

The Longhorns would start booking flights to meet Florida in the Rose Bowl, except for a few issues. The rest of the schedule is one, and the status of a rusty shoulder is the other.

After all, nothing that happens on other campuses matters if Colt McCoy isn’t right.

Nothing is lost yet for him. Not a game, not the Heisman.

Colt McCoy on injuries:

"You're going to hit. You're going to get banged up," said McCoy, who battled the flu recently. "For me, I don't worry about those injuries, things like that. You can't focus on that."

Non-diminishing returns. D.J. Monroe has no idea that returning a kick for a TD is difficult.

First of all, D.J. Monroe knows how to make the catch.

Once the ball is securely in his hands, he recognizes the importance of a quick first step. Instinctively, his eyes pan the width of the field, he picks the correct running lane, and he understands how to use one final burst of quickness to make the one free tackler miss.

But given all of that, does the Texas Longhorns' young speed sensation really know that returning a kick for a touchdown is supposed to be difficult?

"No," said Jordan Shipley, an accomplished UT return man in his own right. "I don't think he does."

 

 

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Aggies lose. A&M lost to Arkansas 47-19.

But you know those Aggies. They will stay the course and never give up.

"At halftime, I looked in their eyes," Sherman said. "They wanted to go back out there and prove themselves. I'm pleased with what I learned about this team. They don't have any quit in them. They don't have any excuses in them."

As for Sherman, he surely knew there would be more days like this, days when all those young players blinked on a big stage, days that will have the message boards on fire with doubt and anger.

A&M had taken a step in the right direction with a 3-0 start, but this night was a cold, hard slap in the face.

"You've got to live with it," Johnson said. "We've just got to stay the course. I still have confidence in our team and what we can accomplish this season."

 

 

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Oklahoma State

Mike Gundy warns his players about social networking.

Do yourself and your mother proud.

"If there’s something out there you wouldn’t want your mother or an NFL scout to see, then I wouldn’t put it on there," Gundy said he’s told the Cowboys.

 

Oklahoma

The Sooners needed the defense to step up against Miami. It didn't happen.

They trotted onto the field with 4:18 left, these Oklahoma defenders who had been handed the responsibility of keeping national championship hopes alive.

Get a stop, say a prayer and see if somehow a one-point deficit could be overcome in this land of so many great Sooner moments.

And Miami’s offense handed the Sooners their heads.

The Sooners took the lead 10-0, but the second half was a different story. Everything changed.

After the Hurricane defense stuffed a DeMarco Murray run, Miami’s Brandon Harris came on a cornerback blitz to jar the ball out of quarterback Landry Jones’ hand.

Miami recovered, and quarterback Jacory Harris found tight end Dedrick Epps for a touchdown on the next play to give the Hurricanes a 14-10 lead.

Miami never trailed the rest of the way.

To top it all off, Ryan Broyles was injured and will be out 4-6 weeks.

NewsOK's Barry Tramel examines the Sooners' play calling.

Anyway, let’s now look at third-and-longs. Fourteen of them. OU converted four, which is probably about normal for most good teams. Nobody really makes a living on third-and-8. Anyway, here’s what’s interesting. OU ran the ball on third-and-long three times, and made it once. Murray dashed 12 yards on a third-and-8. OU threw on third-and-long 11 times and converted three. Think about that. OU’s success rate running the ball on third-and-long (albeit a small sample) was 33 percent. OU’s success rate throwing the ball on third-and-long was 27 percent.

That’s just amazing to me. And I think that speaks to the quandary OU found itself in with Landry Jones and Cameron Kinney and James Hanna. The Sooners had to find a way to keep the defense off balance. I think, in retrospect, that way was more first-down passing and more third-down running.

Jeremy Beal had three sacks and Landry Jones got good reviews.

The Hurricanes got a few sacks of their own.

The holy trinity of a passing game that was supposed to light up the nation watched as Miami hung on for a 21-20 win that simultaneously validated the Hurricanes and knocked the Sooners out of the national title race. That may not be fair, considering Oklahoma has lost its top offensive playmakers and only lost two games by a combined two points, but that's life. Of greater concern is that Miami exposed some nagging flaws in a program that has always found a way to reinvent itself under coach Bob Stoops in spite of the circumstances.

The Hurricanes, who hadn't gotten a lick of pressure on an opponent all season, sacked Sooners quarterback Landry Jones three times and hurried him four more.

NewsOK has the game report card, the numbers and some quotes.

The Wall Street Journal sees the handwriting on the wall.

Before kickoff, I noted that Oklahoma’s national championship hopes were still very much alive. Three-and-a-half hours later, they have been extinguished. The best OU can hope for now is to ply spoiler in the Big 12, depriving Texas of the conference crown (and BCS championship berth), and to claim a non-championship BCS bid — the Fiesta Bowl and a crack at fifth place in the final poll! Woo-hoo!

Everyone sing along... Oklahoma, you're doing fine! O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A!

 

 

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Dan Beebe is really excited about sending a Big 12 team to play in the hard, cold New York winter.

 

The North

The Buff defense kept Colorado in the game against Wyoming.

What's happened to Darrell Scott?

Colorado tailback Rodney Stewart got the bulk of the carries in the Buffaloes’ 35-24 defeat at West Virginia on Thursday.

Stewart rushed 21 times for 105 yards but finished with just 8 rushing yards in the second half.

Meanwhile, Darrell Scott rushed just four times for a total of 5 yards. According to CU head coach Dan Hawkins, a few factors contributed to the uneven amount of work for the two backs.

"(Rodney) was pretty effective, wasn’t he?" Hawkins said. "Darrell started practicing a little bit more this week, but you’ve got to look at the flow of the game and how that goes. Rodney was just so effective that it’s hard to get him out of the game."

Like an incredible finish? Kansas State beat Iowa State 24-23. A blocked PAT sealed the deal.

Grant Mahoney was as shocked as everyone else when the extra-point kick he attempted came back at him.

Thump. Thump.

"Shocked, that was my reaction," Mahoney said after Kansas State blocked his PAT try that, if successful, would have meant a tie game with 32 seconds to play, not a 24-23 loss for Iowa State at Arrowhead Stadium.

"It felt like I hit it just fine. It felt like a good kick."

 

The South

Tech-New Mexico wrap up. ESPN highlights here.

Does Mike Leach have another looming controversy on his hands?

I know that Texas Tech starting quarterback Taylor Potts' injury knocked him out of the game.

But Steven Sheffield's dramatic performance off the bench already has some Tech fans clamoring about his chance at leading the Tech offense permanently.

The Red Raiders responded to the quarterback change by charging to a 48-28 victory over New Mexico. Sheffield directed his team to touchdowns on his first four possessions, completing 16 of 22 passes for 239 yards.

Leach doesn't use Twitter and he doesn't email.

Twitter is nothing more than a communication device.

So is a football coach.

Leach admits this isn't his element. "I've never typed an e-mail in my life," he said Wednesday night, "and I'm striving to keep it that way."

Third-string quarterback Nick Florence led the Bears over Kent State 31-15.

 

Old SWC Foes

TCU beat SMU 39-14.

The Horned Frogs' defense shut down SMU's high-powered run-and-shoot offense from the jump and waited for their offensive teammates to get in gear before thumping SMU 39-14.

The No. 11-ranked Frogs improved to 4-0 for the second consecutive season and finished nonconference undefeated for the first time since 2006. TCU begins Mountain West Conference play at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Air Force. The Falcons (3-2, 2-0 MWC) fell in overtime to Navy 16-13 Saturday.

Houston lost to UTEP. Yes, UTEP.

"It was a blast," said coach Mike Price, who was doused with a water cooler by his players. "We haven't had enough fun. I told the players were going to have fun, and it was fun.

"It was long, it was tiring and it was fun."

Needless to say, Houston is in shock.

When it comes to keeping their helmets about them, the Houston Cougars are a work in progress.

The Cougars have something to learn about keeping their heads about them, too.

One week after the Cougars lost four helmets during a spontaneous post-game celebration, the mental edge that got them a No. 12 national ranking went absent without leave. Undermined and unnerved by a litany of missed opportunities in the first half, the Cougars went into a downward spiral that ended in a 58-41 defeat against the UTEP Miners on Saturday night.

"UTEP played a perfect game," Keenum said. "We couldn’t connect on a lot of things."

Richard Justice doesn't think the Cougars are ready for primetime.

UH didn't just lose. UH was embarrassed. UH went from a halftime tie to a 17-point deficit after three quarters. Case Keenum threw five TD passes and UH rolled up 664 yards of offense, but it wasn't nearly enough.

This loss exposes UH in a bad way. I heard a guy on ESPN doubt UH on Saturday, saying that schools that have to outscore opponents are going to lose games along the way.

I hadn't seen UH that way because I thought the UH defense was capable of making plays, too. UH got blown off the field by UTEP, and now UH has a tough, tough game at Mississippi State. The Coogs lost a lot Saturday night in that 58-41 defeat, and it'll be a long time getting it back.

 

 

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Who will the SEC's next Heisman candidate be?

As players get bigger and faster, there are more concerns about head injuries.

The National Championship Issue looks at the flaws of the coaches' poll.

We take our religion to a whole new level. Football is considered a religious experience in Oklahoma.

There's a new book out on Notre Dame football. Lou Holtz will have some bedtime reading.

Just a way of life here in Austin. Football, tailgating and alcohol.

Texas campus police chief Robert Dahlstrom confirmed UT has its share of cases of unruly and intoxicated behavior — on a typical evening game, when fans have been tailgating all day, UT officers escort more than 50 people out of Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

"The logistics of that type of program (employed at the much smaller Minnesota stadium) would be extremely difficult to manage," Dahlstrom said. "But at our games, it's not just the students. We handle just as many — if not more — non-students who are publicly intoxicated."

UT student Chris Tavarez took Dahlstrom's point about logistics one step further.

"If they started it at Texas, the entire student section would be empty," Tavarez said. "Tailgating is huge in Texas, and alcohol typically goes with it. Having a few beers before the game makes the atmosphere better, but there are plenty of kids that come to the game way too gone, and that's not what Texas football is about."

 

And finally...

Classy guy.

Happy birthday, Barry. Today is Barry Switzer's big day.