Archive for September, 2009

Texas Week 2: Offense and Defense

Posted in Longhorns Football with tags , , on September 14, 2009 by burntorangehorn09

Offense:

The offense certainly looked rather slow during the first quarter of play on Saturday against Wyoming. It wasn’t until late second quarter that the Horns finally began their charge forward. The players did not panic when the Cowboys led through most of the second quarter with a 10-6 lead. Many other teams probably would have.

Offensive Coordinator Greg Davis told MB-TexasFootball.com, “the key to the game was the score before the half, with 1 minute 20 seconds left on the clock.” The offense gained needed momentum when Wyoming linebackers put pressure on Colt McCoy. James Kirkendoll (WR) found the open center and McCoy shot the ball right to his chest. Kirkendoll finished the run with a 25 yard touchdown, but not before performing an unbelievable balancing act after Wyoming DBs collided with him. Hunter Lawrence (K) followed with the extra point.

Davis was also keen to point out that both Jordan Shipley (WR) and Malcolm Williams (WR) made perfect blocks while Kirkendoll ran for the endzone. This is the second game in a row that blocking has been praised, which is not only a good for the passing game, but great for improving that lackluster running game.

The four key recievers, Kirkendoll, Shipley, Williams, and Chiles each caught 7, 7, 6, and 5 passes, respectively. “Spreading the ball out so well will continue to force defenders to cover our players more evenly”, said Davis.

Vondrell McGee (RB) showed some improvement (especially protecting the ball). He had 11 carries for 61 yards and a long of 19 yards.  Tre’ Newton (RB) had an awesome game with 8 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown. The freshman tailback is certainly showing his potential.

Greg Davis later reported that the Longhorns are “11 for 11 in the red-zone over the last two games”, and have accumulated over 500 offensive yards per game. The run-game has also improved with both contests totaling nearly 200 rushing yards.

Defense:

Defensive Coordinator Will Muschamp was very pleased with his defense. Though the Cowboys racked up 10 points against the Horns, 3 came from a field goal and the other 7 came on a blocked punt, which was returned for a TD.

Coach Muschamp “thought the kids did an outstanding job tackling in space…and covering all running lanes.” The D-line dominated the Cowboys offense, putting 5 total sacks for the day.

The defense played great overall. Their skills and speed in man-to-man coverage helped the Longhorns go with 31 unanswered points.

If the Longhorns hope to come out of next Saturday with a win over Texas Tech, in Austin, they will need to get fired up. They will lose if the team looks as sluggish as last weekend during the first quarter. It seemed like a productive game for everyone though and I’m quite sure Coach Mack Brown will be able to finely tune many of the weak spots that exist within the offense.

Texas Wyoming Football, James Kirkendoll (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Texas Wyoming Football, James Kirkendoll (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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Week 2: Pac-10 Order

Posted in Beavers Athletics, NCAA Football with tags , , , on September 10, 2009 by burntorangehorn09

Week 1 of the college football season was both caring and cruel towards the Pac-10. Seven of the 10 teams managed victories. California made a statement with there blowout of Maryland. The Huskies lost, once again, but showed the country that it really isn’t the same team we grew akin to last season (LSU had better step up their game). Barkley, at USC, showed his basic skills at the freshman QB spot (complete nickel and dime the entire time, with no chance of getting sacked). Then finally, there was the, what seemed to be, collapse of the Oregon Ducks. Chip Kelly dealt with negative attention from the press not only about LeGarrette Blount’s infamous punch, but also about the team’s lack of skills on the field.

Like I said, it was a weekend of mixed emotions.

The great thing about college football (CFB) is that there is another week…at least most of the season. This means a new week of preparation and learning, a new week of hope, a new week for fans to stitch up a damaged heart.

So, without further rambling, here is my short analysis of the Pac-10 football schedule for Week 2:

10. Arizona State has a Bye, but will most certainly be prepping for Week 3, which will be against Louisiana Monroe. Don’t underestimate those Warhawks at ULM…I saw them, first hand, against Texas and they showed great speed and mobility.

9. Boring game of the week goes to California. The Golden Bears will be hosting Eastern Washington…a cupcake (sorry folks, but it’s true). There are really no reasons WHY this game should be broadcasted, but it probably will somewhere on t.v. due to Jahvid Best and his ultra speed and cutting ability. If you haven’t watched him before please do so now! He has the ability to break YOUR OWN ankles, let alone the guy in front of him, trembling at having to make an open-field tackle. Cal is the victor.

8. Northern Arizona University travels to Arizona…yay? Definitely not. This one, just like the Cal game, will consist of Arizona beating NAU like a pinata…no blind-fold included. Hopefully the boys and gals at Northern A received a large check. Their boys are about to be stomped on like grapes at a ho-down! YEEEEHAAAWWW!!!………Arizona all the way.

7. Now we are starting to warm up a bit. Hawaii comes to Washington State…neutral field I believe. WSU is looking to clear their name, but it does not look likely that they will. Though Hawaii hasn’t been spectacular in recent memory, I’ll be safe to bet that the discombobulated (don’t you love to use that word too?) Cougars will not manage to put up 17+ points on the board. The Warriors will take this one, easily, but you never know when a barn-burner lies just around the corner. No upsets in this one…well, except after the game when the Cougar bench is bawling, realizing that they are the worst team in the BCS. WSU, if for nothing else, play to honor the Pac-10.

6. Drum ROLL!……………..Okay stop. Next up we have Stanford at Wake Forest. THIS one I would like to watch. Neither team is ranked, nor will they be ranked in the near future, but both are fairly strong teams. Each has some star players (do your own damn research, not my job…oh wait…) and each has the toughness needed to bring home a “W”.  Looking at Stanford to help Pac-10 respect around the country. Just do it and be on to the next game!

5. The Bruins of UCLA take on the Tennessee Volunteers. Lane Kiffin looks to improve his team’s season to 2-0 and prove to the world that his place in CFB as an, let me be frank here, A**HOLE will pay off for the Vols. UCLA, lead by Slick Rick himself, is trying to climb out of their own slump. The Bruins need forward momentum, or else they will be dealt a crushingggg blowww to their spot in the Pac-10. This game will be good, surely, but I’m pulling for the Bruins. I flat out HATE Tennessee…simple as that. I think the Vols will pull out a win though, which sucks.

4. (Personal emotions rise…) Oregon State (Go Beavs!) travels to Las Vegas where they will take on UNLV. So far, UNLV has managed to catch the nations eye and take the label “dark horse”. This is ridiculous, obviously…We all know the REAL “dark horse” is Oregon State. Why? Beating USC two of the last three years, both times where USC was kicking major a…football. I’m placing my entire month’s rent in this CFB pool and going for OSU. The Beavers are so motivated that it will be hard to ruin their happy attitudes. Bend over UNLV! Might I suggest bringing duct tape?

3. Last week’s debacle on the “Smurf Turf” caused a ripple across the nation. It was a negative one too. Oregon hosts Purdue this weekend and losing is not an option. The fans will be waiting for their Ducks to show who they REALLLY are. Week 1 HAD to be a fluke, right? Maybe, but we all saw their system get shut down like the small intestine of a 90 year-old man. Both were equal in obscenity…

Nevertheless, we all will probably enjoy watching this one. The Autzen Zoo is a hostile environment, so I’m told, and Purdue will have come from a cross-country venture. Much like LSU, the Boilermakers will be exhausted and have to eek out every OUNCE of energy. Ducks take it, but not by more than 7.

2. The runner-up for Game of the Week (Pac-10) goes to Washington hosting Idaho. WTF? Right?…I know, but I’m being serious here folks. Washington still has yet to win a game since 2007…2007!! The Vandals are ripe for destruction and I expect the Huskies to pounce with full force. Why would I even think of anything less from the Huskies? They man-handled the Tigers last week for a decent amount of time. The fans are frustrated, so are the players (even more so), and the coaches are looking to turn this program around. Now is the time, gentlemen! Now is the time!

Huskies take this game…blowout style. Sorry, but the Vandals just plain stink this year…and every other year.

1. Game of the Week (Pac-10) goes to USC at Ohio State. Yes, yes, yes…I know. This one has been flooding the CFB blogs, sports sites, and television reports for weeks, which is EXACTLY why I will not continue any further with this one. We already know what’s at stake for both teams. We already KNOW who their quarterbacks will be. I’m not pushing it anymore.

USC defeats Ohio State…easily (I’ll say give them a 10 point spread)

Alrighty! Now, CFB fanatic, go out! Go out to your flat-screens and tailgaters! Go out to your kegs (of rootbeer, duh)! Enjoy Week 2 of CFB!

Hook’em

Burnt Orange Stains for Life

Posted in Longhorns Football with tags , , on September 9, 2009 by burntorangehorn09

I fully believe that humans can remember their most intense moments for eternity. If you, as my loyal reader, look back at all you have experienced throughout your life, is not there SOMETHING that comes to mind in vivid detail? There most certainly is for me!

Last Saturday, September 5, 2009, I had the opportunity to watch, first-hand, the University of Texas Longhorns Football Team do battle on the newly turfed Joe Jamail Field.  Their opponents? University of Lousiana-Monroe Warhawks. A difficult battle? Definitely not, but it was still important to me. Why? Well it also marked the first time I have seen the Longhorns in real life.

Many people would call me a “bandwagon fan”, because I have only really watched the Longhorns play since the Vince Young days. They were very successful times, and Mack Brown has continued the tradition through today. There is still a connection to the Horns that lies deep within my head and heart though. After all, I did grow up in Texas and I still consider myself to be a Texan.

Call me what you like, but I assure you that once a team has my full attention, they will forever have a piece of my heart.

DKR Texas Memorial Stadium is unlike anything I had ever seen. Sure I have been to great sporting stadiums like Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Texas Stadium, Arlington Stadium, Safeco Field, Qwest Field, Husky Stadium, and Reser Stadium, but DKR felt special to me.

As I walked towards the huge structure that is DKR, I quickly noticed the shape. The newly-built North End now had an upper deck. This caused the already large East and West side decks to merge at the back with the fresh architecture. The South End only holds bleechers and supports the largest college television screen in the country, the “Godzillatron”. From a small distance, the stadium takes on the shape of a horseshoe (we’ll keep that quiet since Ohio State fans already have their “shoe”).

The outer appearance of the stadium follows the Longhorns themes. It is a very classy, brick and stone mass that rises high above the streets. If you were to drive a car near the stadium, it’s impossible to see the top unless you lean over the dashboard and peak through the upper portion of your car’s windshield. It’s really a stunning sight.

The inner halls of the stadium, separated by gateways, pay tribute to the football team’s rich history. Framed pictures, posters, helmets, and many other trinkets adorn the walls which lead to the field. Plaques and quotes can be found at every gate, all of which can send tingles up your spine. I felt as if I were the one going out on the field that warm, Austin evening.

I could hardly keep still as I made my way toward the Gate 5 field entrance. The stadium’s innards were filled with fans. Burnt orange flooded every nook and cranny of the Horns’ battle structure.

The entrances to the stands were small. I was pushing myself through, along with hundreds of other Longhorn fanatics. This was my first time, so I did far more shoving than normal. The darkness at the entrance BURST into bright, Texas lighting. My eyes tried to shut, but the adrenaline pulsating through my body kept them open. There was no damn way I was missing an inch of this place.

My eyes relaxed and there, before me, was the beautifully green field (Joe Jamail field to be precise). Hugging every inch of the new turf were matte-silver bleachers, shooting up at high rates of incline. The term “nose bleed section” now had a new meaning for me as I looked back over my shoulder and looked up. The upper deck around the entire stadium was filling with (what seemed to be) little, burnt orange ants; they were people of course. That would not be my direction though (thank God). The 45 yard-line, third row, tenth seat in was where I would witness my first Longhorns game.

Because they removed the track around the field during the nineties, the railing in front of me hugged the players seating area (six feet up, but still very close).

The Showband of the Southwest (the Texas band) came rumbling out with beautifully crisp tones, vibrant flags, and matching burnt orange clothes to boot!

The Godzillatron was so clear that, when such good seating permitted only level views, I could look up and see every detail of their “T” formation up close. They used the world’s largest Texas flag to add to the spectacle, and boy was it a wonderful touch.

I was waiting to see my football heroes though. The Longhorns always came out of this stadium in famous fashion…under cover of thick, white smoke, and down a path formed by burnt orange band members. The leading Horn always held the American flag, and they would sprint on to the field like the Gladiators they were.

It happened just as I had hoped. The entire time I could hardly keep my heart from ripping out of my chest. A beaming smile took up most of my face. It lasted so long my cheeks began to cramp. I didn’t care one bit though. This was a spectacle I had been waiting to see for a very long time…this was my football Mecca.

The game passed and all 100,100 of us watched as our great players waged war against the ULM Warhawks. Colt McCoy’s accuracy at QB was enough to make me say “wow”, Sergio Kindle’s hard-hitting DE ability caused some hiatus in the Warhawk’s offensive backfield, and the quickness of CB, Chykie (Shocky) Brown, made me downright jealous.

There they were…these god-like football players…Texas friggin Longhorns. Right in front of me…playing for me…playing for us! This season they started #2 in the country, behind Florida. Could this be the season they went back to the Rose Bowl to, once again, claim their National Championship glass football? Maybe.

Whether the Horns win or lose this year, I can still look back at the day I saw them for the first time. They are still the greatest group of college players I have ever seen, and in no way will I ever forget seeing that place. No way will I forget looking at the scoreboard, seeing 59-20 LONGHORNS WIN! No way will I forget holding up my hands, Hook’em sign intact, singing The Eyes of Texas with the players and fans. It was my special time…a very symbolic time for me. I was ending a great summer, one that came after a very difficult school year. It will always stay burned in my head.

Burnt Orange Forever Stains.

fb_stadium_2008_800DKR TEXAS MEMORIAL STADIUM