Texas Media Notes

From an ex-recruit on Saturday's schedule to a linebacker making a push for more playing time and the running back carry situation, here are 10 notes from Monday's press conference.

1) Anthony Fera, the only lingering injury on the Texas team, has been upgraded to "questionable." Fera was listed as doubtful last week, and Texas coach Mack Brown said it would be interesting to watch his recovery play out. With the torque involved in kicking a ball, you really can't push it too quickly, for risk of aggravating the injury.

"We've turned Anthony Fera over to the trainers and the rehab staff completely," Brown said. "We have to plan on not having Fera."

2) Malcolm Brown actually received seven more plays than Joe Bergeron, per Mack Brown. Malcolm received plays, but touched the ball on just four (two carries, two receptions. Bergeron played 15 plays and received 13 touches (11 carries, two receptions). Johnathan Gray played one more play than Bergeron, 16, and carried the ball seven times.

3) So why the discrepancy in carries? Offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin said it was because quarterback David Ash checked multiple called Brown runs into passes. Several of the plays given to Ash come with an "option" to audible into a pass if the situation is right, or vice versa. And Harsin said that it just so happened that several scheduled Brown carries were audibled into pass plays. Harsin added that Ash made the correct calls on those plays.

4) Tight end could be turning into a strength. Both Brown and Harsin said that Barrett Matthews had a dominant blocking performance. D.J. Grant had a nice catch-and-run. Greg Daniels continued to improve and showed up well as a blocker. And M.J. McFarland made an outstanding touchdown catch in the fourth quarter and is pushing for more playing time.

5) The wide receivers showed out physically as well. Several of the big plays last Saturday were created by great blocks downfield by the wideouts. Marquise Goodwin, in particular, had an excellent performance. He had a great block to spring Mike Davis on a touchdown, then another to create room for a nice Jaxon Shipley gain. Brown said Goodwin "blocked as well as any receiver I've ever seen."

6) Texas is better at throwing the ball this season, Brown said. "We can throw it better now than we could at any time last year," Brown commented. What exactly does that mean? Brown said it means that the Longhorns no longer have to be "stubborn," when calling plays, running into loaded boxes when they don't need to.

7) Offensive guard Mason Walters said he felt like the Longhorns have the potential to be elite at every position. Walters said that every player had something to improve on, but added that the talent was in place for the Longhorns to field an elite unit everywhere on the field. He said that when speaking specifically about the defensive tackles.

8) Texas wants to find more time for Dalton Santos. The bruising linebacker has been fantastic on special teams, and has emerged as a player that Brown and defensive coordinator Manny Diaz want to add to the rotation. Diaz said he would like to rotate linebackers more in general, but said that Santos has been making a play for more playing time.

9) Don't make this about "Texas versus the SEC," because the Longhorns don't see it like that. Pretty much every player I interviewed said they were looking forward to playing in a fun road atmosphere, but were quick to point out that they were going on a road trip to play one team, and the media-driven storylines didn't matter.

10) This week the Longhorns will face Bo Wallace, the Ole Miss quarterback and somebody that the Longhorns have a bit of history with. Wallace was the top JUCO quarterback in the country at East Mississippi Community College, and actually a teammate of Brandon Moore's. He was also somebody that the Longhorns looked at in recruiting in January before deciding to stand pat at the quarterback position. Wallace enrolled early at Ole Miss and won the starting job. In two games, he's completed 76 percent of his passes for 438 yards and five touchdowns to one interception, while also leading the Rebels in rushing with 135 yards and two TDs on the ground.

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