On a blustery day in Austin, Texas, with 44,000 fans in attendance, the Texas Longhorn defense showed up the vaunted Longhorn offense.
The orange squad defeated the white squad 21-7 in a game where nothing came easy for the quarterbacks.
The 33 mph winds proved to be a tough adversary for senior quarterback Colt McCoy who is fresh off one of the best seasons ever by a Texas quarterback. His counterparts on defense proved to be even tougher.
The defense forced three turnovers over the course of the game. Sophomore safety Earl Thomas got the scoring started when he picked off an off-target pass by McCoy and took it to the house, putting the orange up 7-0. Thomas set a Texas freshman record for most interceptions (two) in a season a year ago to go along with 71 tackles and four forced fumbles.
Backup safety Nolan Brewster got in on the pick party as well, intercepting Sherrod Harris and returning it 34 yards.
The defense held the explosive offense to 188 yards on 64 plays.
The McCoy led offense scored on two of nine drives, with running backs Vondrell McGee and Fozzy Whittaker scoring one a piece. Whittaker was the leading rusher of the day with 32 yards on 10 carries. McGee added to that with 20 yards on eight carries.
McCoy shook off the sluggish start and completed 11 of 24 passes for 97 yards, including an impressive 24 yard dart into the wind to James Kirkendoll on a fourth and 17 play.
Back up quarterback Sherrod Harris wasn't nearly as successful, as the senior completed only one of six passes with an interception. Harris did however display some skill running with the ball, though the coaching staff didn't allow either quarterback to take the risk of getting hit.
Harris took the back up quarterback spot after John Chiles made a permanent move to receiver this spring. Coaches hope Chiles' unique gifts will finally pay dividends with the switch.
Sophomore receiver Malcolm Williams experimented with kick return duties during the game and the coaches had to have liked what they saw. The huge specimen was one Earl Thomas tackle away from taking a kick back to the house. Sophomore corner Aaron Williams will also see time at returner.
Jordan Shipley, sidelined after surgery during spring workouts, did not play in the game.
Senior linebacker, defensive end Sergio Kindle did not play either, but coaches cited the reason being they felt he had a very productive spring and that depth needed to be developed on defense.
The Longhorns open up the 2009 season with Louisiana-Monroe on September 5th.
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