Christmas Eve 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 Holiday full of work for Horns
Austin American-Statesman
They're here. They're excited. After spending a couple days with their families, the Texas Longhorns arrived Saturday excited about the week's worth of festivities leading up to the Dec. 27 Holiday Bowl against No. 12 Arizona State.

Texas depth chart still open
Austin American-Statesman

Erickson's team not so nice to Texas in first meeting
Austin American-Statesman
Arizona State coach led Miami against Texas in 1991 Cotton Bowl, when Hurricanes handed Longhorns worst bowl loss in school history

Turnaround came quicker for Erickson this time
Austin American-Statesman
It's never a matter of "if." It's a matter of "when." When a school hires Dennis Erickson as coach, its football team will become a power.

Holiday Bowl may be last shot for Texas' Akina
Dallas Morning News
Texas coach Mack Brown was asked if co-defensive coordinator Duane Akina would be back calling plays next season. The answer wasn't exactly an endorsement.

Texas hoping to secure 10th win again
Dallas Morning News
The Holiday Bowl's status as one of the top non-BCS games is a mixed blessing. The game usually features highly ranked teams, but some years one of those teams is smarting from a BCS snub and turns in a lackluster performance. Such was the case when a fifth-ranked Texas squad lost, 28-20, to Washington State in 2003. And when No. 4 California fell, 45-31, to Texas Tech in 2004. Although this year's Longhorns are far from satisfied with their 9-3 record and No. 17 ranking, they aren't lacking motivation for their matchup Thursday against No. 12 Arizona State (10-2) at Qualcomm Stadium. That motivation can be found in the history section of the Longhorns' record book.

Marcus Griffin makes name for himself at Texas
Dallas Morning News
... one thing is clear as Texas (9-3) heads into its showdown with Arizona State (10-2) in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl on Thursday: Marcus Griffin has finally climbed out of the shadow of his more outgoing, higher-profile twin brother.

Holiday boom or bust for Horns?
San Antonio Express-News
When the Longhorns take on Arizona State on Thursday night, it will be the Longhorns' fourth appearance in the Holiday Bowl since 2000. And those games in the peaceful air of Southern California have always proved poignant when it comes to revealing the true Longhorns.

Longhorns trying to tackle defensive problems
San Antonio Express-News
Texas cornerback Ryan Palmer doesn't even like to think about the Longhorns' loss to Texas A&M. Just the memory of it makes his head shake. As for watching video of it? That's worse... And with that, coach Mack Brown snorted, and hit the rewind button again. The more it hurt, the better.

Love or hate him, Erickson produces wins
San Diego Union-Tribune
In his 35-year, 11-city pro and college career, 60-year-old Dennis Erickson has left behind a much-publicized trail of jeers. Every time he moves these days, much of it is recited in the media: a dozen player arrests on his 1994 team, five charged with assault at Oregon State in 2000, four jobs since 2002, two firings in the NFL, the DUI in 1995, his hurtful departure after just one season at Idaho in 2006, his reliance on junior college prospects to quick-fix his roster.

Barrett out of Holiday Bowl
Arizona Republic
Josh Barrett's football career at Arizona State will end on a sideline. The senior safety will not play Thursday against Texas in the Holiday Bowl due to a right knee injury. Rodney Cox, who made his first career start against Arizona on Dec. 1 in place of Barrett, will start again. Jeremy Payton will be the nickel back.

Sequel season can't live up to original
Phoenix East Valley Tribune
From a personal standpoint, the first season for Colt McCoy as starting quarterback at Texas could not have been scripted better. His second year — like most sequels — has not measured up by comparison.

Herring done talking, returns to practice
Phoenix East Valley Tribune
Last week, as Arizona State running back Keegan Herring missed practices with an ankle injury, he still performed his customary role of poking fun at defensive players who get beat during practice. That caused ASU defensive coordinator Craig Bray to respond, "At least he's in a uniform." On Sunday, so was Herring, who practiced and proclaimed that he will play when the Sun Devils face Texas in the Holiday Bowl on Thursday.

Texas Preview
DevilsDigest.com
The supposed sting from being edged out of a BCS bowl game has subsided with a valuable opportunity awaiting the Sun Devils in San Diego. The 30th annual Pacific Life Holiday Bowl pits Arizona State against football-powerhouse Texas. It's a chance for the Sun Devils to cap off a successful season with a signature win and use that as a springboard into recruiting and beyond in 2008.

Football recruiting

ScoutTV: Darrell Scott
InsideTexas.com
The nation's top ranked running back, Darrell Scott from Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure, ended his prep career in style and here are clips from his final game in a high school uniform from the state championship game...

Junior To Watch: Alex Okafor, Pflugerville
InsideTexas.com
Defensive linemen are a premium position in Texas every year but the Class of 2009 looks to have a special lot of defensive ends. One of the top names to look at is Pflugerville's Alex Okafor. He had a great regular season only to be topped by an even better playoff performance. Texasprepinsider takes a look at Alex and talks recruiting with one of the state's top juniors.

Men's hoops

MSU Hands Texas First Loss
InsideTexas.com
No. 4/5 Texas fell from the ranks of the unbeaten following a 78-72 loss Saturday against No. 10 Michigan State at The Palace at Auburn Hills. Both teams are now 11-1 on the season.

Michigan State holds off Texas
Austin American-Statesman
Rick Barnes figures that his team will have some depth this season, just not now. On Saturday, the fourth-ranked Longhorns revealed just how thin they are, especially compared with Michigan State.

No. 4 Texas suffers first defeat to Michigan State
Dallas Morning News
If Texas' shots had been falling the whole game against Michigan State like they did in the final minute Saturday night, the outcome might have been different. But four straight 3-pointers by A.J. Abrams in a 36-second span, all from NBA range, weren't enough to pull the fourth-ranked Longhorns back from a 13-point deficit, and the No. 9 Spartans preserved a 78-72 victory at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Other:

Inside Scoop
Inside Texas

Bevo Beat
Austin American-Statesman

Recruiting Blog
Dallas Morning News

Longhorns Blog
Houston Chronicle


Horns Digest Top Stories