Monday, July 22, 2024

Horns Illustrated column: Tale of No Quarterbacks

Quarterback is the most important position in all of team sports and the Texas Longhorns don’t have a good one.

That’s a tidy assessment of the first nine games of the 2011 season. Texas has started three quarterbacks, but after Garrett Gilbert, like a waiter with no memory, just didn’t work out,  it looks like David Ash has kinda won the job by being deemed “least ineffective.”

The Horns used to have a great running game, piling on over 400 yards on the ground in blowouts against Kansas (43-0) and Texas Tech (52-20). With Joe Bergeron emerging as a reason for broadcasters to bring up Earl Campbell (again), the Horns were so flush at running back, coaches had to use Post-It notes on the depth chart. With three studs at RB and a QB with legs and heart, it was time to install a new attack, the Wishbone Ash.

But when Fozzy Whittaker make a wicked cut his knee didn’t agree with on the first offensive series against Missouri, UT was a Jeremy Hills ankle sprain from playing a walk-on.

The Horns who gained only 76 yards rushing in a frustrating 17-5 loss against Missou, went from deep to depleted faster than a punctured inflatable pool. The O-line, so effective pulling and sealing against Tech, missed assignments badly against the Tigers. There’s a difference between blocking and being in the way.

Freshmen sensations Malcolm Brown (turf toe) and Bergeron (hamstring) were on the sidelines of the Missouri game with helmets on, wanting to come in, but Brown cautiously kept them out. They were listed “as needed.” With the Ashen, anemic offense unable to run or pass the ball, Brown and Bergeron were needed like sunscreen at a Major Applewhite family vacation at Cabo.

When discussing injured players, Daddy Mack likes to say it’s more important to one day play with your kids in the backyard then to play a college football game. Really?

Let’s cut ahead to the year 2023 and watch Malcolm Brown throwing the football around with his son. “Dad, can’t I go play with my new iPad now? It’s been an hour” Malcolm: “It’s been 10 minutes. This time in the backyard cost us the Missouti game, so you’re going to love every second. Now, drop down and give me 25.”


Besides losing to a Missouri team stocked with former Texas high school football players not good enough to be offered scholarships to UT, the weekend of Nov. 11-13 was a bummer because the Longhorn Network offered free streaming on “All Access Weekend” and my 2005 computer was lacking the tools. Missed out on all that women’s basketball and volleyball and “Legends” shows which give LHN a reason to air old Earl Campbell footage.

Some people love the Longhorn Network. The heads of the Southeast Conference, for instance. The owners of area sports bars that get Grande Cable & Auto Body Repair. But the programming, at this point, isn’t too exciting. How about these new shows to jazz it up?

* “Roommates Again,” a reality show that finds Bob Shipley and Brad McCoy, roommates at Abilene Christian in the early ‘80s, moving in together again. Hilarity ensues… never, but the show, featuring Shelby Shipley’s hot girl prayer circle, is heavy on inspirational messages and pancake recipes. You should see the stuff Brad puts into his.

* “Akina Matata,” a musical based on ace assistant Duane Akina, whose coaching has meant no worries about the Horns defensive backfield. Larry Gatlin plays Akina’s former boss Coach Will Muschamp and brings down the house with “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King.”

* “One and Done,” a quiz show that asks Longhorn basketball fans questions about players whose one-year tenure at the University of Texas was dictated by NBA rules. “Contestant number 2, you can’t answer every time with ‘Who was Tristan Thompson?’ Incidently, that’s what Rick Barnes keeps asking himself.”

* A Bobby Flay show. Any Bobby Flay show. FCC regulations dictate that the red-headed chef has a show- or at least a guest appearance- on every network. Let’s call this one “Boy Meets Bevo. Bevo Nervous.”

* “The Biggest De-Loser,” a fitness show hosted by former Kansas State track star DeLoss Dodds. His specialty these days is the $300 million dash.

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