Wednesday Longhorn Sports Page

Stay up to date on all things Burnt Orange with a daily stop at IT's Longhorn Sports Page, with links to the latest news and opinion articles on UT football, basketball, baseball, recruiting and other sports from around the web.

Football:

This Time, Eyes of Texas on A&M
InsideTexas.com
Texas' in-state rivalry game against Texas A&M has been virtually an afterthought the past couple of seasons for a Longhorn team preoccupied with BCS style-points. Now, Texas coach Mack Brown insists his squad has only the Aggies in mind when the programs collide for the 113th time Friday morning.

Ross, Blalock Finalists for Hardware
InsideTexas.com
Senior RG Justin Blalock has been named one of three finalists for the 2006 Outland Trophy, honoring the nation's best interior lineman, it was announced Tuesday. Senior LCB Aaron Ross has been named a finalist for the 2006 Thorpe Award, honoring the nation's top defensive back, it was also announced.

Ross, Blalock make final cut for national awards
Austin American-Statesman
Texas cornerback Aaron Ross and offensive lineman Justin Blalock were named finalists Tuesday for two coveted national trophies. Ross made the final cut of three for the Thorpe Award, given to the nation's top defensive back. Ross already had received the endorsement of former Longhorn Michael Huff, last year's winner who has been text-messaging the senior cornerback his congratulations throughout the season.

At A&M, Byrne works to outdo the Horns
Austin American-Statesman
Rest easy, Aggies. Texas A&M is in good hands. Forget the fact that Dennis Franchione has yet to beat Texas, Oklahoma or Nebraska in this lifetime. Overlook the otherwise depressing truism that plump turkeys have better Novembers than the Aggies' football coach. Hey, and trust me on this, San Diego is a wonderful place to go bowling. Try the fish tacos. So ease up, Aggies. Hold onto your plow horses. Keep your overalls on. You clearly have the right man for the job. Uh, except that man is Bill Byrne. The jury is still out on Fran.

How they match up: The tight ends
Austin American-Statesman

Texas football notes
Austin American-Statesman

A&M's McGee, UT's Shipley shared stats, stunts
Dallas Morning News
On the field at Class 3A Burnet High School, Texas A&M quarterback Stephen McGee and Texas receiver Jordan Shipley were one of the most prolific passing tandems in Texas high school history. Off the field, they were the Dukes of Hazzard.

UT-A&M notebook: Texas wants to bring back the blitz
Dallas Morning News
Texas coach Mack Brown said Monday injuries in the secondary have caused the Longhorns to play more zone than usual and limited their ability to blitz.

Tricks do the trick for UT foes
San Antonio Express-News
Gene Chizik doesn't profess to be psychic. But the Texas co-defensive coordinator says he's got a pretty good idea of what to expect out of Texas A&M's offense when the two teams meet on Friday.

Sweed makes transition from run to pass at UT
San Antonio Express-News
According to the folks at Rand-McNally, it's 89 miles from Brenham to Austin. But to Texas receiver Limas Sweed, who grew up in Point A before relocating to Point B, it's much further than that. "If you had to put it in miles," Sweed says, "it's probably a million."

A&M struggles to be UT's real rival again
San Antonio Express-News
Football fans in the state of Texas might wistfully look back to the era when the Texas-Texas A&M game was actually a real rivalry. You know, the kind of game where both teams had a legitimate shot to win. The arrival of Mack Brown has turned the rivalry decidedly in UT's favor. Now, the Aggies are being nipped from behind as both Texas Tech and Baylor have had enough success in recent years where those games have been more competitive than the UT-A&M game.

Mack's first splash still ripples out
San Antonio Express-News
Wane McGarity already had accepted the invitation when he realized he had a problem. Speakers at the Texas Longhorns' annual "Aggie supper" are supposed to be able to dazzle the audience with stories about big games and glory days, and McGarity knew this from experience. Back when he was attending the banquet as a UT player, he was so impressed with a speech by James Street that he went out of his way to make sure he shook the legend's hand. But now that he'd received the honor of being named the featured guest at this year's dinner, he wondered what he'd gotten himself into.

It's all about smack talk and snot bubbles
San Antonio Express-News
Texas A&M offensive lineman Kirk Elder's mother, Ann, approached him with a special request for this Thanksgiving. "Could you please beat Texas?" she asked – presumably sweetly. "You've got to win – so I can rub it in Tom's face." Tom being Tom Rohrer, Elder's step-dad and a former UT player in the 1960s. And Ann's husband.

Schroeder nears the end of his fast days at A&M
San Antonio Express-News
Texas A&M receiver Chad Schroeder was preparing to hold for freshman kicker Matt Szymanski during a recent practice when Schroeder asked his fresh-faced teammate a question. "How old are you?" Schroeder said. "Eighteen," Szymanski replied. Schroeder simply smiled. "Made me feel old," he recalls. A 23-year-old senior, Schroeder has a special appreciation for the Aggies' showdown against rival Texas on Friday. Age has something to do with it. But so does Schroeder's upbringing.

Goal is to keep Colt untouched
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The return of Texas quarterback Colt McCoy for Friday's game against Texas A&M raises the stakes for the Longhorns' linemen, offensive tackle Tony Hills said. McCoy missed all but the opening series of the team's 45-42 loss to Kansas State on Nov. 11 after suffering a pinched nerve in his neck when he was hit while diving for a touchdown. The best way to keep McCoy healthy upon his return, Hills said, is to keep the Aggies' pass rush away from him.

Texas A&M's Schroeder has knack for big plays
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Chad Schroeder, the son of Longhorns parents and raised in the burnt-orange glow of Austin, is going home, clad in enemy maroon, to finish a career as one Texas A&M's most efficient receivers.

Series has control issues
Houston Chronicle
In a series where streaks are the norm, not the exception, Texas has numbers on its side entering the 113th renewal of the Texas-Texas A&M series.

Why Aggies hate the Longhorns
Daily Texan
There's little love lost when it comes to Texas-Texas A&M. But the ill will that Texas fans feel toward Aggies doesn't even come close to the outright hatred and disgust that A&M feels toward Longhorns. Anyone who has observed Aggies in their natural state can vouch for this disparity. Not being a Longhorn is as much a part of their identity as being an Aggie. The variety of ways and traditions that Aggies utilize in their quest to belittle and debase is dizzying. You would think UT was located in Oklahoma from their loathing. Bear with me. I'm going to try to explain Texas A&M.

Football recruiting:

Catching Up with Dravannti Johnson
InsideTexas.com
Nederland linebacker Dravannti Johnson is one of the most sought after linebacker prospects in the state of Texas. He is a physical freak with outstanding athletic ability. Johnson has already picked up two scholarship offers early in the recruiting process.

Hoops:

Texas Powers Through Nicholls State
InsideTexas.com
The Texas Longhorns once again struggled to find their shot early, but came back to blow out the Nicholls State Colonels, 91-60.

Texas overpowers Nicholls State
Austin American-Statesman
Rewarded for his contributions on defense this season, freshman Justin Mason moved into the starting lineup Tuesday for the Texas Longhorns. Mason, comfortable in his new digs, showed that he can also produce on offense, scoring 15 points as the Longhorns defeated Nicholls State 91-60 in front of 6,234 fans in the Erwin Center.

Freshmen lead UT past Nicholls State, 91-60
Dallas Morning News
Freshman guard Justin Mason got his first start for Texas, and A.J. Abrams and Kevin Durant continue to lead the Longhorns in scoring in a 91-60 victory over Nicholls State in front of 6,234 fans at the Erwin Center on Tuesday night.

Texas' Abrams pumps up his defensive effort
San Antonio Express-News
Texas guard A.J. Abrams emerged from the locker room after the Longhorns' 91-60 victory over Nicholls State on Tuesday night, a broad smile stitched across his face. UT coach Rick Barnes, it turns out, had just made Abrams' day. "I got a little compliment," Abrams said. "I'll take it once in awhile."

Defense shifts to shut down Nicholls State
Daily Texan
Ask freshman Justin Mason, and he'll tell you he didn't feel any pre-game jitters before his first college start. But A.J. Abrams might have to disagree.

Other:

Inside Texas Blog Archive
Inside Texas

Inside Scoop
Inside Texas

Bevo Beat
Austin American-Statesman

Recruiting Blog
Dallas Morning News

Longhorns Blog
Houston Chronicle


Horns Digest Top Stories