The 2002 preseason (at least the public part of it) is now in the history books, concluding with Thursdays morning practice at Frank Denius Field. The offense again worked on running the option (look for true freshman Selvin Young as the pitchman this fall), play-action passes, reverses and, yes, Virginia, there is a shovel pass in Texas playbook.
Much of the time, the offense focused on the running game with Cedric Benson taking most of the handoffs but with true freshman Selvin Young not far behind. For the second time in as many days, Mack Brown said this is the best he has seen Texas run the ball since the Ricky Williams era -- and that has as much to do with the stellar play of the offensive line as it does with backfield speed demons who deliver the mail. Still, with his lethal combination of power, speed, stiff-arm and dreadlocks, Benson continues to draw comparisons to Williams.
The first-team offense ran a couple of plays in a five-man spread (the first time with SE Brian Carter, SE Roy Williams, FL B. J. Johnson, FL Tony Jeffery and TE David Thomas). Wouldnt be surprised to see the swift-footed Thomas on the field the first time Texas lines up in this formation.
With the season-opener against North Texas just more than one week away, coaches spent the last 35 minutes of practice preparing Texas for the Mean Greens offense and defense.
Coaches will release the first, official depth chart on Monday.
FEEL THE LOVE
One of the key intangibles that sets the 2002 Longhorns apart from previous squads is team chemistry and camaraderie, Brown reiterated at the close of two-a-days
Although some of the players had some choice (unprintable) words for freshman TE Thomas who was slow getting on the bus, as well as for freshman SE Dustin Miksch who allegedly drank more than his stipend of Gatorade, Brown said "this is the closet any team has been since Ive been here."
The head coach continued to laud the work ethic of this years squad.
"The guys are really in good condition, and that comes from working them hard early in the morning, and late in the evening," Brown said. "We had a really great practice this morning. This is the one (last of preseason) that you usually write down as not expecting to be a good one because the guys, and coaches, are usually exhausted."
The annual Texas Football Womens Clinic is set for 6:30 p.m., Thursday, at Royal-Memorial Stadium. The cost is $25, and includes instruction from Brown, assistant coaches, player presentations, finger foods and door prizes.
The Horns will concentrate on special teams play (Brown said Thursday he was concerned about his teams punting and kicking) in a Friday morning, closed session at DKR. Players will have the weekend off, starting at noon, before returning Monday for practice at a time yet to be determined. Classes start Wednesday.