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.


Holiday Bowl: Seems Like Old Times
It's deja vu all over again for a Texas team making its fourth Holiday Bowl appearance in eight years. But which Texas team will show up to face No. 12 Arizona State in San Diego?

The secret to Brown's bowl success?
Austin American-Statesman
Texas football coach Mack Brown on Thursday can win a bowl game for the fourth consecutive year. But postseason success hasn't always been assured. After beginning his tenure at Texas with one bowl victory and two losses, Brown went looking for advice six years ago. He sought out coaches who excelled in bowl season — men such as Florida State's Bobby Bowden and Wisconsin's Barry Alvarez — to learn their secrets.

Wins and losses: Looking back on preseason predictions
Austin American-Statesman
For most part, Horns lived up (or down) to our expectations.

Carpenter looks forward after rough past
Austin American-Statesman
Sun Devils quarterback had to go through controversy before being accepted as team leader

Austin American-Statesman

UT's Kelson finds a way to shift on the fly
Dallas Morning News
After being key piece of national title, Kelson living with new role

Texas high school talent scattered far and wide
Dallas Morning News
Texas is a big state. Seems even bigger in football. And long gone are the days of big college football rosters. Which means each year there are hundreds of Texas high school football players who fail to land a scholarship at Texas. Those players scatter across the country, lying in wait for their chance to show the big school what it missed. It will be no different Thursday in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl. The No. 17 Longhorns (9-3) face No. 12 Arizona State (10-2).

Speak softly, Hit 'em hard
San Antonio Express-News
Texas safety Marcus Griffin understands the irony now. The senior is the Longhorns' leading tackler but didn't even embrace football until middle school because of one overriding aversion. "I didn't really like the contact part of it," Griffin said with a knowing chuckle. There's reason for the twisted grin — a guy who used to hate hitting people has become the Longhorns' open-field enforcer. Griffin leads UT with 97 tackles, 21 more than Ryan Palmer. But that's just part of Griffin's evolution.

Sophomore slump aside, it isn't all bad for McCoy
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Statistically, Texas quarterback Colt McCoy didn't have the year he or the Longhorns expected. After a record-setting freshman season, tossing 18 interceptions and 21 touchdowns just didn't have the same feel. It felt more like a sophomore slump.

Making their Holiday plans yet again
Houston Chronicle
The three most popular attractions in town this time of year: The panda exhibit at the San Diego Zoo. Shamu at Sea World. The Texas Longhorns. To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl invited one of its most frequent visitors back. No. 17 Texas (9-3) will play No. 12 Arizona State (10-2) on Thursday at Qualcomm Stadium, marking the Longhorns' fourth appearance in eight years.

Big hat, no cattle
San Diego Union-Tribune
Texas among country's top programs, but pass defense is No. 109 in nation

Arizona St. favors run, but runs into problem
San Diego Union-Tribune
Coach Dennis Erickson's reputation as a passing-game innovator has endured for about 30 years, going all the way back to 1970s, when he coached alongside the late Jack Elway Sr. But this year his Arizona State team has run the football at a higher percentage than any of his seasons since 2000, including his two years with the San Francisco 49ers in 2003-04.

Blissful pairing: Both Erickson and ASU basking in the sun again
North County Times
Arizona State prepares for a bowl game bathed in sunlight that shines nearly as brightly as its No. 12 national ranking. A mere stone's throw from the practice field on the UC San Diego campus, the deep-blue Pacific Ocean extends out far beyond the horizon. Hope for this football program's future seems equally limitless.

ASU coordinators praise Devils
Arizona Republic
Nothing will soften the most hardened coach than overachievers. Like Arizona State football, which began the season unranked and closes Thursday with a chance for the sixth 11-win season in school history. ASU coordinators Rich Olson (offense) and Craig Bray (defense), with a combined 64 years of college or NFL coaching, will fondly remember these Sun Devils for buying into a new staff and exceeding expectations.

Holiday Bowl notebook: McGaha on verge of odd feat
Phoenix East Valley Tribune

Leading His Team
Modesto Bee
University of Texas football coach Mack Brown stepped aside for a while Monday and gave control of his Longhorns to Brian Karlson. For Karlson, a Modesto Junior College student who was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at the age of 7, just being there was a huge surprise. The Longhorns fan had asked his family to go to Thursday's Holiday Bowl in San Diego. His stepfather communicated via e-mail with university officials to set up a surprise meeting between Karlson, Brown and other members of the Texas football team after their Christmas Eve practice.


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