Saturday, August 30, 2008

52-10... Need I say more?

Every Texas season should open with a 52-10 win over a patsy. (Despite what FAU apologists would have you believe, the Owls are a patsy.) Sadly, for the first time in two years, I didn't see the game. Sacrilege I know, but I was hosting family, and they didn't want to go the sports bar.

So I get to read recaps and box scores. And I like what I see.

Colt McCoy has, theoretically, established himself as one of the Longhorns' most effective dual threat QBs ever. Seriously.
With his 222 yards passing and 103 yards rushing, he became the second UT quarterback to break the 200/100 barrier more than once in a career. Vince Young, who gave McCoy a hug before the game and got his number retired, accomplished the feat five times.

With three passing TDs and one on the ground, McCoy got a jumpstart on everyone's favorite statistic. Vondrell McGee and Cody Johnson also scored on the ground, while Blaine Irby, Chris Ogbonnaya, Jordan Shipley and James Kirkendoll pulled down touchdown passes.

Kirkendoll's scoring reception came from none other than John Chiles. While Chiles did nothing with his feet, his passing seems improved. The TD pass was the first of his career, and he completed an impressive 4-of-5 passes. In all of last year, he was 1-for-9 with his arm. So, he quintupled his career passing totals in one game. I'm going to take the liberty of attaching more importance to that accomplishment than it probably merits.
Last year, his QB rating was 26.98. This year, it is 228.32
His completion percentage a year ago: 11.1% Now: 80%
Hallelujah. Jump for joy. He's legit.
I hope.

Oh, and about FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger's remarks earlier this week. Well, the AP said it all.

Florida Atlantic coach Howard Schnellenberger had rankled Texas with comments suggesting the Longhorns weren't tough and could be intimidated if hit hard enough. When the Longhorns walked into the stadium about two hours before kickoff, defensive tackle Roy Miller pulled off his shirt on the field and appeared to be yelling at his teammates to get them fired up as several Owls players stood nearby.

Texas had little trouble pushing around the Owls' defense. While Schnellenberger had said he wanted to get "three hats" on Texas ball carriers, Florida Atlantic seldom appeared to have three players even close in the first half.

If three late hits is Schnellenberger's idea of tough, I have nothing but ill wishes for his squad this season.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

As if Texas needed bulletin board material

With football season about to...(don't do it, Ryan...) kick off (wow, you did it), I hope/plan to check in more often.

Florida Atlantic comes to Austin for the season opener in four days, and Owls head coach Howard Schnellenberger is confident that his squad can put up a fight. Why, he's down right cocky.
"My defense will get to a point where they will be mean, nasty and ornery bastards and that’s what you need for Texas. Texas will move the ball with tit-for-tat, screens and options, but we’ll make them pay a price whenever they catch one of those dinky passes. We’ll put three hats on them and make them not want to get up, that’s the way to beat Texas."
The Longhorns got off to a slow start last season and didn't seem themselves until the Holiday Bowl, but Schnellenberger is forgetting that the talent he puts on the field doesn't afford him any "way to beat Texas." Greg Davis' tit-for-tat, screen and option-based attack has been around awhile, but that hasn't stopped him from taking part in seven consecutive 10+-win seasons. I'll deride Davis' offensive scheme right along with Schnellenberger, but I'll also laugh when it steamrolls his Owls.

By the way, now that I no longer cover Texas, I might allow myself to sound like a bit of a fan sometimes. That's my prerogative. But the author of FAU Sports Beat should really rethink his approach.
He proudly proclaims himself the sports editor of FAU's University Press, and he covers the team. As a journalist that should be asking tough questions as necessary and avoiding any appearances of fanhood, his declaration that he is "excited to cover the most dynamic up-and-coming football program in the country: the FAU Owls" is a bit over the top. His "Scout the Enemy" section of links might get a pass—not from me, though— but poll options of "Longhorns cover" as opposed to"Owls WIN!!!" are just embarrassing.
Be more professional, bro. All those silly college sports editors around the country have a hard enough time getting any respect from their counterparts in the local media without you going and waving your little FAU pennant that you bought at the University Co-op.
For the record, I voted that the Longhorns will cover. 59% of the people agree with me.

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