BROWN SEES SWAGGER, DISMISSES YOUTH
Mack Brown said Wednesday he sees a swagger in his team and dismissed youth in the secondary as an excuse for this year's team.
"I think everyone has a swagger in camp," Brown said. "This team is going into the game Saturday with a lot of confidence. We talk about our secondary, but Earl Thomas has been around a long time.
"Christian Scott has been around a long time. Blake Gideon went through 15 spring practices before he went through the 29 in fall camp. So it's not like those guys are walking in here as true freshmen.
"And then Chykie (Brown), Deon (Beasley), (Ryan) Palmer and Curtis (Brown) have been here for a couple years. We're not as green back there as it sounds like we are."
BROWN HAPPY WITH PRACTICES
Mack Brown - who turned 57 Wednesday - said he has been happy with practices this week.
"The guys have competed harder than any group I've ever been around," Brown said.
*CBs Curtis Brown and Deon Beasley both had a slight hamstring pull in fall camp that caused them to miss some hitting in practice, Brown said, leaving it unclear if their playing time will be affected Saturday.
*Florida Atlantic was +18 in turnover margin last year.
*Florida Atlantic only blitzes 25 percent of the time. "They make you drive it the length of the field and try not to give up the big play," Brown said.
*FAU only gave up 14 sacks last year because they use a lot of slide and maximum protections, sending only two receivers out on a route.
COSBY GIVES GIDEON ULTIMATE COMPLIMENT
Quan Cosby kept watching the film each day after practice in fall camp, and over and over again No. 21 kept ringing him up.
"Blake Gideon has hit me a lot in practice, so I like a lot about him," Cosby said. "He's had my number. I mean it. He's hit me more than anyone. I'm impressed with him as young as he is. What gets you is how smart he is."
When Cosby is asked about having five freshmen listed in the two-deep at safety, he said, "I'd be nervous if they weren't football smart and so athletic. I think they'll have a great year. Those guys are all really, really physical."
BACKS WILL CATCH MORE BALLS
From everything I'm hearing, the plan, at least, is to have the running backs catch more passes. RB Vondrell McGee essentially confirmed that Wednesday when talking to us.
"With the spread offense this year, the quarterbacks will be throwing us more balls," McGee said. "I think we are all just about even in our ability to catch the ball."
Could that possibly mean a healthy dose of screen passes this season? Is that possible?
MUSCHAMP WANTS MISTAKES MADE 'FULL SPEED'
I asked Will Muschamp if Earl Thomas is the safety coaches can load up with information and get the calls out to the rest of the secondary.
"I think so," Muschamp said. "Earl's had a good camp. He's a physical player and made plays throughout spring and fall camp. He's a guy who plays physically tough, tackles well in space, plays the ball well down the field. But he's a freshman. We're all going to make our mistakes Saturday. We just need to make them going full speed and we'll be pleased with him."
When I asked Greg Davis if his offense was ready for the season to start, he said yes. Not surprisingly, with five freshmen listed at safety in the depth chart, Muschamp said he could use another week of practice.
"You'd always like a little more time," Muschamp said.
TEXAS BASKETBALL SELECTED FOR ESPN 'GAMEDAY'
The Texas-Oklahoma basketball game in Austin on Saturday, Feb. 21 has been selected as one of eight sites for ESPN's weekly "College GameDay."
This will mark the second visit by the network's traveling road show to Austin, as ESPN previously was on campus for the Texas-Kansas matchup on Feb. 25, 2006.
Here are ESPN's College GameDay basketball locations for the 2008-09 season.
Jan. 17 - Chapel Hill, N.C. - Miami (Fla.) at North Carolina
Jan. 24 - South Bend, Ind.- Connecticut at Notre Dame
Jan. 31 - Knoxville, Tenn. - Florida at Tennessee
Feb. 7 - Spokane, Wash. - Memphis at Gonzaga
Feb. 14 - Madison, Wis. - Ohio State at Wisconsin
Feb. 21 - Austin, Texas - Oklahoma at Texas
Feb. 28 - Berkeley, Calif. - UCLA at California
Mar. 7 - Morgantown, W.V. - Louisville at West Virginia