Altitude Sickness - Last week's game in Laramie, Wyoming at 7200 feet about above sea level created many more issues than the Longhorns initially thought. In the week leading up to the Wyoming game, head coach Mack Brown said that he did not think the altitude would have an effect, pointing to prior to trips to Boulder. Well, after talking to the coaches and several players today, it was clear that the altitude played an unexpected role for the Longhorns.
Familiar Foes - This will be the 59th meeting of the two teams. Texas leads the series with a commanding 43-15 record that includes winning five of the last six. Obviously, last year's 39-33 loss in Lubbock is the black mark. Texas has also won the last five games in Austin. Mack Brown is 8-3 versus the Red Raiders with all three loses coming in Lubbock (98, 02, 08).
Revenge is not a motivator - It is hard to tell if it is the press face for the coaches and players, but universally all are ruling out revenge as a motivating factor for this week's game against the Red Raiders.
ESPN College Gameday - This game was moved up in the schedule to accommodate a television request so it was assumed that ESPN Gameday would be in town. This is the 12th time Gameday has covered a Longhorn football game and the third in this series, including last year's game in Lubbock. The ESPN crew were also at the TX/OU game in Dallas and in Austin for the Missouri game last season. Texas is 7-4 in those games.
Offensive Consistency - The Longhorns have posted 562 yards and 544 yards of total offense in the first two contests, but the coordinator Greg Davis is looking for more consistent output. Davis attributed some of that inconsistency to the team pressing as they know just how good they can be. Davis is proud of the fact that the ‘Horns are 11-11 in their red zone trips with three field goals and eight touchdowns.
Injury Updates - Four players missed the Wyoming game due to injury: RB Fozzy Whittaker (knee), OG Mason Walters (foot), OG Michael Huey (ankle) and MLB Jared Norton (shoulder). Whittaker remains a wait-and-see how he manages during the week of practice while Huey is back on the two-deep. Starting running back Vondrell McGee left the Wyoming game with an ankle sprain, but the coaches are expecting him to play this week. Norton and Walters are out for the Texas Tech game.
New starters - The turnover on the depth chart is not quite what it was after the ULM game, but several fresh faces are in starting roles this week. Tre Newton is now a co-starter this week with Vondrell McGee after another impressive showing. At right cornerback, Curtis Brown will start over Chykie Brown although both will play extensively against the Red Raider air assault.
Defensive Efficiency - Every defensive player that made the trip to Wyoming got to play in the ballgame, including true freshman Tevin Mims. Mims is the 10th freshman to play this season. True freshmen Marcus Davis and Calvin Howell both recorded their first sacks of their careers. Other defensive players that got more play than normal included former walk-on corner Clark Ford, linebacker Ryan Roberson, walk-on defensive tackle Tyrell Higgins, and defensive end Russell Carter.
James Brown will be enshrined in Hall of Honor - Four-year quarterback James Brown will be one of seven people inducted into the Hall of Honor. Brown, best known for "Roll Left" to win the first Big 12 championship over heavily-favored Nebraska, still ranks among UT¹s top five in nearly every passing and total offense category. He finished his career with 25 victories as a starter. He is now an assistant coach at Lamar University. The others include Steve Bryan (tennis), Scott Bryant (baseball), Neil Walker (swimming), and vintage selections Menan Schriewer (Football 1952-55), Dan Watson (Baseball 1947-49) and Jim Willerson (Swimming 1959-61).