Latest news from Burnt Orange Nation - All Posts.
Daily Round Up: 3 Days
Disclaimer: Before you proceed, just remember that none of the links are vetted and you may be reading something written by a 13-year-old, a so-called sports journalist or Clay Travis (is there really any difference between those options?). Read at your own peril.
In Strong we trust. [Big 12 Sports]
Right… There absolutely no pressure on Charlie Strong. None what-so-ever. [KVUE]
Mack Brown will not talk about Texas. [SI]
According to experts, Baylor will win the national championship. [Dallas Morning News]
There won't be anyone faster in college football than TCU's Kolby Listenbee. [Dallas Morning News]
Who will be the final four of the college football playoff? [USA Today]
East Texas and college football recruiting go hand-in-hand. [News-Journal]
Steve Spurrier does things his way. [Sporting News]
GQ has a series on the former NFL players dealing with post-career issues. [GQ]
No. Does anyone miss playing Arkansas? [Yahoo Sports]
Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel has another song for you. [Dan Patrick Show]
The Agricultural and Mechanical Department
ESTABLISHMENT OF UNIVERSITY; AGRICULTURAL AND MECHANICAL DEPARTMENT. The legislature shall as soon as practicable establish, organize and provide for the maintenance, support and direction of a University of the first class, to be located by a vote of the people of this State, and styled, "The University of Texas," for the promotion of literature, and the arts and sciences, including an Agricultural, and Mechanical department. - Texas Constitution.
I do love me some Steve Spurrier. Is everyone rooting for South Carolina this weekend? [Dallas Morning News]
Aggies embarrass the state of Texas once again. [@AggieYellLeaders]
What I'm Looking For Against the Mean Green
It's finally time to see what Charlie Strong's Horns look like. Rome wasn't built in a day, nor will the Texas Longhorns be rebuilt in an offseason. What we see on Saturday vs. North Texas won't be the finished product, but there are three things I'll be wanting to see when the Horns take the field to kick off 2014.
Every 2014 season outlook seems is prefaced with "If David Ash stays healthy...." Part of that plan will be executed with an offense reminiscent the 2012 Horns, with a slower pace, heavy motioning, and reliance on the run game. Another step is Ash making a point to protect himself by not taking defenders head on.
But the biggest impact will be felt by the offensive line now led by OC/OL coach Joe Wickline. The line will need to show it is a completely different unit than the squad that couldn't withstand three man pressure against BYU last fall, the game in which David Ash frequently scrambled before taking one too many hits, ending his season with a concussion.
Ideally, I'd love to see 0 sacks and little need for David Ash to buy time with his feet. And that goal isn't entirely unreasonable to ask of the Horns, as the North Texas defensive front is fairly small. Despite the Mean Green being a top 25 team for sacks in 2013, they lose the majority of the front seven that produced those numbers. Kennedy Estelle will need to show he's a stabilizing force on the left side, and one of the options behind suspended Desmond Harrison will need to step up in his stead, whether it's Darius James, Marcus Hutchins, or Jake Raulerson.
2. Dominate Special Teams
Remember how the last several years we've all been baffled about an inability to dominate all facets of special teams given roster talent and depth? I'm ready for that to be a distant memory.
The changed attitude and emphasized discipline should pay immediate dividends in special teams over teams with inferior talent. No more blown lanes in kick returns that lead to good opposing field position. No more punt returns that change a game's momentum. And for goodness sake, nobody run into the kicker or punt returner!
Charlie Strong noted in his press conference this week that offensive and defensive starters will play on special teams. Hopefully that's successful in returning some pride to the unit, and serves as a point of competition in practice to play as clean as possible.
Certain aspects of the special teams may be rough, as punting and field goal duties get distributed to a new cast of characters. But at the end of the night, I'd love to see the Horns did no favors to the Mean Green in field position and were able to set up their own offense with some favorable positions to begin drives.
3. Never in doubt
The first half against NMSU in 2013. Stretches against Wyoming and UNM in 2012. Rice and Wyoming in 2010. The slide in the last four years featured plenty of lackadaisical performances against the easier portions of the non-conference schedule. Whatever the reason for that was, I'm expecting it to be a distant memory.
Don't take this to mean I'm expecting a 70-0 bombing where the offense sets records and the defense holds UNT to less than 100 yards. But I certainly am not looking to trail 7-0 late in the second quarter while the offense sorts through 3-and-outs and the defense struggles with basics such as defending the zone read.
I want to see points in the offense's first drive. Show me some 3-and-outs on defense, or maybe an early turnover. Give me reason to believe this team will come out each game focused on the task at hand with an understanding of what the opponent is trying to do.
That's what I'm looking for against North Texas. My expectations might be a little low for the first week, but I think they're realistic for an entirely new coaching staff. Next week, I'll want blood.
What are you looking for against the Mean Green?