Texas Longhorns 2009
|From||Texas Longhorns 2009|
Jun 01, 09
Here we are less than 100 days before the start of the 2009 college football season and it's time to break down the Texas Longhorns.
What we know about the Longhorns:
The Texas Longhorns are primed for a run at the national championship. With QB Colt McCoy returning for his senior season after breaking the record for completion percentage in a single season last year with a ridiculous 76.7%, topping Daunte Culpepper's previous record, the Longhorn's passing attack should be lethal. Texas graduated receiver Quan Cosby but return star receiver Jordan Shipley, along with Brandon Collins, James Kirkendoll, and deep threat Malcolm Williams. The running game was questionable at best last season for the Longhorns, but look for 240 lb. RB Cody Johnson to bring some consistency to the position, as he had a great spring before tweaking his hamstring. Fozzy Wittaker provides a great change of pace back to compliment Johnson, as will RB Vondrell McGee. FB Antwann Cobb is back from his injury and flashed some great blocking in the spring game. The O-line should be a strength for the Longhorns as they are a very mature group with a lot of experience. Pass blocking hasn't been an issue; however, one of the goals of the spring was to improve the run blocking and bring some "nastiness" back to the O-line. The Defensive side of the ball looks to improve this season after leading the NCAA in sacks last season. The Longhorns lost All-American DE Brian Orakpo, stud DT Roy Miller, and DE Henry Melton to the NFL draft, but they return DE Sergio Kindle who recorded 10 sacks last season and was a nightmare off the edge for offensive tackles and opposing QBs. Lamarr Houston and Kheston Randle should handle the both the DT positions but depth is a concern. The DE position should be stacked with Sergio Kindle, Sam Acho, Eddie Jones, Russell Carter, and freshman Alex Okafor all competing for playing time. The Longhorns are stacked at LB as well with seniors Roddrick Muckleroy and Jared Norton returning, along with speedy OLBs Keenan Robinson and Emannuel Acho. The big question mark last year becomes one of this year's biggest strengths. It may be one of the most athletic defensive backfields manned by secondary coach Duane Akina, just behind the 2005 all star cast. Look for CB Aaron Williams to be a breakout player and lead the team in INTs, as he has incredible ball skills. CB Chykie Brown will be a lock-down defender at the other CB spot while Curtis Brown and Deon Beasley provide good depth at the position. At the safety position the Longhorns return both of their starters in freshman All-American Earl Thomas, who had a great spring, and Blake Gideon. Look for hard hitting S Christian Scott to get a lot of playing time too, as he is just too physically gifted to keep off the field.
The Longhorns have an easy pre-season schedule leading into Big 12 play. The game that always looms large is that one in Dallas on October 17 against bitter rival Oklahoma. Both teams should be able to sort out their question marks by then and come into the game at their best. We all know that QB Sam Bradford is great, as is TE Gresham, but the Sooners will have to answer some questions with their offensive line after losing 4 of their 5 starters from last season. They also will have to find some wide receivers to compliment speedy WR Ryan Broyles. They do return a tandem of talented running backs, but most have been fighting injuries this off-season. I do think that Bradford's numbers will take a significant hit, but he will still be right in the thick of the Heisman trophy contention. OU's defense is stacked, especially at their defensive line and linebacker positions. After the Sooners, the Longhorns have to travel to Stillwater, Oklahoma on October 31, to take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys. This game may be every bit as tough as the game against OU. Oklahoma St. is a sure fire top 10 team next season, and they return the deadly trio of QB Zac Robinson, WR Dez Bryant, and RB Kendall Hunter. I believe Hunter and Bryant are the best at their positions in the Big 12. The schedule is pretty manageable from there on out, although I will say Baylor is going to surprise some teams this year. QB Robert Griffin single-handedly will win some games for Baylor that, on paper, they shouldn't win.
Way too early prediction:
I think at the end of the season there will be 6 teams competing for the big game: Florida, USC, Texas, Oklahoma, LSU, and Ohio St. There is just something about the Rose Bowl and the Texas Longhorns. The Longhorns head west to take on the Florida Gators in the BCS National Championship game with what should be an amazing match-up of two of the greatest QBs in college football history.
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