My mysterious voice-mail message from Bob Stoops*: Joe! How’s my favorite cranky scribbler? Coach Stoops here, bubba. Yeah, I read that piece you wrote pretending to be my brother. A laugh riot, compadre.
Something about how my boys like to tackle with their helmets. Is the Pope a Hitler Youth? Does the bear eat mashed potatoes in the woods? Heck, yes!
Did you send a copy of that column to Mack Brown? I hope so, Joe. He needs to be warned that my boys are feeling a bit randy this year. We haven’t beaten Texas two years in a row since back in 2004. Of course 2004 was the fifth year in a row for us to win the Red River Rivalry. We like to win, and we do it a lot. Mack’s kids were actually ranked No. 21 going into the game last year. Right before the big slide into … what? Infamy? A bowl of cream cheese? That’d be the only bowl they saw in 2010. Did you notice we’re ranked No. 1? Now. Today. The pressure, Joe. It’s enough to make a coach smile.
We’re loaded up this year, and that’s not just McFiction. Get it? Jamarkus McFiction. I’m not making up that he’s a hoss of a tackle. We’ve got some speed on the D, too. You know all about Tom Wort and Javon Harris, the duo who made a helmet sandwich out of that Florida State player and got a naughty penalty while saving the win for us. Here’s the thing, Joe: I like boys that hustle. My boys do, and they’re fast. Sure, they aren’t all as big as McFiction (you can’t make this stuff up!), and some of you egghead sports writers peg our defense as weak. But my players sure do know how to hit! Tell Mack that, Joe. Would you?
Look, I’m a fan of Mack’s new offensive wonderboy Bryan Harsin. This guy’s a nut on offense! And as much as I’m a D-man, I love a gambler. Harsin is downright crazy! Think he’ll have the center throw a long pass against us? I wouldn’t put it past him. Answer me this: Who’s younger, Harsin or his offense. I like it, Joe. Those two quarterbacks Colt McCoy Jr. and David “Rash” Ash are top-notch. Jordan Shipley Jr. ain’t bad either. And the Horns are actually moving the ball some! Is Fozzy “Bear” Whittaker still smashing them? I like him, Joe. And Malcolm Brown is a stud. I’ll start to worry about him sometime in 2012. That’s when my Sooners will be trying to live up to this year’s national championship. I’ve had a few of those, Joe. I like them. I know how they taste. Like a cold beer at the Texas State Fair after a big win over your arch rival. It’s a keeper.
My QB Landry Jones can do no wrong from the pocket. He’s pass-happy and accurate. I don’t want to talk about what he does when the defenders force him out into the open. Don’t tell Manny Diaz I said that. I wouldn’t want to give him any ideas. Forget I said a word.
But I also saw that Iowa State game, and I noticed a couple of things. One, the Texas offense is still starting awfully slowly for boys who can barely shave. My hats off to the UT D for their pick-offs, but that first-half scorefest was more about Iowa State stumbling around like a bunch of drunks. And how many points did the Longhorns score in the second half? Three?
The other is the Longhorns are giving up some big return yards on punts. Have you seen my gazelle Ryan Broyles? If Mack wants to give us the ball at midfield each time, I won’t complain! Just don’t go trying to block the ball when we’re kicking. Pretty please?
I like the Texas D, particularly that big old 305-pound monster Kheeston Randall. But there’s something weak in the Horn midsection, Joe. My boy Dominique Whaley is gonna be hustling the pigskin right up the middle. Think the Burnt Orange D can hang with him? If not, I can always have Landy hoist a few to Broyles or Kenny Stills. Not bad options if you’ve got them. We’ve got a lot of options. I’m feeling as pink as a baby chipmunk, if you know what I mean by that.
Where’s Garrett Gilbert when you need him? Seriously. Where is he? I heard he’s been wandering aimlessly around Dallas looking for another school to take him. SMU? TCU? Before you know it all of those schools will be in the Big 12 anyway. Though I’m not sure how long my Sooners will. Heck, I like Gilbert. He was predictable. Predictable keeps me away from the Pepto-Bismol. Didn’t Mack used to be all about loyalty? Now I guess he wants to win. Nothing wrong with that, except that he ain’t gonna do it this week. Not if I can help it, Joe. And I can. Just watch.
[*Editor’s note: Joe likes to lie. A lot. He has never spoken to Bob Stoops and there is talk of a restraining order.]
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