While Brown remained reserved in his comments regarding Shipley’s week of practice, Ramonce Taylor had more to say on Shipley’s progress.
"He looks real good in practice catching the ball," said Taylor. "It looks like his treatments have been going really well."
The state record-holder for receptions, total receiving yards and TD grabs injured his hamstring during a non-contact passing drill on August 11. He suited up for the home opener against UL-Lafayette but is still looking for his first collegiate start. Shipley, of course, tore his right ACL in August, 2004, and was lost for the season.
Coaches have said that sophomore Ramonce Taylor has been the most consistent receiver since Shipley's injury. This week, RT is taking a business-like approach to Texas' biggest game in recent memory.
"We pretty much have been the same thing since the beginning of two-a-days," Taylor said. "Nothing has really changed, and it's just another game we have to play and have fun. It’s real significant but it's just another game we have to go out and play."
Added RT: "It's the second game of the year, it's not make or break. Nothing has really changed this week. I feel like its another week like Oklahoma week with all the hype and the fan excitement about the game."
Even so, some of the hype has started to seep into RT's subconscious.
"I’ll probably dream about it Friday night," said Taylor. "I am looking real forward to playing in front of 100,000-plus."
While not going into specifics, RT commented that he was encouraged by a game plan that emphasizes what the current players do best.
"I love the game plan," said Taylor. "It fits our mentality real well, and seems to have everything the guys want."
Texas coaches can see the added energy that Saturday’s game brings to practice each day.
"They are excited and ready to go," said Brown. "This is a fun week for them to practice and for us to coach, and they have been working really hard."
Brown understandably passed up an opportunity this week to make a prediction about the final outcome of Saturday's tilt, but he did offer his opinion about how he thinks the verdict will be determined.
"The difference in the game will be in the trenches," said Brown. "If you go back and study the history of Ohio State and Texas, they have both been able to run the ball and be physical. It is something we believe in here and Jim [Tressel] believes in at Ohio State. So it probably comes down to who will be the toughest for the longest and the most physical in the trenches. It will be two of the best defensive lines in the country and two of the best offensive lines in the country, so its going to be fun to watch.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (Central) in an ABC national telecast.