This comes from the group that couldnt produce a first down to milk the clock on its last two possessions of the Cotton Bowl, and got pushed around by North Texas (no need to bring up the Sooners again) and and yes the change really is that pronounced, Holloway said.
How so? Two words: Mac McWhorter.
Head coach Mack Brown canned offensive guards/centers coach Tim Nunez in January and named the former tackles and tight ends coach to revitalize the offensive line. So far, the players believe in him and reflect his revved-up persona.
"Hes got unbelievable passion for the game of football," Holloway said. "You cant help but let it trickle down on to you. No matter how much he loves the game, I dont think theres anybody who loves it as much as Coach McWhorter. Hes out there getting us pumped up every day."
According to the local urban myth, McWhorter introduced some of the linemen to their first blocking sled. It might have something to do with this new-fangled offensive scheme known as drive blocking.
"Even the sled and all that stuff, we could have no equipment and wed still be pumped up," said Holloway, who has started 24 games for Texas. "I just know that hes a heckuva coach and weve all bought into what he believes. Thats important, and I feel like were a real strong unit right now."
With 29 years coaching experience, McWhorter joined the Texas staff two seasons ago from Georgia Tech. Not everyone is aware, however, that McWhorter coached the Yellow Jackets to their Seattle Bowl victory in 2001 after former head coach George OLeary resigned.
The 6-3, 315-pound Holloway could sense the winds of change during the early session of spring drills.
"It really didnt take that much time," he said. "He demands a lot. Thats a good thing. You really dont have any choice but to buy in to his way of coaching. You just recognize it as the right way to go."
As such, the eyes of Texas will be upon the offensive line this season. After last seasons disappointing performance, the 2003 edition will be the most scrutinized in recent memory.
"I think every offensive line gets known for different things," Holloway judiciously remarked. "I think were going to play as hard as we can and wait until the end of the season to see what everybody will be saying then."
Hopefully, it will give fans nothing to talk about.