Ten Things We Learned

This week's Ten Things focuses on several depth chart changes, UCLA's explosiveness and what the Rose Bowl means to the Longhorns.

1) Case McCoy and David Ash are listed as the co-starters at quarterback, with Garrett Gilbert falling behind to third. Still, offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin acknowledged that the situation was somewhat fluid, stating that there was a shot that Gilbert could earn his place back if things went poorly for the other two. Harsin said that Ash's package would continue to grow, and added that he felt comfortable with Ash assuming the starting job by himself if things turned out that way.

2) Multiple players said that Texas had to get leadership from the quarterback spot to be successful. And linebackers Emmanuel Acho and Keenan Robinson said that McCoy and Ash would be able to lead, despite limited playing time, because of the fact that the quarterback race was so close. Both linebackers said that all three players prepared as though they were going to be the starters, and so from a leadership standpoint, the team treated them as such.

3) Malcolm Brown is now listed as a co-starter at running back, with his name listed above Fozzy Whittaker's. Most of us felt that this was a move that was coming, and now it's just official. Whittaker has struggled out of the gate, averaging just 2.8 yards per carry on his 13 totes. Meanwhile, Brown has put up a stout 5.1 yards per carry as the team's closer. Ideally, Brown could start the running game off a bit quicker, and allow Whittaker to use his quickness against a tired defense.

4) Marquise Goodwin takes over the starting Z wide receiver spot, just one week after returning to the team after the World Championships in Seoul, South Korea. That didn't take long. But it's apparent that the Longhorns are looking for somebody who can stretch the field, and Goodwin offers just that, while allowing Jaxon Shipley to continue his strong play from the slot. Harsin also said that Goodwin brings leadership qualities to a young receiving group.

5) Speaking of Shipley, this past week marked the second consecutive week that he earned the team's Offensive MVP award. Not only did Shipley grab a couple of huge catches, but he also hit on arguably the game's most important pass, a 23-yarder to David Ash on a key third down late in the game. Brown said that last year, the older players at times resented the attention heaped on the younger players, but added that this year's group was different because they realized that the freshmen were needed for the team to win.

6) Harsin said the team would like to get D.J. Monroe about five touches per game, and through two contests, he's right there with 10 overall touches. Additionally, it's pretty easy to see that those touches have been well-spent. Monroe has eight carries for 81 yards, or 10.1 yards per carry. And he has two catches for 28 yards, or 14 yards per catch. On an offense that's still trying to find its way, having a player who's explosive enough to average double-digit yards per touch is hugely valuable. Harsin said the team didn't want Monroe to get too many more touches, or risk seeing him lose some of his effectiveness, but added that he could be earning a few more with his strong play.

7) Ashton Dorsey has emerged as the starter opposite Kheeston Randall at defensive tackle. Dorsey, whom Randall tapped as "a little big man", has earned rave reviews for his quickness, change of direction and ability to get into the backfield and cause havoc. He had a sack against BYU, and earned the team's Defensive MVP for the game. Dorsey's play, and that of true freshman Desmond Jackson, means that the Longhorns might be closing in on their four-tackle rotation that defensive coordinator Manny Diaz covets.

8) Quandre Diggs continues to improve. Never short on analogies, Diaz said that if Diggs was a stock, his chart would show a steady rise ever since he's arrived on campus. Diggs played a strong game against BYU, and capped that play with a late interception on a deep ball. If "Quandre the Giant" can continue his upward mobility, the Longhorns would have to feel awfully good about their young cornerback group.

9) UCLA will represent a challenge for the Texas defense. Diaz said that UCLA was the most explosive offense on the Longhorn schedule to date, a group with running backs and receivers capable of taking any play to the house. And that represents a different kind of challenge than what the Longhorns faced against a conservative Rice team and a consistent, but largely non-explosive BYU squad. Diaz wasn't comfortable saying that the Bruins' talent outweighed their production, simply repeating that the offense had all the tools to be explosive, and that on film, they didn't appear to be far from hitting on several of those explosive plays.

10) The Rose Bowl brings up mixed emotions. Texas is 2-2 in the building under Mack Brown, with a BCS win and a National Championship win. They also lost a national title there, and were defeated by double-digits in their only game there against UCLA of the four. Still, Texas coach Mack Brown said even that game had some positives. The Longhorns trailed 35-3 at halftime, but cut the lead down to 41-31 before the Bruins scored a late touchdown. When that second half effort was added to the two wins, Brown said the feeling about the building was largely positive. On the other side, safety Blake Gideon said he didn't know how he would react to going back to the same locker rooms the Longhorns used when they lost the national title to Alabama.

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