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    Horn-Clone Preview

    Texas-Iowa St. Preview



    Texas-Iowa St. Preview - Wire Services - College Football - MSNBC.com

    By KATE HEDLIN
    Associated Press Sports
    Updated: 7:17 p.m. ET Oct. 9, 2007


    Off to its worst start in conference play in more than 50 years, Texas is going to need quarterback Colt McCoy to regain his form from last year if it has any shot of salvaging this season.
    McCoy and the No. 23 Longhorns look to snap their four-game Big 12 losing streak when they visit Iowa State on Saturday.
    Less than two years removed from winning a national title, Texas (4-2) is winless in conference play after two games for the first time since 1956, when the Longhorns went 1-9 (0-6 in conference) under Ed Price.


    Texas' struggles, which go back to last season when it lost its final two conference games, have the Longhorns in an early hole in the Big 12 standings.
    McCoy has 10 interceptions and 10 touchdowns this year, after tying an NCAA freshman record with 29 touchdowns and just seven interceptions last season. He turned in a solid game in last week's 28-21 loss to then-No. 10 Oklahoma, throwing for 324 yards and two touchdowns, although he had a key fourth-quarter interception.
    "The problems Colt has had this season haven't been Colt's problems," coach Mack Brown said. "It has been what we have done around him."
    McCoy had his throwing arm bandaged, and may have been showing signs of still suffering from a concussion he sustained the previous week in a 41-21 loss to Kansas State.
    The quarterback will be without one of his favorite targets because receiver Limas Sweed will undergo wrist surgery to repair ligament damage that is expected to end his college career. Sweed, whose 20 touchdown catches rank second in school history, injured his wrist before the season started, but left last week's game after two catches.
    "I knew it was an injury I would be dealing with going into the season and I did everything I could to play through the pain and help the team," Sweed said.
    Sweed tied a school record last season with 12 touchdown receptions. He started 39 consecutive games and had 19 catches with three TDs in six games this year.
    "His effort has been tremendous and we all respect him for that," McCoy said. "I feel like he's done everything he can for this team so far this year."
    In order to pick up the slack with Sweed out, the Longhorns could use another big effort from Jermichael Finley, who set a school record for tight ends with 149 yards and a touchdown on four catches last weekend.
    Texas, which was ranked No. 4 in the preseason, fell four spots after the loss to Oklahoma and barely stayed in the poll. The Longhorns have been ranked for 115 straight weeks, the longest streak in the country.
    McCoy and the Longhorns will be going up against a familiar face on the Iowa State sideline Saturday. First-year Cyclones coach Gene Chizik was Texas' defensive coordinator from 2005-06.
    Chizik and Iowa State (1-5, 0-2) have lost three straight, including a 42-17 loss to Texas Tech last Saturday. The Cyclones trailed 28-3 at the half, finished with just 287 yards and allowed the Red Raiders to pass for 460 yards.
    "We were never in it, and I thought we were a bad football team in every way, shape and form," said Chizik, whose team faces No. 6 Oklahoma next week and No. 11 Missouri the following week. "I don't think we made any progress."
    Iowa State had only two first downs by halftime and scored both of its touchdowns in the final five minutes. Quarterback Bret Meyer ran for a 5-yard score and was 15-of-26 for 187 yards and a touchdown to Todd Blythe.
    "I'm real frustrated by the last game, because it felt like, as an offense, we did kind of take a step back," Blythe said.
    Texas has won all six meetings with Iowa State, including a 37-14 win last season in Austin. McCoy completed 18-of-23 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns.


    Let my Fred's Posse Ride: Georges, Naz, Hogue, Bryce, Nader, Monte, Matt, and McKay.

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    Re: Horn-Clone Preview

    MySA.com: KENS 5: Sports

    Longhorns Insider: Brown leery of Iowa State coach's familiarity with UT


    Web Posted: 10/09/2007 11:58 AM CDT


    Natalie England
    San Antonio Express-News


    AUSTIN – Texas coach Mack Brown would prefer this week’s game against Iowa Sate didn’t turn into a chess match, but the contest certainly has the makeup to go there.
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    Brown and his Longhorns will be taking on the Cyclones and first-year head coach Gene Chizik, a former UT defensive coordinator who was with the team during its national championship run.
    Brown said he has coached against his brother, Watson, at least three times, and in each game, Brown said he almost tried to out-think his brother because he was already so familiar with tactics and tendencies.
    “I would rather not coach against people who I know really, really well, or who have been on our staff or have been in our family,” Brown said. “It just adds extra stuff to it, and you rather it was just about the football game.”
    This week, at least, the football game has enough baggage already attached to it. Iowa State is currently winless in Big 12 play, and the Cyclones have never defeated UT in six meetings.
    The Longhorns are also 0-2 in conference play, and are trying to end a four-game conference losing streak that dates to last season. It is the longest down trend for UT since losing four in a row in the 1997 season.
    Add to all of that the extra flavor of familiarity on both coaching staffs. Chizik often sat in on UT offensive meetings with coordinator Greg Davis, and UT defensive coordinator Duane Akina counts Chizik among his closest friends.
    Brown said the Longhorns would likely change snap counts, line checks and hand signals – things that might be recognizable to Chizik.
    Earlier this season, Chizik and Brown spoke or exchanged text messages frequently, with Chizik often seeking advice and counsel from his former mentor.
    “We will not talk this week,” Brown said.
    During Chizik’s reign, the Longhorns won a national championship in 2005, and that defense allowed just 16.4 points a game, and surrendered about 4 yards per play.
    Chizik now oversees all areas for Iowa State, but his defensive mind is apparent in the Cyclones’ offense. He has added a zone-read/option attack with quarterback Bret Meyer.
    “That’s certainly a little harder to defend because you always have to account for the quarterback,” Akina said.

    MONDAY MORSELS
    Leftover nuggets from the Longhorns’ weekly session with the media:

    Security problems: UT coaches didn’t say that running back Jamaal Charles’ starting job was in jeopardy after his recent fumbling problems, but Brown did acknowledge that it’s a pattern that must stop.
    “We cannot drop the ball regardless of what happens,” Brown said. “We cannot lose the football.”
    Charles had a key fumble on UT’s first drive of the second half in the loss to Oklahoma. It appeared that Charles was about to break into the end zone, but was stripped from behind by linebacker Curtis Lofton and fumbled at the 4-yard-line.
    It was his fourth fumble in the past four games, and Charles’ second this season inside the opponent’s 5-yard line.
    “Luck doesn’t have anything to do with it,” Brown said. “I’ve been in so many discussion when a running back says, ‘I’m tucking it away good.’ Well, not if they’re getting it.”
    Charles also had a pass from Colt McCoy slip through his hands, and it was intercepted by Reggie Smith.
    Still, Charles is listed first on the team’s depth chart, and coaches also indicated that establishing a more consistent running game was a point of concern. UT had just 61 yards on the ground against OU.
    ”We have to find a way to get Jamaal open in space,” Davis said.
    Mind games: Even Brown is wide-eyed at the stunning developments this season in college football. Starting with Appalachian State beating Michigan on opening weekend and then Stanford besting Southern California on Saturday, this season has been stock full of upsets every week.
    “This is the craziest year I have ever seen in my 33 years,” Brown said. “There is absolutely no doubt that you can win or lose every game you have left based on the way things are going.”


    Let my Fred's Posse Ride: Georges, Naz, Hogue, Bryce, Nader, Monte, Matt, and McKay.

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    Re: Horn-Clone Preview

    www.kansascity.com | 10/10/2007 | Cyclones hope to blow past visiting Longhorns

    Cyclones hope to blow past visiting Longhorns

    By Sports Network

    The Sports Network


    The struggling Texas Longhorns barely remained in the Top-25 this week, and they will attempt to get back on track in this weekend's Big 12 clash with the Iowa State Cyclones.
    Texas began the season with four consecutive victories, but closer-than- expected wins over Arkansas State and UCF suggested that this team isn't as strong as in years past. The doubts have been confirmed by back-to-back losses to Kansas State and Oklahoma the last two weeks. The 28-21 setback to the Sooners in the annual rivalry game has Texas 0-2 in Big 12 play, an unfamiliar spot.
    Iowa State is also 0-2 in the league after being outclassed by Nebraska and most recently Texas Tech (42-17) the last two weeks. The Cyclones' only victory came over rival Iowa, and the fact that they have to play Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri in succession is brutal.
    Texas has never lost in six previous outings against Iowa State.
    The Texas offense has been dealt a critical blow, as star wideout Limas Sweed is out for the rest of the season with a wrist injury. Although limited this season, Sweed scored three touchdowns and has the ability to make big plays. The team's top two receivers currently, Nate Jones and Quan Crosby, are both averaging fewer than 10 yards per catch. Quarterback Colt McCoy entered this season as a hyped Heisman candidate, but he has not performed as expected. While he has completed 64.6 percent of his passes for 1,578 yards, his total of 10 touchdown passes is low while his 10 interceptions have clearly hurt the 'Horns. The ground attack is spearheaded by Jamaal Charles, as he has rushed for 622 yards and seven touchdowns. Texas is averaging 31.7 ppg and 419.7 ypg of total offense. McCoy threw a pair of touchdown passes last weekend against Oklahoma, but he was sacked four times and intercepted once. Jermichael Finley showed big-play ability on the outside, catching four passes for 149 yards and a touchdown. As for Charles, he totaled 79 rushing yards on 17 carries.
    Defensively, Texas is allowing 321.3 total ypg to opponents, who are scoring 23.5 ppg. Stopping the run has clearly been an area of strength for the Longhorns, who are yielding just 2.9 yards per carry to the opposition. The pass defense hasn't been quite as impressive, but strong nonetheless. Marcus Griffin has posted 49 total tackles, while Lamarr Houston has seven TFLs. While those players have been solid, the defense lacks a true star. Texas failed to generate a single takeaway against Oklahoma last weekend, and only one sack was mustered by the Longhorns. They surrendered 414 total yards and simply did not get the job done.
    Iowa State is scoring only 18.5 ppg this season, proof of the struggles of the team's offense. The Cyclones are averaging a mere 3.1 yards per rushing attempt and 10.0 yards per pass completion, as big plays have been few and far between. With 17 total turnovers, it isn't hard to figure out why this team has only won a single game. Bret Meyer has taken almost every snap for the Cyclones with mixed results. His 62 percent completion rating and 1,279 passing yards can be viewed as a positive, while his five touchdowns against eight interceptions are not so impressive. Todd Blythe leads the receivers with 32 catches for 419 yards and three touchdowns, while J.J. Bass has rushed for 432 yards and four scores. Against Texas Tech last weekend, the ISU offense totaled just 287 yards. Jason Scales carried the ball 22 times for the Cyclones, totaling 82 yards. Meyer avoided interceptions and did toss a touchdown pass, but the effort wasn't enough.
    The Cyclones are surrendering 28.8 ppg and 346.3 total ypg, numbers that aren't great by any means. Iowa State has yielded 19 total touchdowns to opposing offenses, including 11 passing scores. They are surrendering just 3.6 yards per rushing attempt and 10.4 yards per pass completion, solid figures by most standards. Taking a look at the individual performers for the defense, Alvin Bower certainly stands out as a difference-maker. Through six games, he has made 54 tackles, 17 more than his closest teammate. Of those 54 stops, 6.5 have result in losses, and he has also posted an interception while forcing a pair of fumbles. The good news from last weekend's game against Texas Tech is that Iowa State only allowed 29 rushing yards. Unfortunately, the Cyclones permitted 460 passing yards on 40-of-49 efficiency and were no match for the high-powered Red Raiders.


    Let my Fred's Posse Ride: Georges, Naz, Hogue, Bryce, Nader, Monte, Matt, and McKay.

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    Re: Horn-Clone Preview

    UT isn't getting warm feeling from giving | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | SportsDay: Top Stories


    UT isn't getting warm feeling from giving


    Texas losing turnover battle after two games without forcing one


    11:49 PM CDT on Tuesday, October 9, 2007


    By CHUCK CARLTON / The Dallas Morning News
    ccarlton@dallasnews.com


    AUSTIN – A number that began as a curiosity has morphed into a legitimate concern.
    For two consecutive weeks, the Texas defense has failed to force a turnover. For two consecutive weeks, the Longhorns have lost, leading to a 0-2 Big 12 record.
    Cause? Effect? Mack Brown doesn't want a debate. He just wants it fixed, beginning with Saturday's game at Iowa State.
    Entering this season, Texas teams under Brown had feasted on the takeaway-giveaway, with a plus-63 advantage since 1998. This year, the Longhorns are minus-4.
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    "We've got to improve the turnover ratio," Brown said.
    The easiest way is to start with defense.
    The Longhorns aren't bad, not even close. They rank 29th nationally in total defense and 24th against the rush. While Oklahoma's DeMarco Murray burned them with a 65-yard touchdown run, on the remaining 40 rushing attempts, they allowed 105 yards.
    The defense is making plays. It's not making big plays.
    "That's our problem," Brown said. "We're playing good defense, we're in the right places, we're trying, we're being sound, we're hitting people, but we're still giving up the big plays and we're not forcing turnovers.
    "A defense that isn't forcing turnovers is not winning games."
    Luck plays a part, the Longhorns acknowledged.
    Players pointed to Ryan Palmer putting his helmet smack on the football and forcing a Murray fumble Saturday. The ball sailed out of bounds before anybody could touch it.
    "At the same time, we have to make more opportunities," defensive tackle Derek Lokey said. "If we aren't going to get on every ball that hits the ground, then we have to make more balls hit the ground."
    Few did it better than former Longhorn Derrick Johnson. The Butkus Award winner as the nation's top linebacker forced 11 fumbles in his college career, third on the Texas list. He was athletic enough to stop a runner with one arm and reach for the ball with the other.
    Texas has no Johnson clone. He was a once-in-a-generation player. And a player trying to emulate Johnson runs the risk of coming up empty-handed, without a turnover and with the ball carrier having broken the tackle.
    "Nobody taught Derrick Johnson," co-defensive coordinator Duane Akina said.
    What Akina wants is a good first stop with other defenders swarming to the ball. He thinks playing more zone coverage might help, since defensive backs will be able to see the ball better.
    Texas spent Tuesday's practice running to the ball and trying to strip it.
    "It's coming," Palmer said. "You always want do your job first. If there's an elite window of opportunity, you have to go in there and get it."

    TAKE THAT! Texas is 4-6 in the Mack Brown era when the defense has failed to force a turnover. Date Result Nov. 27, 1998 UT 26, Texas A&M 24 Oct. 2, 1999 Kansas St. 35, UT 17 Sept. 16, 2000 Stanford 27, UT 24 Oct. 6, 2001 Oklahoma 14, UT 3 Oct. 18, 2003 UT 40, Iowa State 19 Nov. 15, 2003 UT 43, Texas Tech 40 Jan. 1, 2005 UT 38, Michigan 37 Sept. 9, 2006 Ohio State 24, UT 7 Sept. 29, 2007 Kansas St. 41, UT 21 Oct. 6, 2007 Oklahoma 28, UT 21


    Let my Fred's Posse Ride: Georges, Naz, Hogue, Bryce, Nader, Monte, Matt, and McKay.

  5. #5
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    Re: Horn-Clone Preview

    Not a lot of smack talk around Austin this week. It's GREAT to see the brown shirts deflated a bit. I hope we can make it 5 tu conference losses in a row!

    Let's Go State!!


    Go Clones!!
    Gig 'em Aggies!!
    Saw 'em off!!

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