Video: Great Tackle by Jackson Jeffcoat

Jackson Jeffcoat hasn’t had the great year we expected so far, but he’s beginning to heat up. Saturday’s game against the Kansas Jayhawks was easily his best of the season.

And he made a great tackle for loss right in front of me.

This was Kansas’ second drive in the 2nd quarter. It resulted in a five yard loss, and contributed to a three and out. One of several three and outs that day, as it happened.

Tech Notes: Shot on my Sony HDR-CX560 and processed in iMovie.

I Like Texas’ Chances This Weekend

If you look at the numbers, pretty much any of the numbers, the Texas Longhorns don’t have any chance of beating the Oklahoma Sooners Saturday in the Red River Shootout (as it will always be known, as far as I’m concerned). And, going into the season, I would have agreed.

But, something strange happened on the way to winning our first four games: I began to believe in this team.

Don’t get me wrong, I still think the most likely outcome is that Oklahoma wins, but fails to cover the 9.5 point spread. And the chances that Oklahoma blows Texas off the field are much higher than the opposite happening.

But surprisingly, there’s a non-trivial chance that Texas squeaks out a win.

To do so, Texas must get pressure on Laundry Jones with its front four. Given time, Jones will pick Texas’ defense apart, with some of the best receivers in the country.

On the other hand, he can be rattled.

Granted, the pressure we’ve shown from our d-line so far this year hasn’t been impressive. But, Jones is not really any sort of running threat, so the defensive ends can rush upfield without having to worry too much about contain.

Jackson Jeffcoat, it’s time for you to live up to your pre-season hype.

On the offensive side of the ball, I expect we’ll come out with the same quarterback rotation we’ve been using, but quickly settle on either David Ash or Case McCoy. It’ll probably be whichever has the hotter hand, but my money is on Ash.

For the first time since Brent Venables became the defensive coordinator at OU, he will have to scheme against Texas. Thirteen years of scouting reports of Texas (that covered just a half page), went out the window with the hiring of Bryan Harsin as offensive coordinator at Texas.

Harsin has showed OU a number of different things during the first four games, and I expect he’ll have a few wrinkles for OU, but it’s going to come down to grinding it out on the ground. The o-line needs to open up holes for Malcolm Brown so that OU is forced to bring up help in run support.

Then, Texas can go over the top to OU’s soft deep middle.

The main thing, however, is to keep that OU offense off the field. Grind out long drives that result in six points, not three.

My biggest concern is our special teams play, especially kick offs. Our kick coverage has been horrible all year, and this may be the game were it burns us.

Punt coverage isn’t a whole lot better, unfortunately.

No matter what happens, I’m expecting a solid, entertaining game.

Hook ‘em, Horns!

Photoblog: Wyoming versus Texas

Of course, I brought the camera with me last night to get some pictures of the home opener between the Wyoming Cowboys and the Texas Longhorns.

We watched the team walk in, but the lighting was such that the pictures didn’t turn out well. The Wife was shooting video, and I suspect that came out better. I’ll play with it next.

Tech Notes: All pictures taken with a Nikon Coolpix P80 and processed in Adobe Photoshop.

Thoughts on Texas-Rice

Texas beat Rice 34-17 in a game that was both not as close and closer than it seemed. The Owls slugged it out with the Longhorns, making a respectable appearance and never quite being put away completely. On the other hand, the Longhorns dropped two Pick-Six interceptions and fumbled a punt reception. Two of these directly translated into touchdowns for Rice, leading to a swing of 28 points.

The offense is a work in progress. Gilbert seems to understand his role as a caretaker quarterback this season, and generally did a good job with is check downs. One expects an inexperienced QB with a big arm to try and push it downfield, but there wasn’t a lot of that.

His timing with the receivers was fair, but certainly needs to improve. Malcolm Williams and Marquise Goodwin had decent games, and John Chiles has one fantastic catch. Not much from anyone else.

The commitment to the run was evident, but the implementation of a real run game has a ways to go. Run blocking was still tentative, with a few exceptions.

And, unfortunately, our supposed number one running back, Cody Johnson, didn’t look like that. He averaged 3.9 yards per carry, but didn’t get any when it mattered. Tre’ Newton only gained 3.4 yards per carry, but he also picked up three touchdowns. Fozzy Whittaker showed moments of brilliance, gaining 51 yards on only nine carries.

This all brought on flash-backs of last year’s different starting running back at every game. We desperately need someone to step up as the number on back.

Will Muschamp also has some work to do on defense. At times they played very well, but there were enough breakdowns that a real offense, with a real quarterback, could really hurt us. I have no doubt that we were very vanilla, but it still has me concerned.

Kenny Vaccaro recorded eight tackles; seven of them were solo. He also made some hits that were loud enough to hear all the way in Cedar Park. He’s going to kill someone this year.

Landry Jones, the bell tolls for thee.

Kheeston Randall is a beast at the nose, but if he gets hurt, it’s going to be a long year. We got a taste of that in the first quarter, but it looked like he just got the wind knocked out of him. Still, it was a scary moment.

We will see lots of Jackson Jeffcoat and Reggie Wilson this year. They’re both going to be superstars.

Chykie Brown is a liability out there. At some point, Muschamp has to decide he’s been given enough chances.

As expected when a team has lost as much as the Horns did last year, it’s going to take a bit of work to reload. The defense needs to gel and work out some inconsistencies, but I saw nothing on Saturday to change my opinion that they’re going to be outstanding.

The offense is shakier, but Gilbert can succeed as a caretaker if we can develop a true identity in the run game.