the daily texan presents
Vol. 7, issue 9 October 26, 2012
Regrouping page 12
Friday, October 26, 2012
thelineup No. 4 Kenny Vaccaro and No. 88 Cedric Reed | Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff
Keep the change
Shipley shouldn’t be forgotten
Manny Diaz and Bryan Harsin have endured both praise and criticism while at Texas, but regardless of the situation both are staying true to their coaching philosophies.
Given his rapport with David Ash, as well as an aboveaverage skill set, Jaxon Shipley needs to be utilized more within the Longhorns’ offense.
Cover photo by Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan file photo
CornerConversion After seing limited playing time at cornerback as a freshman, Josh Turner decided to convert to safety, where he has wasted no time making an impact on his fellow players and coaches.
5 Turner Impresses previews&Notebooks 11 14 17
The Man, the myth, the legend
Vince Young captained a remarkable comeback against Kansas in 2004 when Texas was expected to embarrass the Jayhawks in Lawrence.
Changing of the guard
Notre Dame transfer Dayne Crist has had a rough year at quarterback for Kansas. Now redshirt freshman Michael Cummings takes the reins in hopes of turning the Jayhawks’ season around.
Jayhawks to watch big 12 power rankings
the daily texan presents
october 26, 2012
Vol. 7, issue 9
Double Coverage Editor............Nick Cremona Design Editor............................Natasha Smith Photo Editor.............................Elisabeth Dillon Copy Editor........................................Trey Scott Writers...................................Christian Corona ..................................................Lauren Giudice .....................................................Ryan Haddox ...................................................Chris Hummer ....................................................Wes Maulsby ...............................................Peter Sblendorio ................................................Sara Beth Purdy .......................................................Hank South ....................................................Matt Warden
Grades are in
Halfway through the season the Longhorns have shown flashes of brilliance as well as stints of inadequacy. This week Texas football beat writer Lauren Giudice hands out grades to each position group.
Things almost got out of hand last week against Baylor, but Texas weathered the storm and emerged with a win. The Longhorns should fare a little better this week as they head to Kansas to take on a fledgling Jayhawk team. My prediction- Texas over Kansas, 40-14. Double Coverage returns Nov. 2 as the Longhorns hit the road to face a resurgent Texas Tech squad.
3 friday, october 26, 2012
Change of pace in practice pays off for Horns By Chris Hummer There’s nothing quite like two-a-days for a football player. It’s a signal the season is only weeks away and it’s the most difficult and physically challenging time of the year. Then when the season starts, the vigor in practice gets taken down a notch. Normally the drop is not a problem, but it’s been an issue for the Longhorns. According to head coach Mack Brown, practice is the best indicator of how a team will perform, and during Texas’ two-game losing streak in which it gave up 111 points, the team practiced flat. In order to remedy the issue the players kicked up the intensity leading into the Baylor game, and it paid off. Texas still allowed 50 points to the country’s No. 1 ranked offense, but it was the groups’ most emotional performance in weeks. “The whole mood has kind of changed in the locker room and on the field,” safety Kenny Vaccaro said. “It’s a lot more physical across the board.” But the physical nature on the practice field can’t only last a week. It has to be a continuing mindset. If not,
a team could lull into a false sense of security. The Big 12 is too difficult of a test for a team to meander through practice and all of a sudden flip on the switch at kickoff. Every team in the conference, with the exception of Kansas, has a record of .500 or better, and without a fevered effort each week, Monday through Friday, Texas could get beat any given Saturday. “We’ve got to continue to be that intense and we’ve got to do it every day,” Brown said. “We can’t afford to have a Saturday where we don’t play at high energy.” When the energy drops, not only can the Longhorns lose — they can get destroyed. Never was that more evident than in Texas’ 63-21 loss to Oklahoma two weeks ago. The Longhorns showed up to the Cotton Bowl flat and were clobbered as a result. It was a game that stung and was the main source of the increased intensity level in practice leading up to Baylor. But now Texas is coming off a win, and, once again, it will be up to the players to display the same level of emotional fire. It’s really easy to get ready for a rival like Baylor, but it will be a different test for Texas to find
Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff Kenny Vaccaro and Mykkele Thompson jump in celebration after Thompson’s fumble recovery late in the third quarter against Baylor. Texas implemented a more physical practice schedule the week before facing the Bears and was able to force two turnovers.
motivation against a lowly Kansas squad. It won’t be easy, but the sting from the Oklahoma loss hasn’t ebbed quite yet. “We need to keep the same mindset we had coming off of OU,” offensive line-
man Trey Hopkins said. “We were an angry team. We had something to prove, and we practiced that way throughout the week. We had a chip on our shoulder. We can’t let this win soften us by making us feel comfortable.”
Former NBA All-Star Allen Iverson once mouthed off in a press conference “we’re sitting here talking about practice, not a game, not a game, not a game, but we’re talking about practice.” It made for one of the
greatest sound bites of alltime, but if Texas hopes to blast through the remainder of the Big 12 schedule, Iverson’s advice is the last thing the team needs to follow. For Texas, it really is all about practice.
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friday, october 26, 2012
By Lauren Giudice Co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin and defensive coordinator Manny Diaz now understand what it’s like to be both criticized and admired by Texas fans. Both sit at 13-7 as Texas coaches. But people’s sentiments towards them are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Mack Brown can certainly sympathize. “Last year people wanted Manny to have my job,” Brown said. “This year they’re mad at Manny. Last year they thought I hired the wrong guy in Bryan. Now they’re wanting autographs and pictures.” Even though the pair’s situations have changed, neither are changing their demeanor or the way they coach. As the Longhorns were walking off the field after their last-minute win over Oklahoma State, Harsin hugged or high-fived each player that passed by him heading to the locker room. Maybe it’s because he sits in the booth, but it was a surprising sight. “If I could say one thing about coach Harsin, it’s that he’s passionate,” offensive lineman Luke Poehlmann said. “It’s kind of inspiring to see that as a player because it feels like it bleeds into our offense. All the players can see how much he cares about it and how hard he works to get us prepared. He’s a great coach.” Poehlmann said he loves playing for Harsin because of his creativity. Though he hasn’t changed, he’s grown with the team
and gotten to know the players better. “Coach Harsin is really consistent,” offensive lineman Mason Walters said. “Win, lose or draw, he always brings that same mentality the next day of ‘Hey, we’ve got to get better’ ... It’s always about growing and it’s never about staying the same with Coach Harsin.” Perhaps Harsin’s most important steps this year have come with David Ash. The quarterback has made significant strides and has controlled the offense very well. The Longhorns are fourth in scoring offense in the Big 12 and have stood their ground in shootouts against Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Baylor. Last year, Diaz’s defense was sixth nationally in rushing defense and eleventh in total defense. Now the Longhorns are at the bottom, eighth in total defense in the Big 12 and 107th in the country. Diaz refuses to change what he’s doing. “All it’s about is your persistence as a teacher,” Diaz said. “How can a scheme all of a sudden not be able to stop a run? Or how can a scheme not be able to stop a pass or do whatever? What it comes down to is your teaching.” Said senior safety Kenny Vaccaro, “It worked last year, why shouldn’t it work now? I think we have talented players across the board. It’s not coach Diaz’s fault.” Harsin and Diaz are taking on some of the highest expectations in the country. One is meeting them, one is falling way short. At Texas, it comes with the territory.
Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz | Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan file photo
Diaz, Harsin stick to guns
5 friday, october 26, 2012
Turner’s instinctive nature allows him to flourish By Chris Hummer For Josh Turner, last Saturday’s contest against Baylor was a game of firsts. He recorded his first collegiate start, first ever tackle for loss, and most importantly, first career interception. The pick came in the second quarter of a 28-28, back-and-forth game. Baylor quarterback Nick Florence was looking to hit Lanear Sampson on a post route over the middle but overshot his target by a few yards. Turner, who was playing back at safety, made a break on the ball, dove and plucked the ball right before it hit the turf to secure the interception. “We were in thirds,” Turner said of the play. “I was in
right third, and I was just reading the quarterback. I saw that he kind of overthrew the receiver, and I was just trying to make a play on the ball.” The pick was a huge momentum swing in the game, and perhaps a symbol of many more firsts to come for Turner. Turner, the Oklahoman who scorned his native Sooners to come play in Austin. Turner, the corner turned safety who didn’t utter a word of complaint in the offseason because he enjoyed the challenge of switching positions so much. And Turner, the young safety whose playmaking ability rivals that of former Longhorn greats Aaron Ross, Earl Thomas and Nathan Vasher,
according to his position coach Duane Akina. “He has a knack for the ball,” Akina said. “That is one of the things that really stands out with him. He has some nice natural instincts for the football.” His interception against Baylor was a perfect example of that. He was naturally instinctive on his break to the ball and when he reached it his natural athleticism took control. “It was a super catch, and he is one of the few guys out there that is capable of making that play,” Akina said. “You know moving to his right, having to come back, ball off his body. He did a nice job of rolling.”
TURNER continues on page 16
Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan file photo He’s still learning the game, but so far Josh Turner has made monumental strides as a player. The versatile defender was first employed as a cornerback but has since shifted to safety.
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friday, october 26, 2012
Sure-handed shipley needed By Christian Corona Sports Editor
It was four short weeks ago that Jaxon Shipley had not one, not two but three touchdown catches — a career-high and as many scoring snags as he had all of last year. Not only has he not scored since, but his role and production have been reduced to the point where it’s hard to tell if he’s on the team, much less the field, at times. The sophomore has made just one catch in each of the Longhorns’ last two games after making multiple catches in every previous game he’s played for Texas. That has to change this week. No, Shipley having a big game won’t be the difference between the Longhorns winning or losing to Kansas on Saturday. Regardless of his performance and despite the defense’s recent struggles, Texas should leave Lawrence with a lopsided win. But Texas has bigger things on its mind than just getting past a Jayhawks squad that hasn’t beaten a FBS team this year. If it wants to be able to beat the Texas Techs and Kansas States of the Big 12 world later this season, Shipley has to be a bigger part of the offense. “He’s going to get his touches, he’s going to get his catches throughout
the year,” sophomore quarterback David Ash said. “Maybe Jaxon didn’t have a lot of catches the last couple of games, he’s been productive throughout the year catching the ball, you notice what he does as a receiver outside of that. There were several of those touchdown runs where he had key blocks.” In the Longhorns’ last two games, junior wideout Mike Davis has made 11 catches for 237 yards and two touchdowns. Could it be that teams have focused more on stopping Shipley while giving Davis more chances to catch the ball? “I’m sure when he caught three touchdowns, people were looking at him harder and trying to keep the ball out of his hands more,” head coach Mack Brown said of Shipley. “The defense, the coverage really dictates where David throws the ball. But we’ve said every time we come in that there’s somebody we didn’t get it too enough.” For a while, those somebodies were freshman Daje Johnson and D.J. Monroe. Johnson made the most of the first of seven touches in Texas’ 56-50 win over Baylor last weekend. On the first play from scrimmage, he scored on an 84yard touchdown run, with Shipley helping spring him free. Monroe had six touches while Shipley had three in the victory. “There were several of those
touchdown runs where [Shipley] had key blocks, including that first one with Daje,” Ash said. “He cut the safety down, he couldn’t play it, that’s what sprung Daje. He actually blocked two guys on one of Joe’s touchdowns. He’s doing his job and he’s playing well.” As great a job as Shipley is doing blocking opposing defenders, he needs to be given the same chance to beat those defensive backs downfield. It’s not enough to explain away his drop in production to other teams simply making more of an effort to shut him down than other Texas receivers. If that’s the case, one would be left to hoping Kansas would focus on taking Davis out of the game, leaving Shipley to put up big numbers. But Davis and Shipley are capable of making significant contributions to the passing attack in the same game. And they should. Throw Shipley a screen or two. Hand the ball off to him. Take a shot downfield to him. Get him used to touching the ball. Because when the ball is in Shipley’s sure hands, the Longhorns’ offense is at its best.
Sophomore wide receiver Jaxon Shipley Lawrence Peart | Daily Texan file photo
7 friday, october 26, 2012
Glaring lack of talent impedes Weis’ plan By Nick Cremona
Double Coverage editor
In the weeks prior to his first game as Kansas head coach, Charlie Weis had intended to overhaul the entire Kansas football program and bring a certain toughness back to the team that it hasn’t seen in years. So far, he hasn’t fared so well. Weis’ Jayhawks have struggled to make any sort of improvement on a 2-10 record a year ago and quarterback Dayne Crist, a transfer from Weis-era Notre Dame, has now been supplanted by a redshirt freshman. Weis has publicly criticized the Jayhawk seniors, even opting to practice sans upperclassmen in hopes of ushering in a new
era of Kansas football that will rely heavily on the play of the team’s younger players. Right now, Weis’ best players haven’t even enrolled in college. The Jayhawks have 10 commitments lined up for 2013, and although this season is hardly over, Weis has to devote some time to getting playmakers to Lawrence this offseason. “We know what we have to do with the guys that are here and we also know that we need to recruit more good players, so that we can put ourselves in a better position to win,” Weis said. “That’s what we need to do. Recruiting is the life line (of a college program). Development of your own players and recruiting, that’s it.” A major area of concern for the Jayhawks has been the
play of their special teams. Paired with a sputtering offense and sub-par defense, the Jayhawks’ special teams performances have been nothing short of disastrous. There’s only a sample size of six punts returned by the Jayhawks for a total of 62 yards to go off of, and they average a shade over 17 yards per kickoff return. “We’ve been very inconsistent at the specialist position to start off with and a lot of times special teams get noticed more when you are not getting a lot of production out of the specialist,” Weis said. There’s no getting around the fact Kansas has been awful through seven games. But that’s not entirely Weis’s fault. It’s not like Kansas was a dormant powerhouse that needed a simple personnel
Hands held high
Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff After finding his way into the endzone for the first time as a Longhorn last week, freshman Johnathan Gray (32) celebrates with his teammates.
change in order to release its full potential. Weis inherited a team in dire need of a new identity after enjoying relative success under Mark Mangino from 2002-2009. Mangino’s 50-48 record as the Jayhawks’ coach was the first time a Kansas coach had a winning percentage above .500 since some guy named Jules did it from 1948-1953. Weis was able to assemble a decent coaching staff to aid in the recovery process, coaxing defensive coordinator Dave Campo to return to the college coaching ranks and shipping in Notre Dame’s old recruiting coordinator in Rob Ianello to handle the Jayhawks’ recruiting. Ianello was able to bring in the likes of Jimmy Clau-
WEIS continues on page 22
Kansas coach Charlie Weis | Orlin Wagner | Associated Press
friday, october 26, 2012
LOOKING BACK Heavy favorites in 2004, Texas clawed its way to a win
9 friday, october 26, 2012
By Ryan Haddox Vince Young. The name alone brings back too many good memories to count and glorious nostalgia that we all so desperately yearn to relive. In his four years at Texas, he arguably accomplished more than any other player to ever step foot on the 40 Acres. One of his most memorable games took place on a cold November day in Lawrence, Kan. The year was 2004, the day was Nov. 13 and the legend of VY was just beginning to grow. Texas got off to a hot start in 2004 before being slowed down at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas by the Sooners (sounds familiar). After the shutout loss to Oklahoma, Mack Brown and Vince Young rallied the troops, and began to embark on what would end up becoming a very memorable season. The Longhorns ran the table all the way to their victory over Michigan in the Rose Bowl, but a small piece of the story is often over looked. It all nearly came unraveled at the hands of the Kansas Jayhawks. It was an 11 a.m. kickoff, like the game this Saturday. Texas was the heavy favorite to go on the road and rout the Jayhawks, like they are this Saturday. Texas was trying to undo past wrongs from earlier in the season to keep their BCS and conference championship hopes alive, like the team is also trying to do Saturday. The Jayhawks found the scoreboard first on that brisk November day, kicking a field goal at the conclusion of the first quarter. Cedric Benson returned the favor on the next drive, scoring on a 16-yard touchdown run to give the Longhorns a 7-3 lead. The teams traded the lead back-and-forth until the start of the very mercurial fourth quarter. Down 13-9 at the start of the fourth, the Jayhawks found the end zone on consecutive drives to give themselves a 23-13 lead with only 7:41 left on the clock. Then Vince Young showed up, engineering a 13-play, 87-
yard drive to cut the score to 23-20 with 4:12 on the clock. The Texas defense forced the Jayhawks into a three-and-out, giving the ball back to Young, who began to complete the first stage of what would wind up as a fairy-tale career. Getting the ball back with 1:53 on the clock, the Longhorns marched down the field, ending the drive with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Tony Jeffery with a measly 11 seconds left on the clock. Texas had avoided the colossal upset and kept the season’s goals alive for another week. That brings us to this season. The Longhorns again got off to a hot start, stumbled against Top 10 West Virginia and then were decimated in Dallas. Now the Longhorns head to Kansas desperately trying to keep their goals on life support, like they were attempting to do in 2004. It is a morning kickoff, like 2004. Texas is again heavily favored, like they were eight years ago. There is supposed to be a cold chill in the air, like there was in 2004. And while there certainly seems to be a few interesting parallels between the two games, there are a couple glaring exceptions. For starters, the savior that was Vince Young is no longer clad in Burnt Orange. He is trying to cling to his NFL career and hoping to find a job somewhere. Second, the 2004 team had a defense. Not just any defense, one full of future top NFL draft picks who would go on to have great careers. Fast forward to 2012, and the defense resembles something similar to tissue paper. Sure, there is NFL talent, but Texas is currently sporting a defense in the bottom 10 percent of all FBS programs. Texas should have no problem with the Jayhawks on Saturday, but Vince Young wasn’t supposed to have any problems, either. The Longhorns better hope they don’t find themselves in a dog fight heading into the home stretch of the fourth quarter at Memorial Stadium if they want to avoid letting the season go sideways like the past two. Texas has no more wiggle room left this season, and Vince Young isn’t walking through the door to save it anytime soon.
Daily Texan file photos from the 2004 game against Kansas in Lawrence, Kan.
friday, october 26, 2012
Crist relinquishes starting role as Cummings rises By Sara Beth Purdy The quarterback situation in Lawrence, Kan. seems gravely familiar: a five-star high school prospect flops at the collegiate level before deciding to transfer to salvage his career. At the beginning of this season, senior transfer Dayne Crist was a dark horse in some analysts’ Heisman talk, with 85-1 odds for the award. Seven games into the season and Crist has already been relegated to the backup position, giving way to redshirt freshman Michael Cummings to try and turn around the Jayhawks’ 1-6 season. “We’re going to start Michael and we’ll see how it goes,” head coach Charlie Weis said. “I think that, at this point when you’re 1-6 and things haven’t gone real well, I think you owe it to your team to see what you have.” Last weekend in a 52-7 loss to Oklahoma, Cummings started the game but Crist saw ample playing time. However, after the loss Cummings was given the reins full time to try and jump-start the program. Crist started his college career at Notre Dame in 2008 where Weiss had recruited him to play before he left for a coaching position with the Kansas City Chiefs after the 2009 season. After sitting out in 2008, Crist had a minor contribution in 2009 as the backup to Jimmy Clausen. In 2010, he was named the starting quarterback where he threw for over 2,000 yards and 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions. However, a ruptured patellar tendon in his left knee ended his sea-
Sue Ogrocki | Associated Press Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist throws against Oklahoma in the second quarter of a game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 20. Crist has been largely ineffective this season and now redshirt freshman Michael Cummings has assumed the starting role.
son. In 2011, he was given another opportunity to start, however, midway through Notre Dame’s season opener he was replaced by Tommy Rees. At the end of 2011, Crist decided to transfer to Wisconsin before Weis convinced him to come to Kansas instead. Weis had just been named the head coach of the Jayhawks after serving as Florida’s offensive coordinator for a season.
His transfer to Kansas was supposed to be a fresh start for both Crist and the Jayhawks. Crist was healthy and playing for a coach who had a history of developing quarterbacks for the NFL. Kansas was also in desperate need of a quarterback after Kansas only won two games in 2011, both against nonconference opponents. So far this season, Crist has amassed negative 72
yards rushing and 1,101 yards in the air. He is 91for-184 which translates to a 49.5 competition percentage. He has a staggering seven interceptions with only three touchdowns so far this season. His quarterback efficiency rating? An unimpressive 98. “The season is not over yet, but I think that right now he’s disappointed,” Weis said about Crist. “I’m disappointed and we’re
both disappointed ... if the status quo doesn’t show any improvement, then you have to find some way to make improvements and this is one of the ways.” Last season, Texas shutout Kansas 43-0 in Austin. Kansas went on to a 2-10 season and finished winless in the Big 12. This season has proven to be no better. Kansas is sitting at a 1-6 record, again without a win in the Big 12.
by the numbers Dayne Crist
-72 0 3 7 98
yards rushing rushing TD passing TD interceptions efficiency rating
friday, october 26, 2012
wes maulsby daily texan staff Photos by Associated Press
TOP TIER Manti Te’o Senior LB, Notre Dame
Last Week: 10 tackles. Season: 69 tackles and four interceptions
Te’o recorded his third consecutive ten-tackle game in the win over BYU. His tackle numbers may not be as high as some other players in the country, but his impact on the game is much more significant than some others who get tackles in bulk. His 69 tackles are good for 23rd in the nation, but he leads a Notre Dame defensive unit that is second in the nation in scoring defense. He leads the way in run defense and will have another major opportunity this weekend. Notre Dame travels to Norman, Okla. to play a confident Oklahoma team that is firing on all cylinders since its bye week after the Kansas State loss. If he can shut down the Oklahoma rushing attack and force the Sooners into difficult situations, Te’o has a chance to make plays against Landry Jones, who will be leading the best offense the Irish has seen this season. Te’o cannot afford a loss if his goal is to take home the Heisman. Unfortunately, the Irish offense is nowhere near as effective as the Sooners’, which may cost him this weekend.
Collin Klein Senior QB, Kansas State
Last Week: 19-for-21 (91 percent) passing for 323 yards and three touchdowns, 12 rushes for 41 yards (3.4 yards per carry) and four TDS Season: 98-for-139 (70.5 percent) passing for 1,397 yards for 10 touchdowns and two interceptions, 110 rushes for 551 yards (5 yards per carry) and 14 TDS Klein passed another test this weekend against former Heisman frontrunner Geno Smith. Following West Virginia’s win over Baylor, people were ready to hand the award to Smith, but Klein has taken over the top spot with his physical brand of football. He has made a name for himself as a runner, but it was his arm that beat the Mountaineers. He had a career day last week in one of the defining moments of the season for Kansas State.
Matt Barkley Senior QB, USC
Last Week: 19-for-20 (95 percent) for 298 yards and six TDs Season: 140-for-213 (65 percent) for 1773 yards, 22 TDs and six interceptions Barkley has put himself back in contention with a stellar performance against Colorado. He became the all-time leader for touchdown passes in the Pac 12 conference, passing Matt Leinart. Now USC is getting back to business. The Trojans are in the Top 10 and a win over Oregon would vault them right back in the national title discussion as the leader of the one-loss group. He has had a strong run over the past few weeks with 10 touchdown passes to just one interception. Barkley may have lost some momentum, but as USC gets back into spotlight games, he will start to get more attention. Wins over Oregon and Notre Dame would put Barkley right up near the top of the Heisman ranks. Fortunately for him, he likely gets two shots at Oregon. Even if USC doesn’t win both of the matchups, if Barkley performs well enough he will be back among the favorites to take home the Heisman.
Kenjon Barner Senior RB, Oregon
Last Week: 16 rushes for 143 yards (8.9 yards per carry) Season: 132 rushes for 870 yards (6.6 yards per carry) and 12 TDs Barner has picked up some momentum in recent weeks after a slow start to the season. He is coming off his third consecutive 100-yard rushing game, complete with a 71-yard touchdown run against Arizona State. Barner may not quite have the raw explosiveness as teammate De’Anthony Thomas, but he is a much more complete back and has the ability to run between the tackles. As Oregon continues to spread the field, lots of running lanes open for Barner in the middle of the field, which he can hit as fast as anyone in the country. He’ll face Colorado team that is allowing over 170 yards on the ground this season.
RISING AJ McCarron Junior QB, Alabama
Last Week: 17-for-22 (77 percent) for 306 yards and four TDs Season: 106-for-154 (69 percent) for 1,476 yards and 16 TDs McCarron wasn’t used as the playmaker last season, but he is leading a very efficient offense this time around. He has yet to throw an interception through seven games which is unheard of, especially in the land of vaunted SEC defenses. Actually, Alabama hasn’t really played anyone who is particularly good. It crushed Michigan in the first game of the season, but hasn’t played anyone with a pulse since. But the Tide does begin a three game stretch against ranked teams this week with Mississippi State traveling to Tuscaloosa, but that isn’t the game that will give him Heisman credit. That game comes next week against LSU. That is where McCarron needs to make a name for himself.
I think last year we were bowl-eligible on this week because we were 6-2. And then we didn’t play as well down the stretch. So this is a key game for us, and we’ve got tough games that are left. We’ve got a chance in each one of them. — Head coach Mack Brown
Photos by Elisabeth Dillon, Lawrence Peart and Andrew Torrey | Daily Texan Staff
Offense on the right track while defense reboots By Lauren Giudice
OFFENSIVE LINE B
RUNNING BACKS B+
WIDE RECEIVERS B
DEFENSIVE LINE B-
DEFENSIVE BACKS C
SPECIAL TEAMS B-
The offensive line has been relatively consistent most of season, as David Ash has been sacked six times so far for 49 yards lost. The line was dominated by Oklahoma but bounced back against Baylor on Saturday. With leaders like Mason Walters and Trey Hopkins, the line has been opening gaps for the running backs and allowing them to sit at fourth in rushing yards in the Big 12 with a 196-yard average per game.
Alex Okafor leads the line and is tied for first in the Big 12 with 7.5 sacks. With Jackson Jeffcoat out for the season, Cedric Reed and Reggie Wilson will take over. Reed had a sack against Baylor and showed potential, but Jeffcoat’s absence will be felt in the final five games of the season. The Longhorns’ run defense problems start at the front and have cost them games. Teams are averaging 215.7 rushing yards against the Longhorns.
With Malcolm Brown’s injury, the rest of the running back corps has stepped up. Joe Bergeron is tied for third in the FBS with 84 points and has accumulated 14 touchdowns, including five against Baylor. True freshman Johnathan Gray has continued to improve and scored his first touchdown of the season Saturday. In addition, Daje Johnson has stepped up as another threat in the backfield and led the team in rushing against Oklahoma with 41 yards.
During Texas’ game Saturday against Baylor, former Texas linebacker Keenan Robinson tweeted, “Man who are these linebackers for Texas.” He also noted that the defense needs Jordan Hicks back. Robinson is definitely right. Like the defensive line, the young linebackers are struggling to stop the run. Demarco Cobbs, Steve Edmond and Kendall Thompson are making improvement and showed that with 26 combined tackles against Baylor. But the Bears still accumulated 255 rushing yards. The linebackers are the weakest aspect of the defense and need to start making plays and hitting tackles.
Mike Davis describes last season’s lack of passing as “terrible.” That certainly has changed. With the development of David Ash, the receivers, especially Davis, are getting the ball more. Jaxon Shipley hasn’t been used as much in recent weeks, but they are still causing opponent’s secondary trouble. Texas sits in seventh in the Big 12 in passing offense with 261.3-yards per game and fifteen touchdowns, but it is certainly an improvement from last year. In the 2011 season, the Longhorns had 16 total passing touchdowns.
Carrington Byndom and Quandre Diggs were expected to be two of the best cornerbacks in the country. Diggs is second in the Big 12 in passes defended and fourth in interceptions but has been burned a few times this season. The two have struggled with tackling all season and are a part of a group that’s in eighth in pass defense in the Big 12 with 313.8-yards given up per game. Kenny Vaccaro is one of the players who is most frustrated by the defense’s struggles. His disappointment makes sense, as he has been playing well and leading the defense. Strong safety Adrian Phillips is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to missed tackles.
David Ash is arguably the most improved player on the team. He is leading the offense that is currently tied for sixth in the country in scoring with an average of 44.4 points per game. After accumulating eight interceptions last season, he is being much smarter with the ball and only has three interceptions so far. The sophomore is averaging 237.6 yards per game and has 12 touchdowns. In addition to his improved numbers, he is clearly more confident and has evolved into a leader.
Special teams have been very inconsistent. Three games into the season, the kickoff coverage team was being praised. But the corps gave up big returns to Ole Miss, Oklahoma State and West Virginia. Nick Jordan went 3-for-7 on field goals while starting for injured Nick Fera. Though Fera has returned, he missed a potential game-tying field goal against West Virginia and an extra point against Oklahoma. On the other hand, Nick Rose has been excellent on kickoffs and Alex King is averaging a solid 46.4-yards per punt.
players to watch
friday, october 26, 2012
matt warden daily texan staff
Orlin Wagner | Associated Press Kansas running back James Sims (29) is tripped up by Oklahoma State defensive end Cooper Bassett (80) during the second half of a game in Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, Oct. 13. Kansas quarterback Michael Cummings (14) was blocking on the play. Oklahoma State defeated Kansas 20-14.
james sims junior running back
tony pierson sophomore running back bradley mcdougald senior safety
On an offense that ranks No. 117 in the country, consistency is difficult to find. Junior running back James Sims appears to be a source of light however. Sims has rushed for 446 yards and five touchdowns in the four games he has appeared in this season. His 4.4 yards per carry is impressive for a back at any level, but the statistic is bolstered when the competition is considered. Although Kansas is winless in Big 12 play, against three perennial powerhouses in Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, Sims’ 28 carries and 118 yard averages are nothing to scoff at. In a game that the Jayhawks nearly pulled out against Oklahoma State, Sims ran for a season-best 138 yards with a touchdown. Sims has also shown the ability to catch the ball, hauling in seven receptions for 122 yards on the season.
Pierson fits a type that has become prevalent in the players to watch column over the last few weeks: small and elusive. At 5-foot-10, 170 pounds, Pierson is a guy who does a lot of things for Kansas with his quickness. He is second on the team in rushing behind Sims with 386 yards and two touchdowns. He is also one of the leading receivers on the team with 15 catches for 198 yards and a touchdown. Although the sophomore running back isn’t used frequently as the primary option in the Jayhawk offense, his 97 yards from scrimmage per game prove he is a critical part in their scheme. If Sims has a tough time running the football, expect to see Pierson get an opportunity to break off a big run and flash the speed that makes him a big threat in this offense. He won’t be the primary back in this game, but his number will be called and the Longhorns should beware of another little guy who could burn them if they aren’t careful.
Compact and efficient, small and savvy; whatever you want to call McDougald, he is the most consistent and versatile defender at Kansas. The senior safety has amassed a team-leading 58 tackles on the season to go along with a sack and two interceptions. At 6-foot-1, 209 pounds, he is a smaller defender who uses his technique and speed to make plays. McDougald has a punt return for a touchdown this season, adding some versatility to his decent production on the defensive side of the football. The Longhorns offense hasn’t had much difficulty scoring points this season, but McDougald appears to be a guy who could give them some issues if not respected. In a game that will most likely be a blowout, McDougald seems to be the only defender to keep an eye out for.
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games to watch
friday, october 26, 2012
peter sblendorio daily texan staff
no. 5 notre dame at no. 8 oklahoma Overall 7-0 vs. Ind. 2-0
Overall 5-1 Big 12 3-1
no. 11 mississippi state at no. 1 alabama Overall 7-0 SEC 3-0
Overall 7-0 SEC 4-0
no. 2 florida vs. no. 10 georgia Overall 7-0 SEC 6-0
Overall 6-1 SEC 4-1
no. 14 texas tech at no. 3 kansas state Overall 6-1 Big 12 3-1
Overall 7-0 Big 12 4-0
Oklahoma Memorial Stadium Saturday 7 p.m. TV: ABC
Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday 7:30 p.m. TV: ESPN
Everbank Field Saturday 2:30 p.m. TV: CBS
Bill Snyder Stadium Saturday 2:30 p.m. TV: FOX
Notre Dame has beaten three ranked opponents so far, but Oklahoma presents the Irish with their toughest test. The Sooners boast the nation’s fifth highest scoring offense, averaging 44.7 points per game, and their defense has also been strong in limiting opponents to 15.3 points per contest. Landry Jones has shaken off a rough start to the year to put up an impressive stat line that includes 1,644 passing yards and 12 touchdowns. The Sooners’ running game, led by Damien Williams and backup quarterback Blake Bell, has accounted for 20 touchdowns. Oklahoma is yet to face a defense like Notre Dame’s, though, as the Irish are second in the nation in allowing just 9.4 points per game. Offensively, the Irish have been consistently good enough to win, and the news that quarterback Everett Golson has been cleared to play following a concussion should give Notre Dame a boost.
Alabama has had little trouble this year in establishing itself as college football’s best team. The Crimson Tide is allowing a national-best 8.3 points per game. Offensively, Alabama is 14th in the nation in scoring at 41 points per game, and quarterback A.J. McCarron has come into his own this season, passing for 1,476 yards and 16 touchdowns without an interception. Mississippi State, the only other undefeated team in the SEC West, could very well end up being Alabama’s toughest foe this season. The Bulldogs are one of the nation’s most balanced teams, averaging 36.7 points per game while holding opponents to just 14.4. They will have to be up to the task to continue their upstart year Saturday, though, as Alabama’s smallest margin of victory in their undefeated season is 19 points.
The other major matchup in the SEC this week will pit the top two teams in the conference’s East division against each other. Florida continued its impressive season last week with a 44-11 drubbing of No. 7 South Carolina and this came just two weeks after its statement victory over then No. 4 LSU. The Gators’ defense is fourth in opponent scoring, allowing just 12.1 points per game. The offense has also been surprisingly steady behind mobile quarterback Jeff Driskel, and it should have its chances to score against an underperforming Bulldog’s defense. That said, the Bulldogs have been able to outscore opponents in most instances this year. Georgia is averaging 5.3 yards per carry on the ground and has scored 20 rushing touchdowns, and quarterback Aaron Murray has impressed with 16 touchdowns to just four interceptions. The winner of this game will claim first place in the SEC East, making this one a must-watch.
Kansas State has been the most complete team outside of Alabama this year. The Wildcats have averaged the 10th-most points in the nation on offense at 42.9 per game and defensively they have limited the opposition to just 16.1 points per contest. Quarterback Collin Klein has emerged as a legitimate Heisman contender, as he leads the team with 10 passing touchdowns and 14 more on the ground. The Red Raiders, too, have had a strong season and they are coming off of back-to-back wins over ranked opponents. Quarterback Seth Doege has put up prolific passing numbers, throwing for 2,209 yards and 28 touchdowns in seven games. This one has significant Big 12 implications, and while Kansas State enters as a seven-point favorite, the Red Raiders have had a knack for upsets in the past few years.
TURNER continues from page 5
His athleticism gave him the aptitude to make the spectacular play, but it’s his dogged work ethic that’s al-
lowed him to switch positions seamlessly from his freshman to sophomore year. Turner played corner in his first season on the 40 Acres, but with the departure of four-year starter Blake Gideon, the Longhorns needed more depth at safety.
Akina, who likes to crosstrain his defensive backs, thought Turner would be the perfect fit to make the switch. It wasn’t an immediate success story by any means. It took Turner a while to get the hang of the position, and even now he has the
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occasional stumble, missed assignment or whiffed tackle attempt. But Turner recovers from those mistakes quickly, in part because of his will to improve and his desire to be pushed to the limit. And Akina has no qualms about granting his request in practice. Akina is intense and relentless in his frenzied devotion to making his players better, which means he is often forced to show a little tough love. It doesn’t bother Turner a bit. “If he’s hard on me then he actually sees potential in me,” Turner said. “Whereas if he didn’t say anything that’s when you have to start to get worried.” Because of his lofty standards, Akina is a hard person
to please. Turner’s teammates were impressed by his showing against Baylor — just not surprised. The performance served only to confirm what they perceive every day. “He showed me what I already knew,” safety Kenny Vaccaro said. “In practice, he makes a lot of plays. He’s a playmaker. He’s real disciplined, and he played good against a good offense.” Turner watches film every day, striving to get better. He studies tape after practice, on the bus, after class and every night before he heads to sleep. With all of that work one would think Turner reach the point of exasperation. But, in the polite manner of the soft-spoken defensive back, he had a rebuttal for that conclusion. His answer was
In practice, he makes a lot of plays. He’s a playmaker. He’s real disciplined, and he played good against a good offense. —Kenny Vaccaro, senior safety
short, but went a long way in explaining his success. “No sir,” Turner said. “You can never get tired of watching film.”
17 Friday, october 26, 2012
big 12 power rankings wes maulsbydaily texan staff
After steamrolling West Virginia in Morgantown, Kansas State is not only in prime position to win the Big 12, but is now one of the frontrunners for the national championship. Kansas State has the No. 1 red zone defense in the conference and has only turned the ball over once in Big 12 play. This week’s opponent, Texas Tech, could bring a substantial challenge to Kansas State. But the Wildcats have shut down Oklahoma and West Virginia, and adding the scalp of the Red Raiders to their wall would give them a nice set. Don’t expect Kansas State to have a letdown.
The Sooners continue to roll since their loss to the Wildcats, but Kansas State continues to win, and it looking impressive in doing so. Oklahoma needs to start cheering for the rest of the Big 12 to beat Kansas State twice in order for Oklahoma to win its eighth Big 12 title. The Sooners are averaging 52 points a game in their current three-game win streak and their defense has been smothering opposing offenses. But now a new challenge comes into Norman in the form of Notre Dame. The Irish are one of the toughest and most physical teams in the country and will have a similar approach to stopping the Sooners as Kansas State did. There were a lot of questions about the Sooners in the wake of that home loss to the Wildcats which have quickly gone away. But they could come back with a vengeance if Notre Dame is able to bully the Sooners.
The Red Raiders pulled out a close win against TCU on the road and are still in contention for the Big 12 title. If Texas Tech can shock the world and pull off another top five upset this weekend, then it will be one Sooner loss away from its first conference championship since 1994. But it will take a lot for the Red Raiders to beat the Wildcats, who present one of the best defenses they have faced.
The Longhorns recovered from their poor offensive showing with a 56-point outburst against Baylor. The defense continued its poor play by allowing the Bears to make a game out of it with 50 points. The Bears only punted three times, ran out of time in the first half, and had two turnovers that cost them the game. The Texas defense could not get of the field. Texas is stopping 42 percent of third downs, which is about average in the Big 12, but Texas has yet to stop a fourth down conversion this season. The Texas defense cannot make timely stops and until it does, it will have to outscore all of its opponents. Though the offense is improved, it cannot execute well enough to pull that off every week.
The Cowboys have bounced back from their 2-2 start with a twogame winning streak including a home win over a ranked Iowa State team last week. Oklahoma State gets a battered TCU team at home this weekend before going to Manhattan to play league leader Kansas State. Once the game against TCU is done this week, the easy part of Oklahoma States schedule is over. Three of its last five games will be on the road and its home games won’t be too good either with West Virginia and Texas Tech going to Stillwater.
The one-time leaders of the Big 12 are now trying to find a way to recover from two straight beatings. The Mountaineers have been outscored 104-28 and its stout offense has suddenly become very stoppable. With national and conference championship hopes gone, and Geno Smith’s Heisman chances essentially dashed, West Virginia will have to find something to play for before this season falls apart.
The Horned Frogs have three road games left this season, which should come as good news for TCU fans. It has two losses on the season, both of which have come at home. First Iowa State pushed a Casey Pachall-less TCU around, then Texas Tech took advantage of TCU turnovers to make up for a lackluster offensive game by Tech Standards. TCU gets to get comfortable on the road this week against Oklahoma State, and one thing is guaranteed: there will be turnovers in this game. We just don’t know from which team yet.
The Cyclones are in a bit of a tailspin after getting off to a 3-0 start to the season, dropping three of their last four games. Kansas remains on the schedule, but with big offenses from Baylor, Oklahoma and West Virginia still to come, it will be hard for Iowa State to reach the six-win mark and achieve bowl eligibility. Fortunately for the Cyclones, they get the three worst defensive teams in the conference, beginning with Baylor this week.
The Bears have decided to play on just one side of the ball this season. They have the worst scoring defense in the country, allowing teams to score 44 points a contest. It’s only gotten worse in conference play, where teams are scoring 58 points a game. Were it not for Baylor’s offense, it may not have a single win this season. It leads the Big 12 and is third in the nation in scoring offense this season, scored below 40 points just once this season. The Bears have score 134 points in three conference games this season, but have allowed an astonishing 175 points in as many games. If the Bears can manage just a couple of stops in a game, their offense has a chance to pull out a win.
A week after coming within a single score of landing its second win of the season, Kansas got throttled by a rolling Oklahoma team. It has already played the top two teams in the conference and has been outscored 108-23 in those two games. While some conference schools are seeing how poorly they can play on defense, the Jayhawks have given offense a bad name: they have scored five total touchdowns in Big 12 play and are only ahead of Auburn in scoring among BCS conference schools.
friday, october 26, 2012
pedal to the metal In all likelihood, Texas will score a lot of points against the 1-6 Jayhawks. The Longhorns’ offense is ranked No. 6 in the country, while the Kansas defense is ranked No. 92. If numbers are any indication, Texas should have no problem dispatching the Jayhawks. However, Kansas has proven that if you don’t put it away when its down, it has the ability to make it a game. Against Oklahoma State, the Jayhawks fought tooth and nail, losing 20-14. A team known for its prolific offense, Oklahoma State, went into cruise control and let the Jayhawks stick around in what could have been disaster for an already streaky Cowboy team. While Texas has learned from its missed opportunities against West Virginia and Oklahoma, the fact that Kansas maintained a little resiliency against a tough Cowboys team should warrant some respect. In a game that should be a blowout, the Longhorns need to step on the Jayhawks’ throats when they get them down to establish dominance; dominance in this game and in the Big 12.
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limit big plays Kansas’ offense is one that could be called lackluster as it currently ranks No. 117 in total offense. Behind the play of an inconsistent signal caller, the Kansas offense has gained most of its recognition through its runners. Kansas ranks No. 49 in rushing yards, buoyed by its two quick and elusive backs in Sims and Pierson, who have shown the ability to make big plays against any team. Both enter this game with over 350 rushing yards and 125 receiving yards, which demonstrates their versatility in the offensive game plan. As the Longhorns have a shown a weakness in their own ability to tackle fast playmakers this season, the Jayhawks will likely enter the game with the mindset of testing this ability. If the Longhorns want to be on the safe side and try to avoid an embarrassing upset, they need to limit the big play ability of Kansas’ backs.
run the ball The Longhorns have a solid and efficient running game. This is something that has been stated and restated every week this season. Redundant or not, the fact is true and one the Longhorns should own and use to their advantage against an impossible underdog in the Jayhawks. While Kansas is as equally prone to giving up big plays through the air as it is in giving up big plays on the ground, the running game is something that has broken the already shaky defense in every loss this season. Through seven games, the Jayhawks have given up 14 rushing touchdowns and 11 passing touchdowns. Texas’ leading back Joe Bergeron has 14 rushing touchdowns alone this season, which should tell fans all they need to know about where production comes from in the Longhorn offense. If the Longhorns want to kick the Jayhawks while they’re down and establish dominance over a hugely inferior opponent, they should look to play to their biggest strength: running the football.
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TEXASNT STUDDEIA ME
friday, october 26, 2012
PETER SBLENDORIO daily texan staff
Coming off of his roughest outing of the year, David Ash got back into rhythm for the Longhorns last Saturday against Baylor, throwing for 264 yards and a touchdown without an interception. Ash has been very efficient throughout the season, completing more than 70 percent of his passes and registering an impressive 4:1 touchdown-tointerception ratio. Kansas, on the other hand, has struggled to move the ball through the air consistently. Dayne Crist was benched after an ineffective beginning to the season, replaced by redshirt freshman Michael Cummings, who has shown flashes but has a long way to go. Averaging just 187.7 yards through the air each game, Kansas has had the weakest passing offense in the Big 12 so far.
The Longhorns have prided themselves on their depth at the running back position all season long, and this has paid dividends in keeping the running game fresh. Three players have received at least 40 carries and ran for 245 yards in seven games and five different backs have found the end zone for Texas. Joe Bergeron has been the anchor for the running game, leading the team with 418 yards and 14 touchdowns, and freshman Johnathan Gray has become a bigplay threat. Kansas has had more success running the ball than it has passing, and a trio of backs have earned more than 300 yards on the ground this season. That said, Texas averages nearly a yard more per carry than do the Jayhawks and the Longhorns have also rushed for 14 more touchdowns.
Junior Mike Davis is turning in his best season so far, as he leads Texas with 30 receptions and 500 yards receiving. He is tied for the team lead in touchdown receptions (four) with Jaxon Shipley, who is in the midst of a strong sophomore season and is second on the team with 24 catches. Overall, six different Longhorns have double-digit catch totals, and eight have scored at least one touchdown. The Jayhawks wide receiving corps has not been as productive. No one for Kansas has caught more than 19 passes, and as a whole the Jayhawks only have four receiving touchdowns, with none coming from a wide receiver. What is perhaps most alarming is the fact that Kansas’ longest touchdown pass is only 23 yards, meaning the Jayhawks have been unable to beat opponents down the field all year long.
DEFENSIVE LINE The loss of end Jackson Jeffcoat has changed the dynamic of the Longhorns’ defensive line and Reggie Wilson did not make much of an impact replacing him in the starting lineup. Luckily, Alex Okafor was able to step up, registering three tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks in last week’s game. As a whole, the Longhorns have 17 sacks this season and they should have the depth to overcome Jeffcoat’s injury. The Jayhawks have not been as successful in rushing the quarterback, recording just seven sacks in seven games. This lack of pass rush is why Kansas is allowing an average 12.7 yards per completion to opposing quarterbacks.
LINEBACKERS Misreads and missed tackles continued to plague the Longhorns’ linebackers. Saturday, Baylor averaged 5.8 yards per carry, and while the defensive front is also to blame, much of this falls on the Longhorns’ inadequacies at linebacker. Overall, opponents have averaged 5.2 yards per carry and 215.7 yards on the ground against Texas this season. Kansas has not been unstoppable against the run, but the Jayhawks have faired better in allowing averages of 5.1 yards per carry and 185.4 rushing yards per game.
The Kansas offensive line has struggled to protect the quarterback for much of the season and this has been a large part of the Jayhawks’ offensive issues. Kansas has allowed 19 sacks for 126 yards in seven games, which has handicapped many offense drives. The blocking has been better for the running game, but the Jayhawks are still averaging a pedestrian 4.1 yards per carry. The Texas line, however, has been solid this year blocking for both the pass and the run. David Ash has only been brought down for a sack six times, less than once a game.
The Jayhawks have not done a terrible job in stopping the pass, as the 243 yards through the air they allow each game is acceptable for a Big 12 defense. The liability in the Kansas secondary comes from its inability to create turnovers. The Jayhawks have intercepted seven passes in seven games, and that is not enough for an offense that struggles to score when the defense cannot provide good field position. While Texas allows an average of 255.4 yards passing per game, the Longhorns have nine picks and have scored two touchdowns on interception returns.
Neither team has kicked field goals often this season, as Kansas is 5-of-10 and Texas is 4-of-9 on attempts. The difference between these Big 12 opponents on special teams is the ability to return kicks and punts. The Longhorns have averaged 26.2 yards on kick returns and 13.5 yards on punts, while the Jayhawks are averaging totals of 17.5 yards and 10.3 yards, respectively. The Texas special teams units have consistently been able to provide the offense with strong field position this season and this has led to the Longhorns being one of the higher scoring teams in the nation.
texan staff picks
friday, october 26, 2012
sara beth purdy
Texas vs. Kansas
Miss. St. vs. Alabama
Florida vs. Georgia
Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma
Oregon St. vs. Washington
Michigan vs. Nebraska
TCU vs. Oklahoma State
Baylor vs. Iowa State
Ohio State vs. Penn State
Last Weekâ€™s Record
Texas Tech vs. Kansas State
friday, october 26, 2012
Golson returns for Irish, UNC wideout cheats By Hank South As college football heads closer to November, the competition is heating up. Saturday’s games will have major implications on how the standings look in December. Let’s take a look at some of the national notes heading into the weekend. • The big news of the week was the arrest of former LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu in Baton Rouge. Mathieu, nicknamed the “Honey Badger,” was arrested along with three other former players for possession of and intent to distribute marijuana, according to reports. Mathieu was a Heisman Trophy finalist last season but was kicked off the team in the summer for failing multiple drug tests. He is still taking classes at LSU. • Ohio State sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller will be ready to play when the Buckeyes visit Penn State this weekend. Miller was taken to a Columbus hospital after taking a hit in the third quarter of Ohio State’s win over Purdue last Saturday. Miller practiced all week and claims it’s nothing more than a sore neck. • In similar news, Notre Dame sophomore quarterback Everett Golson will
start Saturday at Oklahoma. Golson sat out last weekend’s victory over Brigham Young after suffering a concussion the week before against Stanford. Golson cleared postconcussion tests Monday and is set to go for Saturday’s highly anticipated game. • Keeping with the theme of quarterback health, Oregon State’s sophomore signal caller Sean Mannion will return to the field versus Washington this weekend just three weeks after having knee surgery to repair an injured meniscus. The Beavers have become the surprise team in college football, starting the season undefeated and climbing all the way to No. 7 in the BCS. • Michigan running back Fitzgerald Toussaint has been sentenced after pleading guilty to DUI prior to the season. The junior will have to take alcohol awareness classes, pay fines and is prone to random drug and alcohol tests. • Oregon defensive tackle Isaac Remington will play versus Colorado this Saturday after Eugene prosecutors decided not to charge the senior with DUI. Remington was held out of the Ducks’ victory over Arizona State last Thursday night. Remington has 12 tackles on the season. • Ohio State and Oregon
Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson (5) is tackled by Miami linebacker Eddie Johnson during the first half of a game at Soldier Field Saturday, Oct. 6 in Chicago.
Nam Y. Huh Associated Press
have agreed to a home-andhome series starting in 2020, when the Buckeyes will visit Eugene. The Ducks last faced the Buckeyes in the 2010 Rose Bowl, resulting in a 2617 Ohio State victory. • Southern Mississippi quarterback Anthony Alford’s mother, Lawanda Ann, was arrested after getting into an argument with another fan regarding her son’s poor play
against Marshall last Saturday. After winning 12 games last season, the Golden Eagles are currently sitting at 0-7. • North Carolina senior wide receiver Erik Highsmith might be facing some penalties after reportedly plagiarizing an article about poultry, which was written by an 11-year-old for a blogging site. The Tar Heels’ program is already serving a one-year
end of this year. “Right now clearly our greatest strength is our running game,” Weis said.” No one would refute that. So one of the things you do is, by running the football, you build toughness within your team and you don’t put your defense out on the field nearly as much as they would be, so it’s part of the growing process.”
to the front only to open their envelopes and see they had been awarded scholarships. • Idaho State head coach Mike Kramer has been suspended for the team’s game versus Montana this weekend and reprimanded by the University. As reported last week, Kramer is being investigated by the police for pushing a player to the ground in practice.
continues from page 7
sen and Golden Tate during his time at Notre Dame and if Kansas is to be competitive any time soon, he will need to draw similar players to Kansas. Weis will instill his principles of toughness and run-first football in due time, but he needs help from his players on the field. As of now Kansas lacks the spark needed to stay in games and that’s not changing by the
bowl ban for a separate academic scandal. Pretty fowl. • Massachusetts head coach Charley Molnar took a scare tactic route to award walk-ons Daniel Maynes and Robert O’Connor full scholarships. Molnar had the entire team in the locker room when two police officers walked in with manila folders, calling for Maynes and O’Connor. The players hesitantly came
Weis has the credentials to back up his boisterous persona, which at times makes him come off as arrogant or grumpy, but the truth is that it’s hard not to be in a bad mood when there’s so much work that needs to be done to restructure the Kansas program. Like any rebuilding process, this one will take time, — lots of it. It all starts with purging the program
of individuals who aren’t willing to contribute to the team’s future and bringing in guys who not only understand the coaches’ philosophies, but can carry them out when it matters. Until Weis can consistenly field a competitive team with players who can step up against any opponent, his time in Lawrence will continue to be frustrating.
Texas vs. Texas Tech
big 12 notebook
friday, october 26, 2012
RGIII gives Klein props, West Virginia limps into bye week By Hank South
two teams were supposed to meet in Eugene this season, in the second game of a home-and-home series that should have started last season in Manhattan. The series was called off in 2010 when Oregon asked K-State to move the 2011 game because of the Ducks’ game with Louisiana State early in the season. Kansas State in response proposed cancelling the series all together, in which Oregon agreed. • Former Baylor quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III announced that he would cast his Heisman ballot in favor of K-State quarterback Collin Klein if the season ended today. Klein has rushed for 551 yards and fourteen touchdowns, while passing for 1,397
As conference play approaches the halfway mark of the season, the Big 12 is far from being decided. With pivotal matchups this weekend, including Texas Tech at Kansas State and the nonconference game between Notre Dame and Oklahoma, week nine of the season will have a major impact on how the conference and national standings shape up. Let’s take a look at some of the notes around the Big 12 heading into the weekend. • Kansas State sits one spot ahead of Oregon in the latest BCS rankings at No. 3, in part due to the lack of strength of the Ducks’ schedule. However, the
yards and ten more scores on the season. • After West Virginia’s home blowout loss to Kansas State last weekend, the Mountaineers are heading into their bye week after dropping two straight games. After defeating the Longhorns in Austin there was no hotter team in the country than the Mountaineers. Since then, West Virginia has dropped to No. 19 in the polls and is facing its worst month of football record-wise since 2001. The Mountaineers are scrambling to fix their defense, which has given up the most passing yards in the FBS and has just one interception and three sacks over the last three games. • No team has bounced back from a loss quite
like Oklahoma has since dropping a home game to Kansas State in September, 24-19. After the loss, Sooner fans lost all faith in senior quarterback Landry Jones after his dismal start to the season. However, since Sept. 22 Jones has averaged almost 300 yards passing per game, thrown seven touchdowns, led Oklahoma to 40 or more points per game and planted the Sooners right back in the mix of the national championship hunt. • Iowa State might have a welcome addition on
Saturday when the Cyclones host Baylor. Junior running back James White, who had a knee operation a couple of weeks ago, might be ready to go against the Bears. Before his injury, White was averaging 5.5 yards per carry. The Cyclones will also have senior wide receiver Josh Lenz back after missing last week’s game with a quadriceps injury. Lenz has 279 yards and four touchdowns on the season. Baylor’s defense ranks last in the FBS, giving up just over 553 yards per game.
big 12 games TCU at OSU 2:30 p.m. Saturday Texas Tech at KSU 2:30 p.m. Saturday FOX Baylor at Iowa St. 6 p.m. Saturday Notre Dame at OU 7 p.m. Saturday ABC
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