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September 16, 2011
Ultimate preview - UT vs. UCLA
At some schools, a 2-0 start is worthy of celebration. At Texas, when that start is accompanied by a sluggish offense, it means a quarterback change.
Junior Garrett Gilbert saw his run as starter end after victories over Rice and BYU that came mostly in spite of the offense rather than because of it. Instead, coach Mack Brown will go with some combination of sophomore Case McCoy and freshman David Ash under center.
"We thought Case did a good job on the final drive for sure to lead to points. We thought David still brings that different dimension," Brown said. "I thought Garrett did a great job, and what Garrett will do is compete again like he has throughout this competition to go back and try to get his job back. And while he's doing that, I'm sure he'll be pulling for the other guys. That's the type of young man he is."
There's also a change in the depth chart at running back, where Malcolm Brown is now listed alongside Fozzy Whittaker, and at wideout, where Marquise Goodwin is back among the starting 11. It's all an attempt to reboot an offense that, for much of the BYU game, was painful to watch.
"We're just trying to put enough plays together right now on offense to get an identity because we've still got to find out who we are," Brown said. "For whatever reason, we just seemed confused the other night. We weren't in sync. We didn't have confidence, and then all of a sudden we come out of halftime, and they look like they're on the same page and they're moving forward. So all those things are what we're got to figure out."
The big name among all of the new starters is McCoy, whose brother Colt is a Longhorn legend and current NFL quarterback. He'll be the focus of attention when he's on the field against UCLA, and Brown sees some similarities between the siblings.
"The things that are similar, if you put the same number on them and you throw out names and just put them out there-he's got the quick release. He's very accurate. He's got an easy ball to catch. He's got quick feet. I thought when he scrambled on the fourth-down play to D.J. Grant, 'we've seen that before,'" Brown said. "So I do think there are a lot of similarities."
The Longhorns are hoping not to see any similarities to the last game with the Bruins. That came a year ago, when UCLA came to Austin and dominated in a 34-12 upset.
"We all remember last year and what they were able to do to us," safety Blake Gideon said. "To put it lightly, that was embarrassing, especially in the second half, what they were able to do to us. You know, it's one thing if a team can throw against you if they have a quarterback and a set of receivers that are just lights out. But to run the ball on you, especially between the tackles, that's a test of manhood. That's a test of how much work and how many hours you put in the weight room-physicality."
• The key to Texas' 2-0 start is its dominance in the fourth quarter. Through two games, the Longhorns have outscored their opponents 21-0, have 14 first downs and surrendered one, and allowed just 50 yards of total offense.
-- Sports Xchange
THREE BRUINS TO WATCH
1. Shut down the run early - Texas did a great job of keeping BYU's ground game in check, but the task will be tougher this week against the same group of UCLA backs that ran all over UT last year. Texas cannot afford to let UCLA establish early momentum on the ground and gain confidence. If the Longhorns can take Coleman and Franklin out of the game early, the UCLA QBs could really struggle.
2. Withstand the pressure - Both Case McCoy and David Ash will be under intense scrutiny this week, and the young QBs will face a real test to play at a high level on the road. Neither QB has faced this kind of pressure in his young college career. Texas needs them to hold up and make smart choices.