Ten Things from Monday's Presser

This week's Ten Things focuses on a few depth chart changes, a did-you-know about Brandon Weeden and players who had their best games against Oklahoma.

1) Why did Fozzy Whittaker start returning kicks? Because the Texas staff felt like they weren't getting enough bang for their buck there. Texas coach Mack Brown said Monday that the staff felt like the returners weren't getting enough yardage for the way the blocking was set up, and wanted to go with a player capable of breaking a tackle or two if need be.


2) We'll never know just how close the two teams were because the Longhorns never game themselves a chance. That was the under-riding theme from Monday's availability, that turnovers and poor execution served to skew the scoreline and failed to show just how close the two teams were.


3) Calvin Howell is now the starter at defensive tackle opposite Kheeston Randall. Howell had a nice game against the Sooners, getting off blocks and causing havoc. He picked up the Longhorns' only sack of the day.


4) The Sooners' long run from Dominique Whaley occurred because two linebackers — Emmanuel Acho and Jordan Hicks — took the wrong angles. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said that on film, he could understand why they did it, but said it was now corrected. Diaz said that if either player played his assignment correctly, "we would have been all right."


5) The first true freshman to start on this year's offensive line might not be wonderkind Sedrick Flowers. Flowers was the most highly regarded of the Longhorns' 2011 offensive linemen and with good reason: he has outstanding mobility, flexibility and nastiness. But offensive tackle Josh Cochran played well at times against Oklahoma, and is now listed as an -OR- on the depth chart.


6) Blaine Irby just feels like 'a guy' again. The senior tight end/H-back has earned mention all season for his comeback story, recovering from an injury that wasn't likely to see him walk normally again. He caught the first two passes of his renewed career last Saturday, and said he's happy that he can now put everything behind him. "Now I can just go be a football player," Irby said.


7) Despite the loss, Diaz said multiple players played the best games of the season, most notably Byndom and defensive end Alex Okafor. Okafor was active in his pass rush and tough to move off the ball in the run game, while Byndom made several plays while being "picked on" by the Sooner passing game.


8) The coaches cited Christian Scott as an inspiring player for his performance on Saturday. Scott was playing with an injured wrist and was still playing hard at the end of the end of the game, forcing a late fumble.


9) Interesting factoid: Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden is actually three months older than Green Bay Packer star Aaron Rodgers. Weeden's maturity and ability to hit receivers other that Justin Blackmon are qualities that make the Cowboys so difficult to defend in the passing game.


10) Diaz said that Landry Jones did an excellent job of throwing the ball away to get out of bad plays, and that might have been the difference Saturday. When Oklahoma had a bad play, they simply got out of it to fight another down. Meanwhile, the Longhorns' bad plays were pretty devastating. They'll need to avoid that this week, while trying to force Weeden into making mistakes.


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