Ten Things We Learned

From injury news to Kansas to last week's bye, here are 10 points from this week's media availabilities.

1) Texas coach Mack Brown said the time for excuses is over. Particularly when those excuses are about how young the Longhorns are. By now, Brown said the freshmen are veterans. And that also goes for the new coaching staff, which has been working together since the spring. Brown said this week that it was time to drop all those labels and just become a football team.

2) Iowa State. That's the rallying cry for this week, whenever someone thinks to overlook Kansas. Brown said that this game reminded him of last year's contest with the Cyclones, and there are similarities. Both came in after being blown out in their most recent contest. Both times the Longhorns were 4-2. And Brown wants to make sure that last year's result doesn't occur again this year.

3) Brown also said that the Kansas numbers were skewed, because the Jayhawks had played such good competition. Kansas has played four Big 12 games so far, with three of those coming against the top three teams in the league (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State) and the fourth coming against the only team to hand one of those three a loss (Texas Tech). So Brown cautioned that the Jayhawks would be better than advertised.

4) But that doesn't mean Texas spent much of the bye week on the Jayhawks. Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said that practice focused mostly on getting "us" better, including plenty of fundamental work.

5) Wondering what the QB situation is? The coaches claim that even they aren't sure. Texas offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin said both David Ash and Case McCoy would split repetitions this week, and that the competition would continue on a day-to-day basis. He said that Ash outplayed McCoy in last week's practice. Brown went on to say that he wished one of the two would separate, but said that was up to the individual players.

6) Last year, Adrian Phillips found his way onto the field as a true freshman when the injury bug hit the defensive backs. This year, his shoulder injury could open the way for true freshmen Josh Turner and Mykkele Thompson. Diaz said both players could play a hand in replacing Phillips.

7) Sedrick Flowers, who has battled through some nagging injuries so far this fall, now has a sore shoulder. Brown said that the staff wanted to get Flowers more time on the field, but said that every time it appears he'll be able to get enough repetitions, he suffers another injury. Both the coaches and his fellow players like his talent, though.

8) Diaz would like to see more out of the defensive ends. More specifically, he would like to see more out of the backup defensive ends. Diaz said that if players like Reggie Wilson emerged, they would be able to get more rest for Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat, and added that the sacks might go up if the team was able to rotate through fresh sets of legs.

9) Don't pay attention to the stats: Kheeston Randall and Keenan Robinson are having strong seasons. Diaz said that part of the reason Robinson didn't have many plays in the backfield was by design, while some of those plays were funneled to Emmanuel Acho. At the same time, both Diaz and Brown cited Randall's play as some of the best of his career, citing the extra attention he has drawn along the offensive line.

10) Harsin went back through the Longhorns not running the ball in the fourth quarter against Oklahoma State. Harsin said that part of the offense was centered on making one-on-one plays on the outside to keep the pressure off the running game, and added that the Longhorns just couldn't take advantage that Saturday. But that will be something to keep an eye on as the season continues.

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