The Burnet standout injured his left hamstring during a non-contact passing drill on August 11. Shipley tore his right ACL in August 2004 and was lost for the season. The 2004 Texas 3A Offensive Player of the Year was sorely missed as a deep ball threat last season but Brown believes WRs such as Limas Sweed and Billy Pittman had the breakout game against Ohio State that coaches and fans have anticipated for more than a year.
"On a big stage, it's the first time since the trio (Roy Williams, B.J. Johnson, Sloan Thomas) left that they were a huge factor in winning the game," Brown told Inside Texas. "I saw Limas make three plays today in practice that he made during the game. Hopefully, this will be a turning point for him with his confidence."
Meanwhile, starting RB Selvin Young is a coin flip for the Rice game.
"If Selvin Young is healthy he would start Saturday," Brown said. "We'll probably have to wait until game time to see because we need to get him well."
Brown labeled Tuesday a "start over" day in which coaches wanted the Horns to "get rid of all the positive things folks have been saying about you and get back to work. You can coach them harder and work your staff harder after a big win than you can after a loss. We're going to be really, really hard on the guys and push them this week."
Texas is about a six touchdown favorite against the 0-1 Owls, who got rolled 63-21 in their opener at UCLA. Even without an Ohio State hangover, the Horns have recently failed to put four quarters together against their former Southwest Conference foe.
"Rice always comes in here ready to play," Brown said. "We've jumped out on them the last two times we played them and played even in the second half. We're challenging our guys to do a better job of 60 minutes."
Special teams play remained an emphasis during Tuesday's session as the team devoted 40 minutes to kickoff coverage and punt returns. The Horns have given up 282 yards in KO returns on the young season.
"We're also making a huge emphasis on taking care of the ball better and doing a better job of forcing turnovers," Brown said. "We're behind in the turnover ratio and we're lucky to be 2-0 since we're behind."
Two games into the regular season, the Horns have lost two fumbles while QB Vince Young has thrown three INT. Meanwhile, the defense has recorded an INT against UL-Lafayette and a fumble at Ohio State.
Rice lives and dies by the triple-option, although the Owls are expected to operate out of the shotgun this year and put the ball into the air on more than just the occasional play-action pass.
"They look like they've got more speed than at any other time since we've played them," Brown said. "I think you'll see Rice have the best season that they've had in a long time when this year's over."
Kickoff Saturday is set for 6 p.m. (Central) on Fox Sports Net.