Culpepper's Commentary: Texas-Baylor

The luckiest athletes at Baylor are junior defensive tackle M.T. Robinson, who sat out the entire Texas thrashing, and junior defensive tackle Michael Gary, who was suspended for the first half. Coach Guy Morriss took disciplinary action on both of them for violating team rules. Whatever they did, there were probably at least 22 others in Baylor green wishing they had taken part in those activities.

This was an old-fashioned, come-to-Jesus, back-behind-the-woodshed, butt-stomping if I have ever witnessed one.

Of the 44,783 fans that showed up at Floyd Casey, at least 24,783 were dressed in some form of Burnt Orange.

To think this Baylor team was within an extra point of beating Oklahoma in Norman Quarterback Shawn Bell engineered that effort vs. the Sooners but he never got on the field until this game was history vs. the Horns.

I don't sit in on the always politically correct news conferences of coach Mack Brown during the week or read the Austin newspapers, I just sit in the stands and "feel" the game, and for this one, I had a spectacular view. Sitting 26 rows up in the South end zone, I found a new appreciation for this Texas team.

I have never seen such raw team speed as Texas demonstrated Saturday. Now, it's one thing to have it, but another thing to use it. Texas stretches the football field like no football team in America save one that is still undefeated and is in the PAC-10.

I was excited several weeks ago when Ramonce Taylor emerged at wide receiver and could get downfield and be a threat besides on gimmick plays. But that was before running back injuries. And we all now know why the Texas staff kept him at running back all spring.

What's better than having a healthy Jamaal Charles at running back? Having Jamaal Charles and Ramonce Taylor alternating at running back. Now Texas has two Reggie Bush-types in the backfield. Thus, the pressure was on the Baylor defense every snap because of the twin burners at tailback. Each of them use nothing but premium fuel.

Poor Bill Bradley, former Longhorn great and Baylor's current defensive coordinator, for having to try to defend this new twin terror from the Longhorn offensive formations. Whichever one is in the game, they can outrun blocked or partially blocked defenders up front and become dangerous pass receivers in the flats or upfield.

It didn't help Super Bill's defense that Baylor couldn't generate anything resembling an offense for the second week in a row.

Here is something to help you enjoy watching the Longhorns. When Vince Young sets up in the shotgun, as soon as he gets the football, begin to count "one-and, two-and..." I did this four times in the second half and made it to "six-and..." before he released the ball!

Twice, I saw David Thomas block his defender to the ground, which allowed Taylor to sail untouched into the secondary. But I love even more watching downfield blocking from Kasey Studdard and U.S.S. Jonathan Scott. The biggest fear I have is that these two get down in the secondary and, not finding anyone to block, just for the fun of it try to run over each other.

The Texas offensive line is EXCELLENT and in a real sense holds this team together. As a unit, they don't get substituted for like the Texas defensive line. They are the real warriors of the Longhorn football team.

When the 'big uglies' got off the buses outside the Baylor stadium, they already had their jaws set for work. I saw this first-hand.

The game was moving along under a beautiful November Texas sky when Vince Young arched a 46-yard bomb to Limas Sweed, who made a one-armed, over-the-shoulder catch at the Baylor 4-yardline.

It was probably at that point that hundreds of good-hearted Baylor fans at the game and those watching by television said, "Oh ____!"

That is when they realized Baylor wasn't playing the same level of competition they'd been watching in Waco. It was a brave and marvelous effort to make a play by Sweed, who has become more than a potential playmaker; he's a gamebreaker.

You could tell early on that the Longhorn defense was missing Brian Robison. So far, nobody can take his place in effort, strength and toughness. Somebody with a bigger body than Brian Orakpo has to step up should Robison miss the Kansas game and beyond. Chris Brown left the game on a golf cart for x-rays after getting a cheap shot hit at the end of a play which will further deplete Texas at defensive end.

Rashad Bobino played a top game at linebacker and the stumpy hitter is getting better every week adjusting to being a starter at the college level.

Believe me, playing linebacker at Texas is a thrill when you happen to have defensive linemen in front like Rod Wright, Frank Okam, Larry Dibbles, Tim Crowder and Robison.

In the early 1960's, Johnny Treadwell and I had the likes of Don Talbert and Scott Appleton to hide behind.

I loved David Pino's punt from field goal formation that nailed the Bears on their one-yardline. That's smart coaching and may not be the last time we see that weapon.

Outside of the Oklahoma game in 2004, the Kansas game was the Longhorns lowest point of the season. Everybody in Lawrence was ready for the basketball season, apparently including the Texas football team as far as the effort through 3-3/4 quarters. Then Vince Young pulled off miracle No. 2 (No. 1 was the previous week against Oklahoma State) on fourth-and-18, saving Texas' trip to Pasadena.

I got news for Texas fans, the Jayhawks have a roster full of recruited Texas players which equals a team with speed and toughness. The challenge will be, can the Longhorns stop the Kansas running game which pounded the Nebraska Blackshirts defense and held the ball for 35 minutes of the football game?

That will their strategy: run the ball and run the clock. It broke a 36-game losing streak to the Cornhuskers.

Oh, by the way, two more Cowboys got up from the Cowboy poker table Saturday -- UCLA and Virginia Tech.

With only three undefeated teams left, I think the Longhorns remember their near-death experience last November in Lawrence and win. Texas 55, Kansas 10.

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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