Texas Faces OL Shuffle

Injuries, attrition create shuffling on the offensive line heading into Monday's game.

While the team motto this year is "for the man on my right and the man on my left," a secondary motto might as well be "next man up."

Injuries have rendered a potentially deep team significantly more fragile, and recent attrition has only intensified things at right tackle for the Longhorns. Josh Cochran entered the season as the starter at right tackle, though a shoulder injury and the ensuing weight loss means that he's now at tight end, not at tackle. And while he was replaced by Kennedy Estelle, Estelle didn't make the trip to San Antonio after falling ineligible academically.

And now, the Longhorns are down yet another option at the position.

"Desmond Harrison did not make the trip because he's had a personal family issue at home, and his family is in our thoughts and prayers as that continues to progress," said Texas coach Mack Brown on Sunday. "Hopefully it'll improve."

Brown said Harrison missing the trip means that the Longhorns will shuffle some players around, with one player taking on an old position. Trey Hopkins will move out to right tackle, where he played as a true freshman in 2010. Every season since, Hopkins has been a guard, including an All-Big 12 season on the inside this year.

That creates an opening for at guard for Sedrick Flowers, who has seen plenty of time this year as a rotational player, often in place of Mason Walters, who has been banged up at times. It will be the first start of Flowers's career, though he's expected to be a favorite to replace either Hopkins or Walters after both players graduate following this season.


* Texas defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway has an arm injury and will not dress or play either. With the season-ending injury to Chris Whaley earlier this year, and the mutual parting with Ashton Dorsey in fall camp, the Longhorns are down to two tackles out of the five-man rotation they hoped to have to start the season. Redshirt freshman Paul Boyette saw some time in recent weeks, and will likely have to play even more.


Horns Digest Top Stories