16 YEARS: BROWN’S TIMELINE
BIG 12 CHAMPS: VOLLEYBALL
END OF AN ERA: HABE ON THE HORNS
MACK’S ALAMO BOWL STAND
M AC K COVERING UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SPORTS
JANUARY 2014 WWW.HORNSILLUSTRATED.COM
(V. 21, NO. 1) DISPLAY THRU JAN. 2014
a Class Act
Mack Brown will coach his final game as Texas football’s head coach on Dec. 30.
The End of the Mack Brown Era Many will remember Mack Brown’s time as a golden era for Texas — a period of time when the Longhorns won a national title, two BCS bowls and a set of conference titles. After 16 years at the helm, Brown will step down as head coach after Texas plays Oregon in the 2013 Valero Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30. As a tribute to the long-time coach, Horns Illustrated outlines the highlights of Brown’s time on the 40 Acres.
36 FOOTBALL Battle of the Alamo After finishing conference play with a loss against Baylor — a loss that cost the Longhorns a conference title and a BCS bowl game — the Texas football team looks to end the 2013 season on a winning note. The Longhorns face No. 10 Oregon in the 2013 Valero Alamo Bowl Dec. 30, marking the sixth meeting between the two teams. Although pegged as the underdog, Texas has an opportunity to upset the Ducks. Associate editor Steve Habel sizes up both squads in our bowl preview.
34 FOOTBALL Kicking it Forward The name “Anthony Fera” didn’t come up much last season, unless you were a Penn State fan. Fera, who left the Nittany Lions after the Sandusky scandal, had a rough 2012 season. Sidelined with a groin injury, the kicker also faced backlash from fans after leaving Penn State. But this season he’s moving past the negativity, becoming one of Texas’ most impactful players.
DEPARTMENTS FI RS T LO O K
M A RK YO U R C A LE N D A R
RO U N D U P
M E D I A VO I C E S
T HE HA B E O N T HE HO RN S — Steve Habel
FI N A L G A ME S RE CA P —
I N S E A S O N — Basketball and Volleyball
HE A LT H & W E LLN E S S
FI N A L S C O RE
COVER PHOTO: COURTESY UT ATHLETICS PHOTOGRAPHY
JIM SIGMON/UNIV. OF TEXAS
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After months of speculation, Mack Brown finally answered the question that truly mattered — would he return next season? On Dec. 14, Brown announced his resignation as Texas’ head football coach. He’ll step down from his post after the 2013 Valero Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30.
CALENDAR MARK YOUR
WHAT’S GOING ON IN LONGHORN SPORTS
UT at Rice Houston TBA
M/ W tr ack & FielD
Arkansas-Texas Dual Fayetteville, Ark. All Day
Miami Spring Invite Miami, Fla. All Day
UT vs. Iowa State 3 p.m.
CLOCKWISE FR OM LEFT : PATRICK M ER EDITH/UNI V. OF T EXAS, JESSE DR OHEN, BETHANY W ALTER/UNIV. OF TEXAS
UT at Oklahoma State Stillwater, Okla. 7 p.m.
UT vs. Auburn 11 a.m.
M/ W sWiMMing & Diving
UT vs. Oklahoma 7 p.m.
UT vs. Texas Tech 7 p.m.
W Swimming & Diving UT vs. Stanford 1 p.m.
UT vs. Kansas State 2 p.m.
M/ W sWiMMing & Diving
UT vs. Georgia 10 a.m.
UT vs. UTSA 2 p.m.
M/ W tr ack & FielD
Cherry & Silver Collegiate Invitational Albuquerque, N.M. All Day
M/ W tr ack & FielD
UT vs. West Virginia 3 p.m.
Iowa State Invitational Ames, Iowa All Day
M/ W tr ack & FielD
25/26 M tennis
ITA Kickoff Weekend 25 – UT vs. Vanderbilt 10 a.m. 26 – UT vs. Wake Forest/LSU TBA Nashville, Tenn. W tennis
ITA Kickoff Weekend 25 – UT vs. Auburn 10 a.m. 26 – UT vs. Rice/Florida State TBA
UT at Kansas Lawrence, Kansas 7 p.m.
Arkansas Invitational Fayetteville, Ark. All Day W tennis
UT vs. Stanford 2 p.m. INFORMATION SUBJECT TO CHANGE. CHECK WWW.TEXASSPORTS. COM FOR UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION
The women face several tough opponents in the pool this January.
UT at Oklahoma State Stillwater, Okla. 8 p.m.
UT at West Virginia Morgantown, W. Va. 6 p.m.
UT vs. Oklahoma 11 a.m.
UT at Arizona Tucson, Ariz. TBA
UT vs. SMU 1 p.m.
UT at West Virginia Morgantown, W. Va. 11 a.m.
Key Biscayne Invitational Key Biscayne, Fla.
M/ W sWiMMing & Diving
UT vs. Kansas State 6 p.m.
Men’s basketball begins Big 12 play Jan. 4.
UT vs. TCU TBA
UT vs. Arkansas 1 p.m.
M/ W sWiMMing & Diving
UT at Baylor Waco 12:45 p.m.
UT at TCU Fort Worth 1 p.m.
Senior Sudanwa Sitaram is ready to get back into the swing of things.
UT vs. Kansas 7 p.m.
ROUNDUP JANUARY 2014
PAT R ICK M ER E DIT H/UN IV . OF TE X AS
VOLLEYBALL’S PERFECT SEASON // ROBINSON VS. DIAZ // THE FUTURE OF TEXAS LACROSSE
A PERFECT SEASON: No. 1 Texas downed the Baylor Bears 3-0 to complete the first perfect Big 12 Conference season in program history. In front of 4,392 fans — the largest crowd ever in Gregory Gym’s current configuration — the Longhorns also improved their overall win streak to 19 consecutive matches. Junior All-American Haley Eckerman led the Longhorns with 20 kills and zero errors, while senior setter Hannah Allison and senior libero Sarah Palmer added a match-high 34 assists and 11 digs, respectively. Texas is now the second conference member all-time and first since 2004 to post an undefeated Big 12 record. The Longhorns have won 49 consecutive Big 12 Conference matches in Gregory Gym, a streak that dates back to 2008. – ANDY GONZALEZ
Not the Right Man for the Job
EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON: Texas fans
should celebrate the fact that Will Muschamp is no longer set to replace Mack Brown.
who were upset when Will Muschamp bolted from Texas for the head coaching job at Florida should rejoice at the fact he’s no longer set to replace Mack Brown. Texas got to find out from afar that Muschamp might not make the best head coach. Muschamp’s Gators fell to 4-7 this season after losing to Georgia Southern — an FCS team — 26-20. What was more shocking about the loss was that Georgia Southern didn’t have a single passing yard in the game but still put up 26 points. His overall record at Florida is 22-15, a winning percentage of .594. That number is nearly 10 percentage points less than what Brown has done at Texas since Muschamp took over at Florida. Since the former head coach in waiting left, Texas is 24-11, a .685 winning percentage. HE FANS IN AUSTIN
GREG ROBINSON, who replaced Manny
Diaz as defensive coordinator after the BYU loss, is one of the ultimate reasons why Mack Brown and his team have emerged from the 1-2 start this season.The numbers don’t quite do the performances justice, but there’s a new edge that Robinson’s defense seems to have that Diaz’s did not. Positioning, discipline, tackling and physicality have been better since Robinson came on
board. Check out the table provided below to see the improvements made by the new defensive coordinator after just nine games. Fans no longer get to witness the dancing up and down at the line of scrimmage as the defense tries to induce confusion. Instead, the Longhorns are playing simple and sound defense and letting their athleticism take over from there.
MANNY DIAZ VS. GREG ROBINSON # POINTS YDS. TAKEAWAYS RUSH YDS. PASS YDS. YARDS GAMES PER GAME PER GAME PER GAME PER GAME PER GAME PER PLAY
OVERWHELMING FAVORITE: University President Bill Powers congratulated defen-
sive coordinator Greg Robinson after the team’s win over Kansas State. Over nine regular season games, Robinson has already started to move the defense in the right direction.
FROM LEFT : PAT RICK MERED IT H/UNIV. OF TEXAS, JIM SIGMON/UNI .V OF T EXAS
THE GREG ROBINSON SHOW
DRAFT READY: Cedric
Reed’s name continues to pop up in conversations about this year’s NFL draft.
POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT RUNNING BACK Johnathan Gray’s season is over. He had surgery to repair the torn Achilles he suffered against West Virginia and by all accounts the operation went well. Now he’s in for a long road to recovery, carrying the hope he’ll be back in time for the start of the 2014 season. If the former five-star recruit is hurting right now, he’s hiding it well. Gray is staying overwhelmingly positive about the setback. He also believes in juniors Malcolm Brown DOWN BUT NOT OUT: Although he and Joe Bergeron. He’s confident suffered a season-ending injury against West Virginia, Johnathan Gray remained they can handle the workload and positive about the Texas offense. get the job done. Texas isn’t necessarily sunk without Gray. The four backs left — Brown, Bergeron, Daje Johnson and Jalen Overstreet — have combined for 3,130 career rushing yards and 45 touchdowns. Texas recorded a “Those guys have nothing but season-high nine victory in their eyes,” Gray said. “I sacks against Texas know they’ll get the job done.”
FR OM LEFT : JESS E D ROHEN, JIM S IGMON/UNIV. OF TEXAS, JIM SIGM ON /UNIV. OF TEXAS
DID YOU KNOW?
FOCUSED ON THE HERE AND NOW
HEN YOU’RE PLAYING as well as defensive end Cedric Reed, questions about the NFL draft are bound to come up. He’s arguably the most improved player and with this being his junior year, his name has been mentioned in scouting circles as a possible early entry into this spring’s pro draft. When asked about the possibility of leaving school early, Reed said he’s concentrating on his college career for the time being.
Tech — the most Tech has allowed in a game in at least 13 years.
“I’m trying to finish the season,” he said. “I’m not ready to think about that right now. I’m trying to win out with these last games.” Reed has become an absolute terror on the edge opposite Jackson Jeffcoat. He’s tied with Jeffcoat for the team lead in sacks with seven while ranking second in tackles (61), quarterback hurries (11) and tackles for loss (13). If Reed chooses to leave early and does so with a solid draft projection from NFL scouts, who could blame him? For example, if he were to go in the third round, he would command a minimum rookie salary of $405,000. Not Fort Knox, but not chopped liver either.
Kicker Anthony Fera is 20-for-22 (90.9 percent) on field goals. He has connected on 15 straight attempts at prior to the Baylor game, tying a school record. Wide Receiver Jaxon Shipley is now 5-for-8 passing for 116 yards and three touchdowns in his career. He completed a 43-yard pass against Texas Tech.
Setting Expectations MILESTONE VICTORY
THE FUTURE IS NOW:
Freshman Chloe Collins is already making an impact for Texas volleyball.
CA M PUS H A PPE N I NG S
INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED THE UNIVERSITY STUDENT CENTER
Chloe Collins is only 5’7” but she plays much bigger than that. Despite being shorter than most of her teammates, Collins has made a name for herself on and off the court. Her skill on the court and her athleticism are what originally attracted head coach Jerritt Elliott to Collins. He has praised her jumping ability, her speed and her control on numerous occasions. “She may be one of the best pure athletes I’ve ever coached,” Elliott said. “Chloe has the ability to help this program in many ways and we’re excited about her future.” Despite all of the praise and attention, Collins still maintains she has much to learn about her position as setter and about the game of volleyball in general. “I need to get better at thinking the game through,” she said. “On knowing who to set and when to set that person — continue to get to know my teammates better, what their tendencies are, what they like to do, what they don’t like to do.” This season, Collins has 20 kills, 96 digs and two service aces through 54 sets played, with 31 points scored. She has recorded 394 assists at 7.30 assists per set for the year. “Being on a team with these people — it makes me a better player,” Collins said. “These girls come in every day and practice. They’re competitive, they play hard and make me want to play hard.” – SARA RESHMAN
recently underwent a minor overhaul, which included the addition of some USB charging stations. USB charging stations have become all the rage in recent years considering the advancements in technology and were likely added to account for all of the people attempting to plug their computer/phone/tablet/mp3 player into a nearby socket. Even better news? Using the USB charging stations is extremely easy — so easy, in fact, that according to the sign promoting the charging station, even a Sooner could do it.
its trademark of potent defense and down-low dominance to defeat Texas A&M 69-58 on the second day of the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam. The Longhorns defeated the Aggies for the third consecutive time, holding A&M to a season-low 31.7 shooting percentage, and forcing 19 turnovers while holding advantages in rebounding (41 to 32) and points in the paint (28 to 20). Junior forward Nneka Enemkpali found her groove on the offensive end with 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting in 24 minutes. Enemkpali added 11 rebounds for her second doubledouble of the season and 15th of her career. Freshman center Kelsey Lang started for the first time of her career recording a season-high 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting with two blocks in 24 minutes. Texas broke out to a 12-point halftime lead behind 10 first-half points from Enemkpali and eight points from Lang. Sophomore guard Brady Sanders kept the momentum on Texas’ side with three 3-pointers on the night, including two in the last 10 minutes of the game. The victory was the Longhorns’ first over a top-15 opponent since last season’s opener against St. John’s (Nov. 9, 2012). Texas leads the all-time series with Texas A&M 61-23.
CLOCKWIS E FROM LEFT: PATR ICK M ER EDITH/UNIV. OF TEXAS, JESSE D ROHEN
THE WOMEN’S basketball team used
LACROSSE THE TEXAS MEN’S
WONDER WOMAN: Haley Eckerman is a student, a national champion and a mother.
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT : PAT RICK MERED IT H/UNIV. OF TEXAS, COUR TESY TEXAS LACROSS E, COUR TESY TEXAS LACROS SE
TEVE PATTERSON will soon guide one of the largest athletic
departments in the nation, an office that notably fails to sponsor men’s Division I lacrosse despite the growth of the game in the state of Texas. However, that fact may change in the future. Patterson is entering a situation where he may trim some fat at Texas — something he accomplished at Arizona State — and the residue could lead to a Longhorn varsity lacrosse program. He helped trim nearly 100 people from the Arizona State athletic department. When Patterson took over Portland in the STEVE PATTERSON, the NBA, he cleaned out more than 80 new men’s athletic from the front office. director, will be paid Texas may not be on the verge considerably more than of adding a lacrosse program to his predecessor, DeLoss its sponsorship roll; but lacrosse Dodds. remains on the agenda of Texas Patterson will make athletics. $1.4 million a year in base Texas is a game-changer for salary, plus as much Division I lacrosse, a potential tipping as $200,000 if certain point for bringing other high-end performance incentives athletic departments into the fold. are achieved. Dodds’ base The Longhorns’ athletic department salary is $733,992, with is a barometer athletic program, and as much as $125,000 in if Texas pursues lacrosse as a valueincentives, according to a added opportunity, many others university spokesman. could follow.
lacrosse team announced its team captains for the 2014 season. Senior midfielders Josh Francis and John Jackson, along with defensemen Michael Rizzutti Sr., Turner Kerr Jr. and goalie Jordan Lee Sr., will lead the squad. Last season Francis and Jackson combined for 53 points, while Lee finished the season with a .669 save percentage. All three players helped the team reach its second consecutive Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association playoff berth and Lone Star Alliance champion-
ship title. “There’s a lot of buzz going around in regards to this upcoming season,” Francis said. “What’s different this year is the fact that we have a strong core of seniors. But the most glaring difference to this team is our schedule. It’s one of the toughest, if not the toughest, in the MCLA.” This season the Longhorns have 11 road games, including trips to Colorado
to play No. 2 CU Boulder and defending national champions Colorado State. Texas lost to CU-Boulder 11-7 in the MCLA playoffs last year. “It’s a challenging out-of-conference schedule but one that I absolutely believe we’re ready to take on,” head coach Andy Garrigan said. “We have an incredibly talented team that I believe is more talented than the squad we fielded last year. The slate of games we scheduled was done to challenge this gifted group.” Texas will kick off its season Feb. 1 at home against NCAA Division III Southwestern University at the Caven Lacrosse and Sports Center.
MAKING THEIR CASE: New athletic director Steve Patterson may make some changes this
fall, including adding men’s lacrosse as a varsity sport. The Texas lacrosse team is already making its case — the Longhorns won their second consecutive Lone Star Alliance champioship title last season.
GREAT EXPECTATIONS: The UT San Antonio football team won its last five games, setting the stage for next season.
4: at Arkansas, Fayetteville, Ark., 7 p.m. 9: vs. Marshall, 7 p.m. 11: vs. Charlotte, 3 p.m. 16: at UAB, Birmingham, Ala., 7 p.m. 18: at Middle Tennessee, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 5 p.m. 25: at UTEP, El Paso, 3 p.m. 30: vs. Rice, 8 p.m. W BASKETBALL
8: vs. Tulsa, 7 p.m. 11: Southern Miss, Hattiesburg, Miss., 4 p.m. 15: vs. Charlotte, 7 p.m. 18: at North Texas, Denton, 2 p.m. 22: at Middle Tennessee, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 7 p.m. 25: vs. UTEP, 4 p.m. M INDOOR TRACK & FIELD
BY STEPHEN WHITAKER
ERTAIN THINGS are becoming constants for
the young UT San Antonio football program. First, the team seems to always start the season off with a win (they’re 3-for-3). Second, whatever people predict for the Roadrunners to do, they go above and beyond that mark. And third, once the calendar hits the middle of October, the Roadrunners start winning. In their first year, the Roadrunners won two of their final three games. Last year the Roadrunners finished their lone season in the Western Athletic Conference with a four-game winning streak. This year was no different. The team won its last five games after starting the season 2-5. Picked by some pundits to finish last in Conference USA, the Roadrunners finished second in the West division with a 6-2 conference record and a 7-5 record overall. “I read earlier that we had the 11th toughest schedule in the FBS and that we’d be lucky to win four games,” head coach Larry Coker said. A few minutes before meeting with the San Antonio media for one final time, Coker and his players found out what many already knew — Rice had defeated Tulane. This meant the top three teams in the West didn’t face a three-
way tie — a three-way tie that UTSA would’ve won, which would’ve meant a rematch with Marshall in the C-USA Championship game. If Tulane had defeated Rice, UT San Antonio would’ve been in an interesting situation. Owing to the fact that the Roadrunners are in the final year of transition to full FBS membership and that 70 teams were eligible for 70 slots in the bowls, UT San Antonio could’ve become the first school in NCAA history to win its conference championship and not be invited to play in a bowl game. That bit of history will have to wait for another school. Next season UT San Antonio will be a full-fledged FBS member and there will be three more bowls added to an already overflowing buffet of holiday football. With a new quarterback at the helm next year, the Roadrunners will try to continue starting the season strong and finishing strong. They’ll also ignore the critics and do their talking on the field. “I told our players if you learn anything from this whole thing, it’s not to let people label you,” Coker said. “Don’t let anybody label you. You go out and be the best that you can be and if we learned anything, I hope that was it.”
W INDOOR TRACK & FIELD
11: Houston Opener, Houston, TBA 18: Texas A&M 10-team Invitational, College Station, TBA 31: Howie Ryan Invitational, Houston, TBA
VOLLEYBALL THE ROADRUNNERS won the Conference USA tournament after winning the regular season championship in their first year in the league. UT San Antonio defeated Tulane in four sets (25-20, 25-16, 18-25, 25-23) in the championship game to cap off a perfect run in the conference tournament. The Roadrunners swept both games in the first two rounds. The team defeated Southern Miss in the first round and Marshall in the semifinals. The Roadrunners moved on to the NCAA Tournament, where they faced Texas A&M in Austin.
ST EVE M OAKLEY/UTSA ATHLET ICS
NO SIGNS OF SLOWING DOWN
11: Houston Opener, Houston, TBA 18: Texas A&M 10-Team Invitational, College Station, TBA 31: Howie Ryan Invitational, Houston, TBA
THE MAVERICKS’ volleyball team ended its first
season as a member of the Sun Belt Conference with a 19-15 record, going 10-8 against conference opponents and collecting its most victories since 2007. UT Arlington earned the fourth seed in the conference tournament and made it all the way to the championship game before falling to Texas State. Senior middle blocker Charmaine Whitmore and junior outside hitter Taylor Gross were named to the AllTournament team.
M BAS K ET BALL
2: vs. Arkansas State, 7:30 p.m. 4: vs. Arkansas-Little Rock, 5 p.m. 9: vs. Louisiana-Monroe, Noon 11: at Louisiana-Lafayette, Lafayette, La., 2 p.m. 18: at Texas State, San Marcos, 4:30 p.m. 23: vs. Troy, 8 p.m. 25: vs. South Alabama, 7:30 p.m. 30: at Western Kentucky, Bowling Green, Ky., 7 p.m.
W BAS K ET BALL
2: vs. Arkansas State, 5 p.m. 4: vs. Arkansas-Little Rock, 7:30 p.m. 8: vs. Louisiana-Monroe, 7:30 p.m. 11: at Louisiana-Lafayette, Lafayette, La., 4:15 p.m. 15: at Texas State, San Marcos, 7 p.m. 22: vs. Troy, 7:30 p.m. 25: vs. South Alabama, 5 p.m. 29: at Western Kentucky, Bowling Green, Ky., 7 p.m. W T EN N IS
18: at TCU, Fort Worth, 3 p.m. M T ENNIS
BASEBALL COACH Darin Thomas
announced the addition of 11 players in the 2013 early signing period, including six pitchers and a pair of junior college players.
T RAC K & F IELD
quille White-Miller gave the Mavericks the lead over Texas with two minutes left in the game.
18: Texas A&M 12-Team Invitational, College Station, All Day 25: Mark Colligan Memorial, Lincoln, Neb., All Day
NOT TO BE DISMISSED
COURTESY ELLMAN PHOTOGR APHY/UTA ATHLETICS
BY STEVE LANSDALE
HE UT ARLINGTON men’s basketball team came up just short in its attempt in what would’ve been a marquee upset in the program’s history. The Mavericks couldn’t hang on to a late lead and fell to Texas 72-69 at the Erwin Center in Austin. Senior guard Shaquille White-Miller gave the Mavericks a 69-68 lead with two minutes to go when he drained a 3-point field goal. The Longhorns, however, were able to force two late turnovers to help Texas rally for the win. Head coach Scott Cross said that while he was pleased with his team’s effort, close losses are not satisfactory, no matter the opponent.
UT ARLINGTON’S WOMEN’S basketball team remained winless after a 79-72 loss to Abilene Christian, but not for a lack of effort by forward Briana Walker. Walker had a doubledouble by halftime and finished with a game-high 32 points and 15 rebounds, despite the fact that she came off the bench. Through seven games, Walker is carrying the load for the Mavericks, leading the team with an average of 16.3 points per game (nearly double the average of the team’s second-leading scorer, senior center Desherra Nwanguma) and 8.7 rebounds per game.
25: vs. New Orleans, Houston, 11 a.m. 26: vs. Rice, Houston, 11 a.m.
A SHOW OF STRENGTH: Sha-
“We came in here on their home court and played well, but you have to find a way to win and that’s the bottom line,” Cross said. “There are no moral victories in this game. It’s time that we figure out how to win ball games.” The loss was the fifth straight for the Mavericks, including four at home. Senior guard Reger Dowell, who has led the Mavericks through eight games, has poured in 23.6 points per game, thanks in large part to his long-range shooting. Dowell has hit 31 of his 87 attempts from behind the 3-point line (.356). Senior forward Brandon Edwards is second on the team in scoring with an average of 18.8 points per game. He leads the Mavericks with 11 blocked shots and has 54 more rebounds (85, or 10.6 per game) more than any teammate.
The newest Mavericks: RHP Niccioli Blank — Central Arizona Junior College OF/INF Cody Farrell — Central Arizona Junior College INF Christian Hollie — Keller (Fossil Ridge), Texas RHP Daniel James — Lubbock (Lubbock HS), Texas C Will Olson — Sherman (Sherman HS), Texas RHP Reid Petty — Mansfield (Mansfield HS), Texas OF Isaiah Snyder — Richardson (J.J. Pearce), Texas LHP Hunter Spielman — Fort Worth (Paschal), Texas LHP Brad Vassar — McKinney (McKinney HS), Texas LHP Jake Wilcox — Sunnyvale (Sunnyvale HS), Texas INF R.J. Williams — Rockwall (RockwallHeath), Texas
ALUMNI / SPIRIT
SPI R I T OF T H E MON T H
THE TEXAS SPIRITS
BY SARA BETH PURDY
HE TEXAS SPIRITS originally started as a spirit organization whose mission was to ward off bad spirits before a sporting event. Founded by Wanda Lee Turner and Grace Doss, the organization was a secret society that was originally named the Texas Spooks. In 1993, the organization changed its name to the Texas Spirits in an effort to better reflect its purpose on campus. Over the years the organization became more service oriented and spirit focused. To promote spirit on campus, the Texas Spirits decorate the windows of stores up and down the Drag to build excitement for upcoming sporting events. The organization started this tradition in 1965 and is one of the Spirits’ favorite traditions. At football games, fans can spot the Texas Spirits sitting next to the Longhorn Band wearing their official burnt orange scarves. Senior Tori Kazmierski is the Chief Haunt of the Texas Spirits. Kazmierski is a public health major from Southlake who plans to volunteer in Africa after graduation before getting her PhD in Epidemiology. She joined the Spirits as a freshman in order to meet new people who shared her passion for Texas. Kazmierski sat down with Horns Illustrated to talk about the Texas Spirits.
What is the purpose of the Texas Spirits? We promote school spirit among the students and serve the university and Austin community in any way we can. We
strive to always uphold our four pillars of spirit, love, service and friendship. How do you join the Texas Spirits? Any freshman or sophomore woman may apply. We recruit new Weenie classes every fall and spring semester. We look for the 25 most passionate, spirited and service-oriented students on campus. What do you do on football game days? As one of our founding principles is spreading spirit throughout campus, the Texas Spirits love game day. We partner up with all the other spirit groups on campus, as well as the general student body, to cheer on the Longhorns as they enter the stadium. We also have season tickets right next to the band where we cheer loud and proud for both the football team and our Longhorn Band. What other events do you attend? We regularly attend sporting events ranging from football and swimming to club soccer and lacrosse. We try to seek out all sports teams on campus to show that we, as students, give them our full support and enthusiasm. How do the Texas Spirits get involved in the community? Every fall we host our annual benefit concert called Band Jam to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Saint Louise House. We aim to raise $20,000 to grant two wishes and donate a significant amount to Saint Louise.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW? KELLY (PACE) WILSON TENNIS (1992-95)
AS A TEXAS
tennis player from 1992-95, Kelly (Pace) Wilson was a five-time AllAmerican and contributed to two NCAA championship teams (’93 and ’95). Her name remains engraved in the Texas tennis record books — she’s still first in career singles wins (152), career singles winning percentage (.863) and single-season winning percentage (.913, 1994-95). Her senior season ranks among the most productive individual seasons in the history of college tennis. During Wilson’s senior year, she played in the singles and doubles finals at the NCAA Championship. Pace ranked No. 1 nationally in singles and doubles, and the NCAA selected her as the National Senior Player of the Year. This past November, the Texas Women’s Hall of Honor inducted Wilson as part of its 14th class. “I cried when I found out I was being inducted,” Wilson said. “The men and women that have been inducted into this group before me were role models of mine.” Some of Wilson’s fondest memories of her time at Texas include working with her teammates and achieving the big goals they set for themselves, especially the two national championships. Contemplating the best lessons she learned at Texas, she said, “If you want something you have to commit yourself 100 percent to it, and to surround yourself with great people.” After college, Wilson played professionally from 1995-98. She currently lives in Sacramento, Calif., with her husband, Bill and her 14-month-old son, Drake. She teaches tennis to aspiring junior players at the Gold River Racquet Club. In their free time she and her husband enjoy playing golf — “We already have a set of clubs for our son,” she said — going to country music concerts and visiting the beaches in northern California.
FROM LEFT: COURT ES Y HILAR Y ELRO D/ UT S PIRIT S, COUR TESY UT AT HLETICS PHOTOGRAPHY
CLASS DISORDER WITH THE RECENT de-commitment of U.S. Army All-American Bowl punter Corbin
Daly (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell) — who made the decision to stay closer to home — the Longhorns now have 21 commitments for their 2014 recruiting class. Just recently Texas was sitting at 24 verbal commitments, but Daly’s decision is the latest in a run of unfortunate happenings for this class. The decommitments are unfortunate, yes, but these decisions are opening up spots for potential late additions who can help the Longhorns down the road. Those spots could come be extremely valuable to a new coaching staff. When announcing his resignation before a group of recruits on Dec. 14, Mack Brown told the current crop of prospects their scholarships will be honored by the school. When a new coaching staff comes in, things have the potential to change. Texas has amped up its pursuit of Arizona Western’s Blake Whiteley, a full qualifier out of high school who could be on the 40 Acres in time for spring football.
San Antonio Warren U.S. Army All-American defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao could sign with the Longhorns, but Horns247 removed him from the commit list while he visits other schools. If Texas finds immediate help from a defensive tackle (likely a junior college player) before Lealaimatafao makes his decision, he could lose his spot. The most unfortunate loss to the scholarship count in the class stems from the situation with Newton running back Kevin Shorter. According to a source in Newton, the Top247 athlete will likely never play football again after suffering a spinal cord injury this past October. Texas will honor Shorter’s scholarship if he decides to be a part of the Texas program. A source with knowledge of the situation told Horns247 that the Texas coaches are uncertain if Shorter’s scholarship will count against the 85-man limit for the first year he’s on campus, but they don’t believe it will. The Longhorns are evaluating their options to fill Shorter’s spot in the class while also looking for immediate help along the defensive line and in the secondary. Texas is also one of the final two choices for Arlington Bowie 247Sports Composite Top247 defender Edwin Freeman. Lewisville Hebron 247Sports Composite five-star defensive back Jamal Adams also has Texas high on his list. Sources close to his recruitment indicate it will likely be a Florida-Texas battle for the talented safety prospect, with LSU giving chase late in the process. It’s normally a wild finish to national signing day (Feb. 5, 2014) in every recruiting cycle. With a new coach who will sign his first class on the 40 Acres in a mere matter of weeks, that becomes a gross understatement. — JEFF HOWE
CRAIG WAY OF AM 1300 THE ZONE GIVES HIS INSIGHTS ON THE MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM.
HE MEN’S BASKETBALL team surprised many
people with what it’s done in the early part of the season. The mere fact that the team has played four freshmen for extensive minutes on a game-by-game basis, and that they’ve produced the way that they have, has surprised some folks. Jonathan Holmes hasn’t surprised. He’s unquestionably the leader of the team. He’s the heart and soul and one of the team’s biggest producers. When he’s not out there on the floor, you can sense that something is missing. The continued development of Cameron Ridley and Prince Ibeh is noticeable. Those guys had specific games DEMARCUS HOLLAND where they made their presence known, especially Ibeh in overtime against Temple, where he had a blocked shot, a key rebound and a key putback bucket. Ridley’s free throw shooting has improved more than 30 percent from last year. Both Ridley and Ibeh worked hard on improving their game, and that along with the unknown factor of what these freshman guards could do certainly surprised people. Of the freshmen, Isaiah Taylor has impressed me the most. I don’t know if he came in as an unknown because he did have accolades in high school. Most fans probably didn’t hear about Taylor since so much attention was placed on what happened with Myck Kabongo and when he left. The Longhorns had trouble when Kabongo wasn’t on the floor last year, so folks looked at that and said there’s trouble right from the outset.Taylor has taken all of the responsibility on his shoulders and looks comfortable running the floor. Taylor makes Javan Felix a better player when he’s been at the two, although Felix is still trying to recover from a hip operation he had before the start of the season.
TWEETS JON MADANI (@Zone_Madani)
Lifetime Longhorn Justin @jtuck9 gets the John Madden turkey as player of the game in a win over Pittsburgh! Traveling to the US Virgin Islands with UT women’s hoops for 3 games in 3 days... Guess my cranberry sauce will have an umbrella in it? Which former NFL QBs have had two sons also throw an NFL TD pass? Archie Manning (Peyton and Eli)… and now Phil Simms (Chris and Matt) ROD BABERS
chrisgb00: @ rodb314 LHN 2000 atm-texas game! On 1 play @AhmadZone caused a fumble & you recovered it!” #DynamicDuo “@AshLuvsKingston: starting 2 wonder if I should allow my son 2 play football.” Let Em play flag football until he gets old enough 4 tackle CRAIG WAY
Tucker on his gamewinning 61-yard field goal--his sixth of the night: “I didn’t get all of it, but I got enough of it.”
Mack Brown compares the Longhorns’ injury losses to linebacker similar to the injury losses at running back in 2010. Holy Hoodie! Did Belichick just SMILE ???
FR OM LEFT : JESS E D ROHEN, ALL O THER PHOTOS COUR TESY AM 130 0 THE ZONE
Young and Limitless
Taylor shows more maturity than his age. He’s confident. He reminds people of T.J. Ford in the way he can weave through traffic, move the ball down the floor quickly and either finish a shot or find someone open for a shot. His game hasn’t reached Ford’s level yet, but he’s made major strides in that department, especially when it comes to running the floor and his ability to get the team into an offense. Taylor will tell you that he needs to get better on defense, which is something coach Rick Barnes wants all of his guys to improve on. The guy on the floor who is the most tenacious player is Demarcus Holland. He’s made strides from his freshman to sophomore season. He’s the ball defender. He’s the guy you put on the opponent’s best ball handler. Holland’s defense speaks volumes because he’s easily the best defender on the team. He could become a Royal Ivey-type player, in terms of being able to defend the perimeter. Last year the team looked as though they didn’t feel comfortable or didn’t want to be on the floor. Fortunately, the culture has changed. Everyone asked Barnes before the season about this massive turnover, and he said, “It had to happen.” He understood that in order for the Longhorns to try to get back to where they were, there had to be a different psychological infusion. All of these young guys — none of them fear hard work — do exactly what the coaches tell them to do. That all-in team mentality has paid off when they’ve had to hold opponents off late in games and when they’ve had to come back from double-digit deficits. Taking what they experienced early in the season — going 9-1 in the first 10 games, and then being tested against Michigan State and UNC —they’ll know where they need to go to reach the top of the Big 12 conference. Naturally, this all has to come in a year when the Big 12 will be one of the best conferences in the country. Oklahoma State looks like the best team in the conference and one of the best teams in the country. Kansas is a close second. Iowa State and Baylor both play well and Oklahoma has vastly improved. Given all of that,Texas will finish in the upper half of the conference — which will surprise some people since they were picked to finish eighth — and could surprise more as conference play goes on. In order to reach that goal, the young players will have to display more maturity on the offensive side. Ridley and Ibeh need to play more consistently at the post, which they’re certainly capable of doing.
ANS COME IN with high expectations. They’re excited about the opportunity and then they’re let down. As fans, we were given a blessing when Oklahoma beat Oklahoma State and Texas had a chance to play for the Big 12 championship. But then the Longhorns didn’t play well against Baylor — one more loss in this rollercoaster of a season. Texas entered the Oklahoma State game with high hopes. The Longhorns had a five-game win streak at the time. They had turned a corner and looked like they had an opportunity to win. They came out, didn’t play that well and suddenly the team found itself back in the doldrums. Texas then had another high against Texas Tech. The Red Raiders are always a formidable opponent and for the Longhorns to dominate the game the way they did, it seemed like they had their rhythm back. But then Texas squandered some opportunities against DALTON SANTOS Baylor that could’ve changed the game. When you’re not hitting on all cylinders, you can expect disappointment at the end of the game. Baylor looked like they turned it on after halftime, but Texas couldn’t do the same. Despite the losses, Texas has a plethora of talent. The Longhorns have young players who are playing good football. Considering some of the great football players Texas lost to injuries this season — Johnathan Gray, Jordan Hicks, Chris Whaley and David Ash — they were able JALEN OVERSTREET to keep up the momentum in tough circumstances. Dalton Santos did a great job filling in for Hicks, although I don’t know if anyone can every truly replace Hicks. Santos was asked to do more in the Robinson defense, and he rose to the occasion. He’s still young and he got better throughout the season. Unfortunately, the loss of Hicks and the other players seemed to finally catch up to the team in the last three games of the season.
Texas beating Oklahoma.
Texas looked so bad in the Red River Rivalry the past couple of seasons. To see the players go in there and play with confidence, dominate and get their swagger back — that was the highlight of the season to me. The Longhorns looked like they had found what they had been missing for the past couple of years. Several players finally stood out this season.
Jackson Jeffcoat showed that he’s ready to play at the next level. Chris Whaley had some great plays and Johnathan Gray was coming into his own before he got injured.
Winning the Kansas State game. After losing a
defensive coordinator Manny Diaz — who was well respected across the college landscape — all seemed lost. Greg Robinson took a mountain of pressure on his back and was able to turn things around.
JOHNNY WALKER’S RESUME • Played football and baseball at Texas from 1987-90 • Two-time All-Southwest Conference • Caught the game-winning reception to beat Oklahoma in 1990
Johnny’s Prediction for the Alamo Bowl: 46-42, Texas
“You definitely don’t want to go into a bowl game and get whipped, because you won’t know what to expect next season. Emotions will run high. Both teams really have nothing to lose, so I’m expecting a knock-down, drag-out fight.”
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT: UT ATHLETICS PHOT OGR APHY, JESSE D ROHEN, JES S E DROHEN
JOHNNY’S TOP THREE HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 2013 SEASON
“One more player that we have seen a little bit of this season, but I would like to see a lot more of is Jalen Overstreet. Overstreet is a great athlete and I think he’ll be a phenomenal slash player. He can play both running back and quarterback. He could run the wild formation as a player who could truly pass like a quarterback.”
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I love being doubted ... I grew up with people doubting me ... – MIKE DAVIS (@kbohls)
Family secrets: Just found out my mom lost my little brother in Oklahoma a couple months ago. Funny thing is, she just told me.
www.facebook.com/ hornsillustrated For the first time in program history, the Texas volleyball team recorded a perfect conference season after defeating Baylor 3-0 on Nov. 30. Horns Illustrated released the news shortly after the game and our fans shared their love and support for the team via our Facebook page. Here are a few of our favorite comments: What a great season, what a great gift to all the fans! – Belinda Hare Baby girl’s goal: 8 rings. 2 big 12 championships & 1 national championship and more to come! HOOK ‘EM HORNS! – Denise McCage
– JALEN OVERSTREET (@JalenOverstr3t)
Says a lot about our program to have all of the players and coaching staff come to my grandma’s funeral. It meant a lot to me and my family. – JOHNATHAN HOLMES (@J_Holmes10)
We should be in Seattle! – Polly Lohr Great game, great season! I will miss the seniors — Hannah, Megan, Sarah, and Bailey —I have enjoyed watching you play. Thanks for all you’ve contributed to the team and the university! – Judy Olson
SIDE NOTES Fake punt and roughing the punter have been Texas Tech’s bst two plays of the game. – Kirk Bohls (@kbohls)
Saw a commercial for McDonalds and they’re not giving out toys in the kids’ happy meals. They’re giving out books ... that would’ve ran me HOT as a kid!!! – MALCOLM BROWN (@MallyCat_28)
Watching these WalMart videos from black Friday really makes me question where we’re at as a society. – Jeff Howe (@JeffHowe247)
@southm Someone has their very own baby Bevo! 24
@karinaalbab What else would you expect from a Longhorn wedding?
@lbalentinephotography A look through the eyes of a Texas fan.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT: D ON BENDER , DON BEND ER , JES SE DRO HEN, ALL OTHER PHOTOS COURTEST INSTAGRAM.COM AND RESPECTIVE PHOTOGRAPHERS
MEET THE T-ASSOCIATION
The T-Association is an organization made up of former varsity athletics letter winners. An additional designation for the T-Association members is the T-ring, which is awarded to an athlete who lettered for 2 or more years, who did not compete the last 2 years of eligibility anywhere other than The University of Texas and who graduated from college. David McWilliams, former Longhorn head football coach, currently serves as the executive director for the T-Association. T-Association Mission - The T-Association’s mission is to create and maintain an enhanced atmosphere and structure whereby UT student-athletes become lifetime members of The University of Texas Athletics family and are welcomed, involved and encouraged to participate during and after their college tenure. TAPN Mission - The Letter Winner’s Professional Network exists to unite the members of the T-Association on a professional level by providing networking opportunities and a database of contacts, thereby furthering the opportunities, community, education and success of Longhorn Letter Winners.
JESSE DR OHEN
CONTACT INFORMATION: email@example.com 512.471.6864
THE HABE ON THE HORNS BY STEVE HABEL
As Brown steps down, he still deserves respect from the Burnt Orange Nation.
FTER ROUNDS of speculation, Mack Brown announced his resignation Dec. 14. Brown will leave his post as Texas’ head football coach immediately after the Longhorns play Oregon in the 2013 Valero Alamo Bowl Dec. 30. Brown’s announcement ended a sad saga that overshadowed many of the on-the-field achievements for the 2013 Texas football team. His resignation also set in motion a mad scramble to find his replacement — someone who’ll likely take the Longhorns into a new direction, on and off the field. Some will say Brown’s tenure on the 40 Acres was all but decided by an early season swoon by his 2013 team, a squad that seemed poised to break back into the upper echelon of college football. But the team floundered in September, then later on in November and December to fall to 8-4. Brown repeatedly refuted reports about his resignation, some as far back as September. He stuck to his guns on that declaration, going as far as telling recruits he’d remain the Texas football head coach during a breakfast meeting that took place the same morning he made the announcement. By the time you read this, Brown will have been vilified for the program’s lack of success in the past four seasons. His critics will spew facts about his 16-year tenure that detail that Texas has won “only one” national championship and just two Big 12 championships with Brown at the helm, and how in the past four seasons the Longhorns have won just one more conference game (18) than they’ve lost. They’ll say Brown brought assistants to Texas who weren’t ready for the harsh demands of the job. They’ll hold up Manny Diaz, who
was fired after the Longhorns’ defense failed to stop BYU’s running game in September, as prosecution exhibit No. 1. They’ll point to quarterbacks Case McCoy, David Ash and the departed Garrett Gilbert and say Brown lost his touch. They’ll comment on his verve in recruiting those players rather than Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston. Three of those players won Heisman Trophies playing for teams other than the Longhorns. The bottom line is that the detractors will be correct on many of those assertions and that it may be time for Brown to step down. Heck, the legendary Darrell K Royal even retired from his post in 1976 after facing this kind of scrutiny and criticism when his team went 5-5-1. But Royal was never hung out to dry like Brown or left to be disrespected. Ten thousand fans never booed him in his home stadium when his picture was played on the massive Godzillatron screen that income from his successful coaching allowed the Texas program to erect. That has to hurt Brown more than anything, especially after all he has meant to Texas football and Austin itself. Now that Brown has resigned, we must admit that he deserved to be treated better than these past three months. Yes, college football is big business and coaches are evaluated in wins and losses, but Brown certainly did more than enough to earn our respect. In the end, some of us forgot about civility in the face of innuendo and the perceived need for change. To me, the whole affair and how it’s been handled is a damn shame. Just sayin’, ya know? The Habe is Steve Habel, Horns Illustrated’s Associate Editor. He was the magazine’s first staff member, in 1994, and has covered Texas sports ever since.
The Best of Times, the Worst of Times TEXAS MAY HAVE WON SIX CONFERENCE GAMES IN A ROW; BUT TWO LOSSES COST THE LONGHORNS THE BIG 12 TITLE. BY STEVE HABEL
JESSE D ROHEN
C PRESSURING THE QUARTERBACK: Case McCoy took responsibility for the team’s losses against Oklahoma State and Baylor.
OLLEGE FOOTBALL coaches often say seasons are won and lost in November and December; a time when the wheat is separated from the chaff and when championships are decided. In the final quarter of a 12-game regular season, injuries have taken their grip on teams, players who were once raw freshmen have built established roles on their respective teams and tendencies — both good and bad — have taken hold. Such was the case with the Texas football team, a group that roared into the final stretch of the 2013 season, winning six straight conference games. The Longhorns looked to challenge the Big 12’s best teams for a right to play in a BCS game. In the balance was a chance for the Longhorns to earn their third conference title in coach Mack Brown’s 16-year tenure on the 40 Acres. But the Longhorns stumbled down the stretch. Texas lost two of its last three games and ended its regular campaign at 8-4 — the fourth straight year the team has posted fewer than 10 wins. Texas heads to the postseason — this time to the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30 to face a determined and powerful Oregon team — trying to pick up the pieces of a season that failed to meet preseason expectations. The impact of the disappointments of 2013 and how they shape the future of Longhorn football will be determined in the coming weeks and months. Here’s a look back at the final three Big 12 games.
OKLAHOMA STATE 38, TEXAS 13 The Oklahoma State Cowboys walloped Texas 38-13 before 99,739 fans on an Indian summer afternoon at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. The turn of events happened so quickly. Texas had a chance to get back in the game after Malcolm Brown’s 7-yard touchdown run, which reduced the Cowboys’ lead to 14-10 with 3:39 remaining in the second quarter. But Oklahoma State answered the Longhorns’ surge with a six-play, 67-yard drive and a 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Clint Chelf to Tracy Moore. Now down 11 points and pressing to restore the optimism before intermission, quarterback Case McCoy threw a pick-six to Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert. The play gave the Cowboys a 28-10 lead and, for all intents and purposes, ended the Longhorns’ chances before the game was even half over. “It was awful — just awful,” Brown said of the sequence before halftime. “It’s a 14-10 ballgame that we botched. We had the momentum and had two timeouts in our pocket. We were thinking we’re going to stop them, maybe get a short field, have a chance to score and then get the ball to start the third quarter. But [Oklahoma State] drove it right down the field and scored. CATCH ME IF YOU CAN: (Above) Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf threw for 197 yards and was the Cowboys’ leading rusher, running for 95 yards. (Below) Joe Bergeron helped the Longhorns stay close to Oklahoma State during the first half. He combined with Malcolm Brown to rush 22 times for 92 yards in the first part of the game.
We were trying to be aggressive [on offense] and forced the throw to the outside. Gilbert made a great play.” While they had plenty of time to make up the deficit after halftime, the Longhorns were unable to get back on track offensively. The team opened the second half with an 84-yard drive that produced a 27-yard field goal by Anthony Fera. But after cutting the Oklahoma State lead to 28-13, the offense wouldn’t score again for the rest of the game.
Texas actually out-gained the Cowboys overall, 389-380, but Oklahoma State recorded its yardage on just 60 snaps — averaging 6.1 yards a play to the Longhorns’ 4.5 on 86 plays. Another McCoy interception in the third quarter handed the Cowboys a touchdown (on a 21-yard pass from Chelf to Charlie Moore). He threw another pick late in the quarter on a deep pass to Kendall Sanders that Gilbert wrestled away from the Longhorns’ receiver. “I was forcing things. There’s no doubt about it,” McCoy said. “If the quarterback goes out and throws three picks you’re not going to win the ballgame. So that’s on me, my team knows it’s on me, and we’re going to get it fixed.” The loss snapped a six-game win streak for Texas (7-3, 6-1 in Big 12 Conference play) — the Longhorns’ longest since they won 17 consecutive games during 2008-09. TEXAS 41, TEXAS TECH 16 Facing Texas Tech on Turkey Day produced the Longhorns’ most impressive performance of the season, a 41-16 victory before 100,668 fans at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Texas won by dominating the trenches on both sides of the football. On offense, the Longhorns rushed for 281 yards and controlled the clock, possessing the ball for seven minutes more than the Red Raiders. But the Texas defense was the bigger story, swamping Texas Tech quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Michael Brewer with nine sacks and allowing Tech just 396 total yards and one offensive touchdown — its lowest output of the season.
SACKED LUNCH: Jackson Jeffcoat recorded a careerhigh three sacks against Texas Tech. The senior was also credited with seven tackles and three tackles for loss.
ALL PHOTOS THIS SPR EAD: DON BEND ER
FINAL HOME GAME: (Left) Joe Bergeron recorded his fifth career 100-yard game when Texas defeated the Red Raiders on Thanksgiving night. (Below) Trey Hopkins, Case McCoy and Mason Walters celebrate their final win at home.
“Coming into this game, we had the mindset to dominate,” senior cornerback Carrington Byndom said. “We made sure that we stayed to the principles of our defense. We put an emphasis on staying within ourselves and not trying to do too much.” Texas Tech scored first midway through the first quarter on a nifty 51-yard touchdown run by Ryan Erxleben (son of Russell, the Texas AllAmerican punter from the mid-1970s) on a fake punt that stunned the crowd. That play — which accounted for more than half of Tech’s rushing total for the whole game — ended up being the Red Raiders’ only highlight of the game. Texas responded by scoring 20 unanswered points. First, Fera nailed a 37-yard field goal at the 6:00 mark of the first quarter. Then McCoy, rebounding after one of his worst games, found wide receiver Mike Davis for a 47-yard touchdown pass to put the Longhorns 10-7. Fera added a 49-yard field goal at the 8:18 mark of the second quarter and running back Joe Bergeron, wearing Johnathan Gray’s No. 32 jersey in tribute to the injured teammate, pounded his way to a 12-yard scoring run to push the Texas lead to 20-7. The Longhorns added a 1-yard touchdown run on a sneak by McCoy on its second possession of the third quarter. McCoy passed to Davis for another touchdown — this time from 7 yards out — on the first play of the fourth quarter. Texas Tech’s Brewer (son of former Texas quarterback Robert Brewer) answered, hitting all-world tight end Jace Amaro for an 11-yard touchdown pass, bringing the Red Raiders up 34-16. Backup quarterback Tyrone Swoopes tacked on the Longhorns’ final touchdown with a 1-yard run late in the game.
in the first two quarters to Petty’s 170. The Bears took the second-half kickoff and drove 77 yards in 14 plays, converting four third downs along the way, to an 11-yard touchdown pass from Petty to Antwan Goodley. The Longhorns, now moving into the wind which suddenly included a mix of sleet and rain, lost yardage on the ensuing possession, and punted back to Baylor, which took charge at the Texas 47-yard line. Using the short field, the Bears turned to their rushing game, reeling off six straight runs to move to a 6-yard Petty-to-Levi Norwood scoring pass (again on third down). The touchdown pushed Baylor’s lead to 17-3 with 6:54 to play in the third quarter. After another three-and-out possession by Texas, Baylor drove the field again and settled for a 42-yard Jones field goal and a 20-3 advantage. “Baylor was able to make things happen in the third quarter and we weren’t,” McCoy said. “That’s on me as the leader of this offense — I take full blame for that.” The Longhorns showed signs of life on the next-to-last play of the third quarter as Jaxon Shipley returned a punt for 50 yards, and a facemask penalty gave Texas the ball at the Baylor 11-yard line. From that spot, the Longhorns took
seven plays and a personal foul penalty to score. McCoy turned a broken scramble into an unlikely back-across-the-field touchdown pass to Brown to cut Baylor’s lead to 20-10 with 12:38 to play. The Bears answered with another Jones field goal (this time from 28 yards) to culminate a 10-play, 55-yard drive that increased their advantage to 23-10. After an exchange of punts, the Bears’ defense produced the backbreaker. K.J. Morton intercepted a wobbly McCoy pass to the left sideline and
FIGHTING FOR A CHANCE: (Above) The loss to Baylor cost the Longhorns the conference title and the BCS bowl bid. However, Texas didn’t go down without a fight. (Top Right) Jackson Jeffcoat recorded a careerhigh 11 tackles. (Left) Malcolm Brown had 25 carries for 131 yards.
THIS SPREAD CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT : DON BEND ER, JESSE DR OHEN, D ON BENDER
BAYLOR 30, TEXAS 10 With one half to play and a Big 12 championship on the line, Texas had Baylor right where it needed its opponent — tied and believing that the Longhorns had found a way to stop its highpowered offense. But that all changed in the second half, as Baylor made the plays Texas couldn’t and danced its way past the Longhorns to a 30-10 win. The Bears claimed the conference championship before the largest crowd ever in the 62-year history of Floyd Casey Stadium on Dec. 7. The Longhorns’ defense limited Baylor to a 22-yard Aaron Jones field goal on its opening possession — while the Bears were working with the 15-mile-per-hour wind at their backs. Texas countered with a 42-yard field goal by Anthony Fera in the second quarter. At the half, Texas’ workhorse running back Brown had 118 yards on 17 carries as the Longhorns stuck to a formula that gave them a chance to win — chew up chunks of yards on the ground and keep Baylor’s offense off the field. McCoy couldn’t keep up with Bryce Petty, the Bears’ strong-armed, dual-threat signal caller. And the first-half statistics belied that — McCoy, who missed on 10 of his first 12 passes and had an interception, passed for just 38 yards
ran it back 60 yards into the Texas end zone. But Morton started celebrating a little too early for the game officials’ liking and they penalized him for his strut, erased the touchdown and placed the ball at the Texas 18-yard line. On the next play, Glasco Martin (who led Baylor with 102 yards on 22 rushes) scored and provided the game’s final points.
“I still thought with four minutes left we could win, but we threw the interception that took us out of the ballgame,” coach Brown said. “We didn’t make the plays that we needed to make. I’m proud of the way we played this year but disappointed in tonight.”
SATURDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: The Big 12 title game marked the final time the Bears would play at Floyd Casey Stadium. Baylor claimed the conference championship before the largest crowd ever in the 62-year history of the “Case.”
Mack Brown Era by STEVE HABEL
— many would say a golden one – began Dec. 14 when Mack Brown announced his resignation as Texas’ head football coach. Brown will coach his final game when the Longhorns face Oregon in the 2013 Valero Alamo Bowl Dec. 30. H Brown’s accomplishments dwarf those of all but a handful of his contemporaries. From 2001-09, Texas won 10 games or more, claimed the 2005 national title, played for the 2009 national championship and won two other BCS bowls (the Rose in 2004 and the Fiesta in 2008). The Longhorns finished in the top six of the polls in six of nine seasons. H “It’s been a wonderful ride. The program is being pulled in different directions again and it’s the right time for a change,” Brown said. “It’s the best coaching job and the premier football program in America. I sincerely want it to get back to the top. I hope with some new energy, we can get this thing rolling again.” H Brown’s program was as resolute as a wrecking ball at its peak, helped by the coach’s ability to bring great players to the 40 Acres. In total, 16 firstround draft picks and 52 All-Americans played under Brown at Texas. H With a record of 158-47 (.771) in 16 seasons at Texas, Brown is just nine wins short of Darrell K Royal’s 167-school mark for lifetime victories. H Horns Illustrated is proud to present some of the biggest moments in the Mack Brown era.
HE END TO AN ERA
BROWN IS HIRED AWAY FROM NORTH CAROLINA
DEC. 4, 1997:
Quotes from the Coach
Fresh off a season that saw the Tar Heels finish 11-1 and fourth nationally, Brown is hired by Texas as the school’s 28th head football coach. Brown quickly built two important relationships — one with legendary former head coach Royal and the other with the important constituency of Texas high school coaches.
TEXAS RECORDS 11 WINS AND FACES A QUARTERBACK CONTROVERSY 1 2001:
Texas wins 11 games using Chris Simms and Major Applewhite at quarterback, but loses the Big 12 Championship game to Colorado. The Longhorns eventually beat Washington in the Holiday Bowl where Applewhite leads a furious comeback.
WILLIAMS GARNERS HEISMAN TROPHY
Texas goes 9-3 (6-2 Big 12) in its first season under Brown, including a 38-11 win over Mississippi State in the Cotton Bowl. Senior running back Ricky Williams wins the Heisman Trophy and breaks the all-time NCAA career rushing record in a thrilling victory over Texas A&M.
2002: BROWN HAS ANOTHER 11-WIN SEASON
1998: THE LONGHORNS GO 9-3, WIN THE COTTON BOWL AND
“The first day [Royal] walked out onto the practice field, I was so proud to be the head coach at Texas and have him come out and stand there with his arm around me, talking about his football team and seeing those white helmets with the Longhorns on the top.”
The Longhorns, with wide receiver Roy Williams as a nearly unstoppable weapon, beat everyone except Oklahoma and Texas Tech. Texas finishes 11-2, including a victory against LSU in the Cotton Bowl
“There are great young players on this team and the future is bright. We’re leaving it better than we found it and it has been a fun ride.”
“There was still a divided fan base and that’s not fair for Texas, for our players, or for our coaches because they continue to be under undue pressure. So it was time for me to move on and let someone else come in and restart the program.”
ALL PHOTOS T HIS S PREAD : COUR TESY UT ATHLET IC S PHOTOGRAPHY
THE ROSE BOWL HIGHLIGHTS SEASON
Texas, through some back-room politicking, earns its first BCS berth and beats Michigan on a last-second field goal to win the Rose Bowl. The Longhorns finish 11-1, with the lone loss coming from Oklahoma in a game where Texas was shutout. “We [Bill Powers, AD Steve Patterson, and Brown] had a good conversation and they expressed their support and wanted me to stay.”
1999: TEXAS WINS THE BIG 12 SOUTH
The Longhorns play for their first Big 12 Championship under Brown, but lose to Nebraska in the league championship game. Texas landed in the Cotton Bowl, where it lost 27-6 to Arkansas. JANUARY 2014
“I want to thank all of our current players, our staff and our coaches because they’ve done an amazing job this year of overcoming adversity and it will help all of us in our lives to handle tough days and move forward. I am so proud of them. I also want to thank all the coaches and staff that we’ve had in the 16 years we’ve been here because we’ve had a lot of guys work hard.”
“Steve is going to hire a tremendous coach. He will have choices of the best coaches in the country and it is a fresh start for them. So the negativity that has been around the program will be cleared with the new guy and that is a great time for them.”
2009: THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY
2005: TEXAS WINS THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP BEHIND
Led by transcendent quarterback Vince Young, Texas wins its first national title under Brown — and the school’s first since 1970 — in a 41-38 victory over USC in the Rose Bowl. The Longhorns’ perfect campaign (part of a 25-game win streak) also garnered Texas its first Big 12 title under Brown.
“I was really back and forth all week because I sincerely want what’s best for the University of Texas. There are just too many distractions, too many negatives out there, and the players and the assistant coaches shouldn’t be having to deal with negatives about me, nor should our university. That’s not healthy for our place and this university is so much bigger than any person that it is definitely better in my mind that Steve and Bill get a new, exciting coach.”
Texas goes 8-0 in the league and beats Nebraska for its second Big 12 title under Brown, earning a trip to the BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl against Alabama. Unfortunately starting quarterback Colt McCoy gets injured on the Longhorns’ fifth offensive play and Texas loses 37-21. Brown will later say that the defeat started the Longhorns on a downward spiral that the team has still not fully emerged from.
DEC. 9, 2009: BROWN BREAKS THE COACHES’ PAY CEILING WITH A $5 MILLION YEARLY SALARY 1
The UT System’s regents approve a new salary and amended buyout clause for Brown, allowing him to become the first college coach to earn $5 million a year. 2010: THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL
Was there the one thing he wanted people to know? “Yes, I want to make sure that everybody knows that I’ve been treated fairly and it’s a wonderful run here and that I love the University of Texas. I have no regrets at all.”
2007: THE ASTERISK SEASON
Texas finishes 12-1 (7-1 Big 12) with the lone loss coming on a last-game defeat in Lubbock. Texas goes on to beat Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. The Longhorns claim a co-Big 12 championship with Oklahoma and Texas Tech and add the year to its listing of league titles on its wall of honors, along with an asterisk that’s later removed.
Texas loses five of its last six games and finishes the year at 5-7, the only time in Brown’s tenure the Longhorns have a losing record and miss a bowl game.
THE LONGHORNS BEAT THE AGGIES AND MOVE BACK IN PROMINENCE
Texas finishes 8-5 despite playing three quarterbacks, including freshman David Ash, who leads the Longhorns to a win over Cal in the Holiday Bowl. Texas also defeated Texas A&M in the two teams’ final matchup. A&M moved to the Southeastern Conference the following season.
NOV. 7, 2012: COACH ROYAL DIES
After 16 years at the helm, Mack Brown stepped down as the head coach of the Texas Football program on Dec. 14th. He made the announcement via an athletics department release which read as follows.
Brown’s mentor and constant sounding board, former Texas coach Royal, dies at the age of 88, deeply affecting Brown and stunning all Longhorns everywhere.
OCT. 1, 2013: DODDS ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT
Texas Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds, who hired Brown and had always been one of the coach’s most ardent supporters, announces his retirement after 32 years on the job. By November, Texas has his replacement, Texas alum Steve Patterson, the former Arizona State AD.
2012: TEXAS WINS THE ALAMO BOWL
Texas continues its rebound, going 9-5 (but just 5-4 in Big 12 play) and culminates the season with a win against Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl. Ash makes several crucial plays in the bowl win, whetting the appetite of the Longhorns’ rabid fan base for a return to the top of the national scene in 2013. DEC. 7, 2013: TEXAS LOSES THE BIG 12 TITLE
Despite a historic rash of injuries to key personnel — including Ash — Texas wins six straight Big 12 games and ends up playing Baylor for the league championship and a BCS berth. The Longhorns get waylaid 30-10 and the heat gets turned up on Brown to step down.
ALL PHOTOS THIS SPR EAD: COURT ESY UT ATHLETICS PHOTOGR APHY
DEC. 14, 2013: BROWN ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION
After a week of denying he’ll resign, Brown announces that he will in fact step down as the Longhorns’ football coach following the team’s Alamo Bowl appearance versus Oregon on Dec. 30. SEPT. 7-8, 2013:
DISASTER IN PROVO AND ITS AFTERMATH Texas gets waylaid by BYU in the Wasatch Mountains and surrenders a team-record 550 rushing yards, prompting Brown to fire defensive coordinator Manny Diaz the next day. His decision marked the first time Brown changed any of his coaching staff during a season.
“Sally and I were brought to Texas 16 years ago to pull together a football program that was divided. With a lot of passion, hard work and determination from the kids, coaches and staff, we did that. We built a strong football family, reached great heights and accomplished a lot, and for that, I thank everyone. It’s been a wonderful ride. Now, the program is again being pulled in different directions, and I think the time is right for a change. I love The University of Texas, all of its supporters, the great fans and everyone that played and coached here. I can’t thank DeLoss Dodds enough for bringing our family here, and Bill Powers and the administration for supporting us at a place where I have made lifelong friendships. It is the best coaching job and the premier football program in America. I sincerely want it to get back to the top and that’s why I am stepping down after the bowl game. I hope with some new energy, we can get this thing rolling again.” On the Sunday afternoon following the announcement Brown met with the media to further explain how and why he made the decision. Brown started his statement harking back to what his friend and mentor coach Darrell K Royal told him when he came to Texas. “Coach Royal told us, when asked what do you have to do to be the head football coach at Texas, and he said, there is such a diverse group that follows this football team that you have to pull them all together and that is very difficult to do. He said when you get them all together, it’s wonderful and it’s a powerful place. But when it is not, it is very divided and it is a very difficult place to manage. So he said it’s like a box of BBs and the BBs are dropped all over the room and what you got to do is get all the BBs back in the box. And we were able to do that. We were able to do that for a long time until 2010 and then as of late the BBs have gotten back out of the box.”
PATs. Fera’s two field goals against Texas Tech on Nov. 28 extended his streak to a school-record 15 straight, tying a mark set 16 years ago by Longhorns’ Pro Bowl kicker Phil Dawson. As the Longhorns’ punter, Fera has averaged 41.7 yards per attempt, has booted 13 punts 50 yards or longer and has dropped 23 kicks inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. He was one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award, which is given annually to the best placekicker in the nation. His efforts continue to help Texas win the field-possession battle. “It was a difficult transition for him last year with his injury and having to leave a team and a school that he cared about,” coach Mack Brown said. “We’re seeing the real Anthony Fera now.” But some of the troubles from last year haven’t gone away. Hecklers, both in stadiums and in cyberspace, refuse to let Fera forget what he left behind at Penn State or his difficult 2012 season. Standing next to the placeholder as he took practice kicks in the minutes preceding a gametying kick against West Virginia — a game the Longhorns eventually won in overtime — one would think Fera is considered public enemy No. 1. “West Virginia’s fans were heckling me the
THIS S PREAD: DON BENDER, JIM SIGMON/UNI V. OF T EXAS, JIM S IGMON/UNIV. OF TEXAS
N 2012, Anthony Fera’s world started to spin out of control. When Fera — one of the nation’s best kickers as a sophomore — opted to leave Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child-molestation investigation, he returned home to Texas to be closer to his mother as she battles multiple sclerosis. The Longhorns needed a kicker — Justin Tucker had finished his eligibility and moved on to the NFL — and Fera needed a place to kick. He arrived in Austin just in time for two-a-days and was barely on campus long enough to know the Texas Union from the Red McCombs Red Zone before he tore two groin muscles. The injury occurred during his second day on the practice field. “I had pulled the groin earlier in the year when I was at Penn State, but I thought I was ready to go once I got here,” said Fera, who both punted and kicked in Happy Valley. “On the second kick of practice that day something popped in my leg. I tried to kick some after that but I always had pain.” Fera returned to the field this season and quickly regained his status among the nation’s best. He made 20 of 22 field goal attempts this season (90.9 percent) and has made all 46 of his
whole game, and some of the things they were saying weren’t very appropriate,” Fera said. “Me? I just ignored it. Fans are going to be fans. So it was nice to shut them up.” Recently, Fera got a bushel full of harsh tweets and Facebook messages when Penn State’s current placekicker, Sam Ficken, missed a field goal late in a game that cost the Nittany Lions the win. The hecklers blame Fera for not being there to try that kick. In the 16 months he’s been on the 40 Acres, he’s received a constant stream of insults and abusive threats. Fortunately, Fera continues to shrug them off and refuses to second-guess his decision. “I didn’t want to leave Penn State. It was a difficult decision to make because I love my teammates and I made a lot of friends in the three and a half years I was there,” he said. “I went back to Happy Valley last January and it just felt weird. But the visit allowed me some closure and I was more comfortable with my decision to come home to Texas.” Sidelined until the fifth game, Fera played in six contests in 2012 and went 2-of-4 on field goals before shutting down his season prior to Texas’ final three games. Surgery to repair the torn groin muscles was an option but would’ve cut down on his range of motion. Instead, Fera turned to treatments where his own platelet-rich plasma was injected into his hip to promote growth and healing. Similar procedures have helped golfer Tiger Woods and NBA star Kobe Bryant quickly return after facing injury. He didn’t kick from November until May. During that time Fera worked with athletic trainer Kenny Boyd and strength and conditioning coach Bennie Wylie on core and groin exercises that strengthened the muscles around his injury. “There were times when I thought I was
“It was a difficult transition for him last year with his injury and having to leave a team and a school that he cared about. We’re seeing the real Anthony Fera now.”
A LEG UP ON THE COMPETITION: Anthony Fera was honored as a finalist for the Lou Groza Collegiate PlaceKicker Award Dec. 10. Fera connected on 20 of 22 field goal attempts this season and 44 of 45 extra points. He matched Phil Dawson’s school record with 15 consecutive field goals.
never going to kick again. I was scared at first,” Fera reflected. During spring workouts, Fera worked on his punting instead of kicking because of the different motion, which didn’t affect his groin. In May, even though Fera kicked without pain, he didn’t rush things. He took time off between kicks
while working to build back his stamina and confidence. He progressively kicked a few more times each week. “He worked – COACH MACK BROWN super hard to get healthy,” holder Cade McCrary said. “It was never a question of work ethic because there wasn’t much Anthony could do because he was hurt. All he could do was give it time and people were rushing him but he stayed calm. He had confidence in his own ability but he just knew it would take time for him to be back 100 percent.” Fera’s parents have moved from Cypress (near Houston) to the tiny Austin community of Barton Creek. Fera spends as much time as he can with his family while his mother, Donna, has been in the stands for most of the Longhorns’ games this season. She stays for at least a quarter before returning to the parking lot to listen on the car radio. Their bond has been strengthened by the time they’ve been able to spend together. “She’s doing a lot better,” Fera said of his mom, “but she doesn’t tell me all the bad things.” Fera will earn degrees from both Penn State (Kinesiology in December 2013) and Texas (Physical Culture and Sport in May 2014). And there’s a good chance he’ll kick at the next level. “From day one, everyone [at Texas] has been very welcoming,” Fera said. “I’ve created great relationships here and I’m going to leave with a lot of good relationships — I’ve had a good ride.”
BATTLE OF THE ALAMO TEXAS MUST FIND A WAY TO STOP THE DUCKS’ QUACK ATTACK.
BY BY STEV STEVE EH HA ABEL BEL
38 38 HORNS HORNS ILLUSTRATED ILLUSTRATED
JJAAN NU UAARRYY 22001144
THE ALAMO WAS THE SITE of of aa desperate desperate siege, siege, where where aa ragtag ragtag group group of of men men led led by by aa colocolonel nel with with more more confidence confidence than than his his fighters fighters eventually eventually paid paid the the ultimate ultimate price. price. While While aa football football game game isn’t isn’t aa military military battle, battle, plenty plenty of of parparallels allels can can be be drawn drawn from from the the Battle Battle of of the the Alamo Alamo and and the the 2013 2013 Valero Valero Alamo Alamo Bowl. Bowl. The The game game will will take take place place Dec. Dec. 30 30 between between unranked unranked Texas Texas and and No. No. 10 10 Oregon Oregon at at the the Alamodome Alamodome in in San San Antonio. Antonio. On paper, paper, the the game game looks looks like like one one of of the the biggest biggest mismatches mismatches On of the the 2013 2013 bowl bowl season. season. The The Longhorns Longhorns are are perhaps perhaps the the bigbigof gest underdogs underdogs in in the the Alamo Alamo City City since since the the Texicans Texicans fought fought the the gest Mexican army army some some 178 178 years years ago. ago. Mexican Texas — — aa team team that that struggles struggles to to stop stop the the option option run run — — will will Texas be pitted pitted against against an an Oregon Oregon team team that that thrives thrives on on the the option option run run be and that that has has one one of of the the nation’s nation’s best best dual-threat dual-threat quarterbacks. quarterbacks. and Fans should should consider consider the the Ducks Ducks an an even even better better offensive offensive team team Fans than Baylor Baylor or or Oklahoma Oklahoma State, State, two two opponents opponents that that beat beat the the than Longhorns by by aa combined combined margin margin of of 68-23 68-23 in in the the last last month month of of Longhorns the season. season. the Fortunately, games games aren’t aren’t played played on on paper. paper. The The Longhorns Longhorns Fortunately, (who finished finished the the season season 8-4) 8-4) had had 15 15 days days of of practice practice to to figure figure (who out ways ways to to stop stop Oregon’s Oregon’s Quack Quack Attack Attack while while shrugging shrugging off off the the out disappointment of of losing losing the the Big Big 12 12 championship championship to to Baylor. Baylor. disappointment “We didn’t didn’t finish finish the the way way we we wanted wanted to to but but we’re we’re going going “We back to to work work and and get get after after these these guys guys because because Oregon Oregon isis like like back Baylor — — they they can can score score fast fast and and they they do do aa tremendous tremendous job,” job,” Baylor coach Mack Mack Brown Brown said. said. “They’ve “They’ve been been one one of of the the best best football football coach teams in in the the country country for for the the past past four four years.” years.” teams This year year marks marks the the Longhorns’ Longhorns’ third third appearance appearance in in the the This Alamo Bowl’s Bowl’s 21-year 21-year history. history. Texas Texas beat beat Iowa Iowa 26-24 26-24 in in 2006 2006 Alamo and knocked knocked off off Oregon Oregon State State 31-27 31-27 just just last last December. December. and This bowl bowl game game isis the the fourth fourth time time in in Brown’s Brown’s 16-year 16-year tentenThis ure that that the the Longhorns Longhorns have have gone gone to to the the same same bowl bowl in in consecuconsecuure tive years years (Cotton (Cotton Bowl Bowl 1998-99; 1998-99; Holiday Holiday Bowl Bowl 2000-01; 2000-01; Rose Rose tive Bowl 2004-05 2004-05 and and Alamo Alamo Bowl Bowl 2012-13). 2012-13). Bowl Texaswill willface faceaaPac-12 Pac-12(formerly (formerly Pac-10) Pac-10) team team for for the the eighth eighth Texas
JJAAN NU UAARRYY 22001144
HORNS HORNS ILLUSTRATED ILLUSTRATED
WELCOME TO THE HOME OF THE ALAMO BOWL BY STEVE LANSDALE
THE LONGHORNS will cap off the 2013 football season with a trip to San Antonio, where they’ll face the Oregon Ducks in the Alamo Bowl. Thousands of Texas fans will make the trek down I-35 — almost 80 miles from the southwest point of campus. For the fans making the trip, the game obviously will be the star attraction in San Antonio. For a Texas team that initially had fans jumping 40
ship like rats leaving the Titanic, to reverse course and make a run at the Big 12 title, facing Oregon in a bowl game will be an encore to this season. The Ducks boast an electric offense and a collection of uniforms that look like someone at the Crayola factory got sick during a Ducks’ team meeting. But for those who aren’t blowing in and out of town all in one day, there’s plenty to do in San Antonio.
• Visit the Alamo! Originally a Spanish mission in the 1700s, the Alamo stands as the most famous landmark in San Antonio and perhaps in the entire state of Texas. Now more than 250 years old, the Alamo has served numerous purposes over the years, including as a Quartermaster’s Depot by the U.S. Army. The Alamo has been occupied by the troops of five countries: Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America and the U.S. Visitors have an array of available attractions, including a stop in The Alamo Shrine, which was intended to be the main church for the Alamo but was never completed. Guests can also enjoy a variety of tours, some of which allow visitors to re-enact the 1836 battle or visit the Long Barrack Museum, which is in the oldest building on the site. For more information, visit www.thealamo.org.
Press top 10 not selected for a BCS bowl. The Ducks (10-2) will be the highest-ranked team to play in the Alamo Bowl since No. 8 Nebraska in 2000. The 2013 season marks the first time in five seasons that Oregon will not play in a BCS game. Texas hasn’t played in a BCS bowl since losing the 2010 National Championship game. One year later, Oregon was runner-up. This will be the first meeting between Oregon and Texas since the Ducks’ 35-30 vic-
• The Alamo is only one of the two most famous images of the city — the other being the River Walk. The River Walk — a public park lined with some of the top restaurants, bars and shops in the city — draws visitors year-round. The area is an ideal location, especially for out-of-town visitors who want to get a sense of the charm of San Antonio, either through
a leisurely stroll, as a destination for dinner or drinks, or on one of the 35-minute, narrated river cruise tours. To learn more about the San Antonio River Walk, check out http://www. thesanantonioriverwalk.com.
PR EVIOUS S PREAD CLOCKW IS E FOM LEFT: JESSE DR OHEN , ER IC EVANS/ OR EGON ATHLETICS, ALAMO BOWL
Oregon ranks third in the nation in scortime in its last 13 bowl trips.ghth “It’s great to be going to San Antonio, where ing offense (46.8 points per game) and second all our fans can come see us for our final game,” in total yards (573 yards per game). Sophomore senior guard Trey Hopkins said. “It’s going to be quarterback Marcus Mariota ranks sixth in the my last game as a Longhorn. It’s definitely going nation in passing efficiency (167.9 rating) and to be exciting to play a top-10 team like Oregon ninth in total offense (332.8 per game). The that’s been in the national spotlight all year and Ducks’ defense is allowing just 21.6 points per had been talking about playing for the national game, which ranks No. 25 nationally. Conversely, the Longhorns rank 36th nationchampionship.” Texas will make its 52nd all-time bowl ally in rushing offense, with running back appearance (second in NCAA history), including Malcolm Brown averaging 101.6 yards per game over the last seven contests. Jaxon Shipley the 15th in Brown’s tenure. leads the team with 55 receptions, while The Longhorns have won nine Mike Davis has a team-high 715 receiving of their past 11 bowls and have a yards and eight touchdowns. 10-4 bowl record under Brown. Defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat leads The head coach has directed his a Texas defense tied for fifth nationteams (at Texas and, before that, ally in sacks (3.08 per game). Jeffcoat is at North Carolina) to 21 bowls in tied for third in the FBS with 1.0 sacks the past 22 seasons —a run that’s MONDAY, per game, while Cedric Reed is tied tied for the most in the nation with DECEMBER 30 for 23rd (0.8 per game). Jeffcoat also Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer. leads the team in tack“Our guys enjoy playing in 5:45 P.M. les (80) and tackles for bowl games and it gives us a chance loss (21). to get out of the box for next seaTexas’ excitement about the son,” Brown said. “It gives you a month to prepare. You’re working on your team for the future, postseason must be tempered by and at the same time you have one last game for the fact that the Ducks roll into your seniors. We talked about Senior Night being San Antonio with a huge chip at home, but really and truly your Senior Night is on their collective shoulder and possess as much talent as any the bowl game.” Despite losing five starters to season-ending team in the country. Oregon was passed over injuries, the Longhorns still managed to turn around a rough start with a 7-2 record in the Big for an at-large bid to the Orange 12 that included six straight wins. Five of Texas’ Bowl (Clemson vs. Ohio State) eight victories came against teams with losing and the Sugar Bowl (Alabama vs. records (those teams were a combined 16-34 Oklahoma) during the selection for the season), and the Longhorns played seven process on Dec. 8. No. 8 South Carolina and No. 9 Missouri teams that will play in bowls, going 3-4 against were the only other teams ranked in the Associated those squads.
NOT SO FAST: Although picked to win, Oregon will need to stop Texas from running the ball, which it struggled to do against Stanford and Arizona. De’Anthony Thomas (opposite) and the Oregon offense will also face Jackson Jeffcoat (above), who led the Big 12 in sacks.
THIIS SPREAD CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT : COUR TESY ER IC EVANS , JES SE DRO HEN, C OURT ESY SEAWORLD S AN ANTONIO, ALAMO BOWL, ALAMO BOW L, COUR TESY ER IC EVANS
tory in the 2000 Holiday Bowl. The victory gave Oregon its first 10-win season. Texas and Oregon have met five previous times, with the Longhorns holding a 4-1 edge. Oregon is 11-15 all-time in the postseason and winners of its past two. Since 1996, the Ducks are 4-3 against Big 12 opponents in bowl games. After starting the season 8-0, a 26-20 loss at Stanford on Nov. 7 knocked the Ducks out of
the BCS title hunt. A surprising 42-16 drubbing at Arizona prevented Oregon from hosting a snowy Pac-12 championship game. It was Oregon's first loss to an unranked team since 2009. The 26-point margin of defeat was the Ducks’ biggest since losing 44-10 to USC in 2008. “We had a tough four-game stretch at the end of the season — stubbed our toe a bit,” Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said. “But we’re hungry to get back out there and we’re excited to take on an iconic program and an iconic coach.” Oregon righted the ship, somewhat, with a 36-35 win over Oregon State to end the regular season. However, seeing how the Ducks respond to what has been considered a substandard season when they square off against Texas will be interesting. “I don’t think anyone’s disappointed [to be going to the Alamo Bowl],” Oregon center Hroniss Grasu said. “It’s an honor to play against Texas. Winning this game would be a big momentum booster for the offseason.” A left knee injury to Mariota in October was a key component in the Ducks’ late-season swan dive, but there’s a chance he’ll be completely healthy for the Alamo Bowl. If Mariota is able to run the read-option, the Longhorns might have some Texas-sized trouble. Brigham Young, Ole Miss and Oklahoma State had huge success running that offense against Texas. Mariota, if healthy, will be the best quarterback the Longhorns face this season. “I’m not sure how my body will be a few weeks from now, but I’m going to continue get-
RIVER WALK • Those who want to branch out from San Antonio, the city, can check out one of the more extraordinary natural attractions in Texas — the Natural Bridge Caverns (http://www. naturalbridgecaverns.com). The Caverns are just 10 miles northeast of the city and live up to the phrase “deep in the heart of Texas.” First-time visitors to serious cavern enthusiasts can
find plenty to do, including panning for precious stones, taking the “leap of faith” from the Canopy Challenge, enjoying a caving tour or simply enjoying the natural beauty of the caverns. The Discovery Tour is a good starting point for first-timers, who will walk through a half a mile — at 180 feet below ground — of the largest show cavern in Texas while a tour guide
points out the ancient geological formations that make up the cavern system. The more adventurous can try the Hidden Passages Tour, which includes a look at the Caverns’ most delicate geological formations. And when the lights turn off, visitors will feel a sense of darkness that can’t be matched by turning the lights off at home. Other attractions include a lantern tour, physically demanding adventure tours that require visitors to climb their way through caverns with just the lights mounted on their helmets, and the nearby Bracken Bat Flight, an evening event during which millions of free-tailed bats — the world’s largest colony — emerge to head out on their nightly hunt for insects. • For visitors traveling with kids, check out SeaWorld (http://sea-
ting better,” Mariota said. “It says a lot when our team goes 10-2 and is disappointed, and says a lot about where we’ve come as a program.” For all the progress defensive coordinator Greg Robinson (who joined the Longhorns after the loss at BYU) and the defensive staff made in the past 10 games, defending the option remains the team's Achilles’ heel. The Longhorns gave up the ninthmost rushing yards to quarterbacks in the FBS. Jeffcoat finished with a Big 12-leading 12 sacks in his senior season and anchors a unit that has loads of experience defending high-tempo spread offenses. While much of the game’s focus is on the Longhorns’ ability to stop Oregon’s blur of an offense, the game could swing on the Ducks’ inability to stop the run. Oregon allowed Stanford to run for 274 yards and Arizona to rush for 304 yards in its two defeats. Texas averaged 197.6 yards rushing per game. “We’ve been a little banged up on the defensive side of the ball,” Helfrich said. “Hopefully we’ll get all those guys healed up and ready for a huge challenge in Texas.” Early picks made the Ducks a two-touchdown favorite to beat Texas. This is familiar territory for the Longhorns, a team who has relished its underdog role in 2013. Perhaps there’s no better way to end the year than with Texas’ most difficult matchup yet. “I’m excited to play Oregon, Marcus Mariota at quarterback and their running back De’Anthony Thomas,” Jeffcoat said. “It’s going to be a fun challenge. We didn’t win the Big 12 championship like we wanted, but we still have a bowl game. The season is still going. There are a lot of teams in the country that want to be in our shoes. We need to take advantage of being in a bowl game.”
worldparks.com/seaworld-sanantonio), which offers guests a chance to see many of the oceans’ inhabitants up close, whether it means getting splashed by killer whales, interacting with bottlenose dolphins or stepping into a glimpse of arctic life to see more than 100 penguins. Sea World ffers educational tours and programs, including a Seafari Tour that reveals what goes on at SeaWorld when it isn’t open to the public and a Behind the Scenes Tour that allows visitors to learn JANUARY 2014
how the animals are cared for, to feed stingrays and even touch sharks. • Want to see all of San Antonio in a limited amount of time? One way would be to dine at the revolving Chart House Restaurant, which sits atop the 750-foot Tower of the Americas (http://www.toweroftheamericas.com) in downtown. Visitors can enjoy the panoramic view while dining, venture out to the Observation Deck or experience it all through a 4D Theater Ride. On the Observation Deck, photos on the floor point out landmarks to help visitors identify their surroundings, historical photos offer a glimpse of how the city has changed over the years, and telescopes are available to give an up-close view of the city below.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Isaiah Taylor played his first college game (against UT San Antonio) without any turnovers.
M B A SK ET B A L L
The Comeback Kids
UP & COMING
BY STEVE LANSDALE
O SAY THE 2013-14 men’s basketball season started out under a cloud of doubt would be an understatement. The Longhorns entered the season without their top four scorers from last year, two of the top three rebounders, the team’s leader in assists and four of the top six in steals. The team’s top returning scorer, guard Javan Felix (who scored just 6.8 points per game last year) is now playing close to 100 percent after undergoing hip surgery in the offseason. With new players assuming spots on half the roster, many fans didn’t know what to expect from the Texas men’s basketball team this season. And although expectations haven’t been exactly set, the Longhorns have given ample reason for optimism through eight games, seven of which they won. Texas won its first three games of the season, which may not overwhelm fans considering the trio of opponents (Mercer, South Alabama and Stephen F. Austin). The most important of the three — in terms of the Longhorns’ growth in the early part of the season
— was the South Alabama game, in which Texas rallied from a 17-point deficit. The Longhorns pulled off the win thanks in large part to Jonathan Holmes, who scored 15 of his game-high 23 points in the second half. Holmes picked up 12 of his points from long range as he connected on four of seven shots from behind the 3-point line. “He’s outstanding,” South Alabama coach Matthew Graves said of Holmes. “I like the energy that he plays with, and for a kid his size (6’8”, 240 pounds) to be able to step out on the floor,
catch and shoot 3s — he’d be a great player in our system. His ability to rip and drive the basketball with his right hand is outstanding.” The three games were closer than many expected, with the most lopsided of the three being Texas’ 72-62 win over SFA. But if nothing
JESS E D ROHEN
TEXAS IS OVERCOMING DEFICITS — AND DOUBTS — AS THE MEN HEAD INTO CONFERENCE PLAY.
Head coach Rick Barnes announced the signing of two players in the early recruiting period — forwards Jordan Barnett of St. Louis, Mo., and Obie Oleka of Washington, D.C. “The addition of Jordan and Obie is another step in the right direction for our program,” Barnes said. “Considering the number of players that we have returning next year, we made a conscious effort that anyone we added to our program would need to build on the general culture of our program. We’ve also improved our talent level and become a much more athletic team by adding Jordan and Obie.” Barnett (6’7”, 190 pounds), from Christian Brothers College High School, led his school with 17.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots per game while hitting 37.6 percent of his 3-point attempts. Oleka (6’7”, 225 pounds), a power forward from State College of Florida in Bradenton, Fla., will enroll at Texas this summer as a junior. In his freshman season at the State College of Florida, he averaged 10.9 points and 6.2 rebounds per game while converting 55 percent from the floor. In his senior year at Florida Christian Institute (Cape Coral, Fla.), Oleka averaged 24.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game.
else, Barnes said he’s pleased with the versatility his team has shown. Texas has had a different player lead the team in scoring, rebounds, assists and steals in the each of the first three games. “We’re going to learn from it all, because these have been three completely different games,” Barnes said after the Longhorns topped SFA. “We’ve shown we can do a lot of good things but we have to get consistent.” Texas picked up another victory, an 89-61 stroll past Houston Baptist (despite shooting just .450 — 18 of 40 — from the free-throw line), before suffering its first loss to BYU. The Cougars defeated Texas 86-82 in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, Mo. The Longhorns shot a season-low .378 form the floor and connected on a quarter (six of 24) of their shots from behind the 3-point line. The team responded to the loss by bouncing back and drubbing DePaul 77-59. Sophomore center Cameron Ridley connected on six of eight field goals and drained seven of eight free throws to pace the Texas offense with 19 points. Ridley also led the Longhorns with nine rebounds, helping his team to double up DePaul on the boards, 40-20. In its next game, Texas avoided falling victim to a major upset when sophomore guard Demarcus Holland hit nine of his 13 shots en route to a game-high 23 points. The Longhorns rallied again, this time to squeak out a 72-69 win over UT Arlington. Barnes said Holland and freshman guard
Isaiah Taylor, who added 10 points of his own, added to Texas’ offensive contributions by protecting the ball from the Mavericks. They also contributed on the defensive end, as well as on the scoresheet. “Isaiah came up with some steals tonight, but the best thing was that he had his first game without any turnovers,” Barnes said. “Demarcus Holland — what can I say? He’s everything you want in a player. He’s become the leader of the team; he’s talking like you want a leader to talk.” So what is known about the Longhorns after eight games? That’s hard to say. Texas has won seven of its first eight games, but is the team as good as its record? Maybe or maybe not, considering that none of the Longhorns’ eight opponents are receiving votes in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll or the USA Today Coaches Poll. However, Texas defeated the teams it should beat at the beginning of the season. The Longhorns aren’t crushing their opponents — just two of the team’s seven wins have come by a margin of more than 10 points — but for a team that lost so much from last year and is still getting used to playing together, that’s acceptable. “Overcoming deficits shows how we can come together and fight through adversity with the youth on this team,” Holland said. “We have guys on this team with character and guys that bring energy. This gives us a chance to win games.”
NEW HEIGHTS: Molly McCage and Haley Eckerman helped the Longhorns make program history this season.
VOLL EY B A L L
Holding Nothing Back AFTER TWO CONSECUTIVE LOSSES, THE VOLLEYBALL TEAM PUSHED FORWARD TO A PERFECT CONFERENCE SEASON.
AFTER THE TEXAS volleyball team hoisted the national championship trophy last December, no one thought the Longhorns could have a better season. But the team exceeded expectations and turned in an almost perfect regular season this year. The 2013 season set up Texas (23-2, 16-0) as the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA Championship tournament. The first game of the Longhorns’ season didn’t set the proper expectations for a team fresh off a national title campaign, or for one that lost only one player from a loaded roster, or one that just welcomed in a star-studded freshman class. The champions struggled against then-No. 11 Hawaii on the road, losing their season opener 1-3. Two weeks later, the Longhorns dropped their second game on the road against Arizona State. Six games into the season and the Longhorns were already 4-2, falling in the polls from their preseason No. 1 ranking to No. 6 in the country. Despite the two early losses, the team didn’t begin worrying about its season. Texas posted two signature non-conference wins during that stretch — a 3-2 victory over rival and then-No. 1 Penn State and a 3-1 victory over No. 2 Stanford. Clearly the losses were two anomalies in an 44
otherwise outstanding regular season. “When the game gets tight, they rise to a different level and concentration,” head coach Jerritt Elliott said of his team. “They believe in each other and make plays when it happens. They put pressure on teams and teams have to play well against us.” After the loss to Arizona State, the Longhorns went on to win the remainder of their regular season games, finishing with a 19-game win streak and the overall No.1 seed in the NCAA tournament. In addition, the Longhorns did what no other Texas team has been able to accomplish before — go undefeated in Big 12 regular season play. After a brief stint out of the top five, the Longhorns quickly returned back to No. 1 toward the end of October, a ranking they comfortably kept through the rest of the season. The Longhorns cruised through the regular
season thanks to a talented roster. Junior outside hitter Haley Eckerman led the team as both coaches and their opponents took notice of Texas’ dominating play. “We recognize that even our best might not be enough to beat Texas,” Texas State head coach Karen Chisum said while preparing to face Texas in the first round of the NCAA tournament. “Texas can jump over us and hit through us and they have better athletes than us, but they still have to beat us. There’s a reason they’re the No. 1 seed and the defending national champion.” After a spectacular sophomore campaign, Eckerman put together an even more outstanding junior year. The All-American junior, who was the 2012 Volleyball Magazine National Co-Player of the Year, earned 2013 Big 12 Volleyball Player of the Year honors. With a unanimous selection Eckerman garnered the Big 12 Player of the Year
ALL PHOTOS THIS SPR EAD: PAT RICK MEREDITH/ UNIV. OF TEXAS
BY SARA BETH PURDY
title for the second year in a row. She’s the fourth player ever to earn back-to-back honors. Eckerman led the league in kills (4.55 kills per set) and points (5.24 points per set) in leagueonly competition. She’s also ranked second in the Big 12 in service aces (0.42) and 10th in hitting percentage. The junior had a hitting clip of .294 in conference play. This season, Eckerman earned Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors three times — good for 15 career weekly honors and second-most in conference history. The Longhorns also featured the Big 12 Freshman of the Year for the 2013 season, in middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu, who ranked second in the league in hitting percentage (.386). Ogbogu earned three Big 12 Rookie of the Week honors throughout the regular season and is the third Longhorn to earn Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors. Senior outside hitter Bailey Webster, junior middle blocker Khat Bell and sophomore middle blocker Molly McCage, along with Eckerman and Ogbogu, were named to the All-Big 12 First Team. Both Eckerman and Webster were unanimous selections. Belll had a big season for the Longhorns, posting 147 kills. She was third on the team behind Webster and Eckerman through 80 sets. The junior finished the season with a .334 hitting clip and 10 service aces. Webster turned in another dominant season. Through 91 sets, Webster posted 308 kills, second on the team behind Eckerman, and earned 335.5 points for the Longhorns. The Longhorns’ preseason victories over Penn State and Stanford, along with a 3-2 win over former Big 12 rival Nebraska, were the signature wins that defined the Longhorns’ nonconference season. The Longhorns opened conference play on the road against TCU where they easily cruised to a 3-0 victory. In their conference home opener, Texas swept long-time Big 12 rival Oklahoma 3-0. From their Texas swept seven of its next 15 opponents, accumulating 3-0 victories over Texas Tech, West Virginia, Kansas State and Baylor.
Texas went into its final game of the season against Baylor hoping to achieve something that only former Big 12 member Nebraska had ever achieved — a perfect conference season. Texas easily downed the Baylor Bears in front of Gregory Gym’s largest ever crowd. The win gave the Longhorns their first-ever undefeated Big 12 season and a clear argument for the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament. “We accomplished something that no other class before has ever accomplished,” Elliott said. “We went undefeated in the Big 12 and it is a major accomplishment for this team and this group.” Throughout conference play, the Longhorns dropped only seven of 55 sets played, sweeping all but seven opponents. Iowa State, the only team to hand the Longhorns a conference loss in the past two seasons, won only two of the eight sets it played against the Longhorns. Texas went undefeated nine times as a member of the Southwest Conference, but during that time, the Longhorns played only 10 conference games a season. The Longhorns have won 49 consecutive conference games at home, a streak that originated in 2008. They finished the season with a .425 hitting percentage — a season best. At the conclusion of the regular season, the NCAA selected the Longhorns to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament. The Longhorns hosted Texas State, Texas A&M and the University of Texas at San Antonio during the first weekend of December. “We expected to be either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed,” Elliott said of expectations entering the post season. “We’re entering the tournament with momentum and confidence based on the way we played in conference and in our early season games. This is what we’ve been working toward this whole year and we’re excited about the chance to take the next step forward.”
Horns Illustrated (ISSN 1096-2573), Volume 21, Number 1. Copyright © 2014 by Texan Media, LLC. All rights reserved. Published nine times a year (monthly in January, February, March/ April, May, June, July, October, November and December) in the United States by Horns Illustrated, 1505 Ridgecrest Drive, Austin, TX 78746. Subscription inquiries: Send new or renewal notices or change of address (send both old and new addresses) to Horns Illustrated, P.O. Box 50069, Austin, TX 78763. Allow 6-8 weeks for change of address. Subscription problems: Call 855-246-7677. Subscription costs: U.S. and its possessions, one-year basic rate, $49.95. Periodicals Postage Paid at Austin, Texas, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER – send address changes to Horns Illustrated - P.O. Box 50069, Austin, TX 78763. Tel. (512) 626-8513. Publisher disclaims all responsibility to return unsolicited editorial matter, and all rights in portions published vest in publisher. Letters to Horns Illustrated magazine or its editors are assumed intended for publication in whole or in part without permission from the writer. Any similarity between persons or places mentioned in the fiction or semi-fiction and real places or persons living or dead is coincidental. Single copies: $4.95 in U.S.
Editor’s note: When this issue went to press the Longhorns had beaten Nebraska in the Regional Championships to advance to the NCAA Final Four in Seattle. Wash., Dec. 19 & 21.
D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 HORNS ILLUSTRATED
Many homeowners rack their brains trying to figure out what to do with a useless tree stump. For Austin homeowner and Longhorns enthusiast Gabriel Trinidad, hiring chainsaw artist Doug Moreland to carve out a unique sculpture was the answer. One may wonder how many hours of painstaking work this masterpiece required. One also should wonder what the neighbors think about living next to such a tribute to the Longhorns. We can only hope that the neighbors are also a part of the Burnt Orange Nation.
COUR TESY JOHN PATTERS ON
A Longhorn Lives Here