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Bevo's Daily Roundup - September 2, 2009

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3 days until the Louisiana-Monroe game.


"If Vondrell is making yards, he'll get a bunch. If not, we'll get someone else in there,"
Brown said. "Fozzy had an outstanding summer. He will play if he's healthy."
Are you sure it isn't Sam Bradford? A Statesman writer picks Colt McCoy as his favorite to win the Heisman.

Our defense wants to hit people. This is a good thing.

Longhorns quarterback Colt McCoy spoke Monday about a preseason camp that was full of intensity and hard hits. Not that he was ever touched, mind you. He was sporting a black jersey, after all.

"It was really competitive,'' he said. "We were going at it every day and talking a lot of trash in the locker room. There's a sense of relief that I don't have to go up against the defense. I'm ready to see them play against somebody else."

The defense shares those sentiments, Colt. Quiet as they have kept, they've been itching to blow up a quarterback. And that black jersey? To these bulls, it might as well be a red cape. They've dreamed about hitting you. But they know they can't.

The offensive line is really important.

They've been the most invisible players on the Texas football team this preseason.

No one's talking about them. Hardly anyone outside their mothers are following them. Democratic gubernatorial candidates are more prominent than Chris Hall and friends.

But no five players will have a bigger impact on the Longhorns' fortunes than the ones who will line up tackle to tackle.

How is McCoy preparing for ULM?

"It’s a mental challenge for a quarterback — they bring blitzes on every play [and] you have to know who is coming," said Texas quarterback Colt McCoy. "We just have to do what we do."

And that is to execute perfectly in the short range passing game, the usual recipe to beating the blitz. With the most accurate quarterback in college football history and a plethora of receiving options, the Longhorns’ short passing attack should be tailor-made to unlock the mysteries of Monroe’s defense if McCoy can get the ball out of his hands.

"[They are] very aggressive," said offensive coordinator Greg Davis. "Looking at the New Mexico film — and that’s what we base everything schematically — they blitz 76 percent of the time, which is an enormous number in the Big 12. The picture is it’s kind of a mental gymnastics game that you have to be buttoned up on where they’re coming from. When they get off the bus, they’re bringing somebody."

The future looks good. Lots of freshmen may see playing time.

Do the Horns deserve that preseason ranking?

"Coach Brown asked us (Sunday) night, ‘Do you think you deserve it?'" offensive lineman Chris Hall said of UT's spot in the preseason polls. "The overwhelming majority (of players) said we haven't done anything yet."

The Longhorns are really nervous about the game on Saturday. Those Warhawks could cause quite an upset.

The last thing on the Longhorns' season-opener wish list is to become the subject of a billboard statement by a Sun Belt school.

"We don't want to be a part of any losses," linebacker/defensive end Sergio Kindle said Monday.

But Mack Brown doesn't want to scare anyone.

"We try not to play up the scare approach," Brown said. "You can convince your team that you can lose. But those are the facts. They [Monroe] did beat Alabama. ... And we feel like they’re a lot like the Arkansas State team that played us off our feet [in 2007]."

Center Chris Hall said players consider themselves forewarned.


Colt McCoy made the cover of another magazine. And Mack Brown Texas Sports provides some fish stories.



It's not the best time to have a lot of switcheroos. ULM shakes up their depth chart.

The biggest switcheroos on the depth chart are on the offensive line. Offensive line coach Vance Vice came in assuring his players there were no starting spots won even with returning players. He made sure to drive the point home when he arrived in the spring and since has flip flopped the line with some starters changing positions mixed in with some new faces also.

"We feel like to give us the best opportunity to win, we have to have the best five offensive linemen on the field to go along with the best 11 on the field," Weatherbie said.

The Austin American-Statesman has a ULM scouting report.




The Aggies are learning about the economy. All that hard work will pay off.

Texas A&M safety Jordan Pugh, his voice rising like that of an evangelical preacher, vowed the Aggies will be improved this season — starting with Saturday night’s home game against New Mexico.

How so? Pugh said A&M coach Mike Sherman cites bank investing as an example.

"It’s the investment we put into the offseason," Pugh said. "I don’t think anybody has worked harder than us. That’s an honest statement."

No word on Ryan Tannehill's role.

Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman refused to disclose his plans for Ryan Tannehill, who was a productive receiver for the Aggies last season but is now their backup quarterback after attempting to unseat attempted to Jerrod Johnson in fall camp.

"He's a big part of what we do here," Sherman said, "but I think I'll save that one for game day. I appreciate the question, though. Nice try."

Not good, Mike. The Aggie coach makes his poll rankings public.

1. Florida
2. Oklahoma
3. Texas
4. USC
5. Alabama
6. Ohio State
7. Oklahoma State
8. Virginia Tech
9. Ole Miss
10. Penn State

We have long memories. Memories that extend until November.




Oklahoma State

The Pokes have a deadly kick-return game.

the Cowboys have something else going for them. Two something elses to be exact — Dez Bryant and Perrish Cox.

Bryant led the conference last season with a 17.9-yard punt return average. He took two the distance, the only return man in the conference to do so.

Cox led the league with a 29.8-yard kickoff return average. He, too, was the only specialist to score twice on kickoff returns, a Big 12 record for a season.

Dynamic Dez. Receiver Dez Bryant is ready for the Bulldogs.

"Not just me, but the whole team — we're ready," Bryant said. "We feel very confident coming into this game."

All will be revealed on Saturday. By this time next week we will know everything we need to know about the Cowboys.

If OSU wins Saturday they have every right to thump their chest and do some bragging.

If OSU loses, well then there’s a quite a different story to be told.

Today has not been a good day for Pokes. Tight end Jamal Mosley is leaving the team and middle linebacker Orie Lemon is out for the season.

When all else fails, blame it on the media. Mike Gundy blames repetitive questions for that media blackout.

"We had (interviews) open for 16 days in a row that the questions became so repetitive," Gundy said Monday during the weekly Big 12 teleconference. "It was the same things over and over. There was such a demand it was taking up the players' time. I felt players were kind of getting worn out.

If you think repetitive questions wear your team down, just wait until they meet the Longhorn and Sooner defenses.

Oklahoma State finally has a backup quarterback.

The Atlanta paper is having fun with the Cowboys.

Remember I told you last week of Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy put his players in a media lock down, so as to help keep them free of distractions before going into Georgia game week? Well, this is how well it worked. Starting senior defensive backand kickoff returner Perrish Cox was arrested for driving with a suspended license last Friday. It’s a good thing Gundy wouldn’t let his players do interview. Otherwise, somebody might’ve robbed a bank. (FYI, no word yet on whether Cox will play. But assuming he’s any good, expect the standard course of action, which is, "We’ll start him and let the legal side of things play itself out." I’m sure hearings can be put off until February in Stillwater.

Barking Carnival previews Oklahoma State.

Gundy’s offenses are well designed but poorly thought out.. They do things at the wrong times and fail to use the clock to their advantage late in games. Zac Robinson manages the team like a bored Target shift manager. They have to be explosive to win, but after Bryant and half a game’s worth of Robinson, it probably won’t be there.

The defense is mostly made up of players Texas cooled off on somewhere during the recruiting process. Ugo Chinasa, Orie Lemon, and Parrish Cox head the list of guys that Mack was OK with not having. Chinasa led the team in tackles for loss and dashikis in closet. The bodies on the line are just like any other not-quite-there-yet school. Good size, good speed, weak pass rush. They had a very good blitz package last year and needed every page of that section in the playbook. Richetti Jones will try to add something from his electric mobility scooter.

When they start coming up with tacky theme songs, things have gotten way out of hand.



There has been a big shake up on the Sooner o-line. We could see a tight end start at center against BYU.

Perhaps the most intriguing story line of Saturday’s game against Brigham Young will be how the Sooners use Eldridge, who, barring a dramatic change, will be in the starting lineup at center.

But with projected starting center Ben Habern, who battled an inflamed back for the first two weeks of fall camp, working back to form, the Sooners will have the option of playing Eldridge at both center and tight end.

An option they may utilize.

The Sooners like tests.

No. 20 BYU's potent offense will provide a good test in the season opener, Stoops said Monday during the weekly Big 12 teleconference.

"They're really efficient," Stoops said. "They have an excellent quarterback, a great tight end and a great running back. That's the rub. They do a really good job with their skill guys, using them all of them. They make you deal with it all.

Mike Balogun is not on the travel roster for the BYU game. His eligibility is still uncertain.

"The NCAA has not made a decision and they will not have a decision before Friday," Balogun’s attorney, Woody Glass, said in an e-mail. "Mike will not be able to travel with the team or participate in the game."

Some freshmen will get playing time.

Stoops had been complimentary of defensive backs Demontre Hurst and Marcus Trice throughout the preseason, but named several others who will also play throughout the season during his weekly press conference.

Offensive lineman Tyler Evans, defensive lineman Jamarkus McFarland, linebackers Ronnell Lewis and Jaydan Bird and wide receiver Jaz Reynolds were all named by Stoops as players who will contribute in their first season.

As much as we like to pick on Bob, this article really tells you about a side of his personality that we don't see.

Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops, hearing that the Restrepos were making two-day drives to Delaware during Javi's liver transplant, paid for a private jet for the trips. And after the final, fateful diagnosis, Stoops again paid for a private jet to send the family to a Florida beach for a one-day getaway.




Yes, we are aware the North Division is bad. One more variation of North vs. South. The writer even throws in Darwinism.

Welcome to the Big 12 South, where Darwinism is taken to ridiculous extremes. The Big 12 is regarded as the nation's strongest football league this side of the Southeastern Conference, and the South Division teams are largely responsible for that reputation.

With Texas ranking second, Oklahoma third and OSU 11th in the preseason coaches' poll, it's easy to see where the Big 12's balance of power rests. It's certainly not in the North Division, where only Nebraska is ranked at No. 22.

ESPN's Tim Griffin ranks the Big 12 offenses.

1. Oklahoma State
2. Oklahoma
3. Texas
4. Kansas
5. Texas Tech
6. Baylor
7. Missouri
8. Colorado
9. Nebraska
10. Texas A&M
11. Iowa State
12. Kansas State


The North

Music NSFW.

Nebraska's I-back Roy Helu will be even more instrumental this season.

As the Cornhuskers attempt to break in a new starting quarterback and two new wide receivers, Helu and the backfield were expected to be the integral part of the team’s offense.

But that preparation for Helu intensified Aug. 22 when Quentin Castille was dismissed from the team because of an undisclosed violation of team rules. The move means that a Cornhuskers offense that was already expected to lean on Helu will likely be depending on him even more when Nebraska starts the season Saturday against Florida Atlantic.

"As a unit, I don’t know how it will affect us," Helu said. "I think it’s inevitable with me and the other I-backs that we’ll get more work. And absolutely, I’m ready for it."

Bo Pelini likes the development of his offensive and defensive lines.

"I feel good about the development of our offensive and defensive lines," Pelini said. "I think they practiced hard…they’re ready to go. If we finish off this week the right way."

The fact that someone is even asking these questions is just sad. Can the Wildcats play defense? Will Bill Snyder keel over on the sideline?


1. Will K-State actually field a defense this year?

2. How much does Bill Snyder have left in the tank?

Kansas State has a quarterback.

The moral of this story? Stay off Twitter.

Speaking of Juice, there appears to be no hard feelings between the Illini quarterback and MU linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who playfully tweeted this summer about how much he can't wait to "squeeze the pulp out of Juice." Weatherspoon said Williams has since sent a message to MU nose tackle Jaron Baston with a simple request of Spoon: "Don't squeeze me too hard."

Tiger quarterback Blaine Gabbert should just be himself.

"I've never asked a player to go in and try to be somebody else," coach Gary Pinkel said. "You are who you are. [Freshman quarterback] Blaine Gabbert should be Blaine Gabbert, not Chase Daniel, not Brad Smith."

The Buffaloes are having serious issues with their depth chart.

Colorado coach Dan Hawkins said determining a depth chart for the season opener Sunday against Colorado State may have been more challenging this year than in his three previous seasons.

"There was much more competition; there are many more guys able to play," Hawkins said Monday during the Rocky Mountain Showdown kickoff luncheon at Invesco Field at Mile High.

The South

Saturday cannot come soon enough for Texas Tech.

"We’re kind of like a caged animal right now,’’ senior guard Brandon Carter said. "Everybody’s ready to be released. I think we’re the most excited team in the country right now. But when it comes time, we have to control that rage. We have to play disciplined and make sure we don’t have any penalties.’’

This guy has high hopes for the Red Raiders. Or he has no idea what he is talking about.

Tech will win all its home games this year – including the one against OU – and lose at Texas, Nebraska and OSU. The Raiders also will fall to Baylor at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, unless Bears QB Robert Griffin doesn’t play.




It is the Year of the Golden Arm.

The best coach of quarterbacks in the nation has a theory when it comes to the most important position on the field. It's one of those lucid, thought-provoking statements we've come to expect from Mike Leach, the game's free thinker.

Embrace what is instead of what could be.

How's that for earth-shattering?

"There are quarterbacks in the college game now that are just doing remarkable things," says Leach, whose quarterbacks at Texas Tech are annually among the nation's leaders. "And all we want to talk about is how they project to the NFL."

So what's driving Tim Tebow this season?

The answer is simple. More than anything, the best player in college football wants the one thing he does not have: an undefeated season.

The Wall Street Journal has some Great Gridiron Getaways planned for you.

Gale Sayers is heading back to Kansas.

Oh, no. I thought this only happened with Gator fans.