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March 20, 2006

Texas Longhorns in the Spring

The Georgia Sports Blog continues its Spring Practice look around the country by venturing beyond the SEC to look at other top tier programs. Today, we spend some time with Peter Bean of BurntOrangeNation talking about the Longhorns.

NOTE: I interviewed Peter the last week of Feb. I thought their Spring started on April 1 so I held the article til we got closer. Doh! Their Spring Ball already started. So one of the questions is out of date. For up to date additions and their coverage of Spring ball click here

- Has the giddy glow of the National title worn off? When does the buzz end?
PB - It hasn’t worn off yet, and probably won’t until the next time the football team loses a game. I’m curious to see how fans react then. Will we devolve back in to “I could do better than Mack Brown” sniping, or will people be reasonable? (Something tells me it won’t be the latter.) For now, though, we’re happy, strutting Texans. Which is fun. Don’t pinch me yet.

The Ohio State rematch in Austin looms large

- What is the key to repeating as Champs for the Longhorns?
PB - Everyone’s going to be talking about Life After Vince, but the real key is the defense. The Horns can repeat as champs, but not like they did last year, when they had one of the most ridiculously dangerous offenses of all time, thanks to Young. Next year will be a little different. If the Horns repeat, it’ll be more in the mold of the Ohio State Buckeyes. A great defense, a strong running game, and some good play/fortune in close games.

Speaking of which, the game in Austin versus Ohio State will be the big one for Texas. There are some other danger games on the schedule, but that’s the second game of the year. If Texas survives that one, they could run the table.

I used this pic in my pre-season football guide. Not sure if I ever ate any crow over it, but I should have.

- What are your expectations for Spring Ball for Texas?
PB - For Spring Ball, the real story is Jevan Snead versus Colt McCoy for quarterback. It’ll be the most over-talked about, over-analyzed quarterback battle in a long time. Neither kid has ever taken a single snap of collegiate football, so who emerges the winner will be interesting. There will be some other stories in Spring Ball, but this is the Big One.

Hook 'em indeed

- What are you most nervous about heading into Spring?
PB - The big fear on my end is that Mack Brown will waffle between who he wants behind center. Time sharing rarely works out for the best, unless you’ve got two different style quarterbacks that compliment each other particularly well. That doesn’t look like the case here, and I want Mack to make a choice and stick with it until we lose. You may remember the Texas-Ohio State game from last year. The Buckeyes played both Justin Zwick and Troy Smith, and it hurt them. Texas can’t make the same mistake.

A heckuva good guy.

- Coach Rucker (RB Coach) came to Texas from UGA. From my perspective, he's a helluva a good guy. What has he meant to the Texas staff and team last year? Any impact?
PB - By all accounts, Ken Rucker is a great guy and a very good coach. I give him a lot of credit for quickly identifying freshman Jamaal Charles as the best tailback on the team and working him in to the rotation quickly. We think Charles is the best UT tailback we’ve had in the Mack Brown era, and that’s saying something (Ricky Williams, Cedric Benson). Rucker has a reputation as a hard worker and an excellent coach, and everyone vouches for him. Mack Brown doesn’t do everything well, but there’s no arguing that he doesn’t surround himself with talent.

Huge thanks to BurntOrangeNation for the info. Sorry for the delay.



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