BAD NEWS FOR UT MAY NOT BE SO BAD
By mark rogers
July 26, 2009
He was injured early in the season last year against Rice. If you were watching the game, you remember the play in horror. Irby caught a pass from Colt McCoy, and when he turned upfield was immediately hit by a Rice defender.
Irby's foot was caught in the turf and his body bent over the defender. A knee isn't built to do what Irby's did that night...and he's paying the price for it. It makes me sick just to think about it.
Anyway, Irby was projected to be a major factor in the Longhorns' offense this year and to have a major role in helping UT win it all and McCoy win the Heisman.
An excellent route runner and receiver, Irby was going to take pressure of the receivers and running backs to make the Longhorns' offense more balanced.
In the 2-plus games Irby played, he had 10 catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns. You can imagine how that would have translated had he stayed healthy.
But Texas was :01 away from playing for the National Title last year without Irby for the majority of the year.
The Longhorns were forced to utilize a five-receiver set for a large part of the year...probably the reason UT beat OU.
The two other TEs combined for five catches, 22 yards and one TD the rest of the year.
So while it may seem like losing Irby is bad for McCoy and the Longhorns (and it would definitely be better if he were healthy), it's nothing they're not used to dealing with and are a very dangerous offensive team when they spread it out and play hoops on grass.
I'm pulling for Irby to make a recovery and be able to play next year, but for now UT will have to make do without him...and they did a pretty good job of that in 2008.