Ten Things We Learned

Here are 10 things we learned from this week's press availabilities, from Luke Poehlmann and Mykkele Thompson to Texas Tech notes.

1) Texas coach Mack Brown has a sense of humor, all right. Brown had one of his best tangents of the year when he talked about playing Texas Tech in Lubbock for the first time. The tangent, captured on video by Scout.com's own Britton Lynn, largely involved then-coach Tech Spike Dykes and his relationship with the officials, which included the officials asking how Dykes's mother was and when they would get together for dinner again. The peak might have been when Brown said the Longhorns lost a fumble and the officials pointed Tech's direction while saying "our ball." Brown can work a room with the best of them, and Monday's presser was more evidence of that fact.

2) All the credit in the world goes to Luke Poehlmann, who manned a new position (tight end) and played it well enough to earn recognition from the staff and a number of players. And while his efforts on Saturday earned him kudos, the players were quick to joke around about the junior when the cameras were rolling on Monday. David Snow said that Poehlmann could probably catch a pass in a game because he caught all of them when the linemen messed around before practice. He also said Poehlmann's new number, 82, made him look faster. Mason Walters disagreed, saying that, when compared to other people wearing numbers in the 80s, Poehlmann looked slow.

3) Another player whose appearance wasn't as noticed (and that was probably a good thing) was true freshman safety Mykkele Thompson. With the Longhorns playing a bit shorthanded in the secondary, defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said that Thompson played "in the teens" of plays on Saturday. That may not seem like a lot, but considering the Texas defense only played 36 plays, Thompson played between one-third and a half of the overall snaps. Adrian Phillips is back this week, but Diaz said Thompson would have to be ready anyway, as games against Tech are often an all-hands-on-deck situation with regard to defensive back play.

4) With Texas A&M leaving, could Texas Tech become the Longhorns' next big in-state rival? Multiple players said they thought so. And Brown said that there always seemed to be more energy for the former SWC games, meaning that Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech could all compete to be one of the Longhorns' chief rivals.

5) In what has become a weekly discussion, Texas offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin said that the team will continue to develop both quarterbacks. Both Harsin and Brown cited the team's lack of depth at the quarterback position as the need to continue to get both players equal, or close to equal, repetitions. The coaches did say that Ash was likely to start again.

6) Contrary to an Internet report, Brown said that McCoy did not refuse to reenter the Oklahoma game. Brown said that McCoy was an intangibly strong player who wouldn't make that kind of decision.

7) While all of the Texas players said they remembered Texas Tech largely for the 2008 loss that cost the Longhorns a chance at a potential National Championship, they also said it was past time to let senior Blake Gideon off the hook for his drop of an interception. Brown said that Gideon has meant a ton to the Longhorn program, and said that Texas defensive backs coach Duane Akina loves Gideon for his on-field savvy, his tenaciousness and his leadership abilities.

8) Last week's Texas Tech loss aside, at least five Texas players said that they knew they would get a tough contest from the Red Raiders this weekend. When looking at the results of the past two weeks, all of them pointed at the Oklahoma game, stating "That's the team that we'll see this Saturday."

9) As great as the defensive numbers were against Kansas last Saturday, it wasn't a perfect defensive effort. In fact, Keenan Robinson said that the players weren't as "clean" as Diaz would have liked, especially on third downs. He was right, as that was the exact phrasing used by Diaz in his part of the Monday press conference. Diaz talked about coaching the film, rather than the result, and while the result was as close to perfect as you'll see, the film indicated a few spots where Texas could have been bitten.

10) Along those same lines, Diaz said it was hard to read too much into the Texas Tech loss to Iowa State from a defensive standpoint. Diaz said the difference between a game like that, and a game where Texas Tech put up 41 at Oklahoma, wasn't as big as most people would think. Diaz said the film showed plays where Tech was just a little bit off from hitting on big plays.

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