As we prepare for yet another interesting season of Texas Longhorns football, there are a few questions that need to be addressed to have that level of success happen.
Unfortunately, these questions cannot be answered in 20 minutes in spring and fall practices. These question marks are:
1. Colt McCoy
The Colt McCoy we saw last year was DEFINITELY NOT the Colt McCoy that made Mack Brown look like a genius for choosing him over true freshman Jevan Snead. However, McCoy took a major regression from his freshman to his sophomore year.
He went from throwing a freshman record-tying 29 touchdowns with only seven interceptions to throwing only 22 touchdowns with 18 interceptions.
Not all the blame can be placed upon McCoy, as the injury to deep threat Limas Sweed and the inability of the offensive line to gel together attributed to his failures.
During the off-season, McCoy seems to have rounded back into form, but that doesn't mean the question has been answered.
2) Replacing Jamaal Charles
Even though I feel Jamaal Charles was easily one of the most over-hyped athletes in Longhorn football history, the man put up some impressive numbers.
He carried the football 258 times for 1,619 yards and 18 touchdowns. I don't care what anybody says, that is production. However, his deficiencies, including his inability to run proper routes out of the backfield and pass protect, absolutely killed me.
The highly regarded performance against Nebraska, in which Charles ran wild for 290 yards and three touchdowns, doesn't shock me because, well, the Nebraska defense was horrendous last year.
I sat there watching that game and thought to myself, "Why can't Jamaal Charles put that out every Saturday?" I am not exactly too worried, as highly regarded recruit Foswhitt Whitaker, junior Vondrell McGee, and Chris Ogbonnaya should be able to step up for the unexpected loss of Jamaal Charles.
Whitaker is proving to be the explosive play-maker in the mold of Charles, but he has yet to take the field.
3) Will Muschamp
Texas decided to let go of Larry MacDuff in favor of Will Muschamp, the architect of one of the top defenses at Auburn. Muschamp follows former Texas Longhorns DC and current Iowa State Cyclones head coach Gene Chizik to The Forty Acres.
If you remember, Gene Chizik was the architect of the ferocious defense that helped Vince Young lead the Longhorns to a BCS National Title in 2005. As the 2007 season progressed, the Longhorns defense played with "little to no passion," according to defensive back Deon Beasley.
Muschamp's defenses at Auburn were far from that, playing with passion unlike any other playing in the SEC. The aggressive nature in which Muschamp likes to have his defense plays should make for a very interesting year from the defense.
With the spread becoming the offensive style of choice, teams were able to throw all over the Texas defense, and with Muschamp around, I don't envision a repeat of that.
4. Sergio Kindle
Heralded as the best recruit of the Mack Brown era at the University of Texas, Sergio is far from fulfilling the promise he pulled along with him as he arrived in Austin. Slowed by injuries and suspensions, Kindle returns for a junior season in which he should be the player of attention in the Will Muschamp scheme.
A physical specimen, Kindle has the speed, strength, and athleticism to get to the quarterback at will. He will have to be the anchor of a defensive unit that returns only four starters from last year. He seems poised and ready to claim the leadership role that has had his name seemingly written all over it.
The "X" Factor: Playing with The Pride of Texas
"WHEN U RUN THROUGH THE TUNNEL ON GAMEDAY, iT'S SHOWTiME. YOU SEE THE STADiUM PACKED WiTH FANS, BEVO ON THE SiDELiNE AND YOUR TEAMMATES GETTiN CHARGED UP. NOW iT'S TiME TO GO OUT THERE AND PLAY WiTH THE PRiDE OF TEXAS. THERE iSNT ANYTHiNG LiKE iT iN THiS WORLD"- ROD BABERS, FORMER TEXAS DB
Rod Babers, a former star defensive back at the University of Texas, says it best. There is no better feeling to the guys that suit up every Saturday at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium.
You run out that tunnel and see 80,000 plus fans wearing the burnt orange of Texas, and you better put in your best effort for those fans. The Eyes of Texas football legends watch and scrutinize every move.
THE EYES OF TEXAS ARE UPON YOU!!!!!!!!