Culpepper's Commentary: Rice Game

I know all of you are catching it from your Aggie, Red Raider and Sooner buddies and the MOB from Rice joined in the fun Saturday night. There is an old saying. "When a big tree falls, everyone brings their axes," which is the position Texas fans are now in.

All you can do right now is smile and go along with the jokes. But what Coach Brown should do is pull a "Joe Paterno" and let the squad know another off-the-field problem will cause the Longhorn team to clean Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium after the next home game. When that happens, Derek Lokey and his buddies will let the squad know what a fall from the upper deck would feel like.

Does this sordid business affect the Texas football team? I don't think so. The young men doing the heavy work on Saturdays are busy with practice, upcoming exams this next week and generally look on the actions of the ‘Texas Six' as strictly ‘Dumbass.'

It certainly didn't appear to affect the team against Rice. What happened Saturday night was supposed to happen three weeks ago versus Arkansas State. All systems were finally ‘go' and the effect was a substantial runaway game.

As long as Colt McCoy, Limas Sweed, Quan Cosby, Nate Jones, Jermichael Finley and either Jordan Shipley or Billy Pittman can get on the field together and play to their potential, Texas is a dangerous offensive team.

Only huge breakdowns in the offensive line protection can shut this group down. It could happen given the line's youth and injuries, but you and I both know in our hearts if Colt had not been hurt last year against K-State, Texas would have been the South's representative in Kansas City.

And Saturday night at DKR with the score 48-7, Longhorn fans finally got a clear look at John Chiles. The zone read, quarterback draw and bootleg run-pass plays have a real future when number 7 (there "it" is again) enters the game, that is for sure.

If Greg Davis really wanted to mess with the opponent's defensive coordinator, he could use Chiles like Florida used Tim Tebow last season. Play him in spots and watch the scramble on the opponent's sideline. Texas might be running some of the same plays with Colt McCoy, but Chiles is at warp speed.

Forget the possible ‘quarterback controversy'; Chiles playing a series every half would put a serious stretch on defensive plans as well as get Chiles prepared should something happen to Colt.

On the other side of the ball, the Texas defense is much better than last year's edition. The secondary communicates, adjusts and plays the ball in the air -- like Marcus Griffin's Spiderman interception against Rice -- in top fashion.

The Texas defensive front is strong and the coaches are playing linebackers in bunches to try to find out who can bring it.

I though Kansas State and Oklahoma looked the best of the Big 12 teams in week one. The Wildcats' 23-12 loss at Auburn was the look of a team coming together that could eliminate mistakes, which they did the next two weeks. Coach Ron Prince and staff had the week off to prepare for Texas. It will be a war on Sept. 29th in Austin.

I have the honor of talking about my teammate Johnny Treadwell (1962 All-American linebacker; the first No. 60) at Thursday's Austin Longhorn Club, which meets at the Erwin Center at 11:30 a.m., and something tells me that a little over 48 hours later, the Longhorns will hit their stride. I call it Texas 27, K-State 17.

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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