Pre-Gaming w/Schmidtty: OK State Edition

That was one rough week. And now the other team from Oklahoma comes in attempting to kick the Horns while they’re down. A game plan on how to expose Texas’ weaknesses is now on film for all to see, so hopefully the coaching staff had a good week of practice. It’s all uphill – in terms of the schedule – from here, and there are no more gimme games for the Horns (except maybe Kansas). OK State will be a good barometer to see where Texas currently stands in it’s journey back to the top of the Big 12.

Head Coach (Record): Mike Gundy (52-29, All at OK State)

Current Record (Big 12): 5-0 (2-0)

AP Top 25 Ranking: #6; USA Today Coaches Poll Ranking: #7

Player(s) to Watch for OK State: Easy, easy, easy … QB Brandon Weeden and WR Justin Blackmon. Weeden will get teased because he’s older than half the guys starting at his position … in the NFL (he’s older than Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan, Kevin Kolb, Mark Sanchez, Josh Freeman, Andy Dalton, Colt McCoy, Joe Flacco, Alex Smith, Chad Henne, Sam Bradford, Curtis Painter, Blaine Gabbert, Matt Moore and Tim Tebow … all guys that have started an NFL game in 2011 or will this coming week). That being said, the former Yankees farmhand is currently second in the nation in completion percentage (75.8%), fourth in passing yards (1,880), ninth in passing touchdowns (15) and he has a quarterback rating of 165.0 which places him at 12th overall. Blackmon is making a case to become the second straight Biletnikoff Award winner since Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech. He’s had a touchdown in each of the past four games and is averaging 106.8 receiving yards per game.

Key Matchup: Longhorn DBs vs. the OK State passing attack. Last week, the young corners were exposed by Landry Jones and the OU receivers. Their press coverage failed and guys like Ryan Broyles, Jaz Reynolds and Kenny Stills could run their routes as they pleased. OK State may not have the combined talent of those three receivers, but they do have Blackmon who may be better than all three combined. And with the lack of a pass rush by UT, the play of the DBs becomes all that much more important. The good news for Texas cornerbacks, Weeden has thrown six interceptions this year. The bad news, he hasn’t thrown one in the last two weeks (against Big 12 opponents Texas A&M and Kansas). The great comebacks against OK State have started with defense (and ended with VY 80-yard runs, see video below), and this year’s group will need a lot of it if they are going to pull off the upset.

Prediction: OU exposed Texas’ weaknesses that the lesser talented teams on the schedule couldn’t, including the two-QB system which up until that point had been pretty successful. The offensive line didn’t allow it’s young quarterbacks enough time to make decisions and never got enough of a push for their running backs. If not for Fozzy Whittaker, would Texas have moved the ball on the ground at all? Even the wide receivers were getting sacked (Jaxon Shipley now has even more in common with Case McCoy). And all the talk about Texas not being worried about the lack of sacks by it’s defense because they were still getting pressure on quick-release QBs can be put to bed now. Landry Jones attempted 50 passes and got sacked once. It’s a problem. I don’t think Mack Brown has all the answers in one short week against a team that is clicking on all cylinders putting 70 points on Kansas last week. OK State wins this one 42-21.

Where to Watch: DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium of course! Well, if you can’t get through the gates you can always catch it on ABC at 2:30 PM CST.

Hook ‘Em!

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Only you can prevent wildfires

It’s taken me days to fully recover from this past weekend in Dallas, so I apologize for the radio silence on the blog postings. But I’m breaking my silence to pass along some very serious fire safety tips from UT athletics. This message goes out to all tailgaters. Let’s beat the hell out of O(s)U, but let’s be smart at the tailgate. Hook ‘Em!

 

Although Austin and the Central Texas area received rain this past weekend, it was not enough to end our current drought. In light of the ongoing drought and recent severe fires, we would like to remind all UT fans of safety protocols that you should follow when grilling or cooking on campus. We want you to enjoy your tailgate, but be safe and practice good fire safety to ensure that all UT fans and the campus remain safe from fire.

Hook ‘em, Horns!

safety firstBarbeque Grills, Smokers, and/or Deep Fryers
• Prohibited inside buildings/garages or within 25 feet of buildings
• Flammable vegetative material must be a minimum of six inches away from any heating surface.
• Must have proper lids or tops and keep the fire completely enclosed in an approved fire box to prevent the spread of fire
• Cannot block pathways in and out of buildings and must be 50 feet from any fresh air intakes or ten feet from HVAC intakes

Additional General Safety Tips
• Use only enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbeque to a depth of 2 inches.
• Never use gasoline to light charcoal.
• Never add lighter fluid to a burning fire.
• Never leave a fire unattended.
• Dispose of hot coals properly. Douse them with plenty of water and stir the coals to ensure they are completely out. Store in a metal container with a lid.
• Never put charcoal in a trash receptacle, bin, dumpster, or plastic, paper or wooden container.

Propane
• Maximum size of cylinder is 20 lbs. and only one spare cylinder may be stored at least 10 feet from the cooking area
• If you smell gas or suspect a leak, shut off your cylinder immediately! Do not attempt to manually light the grill.
• Inspect the unit and cylinder for cuts, gouges, dents, or rusting and repair as needed.

Tents
• If tents are used in an area with outdoor cooking, the tents must have a UL approved Fire Resistive Rating.
• Tents must be completely open on all sides.

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Don’t stop ’til you get enough

Can’t get enough UT-OU coverage leading up to tomorrow’s big game? Here are some links to coverage around the country.

ESPN – Pat Forde takes a deep look at the 2011 Texas Longhorns and what a difference a year makes after their 5-7 season in his article titled “Do Adjustments Mean Improvements?”

Sports Illustrated – Bill Trocchi previews the game as part of their Game of the Week package while Paul Finebaum takes a shot at UT for it’s role in the pushing the realignment agenda in what he calls a power play. There’s also a nice photo gallery chronicling the game since 2000.

CBS Sports – Dennis Dodd says Don’t Mess with Texas/OU in his column about keeping the Big 12 and the Red River Rivalry intact.

Austin American-Statesman – Randy Riggs has a nice article about how the Red River Rivalry has a recruiting impact.

The Oklahoman – Berry Tramel equates the game between Texas and OU as a poker match with the Cotton Bowl being a card table where the Sooners can finally win a hand. Travis Haney continues the poker metaphor with his key to the game, turnovers.

Barking Carnival – There are several articles previewing the game, but I really like the Ground and Pound about how Texas can beat OU. Or this one where the writer calls Landry Jones Uncle Rico.

Bleacher Report – Jacob Keyes gives his 3 Key deciding factors for the Texas/OU game. Harsh Kalan also gives his 5 reasons that Case McCoy is the Longhorn QB of the future.

I’m sure Orangebloods.com and SoonerScoop.com also has a lot of good coverage, but i’m not a subscriber so take a look if you are.

For those that will be at the game, be sure to take a look at the State Fair of Texas’ website to look at the new foods available this year. It isn’t called the Fried Food Capital of the Texas for nothing. The winner of the 2011 Big Tex Choice Award for Best Taste this year went to the Buffalo Chicken in a Flapjack and the Most Creative Award was won by Fried Bubblegum. Descriptions below:

Buffalo Chicken in a Flapjack BEST TASTE - A buffalo chicken strip is coated in flapjack batter, rolled in jalapeno bread crumbs, deep fried to a golden brown, skewed, and served with a side of syrup.  Crowd pleasing appetizer or a meal in itself! inside the Automobile Building and in the Thrill Way.

Fried Bubblegum MOST CREATIVE - You’ll swear it’s bubblegum!  A light as a feather bubble gum flavored marshmallow is dipped in batter and lightly fried to perfection.  Decorated with a swirl of icing.  A final sprinkling of powdered sugar completes this treat!  It will blow you away!  Granny’s Funnel Cakes on Coliseum Drive.

This year, I’m finally going to try the Fried Coke. When I finally found it last year, they were all sold out so my journey continues. Fried Salsa also may get a try. Take a look at the Fried Food Review from Pegasus News below.

 

 

 

 

 

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Pre-Gaming w/Schmidtty: OU (still sucks) Edition

The 106th Red River Rivalry is tomorrow and personally I can’t wait. The State Fair and the Cotton Bowl await the flood of Burnt Orange and Crimson. No need to hype it up any further so let’s get down to previewing the matchup.

Head Coach (Record): Bob Stoops (133-31, all at OU)

2010 Record: 12-2 (6-2/1st Big 12 South; Big 12 Conference Champions; beat UCONN 48-20 in the Fiesta Bowl)

Returning Starters: Offense 9 / Defense 8

Player(s) to Watch for OU: The easy choices are Landry Jones, Ryan Broyles or Travis Lewis (which will all play major roles for OU in this game), but this game tends to make stars out of the lesser known players. This year’s standout performer could be No. 2 wideout Kenny Stills who has 14 catches for 205 yards this year. For a team that likes to throw a lot, he’s the next guy Jones will target if Broyles is covered. If you will recall the 2010 Red River Rivalry, Broyles had a subpar day while Stills posted stats of 78 yards and a TD as a freshman to lead the Sooners.

Key Matchup: The McAsh Experiment vs. the OU D. If Texas is to win this game, they will have to have stellar performances by their young QBs. Both defenses are solid and OU has a very experienced offense (currently ranked 11th in the country in scoring) so the only real unknown in this game is the Texas offense. A lot of Longhorn freshman will be experiencing this rivalry for the first time on the field, so how they react is key. It’s a big stage, but so far they have stepped up to the challenge and guys like Jaxon Shipley and Malcolm Brown have played like seasoned vets. Case McCoy and David Ash are wild cards because though they have played well using their package of plays, nothing they have experienced so far compares to what they will see on Saturday.

Prediction: Call me a homer, but I believe in the Longhorns. The attitude has changed and though I know rationally that they won’t go undefeated this year, I don’t think they get a loss in this game. OU is not unbeatable. They have holes just like every other team. And anyone can win in a rivalry matchup. Which is why I’ll take Texas 28-24 in a close one in Dallas.

Where to Watch: If you can’t make it up to the Cotton Bowl for the game then at least go for all the deep fried treat!!! No? Alright, then you got the game broadcast live @11 AM CST (a.k.a. the crack of dawn for college football fans) on ABC.

Hook ‘Em

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TCU officially invited to the (Big 12) party

Texas won’t be the only Horns in the Big 12 if TCU accept the official invite from the conference. The Horned Frogs are currently a part of the Mountain West Conference, but last year they accepted an invite by the Big East to join their BCS conference. Now that the Big 12 has come calling, it’s hard to imagine that TCU will continue with it’s plan to go East. The Big 12 Conference allows TCU to play closer to home and develop more natural rivalries. A loss last week to SMU may not back up my next statement, but TCU has been one of the better non-BCS automatic qualifying football schools in the country for the past 10 years. Maybe only second to the Boise State Broncos. TCU stands to gain a lot of cash by joining the Big 12 and their new revenue sharing system. So if anyone deserves a pay raise in Fort Worth, it’s head football coach Gary Patterson who may be reason No. 1 that TCU will be the next Big 12 school.

In a statement from the 40 Acres, Longhorn AD DeLoss Dodds had this to say:

We’re proud that TCU has been invited to join the Big 12. Their commitment to academics and success on the field make them an excellent fit. With a solid budget and strong financial support, they have been proactive at improving facilities. Their close proximity to all conference institutions makes for a comfortable travel situation.

So find the nearest TCU alumnus in your office and welcome them to the Big 12. At least now you’ll have more friends to laugh at A&M when they are getting stomped in the SEC next year. Did anyone see the A&M/Arkansas game? Every … week … A&M. Enjoy yourselves.

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