Halftime: 13-6, Horns offense coming along slowly

It’s halftime and the Texas offense seems to be having trouble moving the ball on Rice. Other than a short-yardage TD, it’s been all field goals at DKR. Best part about playing Rice though is the Mob. Gotta love it when they stick it to A&M. Defense has played well despite a few unnecessary penalties. Especially encouraging is the play of the young corners, mainly Adrian Phillips.

UT Football Halftime

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You CAN call it a comeback

If you need an uplifting story to get you going today, check out Chip Brown’s story on Blaine Irby’s miracle comeback on Orangebloods.com (It’s a free story, so you don’t have to worry about being a subscriber to read it). Doctors gave Irby a less than 5% chance to ever walk normally again. Not play football. Not block 280 lb. defensive linemen. Not catch deep passes over the middle. It was a 5% chance just to walk! And in 2011 we are talking about Irby possibly being a starter and a key contributer to a Big 12 football team. Simply amazing. Count your blessings guys.

If you need a reminder about how bad Irby’s injury was, watch the video below but watch at your own risk. I remember seeing this live and my stomach still drops every time I watch it.

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Season Preview: Linebackers

2010 in Review: The Horns’ linebacking corps was one of the few bright spots of this past season. Linebackers Keenan Robinson (113) and Emmanuel Acho (87) led the team in tackles and accounted for six (three interceptions, three fumble recoveries) of the team’s 17 takeaways. Highly-touted freshman Jordan Hicks, who must look like the smartest man on the planet after passing up Ohio State to attend school at the 40 acres, played all 12 games on special teams and logged eight games at linebacker. Jared Norton and Dustin Earnest, who also logged time in as starters, graduated and exhausted their eligibility.

Key Returner: It’s difficult to separate Robinson and Acho because they are so similar and equally as important to the unit. Which is why the key returner will be known as RobCho. If RobCho can stay healthy, the linebacking corps will again be one of the Longhorns’ greatest strengths.

Player to Watch: It would be easy to say Hicks, a five-star recruit coming out of high school with tremendous upside, but one name that has intrigued coaches this fall has been sophomore Demarco Cobbs. The converted safety appeared in all 12 games last season on special teams, including one at defensive back, and recorded five tackles. Not much, but with his speed and coverage abilities he adds a versatile option to defensive coordinator Manny Diaz’s blitz schemes. Junior Dravannti Johnson could also make an impact with the linebackers, although most of the time will be spent with his hand on the ground terrorizing QB’s at the defensive end position.

For the Linebackers to be successful, they need to … stay healthy. The linebacking unit is deep with talent, but not experience. Other than RobCho, Hicks and Johnson, no other Texas linebacker has logged game time at the position. The Horns will rely heavily on the leadership and experience that RobCho provides. An injury to either one of them would be a devastating blow. Hicks missed time in the spring with a broken bone in his right foot, which required surgery, but he should be healthy by the opener.

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It’s only the beginning

Just got my UT football season tickets in the mail, so I think now it’s official. We can FINALLY put 5-7 behind us and focus on 2011. I’m going to be previewing the Horns leading up to the first game against Rice so everyone has something to read while they pretend to work. So sit back and enjoy the Tour de Redemption.

DKR

Are you ready for some football?

8/18: Special Teams

8/19: Linebackers

8/23: Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

8/24: Defensive Line

8/25: Offensive Line

8/26: Defensive Backs

8/30: Running Backs

8/31: Quarterbacks

9/1: Pre-gaming w/Schmidtty: UT vs. Rice

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Pre-gaming with Schmidtty: UT vs. Oklahoma St.

I won’t lie, I’m not very confident in Texas’ chances this week. Oklahoma State is good at one thing and it’s the exact opposite of what Texas is good at … scoring touchdowns. The Cowboys sit atop the Big 12 South and have only scored less than 34 points once this season. The Longhorns conversely haven’t scored more than 34 points at all this year.

Garrett Gilbert

Garrett Gilbert had a rough week against K State with 5 interceptions. He'll need to bounce back if the Horns have any chance against OK State. - AA-S Photo

One very interesting stat that I heard today was that only three teams have gained more yards than every team they have faced this year, TCU, Boise State and Texas. I haven’t done the research myself, but if that is true then maybe there is one bright spot for Texas this season. Although since they are 91st in the country in scoring, it further perpetuates the fact that the Longhorns are just terrible in the red zone. (If you were wondering, Oklahoma State is 3rd in the country in scoring)

The player to watch would be OSU wideout Justin Blackmon. Blackmon leads the NCAA in receiving yards with 1,285 yards and has not had less than 125 receiving yards in any game this season. He has seen the end zone in every game he has played this season and has 15 total receiving touchdowns on the year. Be afraid, be very afraid of this guy.

The Horns have their work cut out for them. Heard on the radio that a LOT of recruits will be making official visits to UT for this game, so get there early, be loud and stay late. And of course, wear your orange.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4plYzEk9mNk]

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