Senior Chris Ogbonnaya got the start when the Horns kicked-off Saturday against the Miners but managed all of one yard on one carry (he added 35 yards on three receptions). Sophomore Vondrell McGee opened with Ones against Florida Atlantic but saw his production drop from 12 attempts against the Owls to six totes in El Paso. Texas' tailback-by-committee would feature the RB displaying the 'hot hands' on any given Saturday, coaches have said. In Whittaker's case, it had less to do with hot hands as it did a bum knee.
Whittaker missed the season-opener after injuring his left knee during Texas' final preseason scrimmage. He also missed a couple of days of practice after injuring his leg during his team's first scrimmage.
"We hadn't really hit him (in practice) since his knee injury," head coach Mack Brown acknowledged. "He's been in 'thud' drills, so we didn't really know how much he would play or how well he would play. It looked like his knee stood up well and he played well."
Whittaker's first collegiate carry saw him rush for 13 yards on a sweep around the right end. He followed with back-to-back eight yard runs off right tackle. He would test the left side of Texas' line late in the third quarter, stepping off 22 yards on three attempts. At the very least, it may have dispelled the notion that Whittaker excels primarily in a lateral attack.
"It's been assumed or implied that he can't run between the tackles," Davis said, "and that is not, in any way, the case. He has really good hip strength and leg strength."
Can you live with Whiitaker's six ypc? Davis probably can, particularly since he voiced displeasure Monday with Texas' running game. Texas ran for 122 yards Saturday against a defense that won't be confused for Oklahoma's. In fact, Whittaker's 15-yard dash against UTEP represents the longest run by a Texas RB through the first two contests.
"I'm not pleased with where we're at in running the ball," Davis said. "Historically, other than in 1998, we have started slow in the running game. We ended up being pretty proficient at it."
Davis noted that former RB Jamaal Charles hit his stride late last October and went on to claim the Big 12 rushing title. But why the slow starts?
"It's because we have to be careful in (August) camp with the number of 'live snaps' you get," Davis said. "Foz was nicked during our last scrimmage. We had two guys nicked, and I didn't want to go into the season with just one (RB). You can get your timing down with your throwing game -- even in shorts. It's tougher with the running game."
OTHER DEPTH CHART NOTES
DT Lamarr Houston is listed as a co-starter with Aaron Lewis listed for Saturday's match-up against Arkansas. Lewis opened with the Ones at UTEP following Houston's one-game suspension for DWI. Both have 11 starts under their belts, and both will play Saturday. Who gets the starting nod?
"It depends on who practices well," defensive coordinator Will Muschamp said. "Aaron did some good things Saturday. He's a good match-up for us inside on pass-rush as far as getting on some of the guards in our league. He always plays hard. He plays with a motor. He's a guy that younger players look to when times are hard, and that's going to happen every game. Lamarr has a lot of spring inside, and we're looking forward to playing both of them."
Official Texas Depth Chart
|Flanker (Z)||8||Jordan Shipley|||||11||James Kirkendoll|
|Tight End (Y)||19||Blaine Irby|||||83||Greg Smith|||||86||Peter Ullman|
|Right Tackle||64||Kyle Hix|||||72||Britt Mitchell|||||76||Aundre McGaskey|
|Right Guard||55||Cedric Dockery|||||63||Michael Huey||OR||75||Steve Moore|
|Center||71||Chris Hall|||||65||Buck Burnette|||||75||Steve Moore|
|Left Guard||52||Charlie Tanner||OR||63||Michael Huey|||||78||David Snow|
|Left Tackle||74||Adam Ulatoski|||||56||Tray Allen|
|Split End (X)||6||Quan Cosby|||||4||Dan Buckner|||||85||D.J. Grant|
|Fullback||31||Cody Johnson|||||24||Antwan Cobb||OR||49||Luke Tiemann|
|Note: 99 Roy Miller will also play fullback in short yardage and goal-line situations.|
|Quarterback||12||Colt McCoy|||||7||John Chiles|||||17||Sherrod Harris|
|Sub B||9||Malcolm Williams|||||5||Brandon Collins|
|(replaces TE or FB in three-receiver set)|
|Place-Kicker||15||Hunter Lawrence|||||39||Ryan Bailey|||||9||Justin Tucker|
|DE (Quick)||98||Brian Orakpo|||||81||Sam Acho|||||97||Russell Carter|
|Nose Tackle||99||Roy Miller|||||92||Ben Alexander||OR||94||Michael Wilcoxon|
|Tackle||95||Aaron Lewis||OR||33||Lamarr Houston|||||91||Kheeston Randall|
|DE (Power)||37||Henry Melton|||||32||Eddie Jones|
|Strongside LB||2||Sergio Kindle|||||1||Keenan Robinson|
|Middle LB||44||Rashad Bobino||OR||11||Jared Norton|||||42||Dustin Earnest|
|Weakside LB||38||Roddrick Muckelroy|||||18||Emmanuel Acho|||||42||Dustin Earnest|
|Right CB||13||Ryan Palmer|||||3||Curtis Brown|||||4||Aaron Williams|
|Right Safety||12||Earl Thomas|||||6||Christian Scott|
|Left Safety||21||Blake Gideon|||||27||Nolan Brewster||OR||5||Ben Wells|
|Left CB||8||Chykie Brown||OR||7||Deon Beasley|||||4||Aaron Williams|
|Punter||47||John Gold|||||17||Trevor Gerland|||||9||Justin Tucker|
|Kickoffs||9||Justin Tucker|||||15||Hunter Lawrence|
|Punt Returns||6||Quan Cosby|||||8||Jordan Shipley||OR||3||Curtis Brown|
|Holder||8||Jordan Shipley|||||17||Sherrod Harris|||||21||Blake Gideon|
|Deep Snapper (PAT/FG)||83||Greg Smith|||||72||Britt Mitchell|
|Deep Snapper (Punts)||58||William Harvey|||||48||Alex Zumberge|