QB Colt McCoy (PHOTO CREDIT: UT Photography)

2007 Statistics

Coach: Mack Brown
103-25, 10 years
2007 Record: 10-3
TCU WON 34-13
at UCF WON 35-32
RICE WON 58-14
vs. Oklahoma LOST 21-28
at Iowa State WON 56-3
at Baylor WON 31-10
at Oklahoma State WON 38-35
at Texas A&M LOST 30-38
Arizona State WON 52-34

2007 Final Rankings
AP-10, Coaches-10, BCS-19

2008 Outlook

What happened? The Texas dynasty that was set to rule the Big 12 South Division never quite took advantage of the 2005 title year as a catapult for future results. Hmmm…how come? Really, with one of the top freshman campaigns ever at quarterback, Colt McCoy did his job, as did the offense in finishing sixth nationally for scoring in ‘06. And they turned it up a notch last year, putting up 70 more yards per game from 2006’s totals, which put them only 50 yards per game under the total yardage of the BCS Championship squad. Yes, it seems obvious now that if these are truths, then the happenings on the other side of the ball are most to blame.

Mack Brown saw that his 2007 foes often had offenses he had few answers for. He went out and grabbed Will Muschamp from Auburn. This was the one guy in 2006 that stopped the eventual BCS winners, Florida. As a matter of fact, he did it again last year, holding Heisman winner Tim Tebow to a mere 201 passing yards. Muschamp also took LSU to defensive heights when they won it all in 2003, so he is the right guy to transform a big program’s defense into a top unit. After the disasters seen in the secondary since 2005, the turnover amongst the back seven will actually help clear out the ghosts and will create a fresh start for this year’s group. The rushing defense has held its ground during the porous times in the secondary. The front four should again be able to do its job in run stuffing, so there is a big “push” to create a better pass rush to help the pass defense. Yes, this group of tackles should be able to get upfield while holding up their end of things, so it is up to the ends to contain as they make their way to opposing QBs. We expect, like many, for there to be lots of nickel and dime packages until the DBs are comfortable, though, the Texas LBs are quick enough to possibly step up in coverage and keep the Longhorns from having to forfeit any girth.

The offense has too many weapons, most of which have seen the field on game day, yet some who have waited patiently and are ready to explode onto the scene. And it will all happen because the line is ready already. All that has to happen is for Colt to get back to managing the game like he did as a freshman. He threw it more as a sophomore (106 more times that in ‘06, to be exact), yet his results made it seem like he was not as comfortable with the increases in attempts, such that he threw 11 more picks and seven less TDs than he did in 2006. The kid from Tuscola has far too much talent and the coaches here are way too motivational for there to be any result from this but a much improved showing for the upcoming campaign.

It looks like a good year on the schedule for the revampings on defense – the first foes are easy, allowing for the team to be warmed up for the home game with the new-look Razorbacks. Rising Colorado beat Oklahoma in ’07, so this can’t become a trap game they expect to win and subsequently look past with the Sooners on the horizon the next week. Like usual, Texas ain’t going anywhere unless they beat their nemesis from the north. Getting Mizzu and Kansas will make the pollsters happy (happier than pulling Iowa State) in case of a logjam in the rankings. But it will all come down to that Thanksgiving payback game with A&M. Their 38-30 loss at College Station had to be the straw that broke the Longhorns back last year – the Aggies averaged on the year less than half of the 362 passing yards they earned in the win over UT, thus forcing the head coach’s hand in hiring Muschamp. We will see by that game this year if the changes were worth it and a win can quell the Brown naysayers.

The Texas squad for 2008 has the chance to come out of modest obscurity and reemerge as a BCS finalist, just three years from their last title. More realistically, they will lose to one of those tough South foes and look up at the conference winner as they still earn a BCS birth. What happens in Austin will again make those stars at night big and bright.

Projected 2008 record: 9-3
QB - 4.5 DL - 3.5
RB - 3.5 LB - 3.5
WR - 3.5 DB - 2.5
OL - 4 ..
2007 Statistical Rankings
Total Off:
Sacks Allow:
Total Def:

Passing: Colt McCoy, 276-424-18, 3303 yds., 22 TD

Rushing: Colt McCoy, 114 att., 492 yds., 4 TD

Receiving: Quan Cosby, 60 rec., 680 yds., 5 TD

Scoring: Ryan Bailey, 18-22 FG, 58-59 PAT, 112 pts.

Punting: Trevor Gerland, 15 punts, 37.7 avg.

Kicking: Ryan Bailey, 18-22 FG, 58-59 PAT, 112 pts.

Tackles: Ryan Palmer, 80 tot., 53 solo

Sacks: Brian Orakpo, 5.5 sacks

Interceptions: Deon Beasley, 3 for 0 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Quan Cosby, 42 ret., 24.2 avg., 1 TD

Punt Returns: Quan Cosby, 19 ret., 9.4 avg., 0 TD


LB Rashad Bobino (PHOTO CREDIT: UT Photography)
OFFENSE: Limas Sweed-WR, Nate Jones-WR, Billy Pittman-WR, Tony Hills-OT, Dallas Griffin-C, Jamaal Charles-RB (NFL), Jermichael Finley-TE (NFL)
DEFENSE: Frank Okam-DT, Derek Lokey-DT, Robert Killebrew-SLB, Scott Derry-WLB, Brandon Foster-CB, Erick Jackson-SS, Marcus Griffin-FS, Drew Kelson-FS, Justin Moore-P

One of the longest relationships in college football is between coach Brown and coordinator Greg Davis. Since 1985 (at Tulane), these two have been working together and the Longhorn offense benefits from their co-founded knowledge, each year a little bit more.

Many will point to 2007 and speak of QB Colt McCoy’s efficiency numbers going down after his stellar freshman campaign. Sure, his interceptions increased from a mere seven to 18, and his TDs shrank from 29 to 22…that will take your efficiency down, real quick. But the thing was this – they had Colt throw it 106 more times (33%), so his yardage also went up and there were some statistical consequences. Overall, the offense averaged over 70 more yards per game and about 1.5 more points per week, yet it still equaled the same 10-3 result. Enough returning starters back McCoy such that OC Davis should be able to see more modest gains and hopefully more wins. Consistency becomes the first objective. Now a junior, Colt has to make better decisions when airing it out. Otherwise, his ability to motor for sizable yardage makes LBs have to break out of coverage, which gets guys open, and little 10-to-20 yard gains are the result. The backup, soph John Chiles, isn’t quite ready; speed and strength abound, but Chiles hasn’t gotten it together to make the staff feel comfortable if he were to be handed the reigns suddenly. Sherrod Harris is another option with speedy wheels, but he may not be around any more by the time you read this (transfer rumors). All-around-type G.J. Kinne, coming out of 3A Gilmer (TX), has really been a player favorite, running the scout tem like a pro and offering coach Brown no excuse to keep him off the field. Just a crazy notion: maybe use Kinne as a Tebow-esque hybrid who is rotated in only now and again, for optimal impact. We think he could be a solid starter if given the chance, but for now he is third-team.

The changes at RB have been continual for a few years. The latest RB of the Year will likely be Vondrell McGee, but he failed to impress in his 75 carries (4.0 ypc and no catches). The buzz has been all about RS frosh Foswhitt Whittaker, the guy who shot up the depth chart this spring and made heads turn. Ogbonnaya, a big senior who has not been “all that” for huge gains but has been solid in short yardage situations and with his soft hands, definitely has a role foes cannot ignore (blitz pickup, too). The fullbacks are both capable role players who facilitated the jump in last year’s ground production (went up by 45 yards per game from ‘06). Cobb is sure yards and should get more touches if Davis knows what’s good for the offense.

The wideouts turn over some, but the use lately of so many multiple-WR sets means experienced snarlers step into any vacancies. Quan Cosby is the same mid-range guy as departee Nate Jones, and though Shipley isn’t 6’5 like Sweed, he did go deep with similar results, so the focus shifts to finding and developing a third guy. Collins, Kirkendoll, Williams, Payne and Webber are the four-star prospects lined up on the Longhorn tarmac, so the two newbies this year won’t be needed and can redshirt. The wanna-be tight ends are also lined up behind Peter Ullman, a hulking, sticky-handed target who, along with Blaine Irby, can stay in for both runs and passes.

The line looks good with the four starters slated for return. With the utility he showed as a backup, Buck Burnette is recommended for center. That would allow Mr. Every Position, Chad Hall, to go back to guard. Tanner and Dockery would hash it out for the other inside spot, giving lots of depth here. Outside, Adam Ulatoski likely winds up at left tackle, so Tray Allen and Kyle Hix will compete for Adam’s old job on the right. Hix is our guess with Allen progressing slower than expected (though his upside is still huge). The troubles forming one group that remained the same – there were three or four permutations, none that lasted – still produced the 13th-ranked total offense. Greg Smith, Tanner and Allen will make a great start to the second string and make it so Brown/Davis have continuity for 2009 and beyond, too.

Taking for granted that the running game will remain strong, all that is needed will be McCoy to get back to his freshman self for the Longhorn offense to gain consistency and to then become as unstoppable as it was in the title year.


WR Quan Cosby (PHOTO CREDIT: UT Photography)


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Colt McCoy-Jr (6-3, 210) John Chiles-So (6-2, 215)
Sherrod Harris-So (6-3, 220)
FB Antwan Cobb-So (6-0, 222) Cody Johnson-Fr (5-11, 255)
RB Vondrell McGee-So (5-10, 205) Foswhitt Whittaker-Fr (5-10, 195)
Chris Ogbonnaya-Sr (6-1, 225)
WR Quan Cosby-Sr (5-11, 205) Brandon Collins-So (6-0, 170)
WR Jordan Shipley-Sr (6-0, 195) James Kirkendoll-So (5-11, 175)
WR Malcolm Williams-Fr (6-3, 225) Montre Webber-So (6-3, 210)
TE Blaine Irby-So (6-3, 240) Peter Ullman-Sr (6-4, 260)
OT Adam Ulatoski-Jr (6-8, 310) Tray Allen-So (6-5, 320)
OG Charlie Tanner-Jr (6-4, 300) Michael Huey-So (6-5, 315)
C Chris Hall-Jr (6-4, 300) Buck Burnette-So (6-3, 320)
OG Cedric Dockery-Sr (6-4, 320) Steve Moore-So (6-5, 300)
OT Kyle Hix-So (6-7, 320) Greg Smith-So (6-4, 285)
K Ryan Bailey-Sr (6-2, 205) Justin Tucker-Fr (6-1, 171)



Much of the talk about the Longhorn’s defense starts with new coordinator Will Muschamp. A name familiar to SEC followers, he comes most recently from Auburn and before that LSU. He led LSU’s D to the national title (2003) and has had top 10 results for total defense each year in the SEC as a DC. This guy gets results, and after Mack Brown admitted that some of the offenses in ’07 had Texas’s number (last four foes all scored at least 34 points each), the move to get 13-year assistant Muschamp will buoy results. The new terminology has been tough to learn, but reports confirm that the bugs will be worked out by the end of summer with the great attitude seen so far.

Brown’s teams have stressed run defense first and QB pressure second, so a big question is whether the excellent run-stopping results can continue. Brian Orakpo’s five sacks (led team) were in only nine games (knee injury), so his return is expected to keep both DL dimensions strong. Ex-RB Lamarr Houston picked up the slack and then some for Orakpo. Aaron Lewis, a starter to begin 2007, was the odd man out after Orakpo returned; the reason his steady efforts weren’t worthy of the start is because most teams only field two DEs per play. Lewis will push both starters in a good way. Jones and Acho are great backups, too, and the size of the ends makes it tough to have a back block them, allowing each to slide inside during stunts. The term “pinning our ears back” was heard a lot this spring, so you can bet that these guys are now more aggressively coming for opposing QBs. Tackle Roy Miller earns his start after backing up so many – he had nearly as many tackles (for loss, too) as the two departed starters. Alexander is a monster at the other tackle spot, but he will have to perform to keep the bevy of prospects from his starting slot. Newbies Humphrey and Randall will state their cases for reps; Muschamp is open to seeing all possibilities, so at least one of them will probably not redshirt right away to bolster the inside. Critical will be the adjustments made by the tackles to make sure runs are stopped if/when the pass rushing ends blow by the ball carrier.

Muschamp is a linebacker coach, too, so the two vacancies there are in good hands for fitting into the flow of the entire D. Rashad Bobino has started since day one, and the senior’s presence will be the key for this unit playing where they need to. A member of the 2005 championship team, this former Freshman All-American (and prep 4A Defensive Player of the Year in Texas) plays a smart game from his commander’s position (MLB). Roddrick Muckelroy is an ex-sprinter who picked up in ’07 where he left off in ’06 before a torn tendon shot his campaign down. He was a starter then, so he just has to learn the new system to assure the same killer impact. Former No.1 LB prospect Sergio Kindle’s upside was cut short by injury last year (ankle, stinger), so he’s another piece of the already completed LB puzzle. Norton is a capable starter who backs Bobino and is ready to step in at any time on the outside, too. Speed abounds within the list of extra LBs, a tough group that is just waiting for their individual chances.

The secondary is the main focus on defense, especially after their atypical rankings for the past two seasons (passing defense was 99th in ’06 and 109th last year). Duane Akina has to be on the hot seat, so his guys need to respond. Ryan Palmer is a great foundation to start building around – his 14 pass-breakups and zero interceptions is a testimonial to how much teams throw away from him, figuratively and literally. Balls that come his way are uncatchable for even the receiver. Deon Beasley is an ex-QB-WR who has the most experience out of the rest, so he is the by-default starter for now. Muschamp told Beasley he won’t play as much unless he becomes more aggressive, a real testimonial for the new DC’s intensity and style across the board. Many now feel Beasley is the top corner since he was pushed this way. But the name most keep saying is Chykie Brown at practices. No, not last years No.2 corner prospect Curtis Brown…Chykie. Chykie’s size-speed combo and playing style have fit perfectly into Muschamp’s wheelhouse of intensity and fun, so he is going to get his shot, as will Curtis (no relation to Chykie or Mack). Wells and Scott are the latest additions to the DB stall, and these Horns all have the chops to play well (one-on-one, if needed). Ishie Oduegwu is the lone experienced backup to return for the safety vacancies, but that is a cause for concern. This guy had his troubles in ’07 as a backup, so his presence is reminiscent of the failures; that will have him on the bubble from the start. Christian Scott (not the world class trumpeter) is a fresh face, and the former two-way star/ex-sprinter/ex-high (and triple) jumper showed his wares as an Army All-American. He has the smarts to excel here, as does Ben Wells (sizable enough to fit at safety?) Anyone can see the talent that is to fill in the blanks; it will be in honing it that the devil finds details to exploit. The turnover here will pay dividends by mid-season, regardless of whom gets which assignments. That will be guaranteed by the pass rush improving. How many more Thorpe Award winners Akina finds from this group (has fostered three in his career) remains to be seen, but the potential is there. The aggressive nature soon to be seen has the players excited for the results, since they know they will be having more fun playing all-out ball.


DE Brian Orakpo (PHOTO CREDIT: UT Photography)


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Brian Orakpo-Sr (6-4, 260) Sam Acho-So (6-3, 258)
DT Lamarr Houston-Jr (6-2, 275) Ben Alexander-Jr (6-0, 310)
DT Roy Miller-Sr (6-2, 300) Aaron Lewis-Sr (6-4, 265)
DE Eddie Jones-So (6-3, 260) Henry Melton-Sr (6-3, 265)
SLB Sergio Kindle-Jr (6-4, 239) Keenan Robinson-Fr (6-3, 220)
MLB Rashad Bobino-Sr (5-11, 238) Jared Norton-Jr (6-3, 242)
WLB Roddrick Muckelroy-Jr (6-2, 230) Dustin Earnest-So (6-3, 233)
CB Ryan Palmer-Sr (5-10, 190) Curtis Brown-So (6-1, 178)
CB Deon Beasley-Jr (5-10, 175) Chykie Brown-So (6-1, 185)
SS Earl Thomas-Fr (5-10, 190) Ishie Oduegwu-Jr (5-10, 210)
Blake Gideon-Fr (6-1, 197)
FS Ben Wells-Fr (6-1, 195) Christian Scott-Fr (6-1, 208)
P Trevor Gerland-Jr (6-2, 195) John Gold-So (6-3, 210)




Trevor Greland is the punter for good now, since Justin Moore is gone. Greland isn’t quite the foot that Moore was and it looks like the net results will suffer. Ryan Bailey does the trick as a place kicker – he was 8-for-10 from 40+ and never missed more than once per game in the four games he failed to connect. Bailey’s senior season should counterbalance Greland’s lacking. Cosby at both return slots works well, and the list of likely return men is long so there are no problems there.