Defense wins games: Studs like Derrick Johnson played sparingly but the All-American WLB showed why he is playmaker who can turn the tide of an entire contest. On third-and-four from the 14, Vince Young attempted to pick up the first on a QB draw while operating out of the shotgun. D.J. was in Young's face so quick, throwing him for a one-yard loss, that it was as if the Butkus favorite had lined up as H-back. Then, on the next play, Johnson bursts through the line and blocked David Pino's 32-yard FG attempt. Meanwhile, coaches have gushed over SS Michael Huff this preseason, stating repeatedly that the versatile junior has produced the best camp of all DBs. Huff was the day's leading tackler with six stops (five solo) including one PBU.
No contest: Brown talked earlier this week about the battle for playing time at LG but there's no contest here. Kasey Studdard opened with the first team (as he has all camp) while backup junior Mike Garcia was flagged twice for false starts. That leaves the starting OL virtually set for Sept. 4: LT Jonathan Scott, LG Studdard, C Jason Glynn, RG Will Allen and RT Justin Blalock. The second-team line has remained virtually unchanged through camp, as well: LT Tony Hills, LG Garcia, C Lyle Sendlein, RG Terrance Young and RT William Winston.
Off the mark: Senior starter Dusty Mangum nailed all three of his field goal attempts (21, 32, 37) but Pino and Richmond McGee went 0-fer on the day. Pino had his first attempt, a 32-yarder, blocked, then missed wide left on a 42-yarder and wide right on a 39-yarder. McGee, who is getting an audition as the Horns' situational (read: end of half/game) long-range field goal kicker, had the distance on a 52-yarder to close out practice but pushed it wide left.
Was that a screen I saw: On a twos vs. twos series, Matt Nordgren dropped back and, before the pocket collapsed from the defensive onslaught, flipped a screen pass over the rush to a waiting Ramonce Taylor for an 8-yard gain.
Don't forget Arkansas: Several times during Saturday morning's scrimmage, a fan (and, later, fans) bellowed a message to the Texas team: "Beat OU." OK, but hold that thought. There's a little game in the Ozarks almost a month before the Horns travel to Dallas that could challenge this Texas team. Beat North Texas. Then Arkansas. Then Rice. Then Baylor. Then, by all means, "Beat OU."
Injuries: WR Billy Pittman was sidelined after being leveled at the end of a 24-yard end-around, the only injury of Saturday's scrimmage. WR Jordan Shipley and DT Tully Janszen attended the session on crutches. Both will miss the entire season, UT officials said. "The two injuries that we've had are injuries that happened (while players were) in shorts," Brown said. "You never know about this game. It's a game where you have to work as hard as you can and try to be smart in the way you practice but also you have to be fortunate if (players) stay healthy." Chance Mock may not participate in Wednesday's scrimmage, Brown added.
[Note: Clendon Ross contributed to this report.]