Gilbert to transfer

It’s official, injured QB Garrett Gilbert will transfer leaving the Longhorns with Case McCoy, David Ash and 2012 commit Connor Brewer next year. So now two questions arise, A) Where will Gilbert go? and B) Will UT recruit another quarterback in it’s 2012 class?

A) There is already a report that Gilbert was visiting the SMU campus today, but unless you are a fan of Mustangs you can’t really read about it on PonyPride.com. Almost as soon as there is a report about Gilbert visiting SMU, there is a story about how SMU shouldn’t go after him. You know things are pretty bad when the talk is should SMU go after Gilbert instead of should Gilbert go after SMU. Reports are he has four or five other schools on his radar (two others that were brought up were TCU and Clemson, but both teams have young QBs).

B) Guessing who the Longhorns will go after – and that’s IF they go after another QB for the 2012 class – is a little tougher. Looking at the Rivals rankings of players with Texas on their short list of schools, the top two are three-star recruits Jared Johnson of South Grand Prairie HS (who has his eyes set on Baylor) and Jeremiah Briscoe from Stratford HS (no offers yet … yay?). Of course, another name that pops up is local product and dual-threat QB Ben Johnson of Westwood HS. He has offers from Texas State and Rice, but one has to think if the burnt orange and white came calling, he’d answer. But I’m no expert, and I haven’t read any of these names anywhere else yet so don’t take them to heart.

One thing I will say about Gilbert is that I’m really sad to see him go … officially. I had a lot of high hopes for him and now I just hope he can find some success elsewhere. I really wish him the best.

Try to remember the good times Garrett … and good luck!

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May the Force be with Texas

Andy Staples of SI.com has an interesting way of framing his power rankings columns. This week the theme is Star Wars and he compares the No. 11 Longhorns to … Princess Leia??? He actually makes some valid points but still, Princess Leia? Below is his comparison. See if you agree.

Princess Leia: In Empire, Yoda reminds Obi-Wan that “There is another.” Though Episode Three — which shows Obi-Wan McGregor assisting in Luke’s and Leia’s birth — muddies this scene a bit, it seems Yoda is referring to Leia, who also should have the Midi-chlorian count to make a fine Jedi. At Texas, quarterback Case McCoy (brother of Colt) and receiver Jaxon Shipley (brother of Jordan) are helping the Longhorns forget all about a miserable 2010. McCoy is splitting time with freshman David Ash, but Shipley, who caught six passes for 141 yards and a touchdown against Iowa State, looks like a breakout star. If the Longhorns’ defense can force turnovers the way it did against the Cyclones and the offense can take advantage, Texas will have a chance to win every game remaining on its schedule. That includes Saturday’s matchup with Oklahoma in Dallas. Remember, Texas co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin — formerly of Boise State — once called a pretty good game against the Sooners with far less raw athletic talent on his side.

Read more:  http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/andy_staples/10/04/star-wars-power-rankings/index.html#ixzz1ZrX3B27u

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Pre-Gaming w/Schmidtty: Iowa State Edition

Texas opens their Big 12 Conference play with an away game in Ames, IA this weekend. The Cyclones beat Texas in 2010 for the first time in the school’s history. This one sets up to be a defensive battle as Iowa State has held each opponent this season under 25 points in regulation (Iowa scored 41 against the Cyclones, but 17 of those points came during the three overtimes). The Texas defense has also been stingy giving up only 15 pts/game but that number has been on the rise since holding Rice to three field goals in the opener.

Head Coach (Record): Paul Rhoads (15-13, all at Iowa State)

2010 Record: 5-7 (3-5/4th Big 12 North)

Returning Starters: Offense 6 / Defense 9

Player(s) to Watch for Iowa State: Quarterback Steele Jantz not only has a videogame name, but he can make videogame-like plays. That’s not to say that he is the perfect quarterback, but he can put up the occasional gamebreaker. His coach may have put it best, “He’s made a higher number than we would like of poor decisions. He’s made great decisions and he’s made some spectacular plays. I would say at this point he’s inconsistent. Certainly not unusual for a first-time starter at this level, coming off a successful junior college career.” If you want to know what Iowa State fans think, watch the fan video below.

Key Matchup: Malcolm Brown vs. the Iowa State Linebackers. Brown has essentially become Texas’ most reliable playmaker. He’s been the model of consistency for the Longhorns so far this season, and was a steady force for Texas while the QB situation was in flux. With the threat of a passing game now back in Texas’ arsenal, Brown should see a few more open running lanes than he has in the first three contests. That is of course if he can get by junior linebackers Jake Knott and A.J. Klein of Iowa State. So far this season the two have combined for 55 tackles (four for a loss).

Prediction: Texas WILL come out of Ames with a 4-0 record. The question is, will it be a pretty victory or not? The only reason the score against Iowa got up in the 40′s against Iowa State was because they went to three overtimes. Otherwise Iowa State has kept every opponent under 25 points in regulation. The Cyclones haven’t scored in the first quarter through their first three games, so they are susceptible to a quick start by their opponents. They get tougher as the game goes on though as they have outscored their opponents in the remaining three quarters.

Where to Watch: You can catch the game on FX at 6 PM CT. Gus Johnson, Charles Davis and Tim Brewster will be on the call. On a side note, if you haven’t used the Gus Johnson soundboard yet, you haven’t lived. ONE MAN TO BEAT … DOWN THE SIDELINE … OOOHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Hook ‘Em!

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Longhorns losing depth, Brewster out

It was reported yesterday that backup safety Nolan Brewster will give up football, leaving Texas thin at the safety position. Brewster suffered a severe concussion during the Longhorns’ latest victory against UCLA and cited his history of  post-traumatic migraines and concussions as the cause for his sudden departure. He is the second Longhorn in as many years to drop out of the program due to head injuries. Former Texas running back Tre Newton showed promise until his career was cut short by the same concussion issues.

So what do the Horns do now? Luckily, suspended safety Christian Scott returns to action this week after sitting out three games for off-the-field issues. As long as fellow safeties Blake Gideon and Kenny Vaccaro stay healthy, the production from the position shouldn’t suffer as those two have seen the most time on the field already this season. Once Scott shakes off the rust, he should actually be an upgrade from Brewster. Mack Brown may need to start breaking in some of the young guys soon though because looking ahead to next year there could be a scenario where your entire two-deep at safety from the beginning of this season is all gone (Brewster is gone, Gideon and Scott are seniors, and Vaccaro is draft eligible). Look for guys like Mykkele Thompson and Sheroid Evans to get some PT during mop-up time.

So as the Texas depth chart gets thinner and thinner (remember, the horns are down to only two QBs after Garrett Gilbert announced he was having season-ending shoulder surgery) you may see even more young players on the field – if you can believe it. Pray for all Texas players to come out healthy (and with a W) against Iowa State so that Texas has its full roster against OU.

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Pre-gaming w/Schmidtty: UCLA Edition

A special Pre-gaming with Schmidtty from sunny cloudy and overcast California! The UCLA Bruins started the steep downward spiral of horribleness that was 2010 for the Horns. But the Rose Bowl is like a home away from home for Texas, and revenge is in the air (or is that smog?). If Texas can turn the tables on UCLA, then the program will have come a long way in righting the wrongs of last season. Maybe then I’ll stop referencing 5-7. Can’t wait.

Head Coach (Record): Rick Neuheisel (81-52; 16-23 w/UCLA)

2010 Record: 4-8 (2-7/9th Pac-10)

Returning Starters: 7 Offense / 8 Defense

Player(s) to Watch for UCLA: Johnathan Franklin and Derrick Coleman torched UT last year for 216 rushing yards and two TDs (QB Kevin Prince also ran for 50 yards and a score). Both backs return against a Texas run defense that seemed to improve between weeks 1 and 2 of this season. They each have a per-rush average of 6.5 yards/game or better. Texas will have to stop the pistol offense if they are to better their Rose Bowl record.

Key Matchup: Texas pass-rushers vs. the UCLA quarterbacks. Franklin and Coleman will get their carries, but if whoever starts at quarterback (junior Richard Brehaut or Prince – who suffered a concussion against Houston and is questionable for today’s game) gets off on the Texas defense, then the game might turn just as ugly for the Horns as last year’s contest. Cue the Texas pass rush, which needs to step up after only having one sack last week against BYU. Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat have been all but neutralized in the early going this year, but with a running offense like UCLA they will have plenty of shots to get in the backfield and make some tackles for loss.

Prediction: The Texas defense stepped up big last week against BYU, with a couple second half stops that changed the momentum in that game. They won’t have a home crowd behind them (though there will be a lot of burnt orange in the stands) and with a large freshman class getting their first taste of the Rose Bowl, I have a strong feeling this may be a trap game for Texas. The Horns should win based on talent alone, but will the QB scheme work again like it did last week? My initial feelings are no, and UCLA downs the Horns 17-13 in a defensive struggling offensive affair.

Where to Watch: The game will be on ABC starting at 2:30 PM CT. If you couldn’t make it out to LA, be so loud that the Horns can hear you in Austin. If you are in Pasadena, hit me up and we’ll party when the Horns prove me wrong.

Hook ‘Em!

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