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Old 08-29-2005   #1
Wolf
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Default What to expect from UT this season

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Texas is going to be good. Really, really good.

But Southern Cal-good?

With less than a week until the Longhorns' season opener against somebody or other, it's time for our annual prediction column to give you a halfway-educated guess about the upcoming Texas football season.

OK, a third-of-the-way-educated guess. After all, except for three practices and one scrimmage, the Longhorns' workouts were closed.

We can safely assume that when Mack Brown announced the theme for the 2005 season would be "Take Dead Aim," Bob Stoops knew he wouldn't sleep a wink until October. He probably ordered staff meetings to last an extra hour every day. You bet.

As strong as this team appears, it will not be Brown's best team in Austin. It will be his second-best.

Brown's most-qualified team to try to reach the national championship game was the one that should have made it. The 2001 club stumbled only against Oklahoma and, inexplicably, Colorado in the biggest meltdown ever by a Longhorns quarterback. That was Mack's finest team by far.

Remember, that team had Major Applewhite and Chris Simms, Cedric Benson, the Roy Williams trio, Quentin Jammer, Mike Williams, Derrick Johnson, Nate Vasher, Kalen Thornton, Bo Scaife. Stop me if I get to a bad player. Can we get a do-over, Colorado?

But this year should be just as fun.

In between Louisiana-Lafayette and I'm guessing the Fiesta Bowl, you can expect the following:

Vince Young will be better than ever. The junior quarterback will not win the Heisman Trophy but will be invited to New York as a finalist.

His touchdown-to-interception ratio will improve to 16-10, and he will run less, but still get his 1,200 yards. He will lead two fourth-quarter comebacks. His passing technique will not improve, but no one will care.

Young's backup will be Matt Nordgren, with the idea that freshman Colt McCoy will redshirt to save a year of eligibility and keep potential recruits from thinking Vince's successor is already firmly in place. Me, I'd play McCoy every opportunity.

Tailback Selvin Young will stay healthy but will split time with freshman Jamaal Charles, the next Cedric Benson. Put the heavier-and-a-step-slower Selvin down for 1,100 yards and seven touchdowns and count on Charles for 500 yards and three scores.

Henry Melton could be a terrific goal-line runner, but will Mack trust him on fourth-and-goal from the 1 in October? I think not.

The go-to receiver for the Longhorns will be Ramonce Taylor, who will catch more flares and hitch passes than Roy Williams did and who will have six plays of more than 50 yards. Give Taylor 42 receptions, 300 yards . . . and three fumbles.

Quan Cosby will emerge as Young's second-favorite wideout, lining up in the slot. Billy Pittman won't be far behind. I can see Taylor, Cosby and Pittman as the top three ultimately.

Brian Carter could start, but I can't see him lasting.

Jordan Shipley, bless his heart, will not play against Louisiana-Lafayette and will wrestle with injuries all year. Let's hope we're wrong on this one. If Shipley's right, he could catch 40 balls.

David Thomas will finish second to Vince for team MVP. Put him down for 45 catches and eight touchdowns. He'll make some NFL team very happy.

The defense will be better than last year, even with the loss of Johnson. Texas will run more man-for-man, get more pressure from the front four and make Greg Robinson a distant memory.

The two biggest question marks on the entire team will be place-kicking and defensive end. Look for Richmond McGee to give way to David Pino at some point in the season, maybe only temporarily, and expect Greg Johnson to relieve McGee of part of the punting if McGee tires. Field goals should be an adventure.

The Longhorns will actually tackle somebody on kickoffs. They should. Everyone from Michael Huff and David Thomas to Cedric Griffin and Michael Griffin will be on that cover unit. Thomas is on all three kick teams.

Tim Crowder will have a breakout season at end. And he'd better. It's time. Give him nine sacks. Brian Robison is a decent run-stuffer, and Brian Orakpo can be a good rusher off the edge, but freshman Chris Brown may get pressed into action early.

Finally healthy, defensive tackle Rod Wright will have a spectacular season and win the Lombardi Award. He is the ultimate team player.

Drew Kelson will emerge as a star at linebacker. Aaron Harris already is.

Huff will flirt with becoming the school's first Thorpe Award winner but won't have enough interceptions, which will be spread around an excellent secondary.

Defensive coordinator Gene Chizik will stay at least two years.

The scariest game on the schedule that no one expects to be scary will be the road game at Missouri on Oct. 1, the week before Oklahoma.

Texas will finish 10-1 and will finally break its losing string to Oklahoma but will drop a game to Ohio State or Texas A&M.

If one loss is assured, pray it's to the Buckeyes. The pain would be too great if it comes on Nov. 25, no matter how warm it is in Tempe, Ariz.

this was emailed to me but have no idea who wrote it or what paper. Hope that is ok mods
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Old 08-29-2005   #2
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I expect good things with a lot of teeth gnashing OU weekend!
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Old 08-29-2005   #3
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Bold Prediction: UT vs. USC in title game. UT goes undefeated
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Old 08-29-2005   #4
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Originally Posted by DRIFTAWAY
Bold Prediction: UT vs. USC in title game. UT goes undefeated
Bold Predicction: UT beats Louisiana-Lafayette
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Old 08-30-2005   #5
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Bold Predicition: OU beats Texas...again
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Old 08-30-2005   #6
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I am willing to bet this year that texas beat OU. I agree also that UT goes to the title game and wins it. It's there year.
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Old 09-01-2005   #7
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Great article, I agreed with that guy on almost everything. That was a great team that melted down against Colorado. I was in the stands for that one and it was heartbreaking. That was the last time I picked UT to win it all. This year, I'm back on board. Undefeated UT vs Undefeated USC, UT takes the title. Now that's a bold prediction.
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Old 09-01-2005   #8
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Default The eggs are still hatching

1. Vince Young has worked very, very hard. But he is still a loose canon
as far as throwing the football. If they want the crown Young has to mature as a pocket passer this year. If his off seaon work pays off, the sky is the limit.

2. No offense to the two ahead of him. But, Jamal Charles is the real deal.
My book has Charles capturing the starting position by mid september and never surrendering it again untill he declares for the draft in four years.
Anytime you pin your hopes on a freshman, disaster is always looming around the corner. However, This, the way Brown brings the rookie along in early September, will be Brown's best coaching job. Charles will be ready by the OU game.

3. Not only do they have to find a way to out coach OU, but they got a date
in ocober in that snake pitt @ OSU. You can bet the way Texas brought the wolverines to Jesus in the rose bowl, the Buc Eyes will be ready.

4. wide recievers- see #2. Not rookies but unproven.

The Horns, IMHO, have the best tallent on both sides of the lines, o-line and d-line, in the nation bar none. That could be enough to get them into the BCS again vs USC. If the skill guys come around, they will be heartbreakers and widow makers. If they overlook Tech and Oklahoma St. the season goes down the toilet. The sooners found that out a couple of seasons ago vs A & M @ Kyle feild.

I say they make it, 11-0. But lose in the title game.

USC 31- Texas 28.
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