Texas Players Discuss Offense

Whenever anyone wants to talk about an offense, the first player they point to is the quarterback.

In the Longhorns' situation, there are two players to discuss. Which, in the old coaching adage, means that there are none. But that's not the way the Texas players are looking at it.

"Both quarterbacks have their own unique characteristics, and I think the team trusts both of them whenever they're playing," said Longhorn tight end Blaine Irby. "They both have their highs and lows. Whoever trots out there with the first team, that's our guy.

"Both the quarterbacks are great quarterbacks," Irby said. "I think it's just one of those deals where we know what they can do. They just really need to calm down and play their game."

The quarterbacks' calming process should be helped along by the Longhorn running game. With Malcolm Brown starting to become a high-carry back and Fozzy Whittaker hitting on all cylinders, Texas is getting to the point where the Longhorns believe they can run the ball with eight or nine in the box.

"I feel like I'm ready," Brown said. "If that's what Coach (Mack) Brown has set up for me, I'm going to go out and try my best and do whatever I can.

"All of our backs can carry 25 times," Brown said. "If that's what Coach Brown has planned for me, I'll roll with it."

Brown's confidence level is helped by the shedding of nearly 15 pounds from his playing days. Brown played his senior year at about 220 to 225 pounds, and said he is now down in the 210-pound range and feels faster as a result.

I was a little chubster in high school," Brown said. "Bennie's (Wylie) got me right. Jesse's (Ackerman) got me right. So I'm slimming down in the midsection a little bit. It feels really good. I feel comfortable at that weight."

At the same time, the receivers are looking for another player to emerge opposite Mike Davis, while Jaxon Shipley has held up well in the slot.

"At any time, it could be any receiver," Davis said. "Everybody's pretty good."

The Longhorns are also getting better on the offensive line. Irby credited Mason Walters and David Snow as the leaders of that group, while he said Walters was the meanest of the bunch.

He's a big mean guy and on the field it's one of those deals where you don't want to look into his eyes or else he will attack you," Irby said. "He's so passionate about the game, and that's what we need on our offensive line, guys who are just getting after it."

That meanness will be needed for the Longhorns to improve in the red zone, Irby said.

"It's really just a fistfight between the offense and defense," Irby said. "Those last 20 yards are the most crucial. As an offense, that's something we really need to work on."


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