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FEARLESS PREDICTIONS

Ah yes…what is that smell?  Sniiiiiiiiif.  It’s the smell of a new endzone, 98,000 delirious fans and a new cach in aggieland…it must be football season!  Greetings Longhorn Faithful and welcome to another year of FEARLESS PREDICTIONS!!  I hope to offer up some fun thoughts and get you fired up about the Horns this season, so let’s get started…

First, wasn’t it a quiet summer for our players?  Very quiet.  Very nice.  You get the feeling that something is brewing in the field house.  I get this mental image of Greg Davis & Will Muschamp stirring a cauldron of bubbly stuff that will be our Longhorns this year and nobody knows if it will taste good…or bad. Is that giant Longhorn gumbo-pot full of swagger, focus, rising young talent, leadership, vicious hitters, good health, controlled chaos, blinding speed, champions?  Or is it full of predictable coaching, unpredictable players, injuries, doubt, lack of focus, insecurities, lip service, drink-our-own-Kool-aid also-rans? Is that giant Longhorn gumbo-pot full of swagger, focus, rising young talent, leadership, vicious hitters, good health, controlled chaos, blinding speed, champions?  Or is it full of predictable coaching, unpredictable players, injuries, doubt, lack of focus, insecurities, lip service, drink-our-own-Kool-aid also-rans?

Who knows?  This year, it looks like FEARLESS PREDICTIONS will be more FEARLESS than ever.  So let’s shine that crystal ball and let it fly!

This will be the year characterized by “brackets”.  “And’s” & “or’s” at several positions.  LOTS of young, unproven talent with a few vets mixed in for flavor.  My bet is that DKR will sell more programs than ever this year.  Not because of the added seating, but because we will all need them to keep track of the revolving bench we will see.  Thank GOD for Will Muschamp’s philosophy of playing the best player at a position DESPITE being an underclassman.  I do not like Bob Stoops, but one thing you can say about Oklahoma is that they are not afraid to put talented freshmen on the field for meaningful minutes (think Adrian Peterson, DeMarco Murray, Sam Bradford, and on and on).  We will FINALLY get a taste of that this year.  Now, it won’t taste so good when one of our Frosh DB’s gets smoked deep at a key moment or when one of those young WR’s drop one going across the middle.  But, when those young dudes start swarming the ball, breaking tackles and lighting people up…you will soon forget the bitterness.  I believe that is what we are in for…a very emotional and volatile season.  Here are a couple of potential recipes for 2008-2009:

The recipe to go 12-0:

Colt & the defensive middle stay healthy…this is the most important ingredient.

The young defensive talent steps up big time and develops a penchant for leveling oncoming WR’s

The McChiles formation makes opposing defenses wet themselves.  Chiles is a winner, folks.  He has to be on the field constantly.

All the coaches let the young ponies run…even when the game is on the line.  Texas will go as the young guys go.

Brian Orakpo FINALLY looks like the Jolly Green Giant romping through Sproutville

Sergio Kindle exceeds expectations

Our very deep O-line dominates

Roy Miller stays healthy and puts in an All-American performance every game and the young guys behind him do their part

Our young WR’s (Williams, Weber, Collins, Grant, etc.) grow up FAST and help us stretch the field

Hurricane Gustav wipes out Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas and the Texas Panhandle.  It’s a big storm…could happen??

The recipe to go 8-4:  Losses to OU, Mizzou, TTU, Kansas:

Key injuries in the first five games to guys like Colt, Quan, Jordan, Roy Miller, Orakpo

We squeak by Colorado and find that we haven’t gotten the “swagger” ingredient in our gumbo-pot yet and we get overwhelmed in Dallas.  OU is loaded…we will need all hands on deck for this one.  They return 8 offensive starters and a bunch of mean dudes on defense.

We come off an emotional loss in Dallas and feel sorry for ourselves at home vs. Mizzou.  You can still smell the singed fannies of our young DB’s.  Chase Daniels makes Mack wish he had paid more attention to him and he does a “Stephen McGee, Part II” on us.

Lubbock…enough said.  Seriously, I believe this our toughest game.  If we have 2 losses going into this one, our heads will not be in it and the tortillas will fly.

With three losses at this point, Mack let’s John Chiles start at QB for the Baylor game, we score 100 points, take a sigh of relief, go to Lawrence, Kansas and get bulldozed by (in my opinion) an underrated bunch of Bluebirds.

Overall, if in the first 5 games, we don’t see a swarming defense putting pressure on the QB and wreaking havoc on WR’s, plus a creative offense that executes well, develops a real threat at RB and adds generous portions of McChiles…then this is likely our recipe for the season.

FEARLESS PREDICTIONS

The Season:

God Bless Will Muschamp.

With the defensive speed and deception Muschamp has put in…expect surprises. Big picks, big hits and possibly some big misses due to the youth.  I bet that the secondary will be stellar in time because of the MUCH improved pressure from the defensive front.  Depth at DT will be our biggest concern.

We will develop a deep threat at WR and the receivers will come along fine just like the young DB’s.

We’ll be in great shape at tailback.  I loved Vondrell McGee last year, I love him this year.  Fast, strong, tough.  Mix it up with Ogbonnaya, Fozzy, Johnson and we’re OK.

Colt is bigger (again) and stronger (again) so I think he WILL be a better run factor. Though it scares me. Don’t think Vince or Stephen McGee, think Chase Daniels. At least it won’t be like hurling a jelly-filled Krispy Kreme downfield (think Major Applewhite). Colt should be the most COMPLETE QB we’ve had in quite a while. Imagine having Colt on the field as a legitimate run threat along with John Chiles…it would certainly make me nervous if I were a defensive coordinator. He’s on pace to be Texas’ 3rd all-time leader rusher among QB’s…behind Vince & Marty Akins (73-75).

Defensive guys to watch: Earl Thomas, Emmanuel Acho and all the young DB’s

Offensive guys to watch: All the WR’s, all the TB’s

Again…this year will be up to the young guys.  If they can keep the mental lapses to a minimum and stay focused…we could be very good.  If not, well…

Record: 10-2.  Losses to OU, Mizzou.

This week:

Florida Atlantic will be tough, but not for long enough.  They lost All-American Kevin Smith, but they have 10 offensive and 10 defensive starters back from an 8-5 team that won the Sunbelt Conference championship and their bowl game.  QB Rusty Smith is a 6-5, 212-pound junior who threw for a Sun Belt record 3,688 yards and 32 TDs as a sophomore last year.  They have experienced, physical DB’s.  This one will not be a push over…especially early.  This will be a bowl game for them.  However, Captain Schnellenberger got himself out on the plank with his mouth again and I believe ol’ Rusty and his WR’s are going to pay the price.  I expect them to strap 14 on us early and then wear down pretty quickly.

TEXAS 35 – FAUowl Hooters 14

GAME ON!!!  So, everyone raise your bottle of Rolaids and toast to a very unpredictable and gut-wrenching season!!  We’ll see you out there Saturday! Hook ‘Em!

Author: Scott Palmer

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