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December 31, 2007


By Danny Reagan / Abilene, Texas

Not a bad way to finish the season for Colt McCoy ( MVP of the Holiday Bowl) and the Longhorns (their most exciting game in the post-Vince Young era).

coltMVP.jpg The 52-34 win on the "big stage" in San Diego is a great way for a team full of sophomores and juniors to finish the season - even though that will put more pressure on everyone for next season. If the Holiday Bowl is any indication, however, it looks as though everyone has matured enough to deal with it in 2008.

Colt shows up for the "big stage," and the Longhorns actually have two big stages to perform on each season - the OU game and the bowl game (remember, Colt was Offensive MVP at last year's Alamo Bowl). The sophomore QB is 3-1 on those stages in two seasons.

Next year some of the "smaller" stages will loom larger. Can he continue his dominance of the Red Raiders (he has 8 TD passes in 2 games against Tech)? Can he finally get a "W" against A&M? Whoa, that's a road trip to Kansas on the schedule isn't it?

A third-straight 10-3 season won't satisfy a lot of UT fans or players, but Colt's Holiday Bowl performance was a microcosm of a 2007 season that saw him mature even more. He took more chances (I'm not talking about carrying the ball like a loaf of bread), ran more and was more physical.

That, of course, led to some talk of a "sophomore jinx" - more interceptions (18 vs. 7) and a worse completion percentage than 2006 (65.1 vs. 68.2). But taking those chances also meant almost three times the rushing yardage for him, almost 60 more completions and over 700 more yards through the air. That's all a "sophomore jinx" is - the downside of the maturing process.

So, here's my early prediction: The Longhorns - behind an even stronger and more mature McCoy - will go 13-1 in 2008, winning all THREE of their efforts on the big stages (throw in the Big 12 championship game) and losing only to the Red Raiders in Lubbock.

Hey, I gotta stay true to my school! Anyway, my sources say Colt's "Techsan" girlfriend is ready to give back his letter jacket if he beats Tech again. (Sorry, that's my attempt at trying to be like the other blogs out there).

December 21, 2007



Less than a week before the Holiday Bowl and the end of another season.

I'll be back after that game to finish up stats and such, but right now Christmas time is near and calling eagerly.

While you wait for the game, here are a few of the recent comments from Colt McCoy from mackbrown-texasfootball.com.

_smallUTlogo.gif On how all positions are open for the taking: Coach Brown said that all positions are open and everybody has been fighting for their job and for their spot. It's made practice pretty interesting and fun. We've definitely gotten after it and we've had some really tough practices. They've all been at 6:00 in the morning, but they have been really effective. Coach Brown challenged us to be accountable and he challenged us to play better and to play with passion and be more excited about your work and what you do. I think that has really hit home. I don't know why it hasn't been like that all year, but I know that things have changed and that everything is happening for the better for us right now.

_smallUTlogo.gif colt122107.jpg
On the N.O.S.'s during practice: It really is effective. We have done similar things but this has worked really well. When Coach Brown challenged us about accountability, we realized you have to be accountable to your teammates, your team and this program. I think it's really made guys step up. It's helped us come together more as a team and understand that each player has to do their job to make this team the best that it can be.

_smallUTlogo.gif On rebounding after a loss: When you talk about ups and downs, that's kind of how our season has been for this team all year long. We haven't played as consistent in the first three quarters, and then we come out and play outstanding in the fourth quarter. We've got to figure out what has made us not do that and why we haven't played as well as we should've been. We obviously know that we can, we just have to go out there and do it, and that's what we've been working on every week since we started our six or seven practices. We know it's possible and we know we can play well. We know that when we play well, we are hard to beat. We've just got to be more effective, play with more passion and be more consistent. Obviously, we want that to happen against Arizona State and we are working towards that and we're excited about the opportunity to play again.

_smallUTlogo.gif On the Sun Devils: They're pretty tough. They are pretty big, they play in the Pac-10 where they were co-champs, and I know their defense is really aggressive and big up front. Their secondary doesn't give up any big plays, and very rarely do they give up deep balls. They're going to be tough and challenging, but we like challenges and we'll be ready.

_smallUTlogo.gif On Arizona State's safeties: The first time that I watched film, I knew they were good and they play well together. Then I looked at the depth chart and they've played there for a long time and they are experienced, especially their corners. The safeties play well with their corners. They don't make many mistakes and they are kind of like a bend but don't break kind of secondary. They're not going to give up big plays, but they're going to give you some balls underneath and you just have to take what they give you. I think the most important thing for us is to limit our turnovers. We can't turn the ball over and expect to win.

_smallUTlogo.gif On any personal goals for the bowl game: I just want to win. That's why I play the game. I love to win and I love to play with my teammates, and I think that is the mentality that we all have. We all want to get out there and get our 10th win and that's important for this program and us.

_smallUTlogo.gif On the importance of keeping up the 10-win season streak: It's extremely important to us and we take a lot of pride in that. Arizona State is a tough team and they are going to come out and play really hard. They have won 10 games already in the Pac-10, so you know they’re a tough opponent. But being able to get 10 wins and have the opportunity to get 10 wins is something that we're really trying to reach.

_smallUTlogo.gif On if he feels like he has something to prove after the A&M game: I think we all have something to prove. Like I said, we had so much to play for and why we didn't play as well as we should've early on, I don't know, but that is something we're trying to figure out and trying to improve on. There are things you can do to improve, and those are what we are doing now. We all want to go out as a team and play well in our last game and come out with a victory.

December 18, 2007


There's a poll on HolidayBowl.com that currently predicts (54.5 to 45.5) that Texas will lose the game to Arizona State.

UT will have to buck recent history to make sure that doesn't come to pass.

This will be the third time in seven years that the Longhorns will have played in this bowl, and they are 0-2 so far, losing to Washington State in 2003, 28-20, and falling to Oregon in 2001, 35-30.

The Big 12 is 3-3 over the past six years in the bowl. The Aggies got clobbered by Cal, 45-10, last year, while OU squeaked by Oregon, 17-14, the year before. Texas Tech beat Cal, 45-31, in a great game in 2004. Kansas State was the other winner during that time, beating these same ASU Sun Devils, 34-27, in 2002.

December 13, 2007


While Mary valiantly battles the Aggies in the chatroom, I thought I would give you my take on the Big 12 and bowls.

bowling1.jpg Seventy-five percent of the conference made it to bowls, and the Longhorns are the first of the 8 teams to play, exactly two weeks from today (Dec. 27) in San Diego against Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl. As I mentioned earlier, Colt McCoy will have to an above-average day for Texas to prevail. I'm picking UT in a squeaker.

What about the others?

Dec. 29 - Aggies vs. Penn State in the Alamo Bowl. JoePa's forces win the day.

Dec. 30 - Colorado vs. Alabama in the PetroSun Independence Bowl. I'm changing my pick on this one now that I know it's in Louisiana. Roll Tide.

Dec. 31 - Oklahoma St. vs. Indiana in the Insight Bowl. How 'bout them Cowboys!

Jan. 1 - Missouri vs. Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl. Sorry, but those Tigers are still going to be depressed about that whuppin' they took from OU, so look for McFadden to McRun and McRun.

Jan. 1 - Texas Tech vs. Virginia in the Gator Bowl - The victorious Red Raiders will once again do their part to make their bowl one of the most entertaining of the 47 out there.

Jan. 2 - Oklahoma vs. West Virginia in the Fiesta Bowl. Sooners deliver the Boom!

Jan. 3 - Kansas vs. Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl. The Jayhawks rebound nicely with a big win.

So, the final score will be the Big 12 Conference 5, all those other guys 3.

December 12, 2007


Mack Brown and the Texas Longhorns are asking that if you can't make it to the Holiday Bowl in California you consider buying and donating tickets to military personnel. There are literally thousands of Marines and Sailors in San Diego.

marineholiday.jpg That would be a great belated Christmas present for those who "walk the walk" concerning the "Freedom isn't Free" reality.

Supposedly this won't affect the ticket allotment for Texas fans. The Arizona State allotment sold out days ago, and you know there will be a lot more Sun Devil fans in attendance than those wearing burnt orange.

Tickets are $60 each, and you can visit TexasBoxOffice.com to buy them or call the toll-free (800) 982-BEVO (2386). Here's your chance to give a hero a Happy Ho-Ho-Holiday.

December 11, 2007


By Mary Youngblood / Leander, Texas

As I stated in an earlier post, My father is a graduate of Arizona State University. I am first and foremost a Texas fan, but needless to say ASU is my second favorite team, and I have followed them somewhat this season.

I am now going to post a scouting report/breakdown of the stats so that Colt McCoy fans can get a good idea of the opponent we are about to play.

matchupholiday.gif These teams actually have a lot of similarities. They are both second half teams who seem to flourish when they have to come from behind. Like Texas, ASU started off the year undefeated through the first several games even though the scores were closer than they should've been and they weren't playing to their best potential.

They both lost to teams they should have lost to in games where they gave it their all (OU for us, USC for them) and to teams that seemed good at the time but who folded to much worse records at the end of the year in games where they didn't play well at all (K-State for us, Oregon for them.) The difference is that ASU pulled out the Arizona game at the last minute, and the Longhorns were unable to do the same in similar game with A&M.

ColtHoliday.jpg ASU, like Texas has had severe injuries to the offensive line. This coupled with suspensions (due to offseason arrest -- also familiar in these parts) and injuries to running backs, ASU doesn't run the football as often as UT and doesn't run out of the I-formation at all. This made it difficult for them to score in the red zone this season.

ASU has also allowed many sacks this season (in the 50s at last count.) Rudy Carpenter is an excellent quarterback and has excellent receivers and tight ends to throw to. Texas must get pressure on Carpenter and play good coverage downfield to stop the Sun Devil's attack. They will need a similar defensive game plan as the one employed against the Red Raiders and not the one they tried against A&M to win this game defensively.

Carpenter isn't as mobile as Colt and therefore line issues equal sacks but not interceptions. I think this will be a good game with a close final score. I think if these teams played 10 times, each team would come away with 5 wins. I think the factors it will come down to are Texas' ability to run the football, especially in the red zone (and ASU's lack thereof) and ASU's disappointment at being left out of the BCS will give the Horns the edge in the one game they are going to play.

As to my last point, I do think that ASU's being snubbed out of the BCS will be a factor as there have been several upsets and near upsets in the Holiday Bowl recently, where the team favored was snubbed from the BCS and didn't focus on the team in front of them. While Texas is disappointed that they fell short of expectations this season, we are in the bowl that we deserve for the season we played, and I haven't heard any murmurs in the Longhorn fanbase about what bowl we are in versus where we should be due to our record.

ASU thought they were going to the BCS and were snubbed for a couple of teams who either had a worse record (Illinois) or lost their last game, bumping them down to their allotted slot instead of the championship game (West Virginia). The Rose Bowl is not going to take a USC/ASU matchup, and the other two at-large teams - Kansas, who had a better record, and Georgia, who had same record in tougher conference - were more attractive picks to the BCS.

The last two times teams like this "dropped" to the Holiday Bowl they both lost (Cal in '04 and Oregon in '05.) I think Texas edges out ASU in a close one in San Diego.

Stat Breakdown:

_smallUTlogo.gif Total Offensive Yards (average per game): ASU: 434.1 (39th national ranking) Texas: 472.0 (13th national ranking)

_smallUTlogo.gif Passing Yards (average per game:) ASU: 287.5 (30th national ranking) Texas: 272.2 (38th national ranking)

_smallUTlogo.gif Rushing Yards (average per game:) ASU: 146.6 (68th nationally), Texas: 199.8 (26th nationally)

_smallUTlogo.gif Points Scored (average per game:) ASU: 32.2 (35th nationally,)Texas: 36.0 (19th nationally.) Since 2001 ASU is 13-3 in games where final score was within 7 or fewer points, Texas is 17-4 when final score is within 7 or fewer points.

December 5, 2007


By Danny Reagan / Abilene, Texas

I don't know the Holiday Bowl spread yet, but I suspect the Sun Devils will be favored over the Longhorns by a touchdown.

colttamupray.jpg That's based on the fact that Arizona State has one less loss than Texas, and those two losses were to teams that weren't that big a surprise (Oregon and USC). On the other hand, UT has one more loss and they should have won one of those (A&M), could've won another (OU) and shouldn't have lost another (Kansas State).

Since I've always "foretold" Colt McCoy going 10-3 again his sophomore year, that means they'll need to win the bowl game again.

That'll be a tall order, but I know a way a "W" can be assured. Colt runs for 92 yards and a TD, has 20 completions (with 3 paydirt tosses), totals 371 yards through the air and has no more than 2 picks. Talk about your tall orders, right?

It could happen. Just have a little faith.

December 3, 2007


Given the crazy outcomes during this last week in college football, I'm surprised I was as close as I was with bowl game predictions.

You read it here first! Longhorns are indeed headed to the Holiday Bowl against Arizona State on Dec. 27.

But I had the Texas Tech and A&M predictions reversed. It will be the Aggies who are going to the Alamo Bowl against Penn State, while the Red Raiders will tangle with Virginia on New Year's Day in the Gator Bowl.

Those all should be good games (even though all Big 12 teams will no doubt be underdogs), but looks like I won't be seeing any of the games live and in person.