Texas-Wyoming: Longhorns Start Slowly, Finish Strong

Dino NicandrosAnalyst ISeptember 13, 2009

It wasn't exactly an ideal start for the Texas Longhorns, but Mack Brown will take the win.

Texas struggled early against a hyped-up Wyoming team playing in front of a record home crowd.

However, the Longhorns, fueled by the play of quarterback Colt McCoy, managed to right the ship and pull away from Wyoming for a 41-10 victory.


Through out the first half of Saturday's game, the Texas offense looked indecisive and a bit off-kilter at times in the face of an inspired Cowboy defense.

McCoy went 30-of-47 for 337 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 44 yards and another score.

McCoy struggled in the first half, forcing the ball in to tight coverage at times (threw an interception on an under-thrown ball).  He didn't seem comfortable in the pocket as he was often under the gun from a multitude of blitzes from Wyoming's defense.

What's even more shocking is the fact that McCoy, the nation's most accurate passer last season, was completing around just 50 percent of his passes before the half.

Wyoming was up 10-6 after a couple of Texas miscues, but McCoy managed to organize a quick scoring drive right before the end of the half, which put Texas up for good.

The Longhorn running game surfaced again this week.

Vondrell McGee performed far better this week (zero fumbles, two last week) running 11 times for 61 yards. 

Tre' Newton got a fair bit of work as well, rushing eight times for 62 yards and a touchdown.  Newton showed good speed on the edge and some shifty moves in the open field while gashing his way through Wyoming's defense.

The receiving corps got off to a rough start, junior John Chiles in particular.

The converted quarterback dropped three balls early, but rebounded in a big way, catching five balls for 49 yards and a touchdown.

James Kirkendoll was McCoy's go-to receiver on the day, hauling in seven passes for 102 yards and a touchdown.  Jordan Shipley, McCoy's favorite target, had a modest day, grabbing seven catches for 61 yards.

Dan Buckner played out of the flex-tight end position and served as McCoy's security blanket.  The sophomore caught six passes for 86 yards and a touchdown.

The offensive line looked a little shaky again this week, allowing two sacks on McCoy.  Wyoming brought pressure from all sides and the Texas line wasn't consistent in picking up blitzes. 

The run-blocking was decent overall, but still needs work.  The running game was most successful when the backs ran north-south instead of east-west. 

However, offensive coordinator Greg Davis insists on calling run plays parallel to the line of scrimmage, something fans will have to live with for the time being.


In short, the Longhorn defense was spectacular.

Will Muschamp's defense held Wyoming out of the end zone and limited the Cowboy offense to just 273 yards of total offense.

This game served as a good warm-up for the Longhorn defense, as they will face a similar offensive scheme next week against Texas Tech.

Sergio Kindle and Sam Acho hounded Wyoming quarterback Robert Benjamin all day long.  Freshmen Calvin Howell and Marcus Davis both recorded their first career sacks, as well.

Roddrick Muckelroy and the linebackers were flying to the ball all afternoon and gave up very few big plays, an impressive feat considering the up-tempo offense Wyoming employed for a majority of the game.

The secondary, led by safety Earl Thomas, was in shut down mode for much of the game, allowing Robert Benjamin to complete just 42 percent of his passes for a mere 120 yards. 

Aaron Williams and Curtis Brown have really come in to their own at the corner positions and should get even better as the season progresses.

The Longhorn defense turned to man-to-man coverage early and often and it was incredibly successful.  Though there were no interceptions, the Texas defensive backs were able to effectively blanket the Wyoming receivers.

Special Teams

The special teams unit as a whole was atrocious.

Texas had a punt blocked and returned for a touchdown as well as a fake field goal attempt stopped short of a first down. 

Punter John Gold is in Mack Brown's doghouse as well after rolling out for a rugby punt, and unwisely trying to run for the first down inside the Texas 10-yard line.

Texas faces the Red Raiders of Texas Tech next week in Austin.


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