Texas Beats Hogs, Dreams of OU
By Joe O'Connell,
4:43PM, Mon. Sep. 29, 2008
Play time is almost over for the Longhorns, and they just maybe are ready. That's a big maybe. Make no mistake, the real season always begins with Bob Stoops swaggering on the Cotton Bowl sidelines, spitting in the turf and grinning. He's had Mack Brown's number, and he knows it. So here we are. Texas stomps former arch-rival Arkansas 52-10 and in the process discovers a potent defense and a world-class QB. On the sidelines Darrel Royal and Frank Broyles remember when this game counted.
Texas played better against Arkansas than it did against Arkansas State in 2007 (the same Arkansas State that beat Texas A&M this year). Let that sink in. But OU is No. 1. Let that sink in. The fakers keep falling. USC? Beach bums and yesterday's heroes. Georgia Bulldogs? A bunch of pampered puppies. Florida? Drunk on Gatorade and its own hype. (Thanks, former Longhorn Jevan Snead and crazy, crazy ex-Razorback coach Houston Nutt!) OU is No. 1 and Texas is No. 5 with two weeks to go until the showdown. Tick tick.
First, let's talk about the Arkansas game. It was the most perfect contest the Horns have played on both sides of the ball since early 2007. Maybe the best since Colt McCoy took the helm. This is a pod version of that former McCoy grown into a muscled madman. He throws, he passes, he slices, he dices, he purees. The McCoy who walloped Arkansas is a legitimate Heisman contender. So, Texas' sparkling tight end was on the sidelines driving a Rascal and chatting up comedian Bill Murray. They hardly missed him. Just keep Colt healthy. Bench him at halftime against Colorado this coming Saturday, Mack. Save Colt's steel for the real game.
I still long to see Henry Melton run the ball, but I'll take his slimmer self on defense, on this defense in particular. Were it not for John Chiles' silly toss-back turned fumble, Arkansas would have been held to one measly field goal. Sergio Kindle is a beast. Arkansas QB Casey Dick was sacked seven times for a loss of 58 yards. Brian Orakpo is a god. The Hogs had 11 yards rushing for the game. Will Muschamp just may be worth the coaching money. Yes, the true season has only begun, and the Horns have a pesky bunch from Colorado to get past first.
First comes Boulder, then comes OU. I'm beginning to like the odds.