Culpepper's Commentary: Texas-Colorado

Yes, Colorado kept their safeties inside the "box" (line of scrimmage area) for most of the game to slow down the Longhorn rushing attack, which exposed their cornerbacks to the worst day in their young lives. Texas wide receivers Limas Sweed, Ramonce Taylor, Billy Pittman and Brian Carter enjoyed the high school, backed-off corner play most of the afternoon.

David Thomas had five more receptions out of the 25 completions Vince Young threw. Since Thomas had to start from the tight end position, he was going against Colorado's safeties and linebackers. That doesn't seem fair. The Buffalo LBs couldn't maneuver with Thomas and after the catches Thomas ran over the safeties.

It was hot down in the bottom of the DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium where I sit. Since I was four rows behind the Buffalo benches, I can say without reservation that frustration set in early. Buff defensive players were sweating and couldn't figure out what was going on.

Colorado Defensive Coordinator Mike Hankwitz wore out two legal pads trying to chart adjustments against the high level smart bombs being dropped on his troops.

It is easy to second guess, but without Jamaal Charles in the Longhorn attack (which was apparent after the Port Arthur freshman tried three ineffective runs in the first quarter), why play to stop the run if you're Tech?

Selvin Young's only consistently positive contribution for Texas is in pass protection. He is not playing like a Division I running back. Almost without fail, it was "second and nine" when he finished carrying the football. The closed down safeties had little to do with stopping Young -- don't be misled by Longhorn PR.

It looked like he might break through after he picked up nine yards on one of his 19 carries but he soon went back into his shell. It was the perfect time for him to fight for every yard to show his teammates, coaches and fans he belonged in the Longhorn huddle, but it did not happen.

Because Young played with a lack of energy and desperation, the other Young in the Texas backfield took it on himself to run for first downs and touchdowns.

Vince Young got hammered twice but he dished out his share of punishment. On the opponent's sidelines in the first quarter, No. 10 lowered his shoulder to make a first down and made a statement to the Buffaloes.

I counted slowly to five several different times when Vince Young was standing in the pocket waiting for his receivers to get open. The pass protection was exceptional. Like good workmen, the Texas offensive line goes to battle each week without hearing the accolades or interviews of the glamour positions. They are good -- darn good.

The Longhorn defense played lights out during the first quarter and half of the second, allowing Vince Young and the Texas air force to build up a 28-0 lead. Rodrique Wright, Brian Robison, Tim Crowder, Larry Dibbles and Frank Okam stopped the Buffalo front charge and made the Buff attack all pass, and Colorado can't play that game and win.

I heard some Texas fans upset that the Longhorns didn't try to run up the score late in the fourth quarter. Dear Longhorn fans -- do you realize who Texas most probably will play should they win the Big 12 South?

Believe me, should Texas reach the title game, Colorado will not be the same team on Dec. 3 in Houston. Coach Brown pulled Vince Young after the Longhorns made it 42-10 on a 13-yard pass and beautiful catch by Limas Sweed for a reason. Enough was enough in this situation.

The Longhorns need both Jamaal Charles and cornerback/punt returner Aaron Ross, who appeared to suffer a groin injury of unspecified severity on a fourth quarter kickoff return, this next weekend against Texas Tech.

Now, let's see, this last Saturday versus Kansas State, the Red Raiders threw 72 passes. The Texas-Texas Tech game starts at 2:30 p.m., which means you won't leave the stadium until after 7 p.m.!

Last year, the Longhorns controlled the football behind the running of Cedric Benson and Vince Young. The Texas defense gave up 14 points early before they figured out what was going on.

Coach Gene Chizik saw the big line splits versus Missouri in the spread offense, but in all his years as a coach he has never faced a flying circus like Mike Leach's Red Raiders.

Quarterback Cody Hodges of Tech is Leach's first creation at signalcaller that can run and the Tech defense is the best Leach has had.

The most hazardous position on the field could well be the chain crew trying to catch up with the first downs! I call it Texas 45, Tech 35 in an old-fashioned shootout.

Pat Culpepper played for The University from 1960-62 and graduated from UT with a B.A. degree with honors in history. He coached college football for 12 years as an assistant at Texas, Colorado, Tulane, Baylor and Memphis State and was head coach at Northern Illinois from 1976-79. He also spent 16 years as a high school coach in Texas at Midland, Lufkin, Galveston Ball, Westfield and his hometown of Cleburne. He was selected to the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1991. His commentary appears regularly in the Inside Texas magazine and at

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