football Edit

Chips Corner: Weekly Rewind Aug. 31-Sept. 5

The jersey retirement ceremonies for Tommy Nobis and Bobby Layne are set for 25 minutes before the UT-Arkansas game on Sept. 13, according to the school.
Nobis was the 1965 Outland Trophy and Maxwell Award winner as a senior, a two-time All-American, made the All-Southwest Conference team three years and was the only sophomore starter on the Longhorns' 1963 National Championship team.
Nobis also finished seventh in the Heisman voting in 1965, the only defensive player ranked among the top 10. As a junior, he registered one of the most famous tackles in Orange Bowl history, when he led his teammates on a fourth-and-inches stop of Joe Namath at the goal line to preserve UT's 21-17 victory against No. 1 Alabama.
A two-sport star at Texas, Bobby Layne finished his UT career with then school records 3,145 yards passing, 25 TD passes on 210 completions and 400 attempts, while also pitching for the baseball team.
Layne finished sixth in the Heisman voting in 1947 and eighth in 1946. Layne's career passing yards and passing TD marks stood as the UT record for nearly 40 years, while his 28-6 record as a starter was the best in school history until Vince Young surpassed it with his 30-2 mark from 2003-05.
As a pitcher in baseball, Layne posted a 40-7 career record (tied for fourth on the UT all-time wins list), including a 28-0 mark in Southwest Conference play. His 10.78 strikeouts per nine innings rank third on the UT all-time list while his 386 career strikeouts are tied for fourth.
The third overall pick of the 1948 pro football draft, his 15-year professional career included leading the Detroit Lions to three league titles and twice being named the all-league quarterback (Detroit and Pittsburgh).
Layne, who also played in six Pro Bowls, led the league in passing in 1950 and 1951. He finished his career with 26,768 passing yards and 196 TDs while rushing for 2,451 yards and 25 scores. Inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1967 and elected to the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1963, Sports Illustrated named Layne the "Toughest Quarterback who ever lived" in 1995.
According to the injury report for the UTEP game from Texas head athletic trainer for football Kenny Boyd, OG Charlie Tanner (left ankle) and LB Keenan Robinson (left hamstring) are out.
Sophomore Michael Huey will replace Tanner in the starting lineup at left guard.
For those who have forgotten or never heard the story, Aaron Lewis has been tutored on the defensive line since he was a kid by former Cowboys' star Chad Hennings.
Lewis' father, Jerry, is a chaplain in the Air Force and was a good friend and mentor to Hennings when Hennings was a fighter pilot in Desert Storm back in the early 1990s.
The friendship has lasted. Chad Hennings has known Aaron since he was a kid. In fact, Aaron accepted his scholarship offer to Texas by making the call to Mack Brown from Hennings' house in Dallas.
When Lewis' family comes to the Texas-OU game, they stay with Hennings. Aaron wears No. 95 because of Hennings. Lewis has big football dreams, and that should come through Saturday at UTEP, just a few hours' drive from where Lewis played high school ball in New Mexico (Albuquerque).
With Lamarr Houston's suspension and Will Muschamp's bloody mug, the story that flew under the radar this week was receiver Brandon Collins serving a one-game suspension last weekend.
Basically, the school made a mistake by cutting Collins an additional scholarship check. Collins made a mistake by cashing it. Collins made restitution and sat out the Florida Atlantic game. He's back for UTEP.
Brown said Collins had a great week of practice and said it was no sure thing Malcolm Williams would have started ahead of Collins at the No. 3 receiver spot in the FAU game had Collins been available.
So keep an eye on the receivers this weekend. The coaches like what Dan Buckner has been doing, so he's going to get a look, and Collins should, too.
Will Muschamp wants sacks like everyone else, but when a team like Florida Atlantic is willing to do all it can to provide max protection, he will settle for pressure.
That's what he told his defense after the D was effective enough to make Florida Atlantic QB Rusty Smith uncomfortable.
"If we don't get any sacks, as long as we get pressure and affect the quarterback that's all we care about," said defensive end Brian Orakpo.
"Me, Roy Miller and Aaron Lewis feel like we did a good job of getting pressure on Saturday. Pressure is the main thing. As long as we're helping our team by harassing the quarterback, that's all we care about."
FAU's Smith agreed with Orakpo: "Their front four really did a number on us tonight. They were able to pressure me very well."
Added FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger, "The Texas defense appears to be much stronger this year. The bump and run defense gave the Texas linebackers a fraction of a second more to get to the quarterback."
All that said, look for Texas get its first sack of the season Saturday.
Coaching for Nick Saban is the equivalent of boot camp, except it's year-round. Saban is notoriously demanding on assistants. Sleep isn't really an option. Will Muschamp coached for Saban for five years (four at LSU, one with the Miami Dolphins).
Running backs coach Major Applewhite coached with Saban last season as offensive coordinator.
I asked Muschamp to describe the profile of a typical Saban assistant.
"I think Nick's an outstanding football coach," Muschamp said. "He does a great job from a total program standpoint. Very similar to Coach Brown in that he works tirelessly at recruiting. Very involved in personnel of the football team. And you develop a work ethic.
"You either like to work or you don't. If you don't, you won't be there very long. Very intelligent, smart. Very smart about managing the football team. And a really good football coach who does a good job."
Brandon Collins is back from a one-game suspension stemming from "an administrative error that resulted in a violation of financial aid regulations," according to athletic director DeLoss Dodds.
Collins made retribution of the error on an off-campus housing check this summer, but as a result of cashing it, was required to sit out the season opener against Florida Atlantic. He's back and has had a good week of practice.
Here's how Mack Brown sees the young receivers heading into Week 2 of the season.
"Malcolm Williams is really good," Brown said. "He just needs to be consistently good and keep his focus because he's really big, tall, fast. James Kirkendoll made the big touchdown play. He also had the 14th pass that Colt would have completed right in his hands, but a guy made a great play and scraped it out of his hands. So we feel like he has a chance to be a good player. We didn't think that was his fault at all.
"Dan Buckner is coming fast. We like what we saw with him. And we're excited about Brandon. That was an either or until Thursday. We did not know who we would start until the ballgame, and now Brandon has come back and had an outstanding week, so he will play on Saturday."
Aaron Lewis has been one of the most underrated players on the Texas football team. The image I will never forget is Lewis tracking down OU's Adrian Peterson from behind in the 2006 Texas win in the Red River Shootout.
He's ready to go.
"I've been playing tackle since I got here," Lewis said. "I came in at 280. They said we're real deep at 3 technique, so drop some weight, get down to 270 so we can play you at the power defensive end.
"So I did that, got down to 265 or 270. But I continued to play some tackle. I play a little of the rush in the Bandit Package. Now, I'm trying to get my weight back up so I can fix the run in the double team. I'm about 273 now."
Was it difficult having to lose weight one minute, then gain it the next?
"It's kind fun," Lewis said. "Some days I was like, hey I can lose some weight, get light, get sexy. Other times, I was like I can eat as much as I want - get seconds, get thirds.
"Now I'm eating everything I can get my hands on. Protein shakes in the morning and at night. Two or three pieces of chicken every meal, five meals a day. I try to get some red meat in there. It's a lot of vegetables and fruit."
Lewis is from Albuquerque, N.M., and knows how important the UTEP game is to the people of El Paso.
"It's a potential statement game," Lewis said. "We've got a lot of young guys. It will be a new experience for them, so the seniors need to step up and show them how to do things like get to the meetings on time.
"It's a different stadium, different atmopshere. UTEP is going to be excited. It's going to be their super bowl this year, so we have to be ready for that."
Mack Brown said Wednesday the Q Package featuring Colt McCoy and John Chiles will often be dictated by defenses. And if defenses aren't cooperating, then coaches will take matters into their own hands.
"It will be dictated more by what the defense is giving us," Brown said. "If it's a situation where we feel like we can get John the ball easily out of the Q Package, then we'll bring him in.
"If not, we may start playing him more in a wide receiver position instead of having him in the backfield. But we're looking at continuing to expand his ability to get his hands on the ball regardless of if he's at quarterback or not."
Colt McCoy says Texas has barely scratched the surface of the Q Package after McCoy and John Chiles were on the field together just four plays against Florida Atlantic.
"We didn't do that much in it," Colt McCoy said. "We have a lot more stuff. I think we were planning on doing it more during the game, but they played some stuff we didn't prepare for. They were playing a lot of shell coverage. They were only in man to man in the red zone.
"When you can catch man-to-man with John out there, it puts Jordan and Blaine and Quan in man too. They have to decide if they are going to shift a safety over the top for Jordan because Jordan's a great deep threat.
"If they do that, I've got Blaine and John in one-on-one on one side of the field. If the defense shades over there, I've got Jordan and Quan one on one, and they are two of the best receivers I know. So we probably won't catch that much man defense when John is in there."
*No update yet on Myron Hardy, but stay tuned.
*Ben Alexander, Michael Wilcoxon and Kheeston Randall will play DT Saturday with Lamarr Houston suspended.
"We were lucky that Ben and Michael Wilcoxon got to play a lot the other night," Mack said. "Kheeston did not, so we're excited to see Kheeston Saturday night."
*Texas has been practicing in the bubble a lot this week because the Sun Bowl has the same field turf.
*The offense has spent a bunch of time trying to simulate UTEP's blitz.
*UTEP turned over three times against Buffalo and got beat deep.
"There's no doubt ours have been bragged on and theirs have been chewed," Mack said. "So we've been hard on ours, too."
*On UTEP coach Mike Price's personality, "When he quits coaching, he'll be a comedian. He's fun for kids. He's a fun coach. I've admired him for a long time. It will be fun to coach against him."
*On playing on the road, "We feel like you've got less advantages and you do have to play better. I think they've had more urgency at times on the road than at home."
Hunter Lawrence and Ryan Bailey are in a fight to kick field goals Saturday night. Mack Brown said there were some misses to start practice early in the week, and things are getting heated.
Brown said he thinks Bailey is recovered from the groin pull that allowed Lawrence to kick field goals against Florida Atlantic.
"We've got a great competition going on there, so they can not miss (if they want to play)," Brown said Wednesday. "We told them, we'll see ya Thursday."
Brown said he has never subscribed to the theory that a starter automatically gets his job back once healthy following an injury.
"If you mean what you say and there's competition every day and the one who performs the best plays, then you have to get back and get your job back," Brown said.
"Now, Ricky Williams, Vince young, there are some exceptions to that, but by and large the message is we don't want you hurt. And if you get hurt, you gotta get well or you'll lose your job.
"And if he comes back and is well but is three weeks behind in practice and not doing as well as the other guy, you wouldn't want to play him either."
Mack is taking this time change thing seriously and the fact that Texas will be kicking off at 9:15 Central time on Saturday at UTEP.
He even comapred it to the Stanford road trip in 2000, when Texas lost 27-24.
"We played late at Stanford and didn't play very well," Brown said.
Colt McCoy said he can't stand sitting around a hotel room all day, waiting for kickoff to come.
"I think this week is going to be a mental focus week," McCoy said. "They play a defense we will never see again thee rest of the year. They move their linebackers around and blitz from everywhere.
"As far as traveling, we stay busy, we meet. I hate days sitting around the hotel all day. Even six o'clock is late. So this one will be three hours later than that."
In true Coach Blood fashion, Will Muschamp said the time change will be no big deal.
"We have walkthroughs through the day," he said. "We'll probably have one more because of the late start. But it doesn't matter who we play, where we play or when we play, Texas' defense is going to show up and play."
Asked if there was any single key to winning on the road, Coach Blood said, "In my young coaching career, two big factors in winning on the road are having an experienced quarterback and playing good on defense.
"We've got the experienced quarterback. We need to play well on defense."
Mack Brown has fond memories of his one trip to the Sun Bowl (where Texas will play UTEP Saturday night) until the exact moment his North Carolina Tar Heels started to collapse against (of all teams) the Longhorns in 1994.
"I liked it until there was 9:10 left in the fourth quarter," Brown said. "We put Priest Holmes in the hall of honor that day."
Mack's memory was pretty good. UNC actually went up, 31-21, with 9:13 left in the game, then Priest Holmes went wild. He scored the game's final two TDs to put Texas up, 35-31, and finished with 27 carries for 161 yards and four scores.
Sean and I caught up with UTEP coach Mike Price on the Bottom Line (our radio show on 1530 ESPN Austin) today.
He was funny, made fun of himself for losing at Buffalo last week and said the Texas game was pushed to 8:15 p.m. MT to give UTEP fans enough time to "get ready" for the game.
Then he said "our fans will tailgate for a Dairy Queen opening."
Price said the atmosphere will be off the charts Saturday night and said an upset would be "huge."
"When you get here, you'll be shocked at how nice everything is, how big football is here. We're the only game in town here - the Miners," Price said.
"I'd like to say it's just a game, like any other game. But it isn't. Our fans have been waiting for this ever since the game was announced. We have to play composed. You're not going to win if you try too hard.
"This is our home. We should play well here. We need to stay composed and improve. We were crummy last week. We've got a long way to go to get better, but we're going to have a winning season, go to a bowl game and we're going to be good by the end of the season."
About defensive tackle Andre Jones transferring from Texas to UTEP after serving time in jail for his involvement in a robbery last summer, Price said:
"Andre isn't in our program yet, but he's going to school here at UTEP. He's got a very restrictive probation plan that if he stays on he's going to be fine. But it's going to be difficult. It's very, very strict and has got him doing the right things. In a year, we'll see what happens."
UTEP plays the equivalent of the wishbone on defense - a 3-3-5 base that blitzes about 80 percent of the time.
Linebackers come from anywhere and everywhere.
"Their defense we won't see again any time this year," Colt McCoy said. "They're going to do a lot of different blitzes, a lot of different looks. We have to be prepared for five or six blitzers every play."
UTEP's new defensive coordinator is Osia Lewis, who was the DC at New Mexico under Rocky Long.
Greg Davis said there won't be a lot of ones against ones this week in practice because the offense will have to go against the scout team defense almost exclusively.
"Usually there is some overlap with a team and what Will does, so we can go against our ones some," Greg Davis said. "Not this week. This defense is the equivalent of the wishbone offense."
Mike Sherman will get a taste of the 3-3-5 this week when the Aggies head to New Mexico. Considering how his offense handled Arkansas State (not), this defense could be an adventure for A&M.
The concern from coaches on TE Blaine Irby coming into the season was his blocking. He passed his first test Saturday with nine "knockdown blocks," according to the coaching staff.
"It was his first time to be out there extended," Greg Davis said. "I'm not surprised by the way he caught the ball. I was pleased with his blocking and endurance. Those were the things I was really pleased with."
Colt McCoy said Irby reminds him of David Thomas.
"Blaine played great," McCoy said. "He's consistent. He's a lot like DT. Him and I worked a lot this summer just on retrace routes. So many times in the Big 12, they play a lot of zone coverage with the backers lined up man-to-man on the TE, so if Blaine can retrace and get off the match with the linebackers, that's 5 or 6 yards every play.
"Blaine is a check-down guy. We send him deep and let him run routes, but he's a check-down guy. The more the game went on, the more they were dropping people into the secondary, so Blaine was right there open."
Irby, who had seven catches for 62 yards and a TD, said he's trying to fill a void.
"Colt played a tremendous game, spreading the ball around, and I was just there to catch them," Irby said. "I don't know if I can compare myself to Bo Scaife or David Thomas, those guys are great tight ends.
"I'm just trying to do my best. Jermichael (Finley) left some big shoes to fill and I'm trying my best to fill those right now."
Everyone knows how much the Corner loves him some Jared Norton. He ended up with 40 snaps at middle linebacker, while Rashad Bobino had 36, although Bobino played some at the WLB as well.
Norton won the 'Hard Hat Award' given for the biggest hit in the game Saturday when he blew up Florida Atlantic WR Lester Jean on a slip screen near the goal line with 10:31 left in the third quarter.
"It was an empty set," Norton said. "It was a screen. My eyes were on the No. 3 receiver, and I didn't see him doing too much, so I shot my eyes to the farthest out receiver and I saw him coming in.
"We had been watching film and repping it, so I knew it was a screen, and on a screen you've got to go dart and get him. I was mad I didn't get to wrap him up at first , so I went back and hit him again."
Will Muschamp is pleased with Norton's progress.
"He's a physical football player," Muschamp said. "He's a tough, hard-nosed kid. He's got great explosion and power. He's instinctive, tough. And he's worked extremely hard in this fall camp.
"I was pleased with his play Saturday. I think he's got good leadership ability. He's an intelligent kid and he enjoys playing the game."
Muschamp said the snaps at MLB between Norton and Bobino will be determined "by production in practice."
Will Muschamp's legend grows at Texas. The guy had blood running from his left cheek during the first quarter of the Florida Atlantic game.
No one seemed quite sure how it happened, but here is what we know: Muschamp was upset about a busted coverage. He slammed his erase board while talking to the defense, and whether the board cut him or his headset or his watch or someone's facemask is up for urban legend.
"Honestly, I was looking at him like, 'Did he just come off the field?'" Roy Miller said. "Us as a defense decided to give him an award after the game for that situation. That was crazy. I tried to warn y'all."
Miller said it's not the first time Muschamp has put his noggin in jeopardy.
"There was a time when somebody wasn't physical enough in practice, and he took someone by the helmet and head-butted them," Miller said, refusing to divulge the player's name. "The point is he's very emotional and gets us fired up. Things like that make you say, 'I don't want to get that guy mad.'"
LBs Sergio Kindle and Jared Norton photoshopped a picture of Muschamp on a computer in the academic center at Moncrief after the game, covered it in blood and called it the, "Crazy, something, something, something, something Coach Award."
"I can't really say what the somethings were but you get the idea," Norton said.
Miller called it the "Band-Aid, Patch Award."
Muschamp deadpanned, "Yeah, it was funny."
Added Brian Orakpo, "I was like, 'Coach, your face is bleeding. Go do something,' and he acted like it wasn't there. I thought he would wipe it off, but he didn't."
Mack Brown is ready to move on to the week ahead and Saturday's game at UTEP, but he was asked about his decision to suspend Lamarr Houston after Houston's arrest for DWI.
"He's a great kid," Brown said. "He's never been in my office for anything that's negative or bad. When I got the call Sunday the first thought I had was talking to him in chapel on Friday.
"When a young man is out and a distraction occurs, we will not play him in that ballgame. And then I'm going to take some time to back away from it and see what he needs to have to learn from it and to see what's best for our team.
"If any of the disciplinary action changes beyond what I've said, I'll voice that at the appropriate time. But very honestly I haven't gotten all the facts yet.
"Monday morning is tough on a holiday after a Sunday morning incident. You want to be as fair as you can and move on. One hundred four of them did what's right, so I want to be fair to them getting ready for El Paso.
When Mack was asked about suspending Sergio Kindle and Henry Melton last season for three games after both were charged with DWI, Mack said, "I'm going to have Sergio and Henry in and ask them what they learned from it. So I'm going to have a panel of kids I'm going to ask."
Mack was asked about his midnight curfew for players and he said, "If you don't have the player living on campus it's darn hard to check it (the curfew)."
Lamarr Houston's DWI arrest prompted a lot of questions about alcohol use among the Texas football team during Monday's press availability.
"It's very dangerous for football players to drink because they are spending so much time in that heat," Mack Brown said. "Alcohol and caffeine are really dangerous for dehydration.
"Some of the kids who have died in football practice were out the night before supposedly. They shouldn't be drinking tea, coffee, Cokes, anything with caffeine.
"But there are a lot of people who don't go by the same rules that are pointing fingers at a guy who's done everything right his whole life but made a poor decision."
Colt McCoy gave up soda in the sixth grade and said he still only drinks milk and water.
"I used to drink six Dr Peppers a day," McCoy said. "Then I heard a motivational speaker talk about how soda wasn't good for your body and I stopped. I really haven't had another one since. I don't drink alcohol. Milk and water is good for me."
To a man, Texas players said they accepted the apology of junior defensive tackle Lamarr Houston, a preacher's son from Colorado Springs, who was arrested early Sunday on a charge of DWI.
Houston has been suspended from Saturday's game at UTEP.
"Lamarr took it very hard," said senior defensive tackle Roy Miller on Monday. "Obviously, his results haven't come in yet. He's sad about the situation. He apologized to us as a team.
"We know he messed up, but we rally around him. He's our teammate. I felt so bad for him. Me, personally, I was speechless because I know the kind of person he is. It was sad to see him up there, very emotional and telling us about the bad decision he made.
"All we can do is rally around him and learn from the decision he made. Hopefully, it's an eye-opener for a lot of guys on the team. It's a problem, and you need to stay away from it.
"In this town, party town of America, you've got to watch yourself. College students look forward to Thursday nights, but we have a different agenda. We have to watch ourselves more carefully."
RB Fozzy Whittaker will be ready to play Saturday night at UTEP. Whittaker wore a brace on his left knee and could have played against Florida Atlantic, if necessary, Mack Brown said Monday.
The true freshmen who played Saturday were P Justin Tucker, S Blake Gideon, WR Dan Buckner, LB Emmanuel Acho, CB Aaron Williams, RB Jeremy Hills, OG David Snow and S Nolan Brewster.
(I forgot to include Justin Tucker Saturday night - those kicker guys ... always overlooked.)
Mack Brown said Texas plans to play DT Kheeston Randall this week against UTEP as well as WR D.J. Grant.
With Brown not mentioning DeSean Hales or D.J. Monroe the plan would appear to be redshirting those two this season.
So here's the list of freshmen who appear to be shirting:
OL Mark Buchanan
WR Brock Fitzhenry
WR DeSean Hales
WR D.J. Monroe
DT Jarvis Humphrey
LB Dravannti Johnson
RB Tre Newton
OL Luke Poehlmann
FB Ryan Roberson
Here's a quick look at how Texas stacks up nationally after one week:
Rush offense: 27th (232 yards per game)
Total offense: 19th (503 ypg)
Scoring offense: 8th (52 ppg)
Rush defense: 14th (37 ypg)
Pass defense: 81st (255 ypg)
Total defense: 49th (292 ypg)
Scoring defense: 23rd (10 ppg)
Net punting: 28th (39.6 ypp)
Punt returns: 67th (3.0 ypr)
Kick returns: 50th (21 ypr)
Turnover margin: 11th (+2)
Follow up statement from Mack Brown on Lamarr Houston:
"We've talked with Lamarr and his family and decided that he will not be making the trip to El Paso to play in this week's game.
He asked to apologize to the team and did so at our team meeting earlier today. The issue will be handled within the team,and any further action will be
addressed at the appropriate time."
Aaron Lewis will start at defensive tackle against UTEP in Houston's place.
Don't be surprised if Lamarr Houston's punishment for his DWI arrest is less than three games. Houston has been a model citizen at Texas and is a two-time member of the AD's Honor Roll.
Mack Brown might go ahead and suspend Houston for one game and then take a wait-and-see approach on if Houston deserves any more games than that as the legal process plays out. Stay tuned.
Houston posted the $3,000 bond this afternoon and is no longer being held in the Travis County Jail stemming from a Class B misdemeanor DWI charge.
Statement from Mack Brown on the Lamarr Houston situation:
"We're aware of Lamarr's situation and are disappointed anytime one of our players is accused of wrongdoing. We take a strong stance against drinking and driving and will thoroughly investigate this situation.
"Following the completion of the legal process, we will do what's best for the university, Lamarr and the team. One thing we have really prided ourselves on in our program is our family atmosphere, and this will be handled within our family."
According to Austin police spokesman James Mason, Texas defensive tackle Lamarr Houston was involved in a minor collision at 3:14 a.m. this morning while driving northbound on the frontage road of I-35 at 11th near downtown.
Both cars were removed from the roadway into a parking lot by an officer called to the scene by the other driver involved in the accident. There were no injuries.
The officer smelled alcohol on Houston, Mason said. Houston failed a field sobriety test, according to Mason, and was booked into the Travis County Jail at 5:02 a.m. on a Class B misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated.
Bond was set at $3,000, and as of 11 a.m., Houston, whose full name is Frederick Lamarr Houston, was still being held in jail.
Houston had three tackles, including two behind the line of scrimmage, in Saturday night's 52-10 victory over Florida Atlantic. His big play came in the third quarter, when he helped stuff a 4th-and-1 quarterback sneak by FAU.
When LB Sergio Kindle and DE Henry Melton had similar DWI charges last summer, Mack Brown suspended them for three games. If Houston was to get a similar punishment, he would miss the UTEP, Arkansas and Rice games and be eligible to return for UT's Big 12 opener at Colorado on Oct. 4.
Houston is from Colorado Springs. He is a two-time member of UT's Athletics Director Honor Roll.