Two Deep: Did the 'Foz' State His Case?

RS-freshman RB Fozzy Whittaker's collegiate debut (72 yards on 12 carries) at UTEP was enough to earn him tri-starter status when Texas released its depth charts Monday.

"(Whittaker) has got really good vision and the ability to jump sideways and make people miss," offensive coordinator Greg Davis said. "He's got an excellent burst. Quite honestly, I didn't realize he had 12 carries. We had said we would get him the ball, but it was going to be slow because we were facing an unusual (3-3-5) defense. He ended up doing a really nice job."

Senior Chris Ogbonnaya got the start when the Horns kicked-off Saturday against the Miners but managed all of one yard on one carry (he added 35 yards on three receptions). Sophomore Vondrell McGee opened with Ones against Florida Atlantic but saw his production drop from 12 attempts against the Owls to six totes in El Paso. Texas' tailback-by-committee would feature the RB displaying the 'hot hands' on any given Saturday, coaches have said. In Whittaker's case, it had less to do with hot hands as it did a bum knee.

Whittaker missed the season-opener after injuring his left knee during Texas' final preseason scrimmage. He also missed a couple of days of practice after injuring his leg during his team's first scrimmage.

"We hadn't really hit him (in practice) since his knee injury," head coach Mack Brown acknowledged. "He's been in 'thud' drills, so we didn't really know how much he would play or how well he would play. It looked like his knee stood up well and he played well."

Whittaker's first collegiate carry saw him rush for 13 yards on a sweep around the right end. He followed with back-to-back eight yard runs off right tackle. He would test the left side of Texas' line late in the third quarter, stepping off 22 yards on three attempts. At the very least, it may have dispelled the notion that Whittaker excels primarily in a lateral attack.

"It's been assumed or implied that he can't run between the tackles," Davis said, "and that is not, in any way, the case. He has really good hip strength and leg strength."

Can you live with Whiitaker's six ypc? Davis probably can, particularly since he voiced displeasure Monday with Texas' running game. Texas ran for 122 yards Saturday against a defense that won't be confused for Oklahoma's. In fact, Whittaker's 15-yard dash against UTEP represents the longest run by a Texas RB through the first two contests.

"I'm not pleased with where we're at in running the ball," Davis said. "Historically, other than in 1998, we have started slow in the running game. We ended up being pretty proficient at it."

Davis noted that former RB Jamaal Charles hit his stride late last October and went on to claim the Big 12 rushing title. But why the slow starts?

"It's because we have to be careful in (August) camp with the number of 'live snaps' you get," Davis said. "Foz was nicked during our last scrimmage. We had two guys nicked, and I didn't want to go into the season with just one (RB). You can get your timing down with your throwing game -- even in shorts. It's tougher with the running game."

DT Lamarr Houston is listed as a co-starter with Aaron Lewis listed for Saturday's match-up against Arkansas. Lewis opened with the Ones at UTEP following Houston's one-game suspension for DWI. Both have 11 starts under their belts, and both will play Saturday. Who gets the starting nod?

"It depends on who practices well," defensive coordinator Will Muschamp said. "Aaron did some good things Saturday. He's a good match-up for us inside on pass-rush as far as getting on some of the guards in our league. He always plays hard. He plays with a motor. He's a guy that younger players look to when times are hard, and that's going to happen every game. Lamarr has a lot of spring inside, and we're looking forward to playing both of them."

Chykie Brown and Deon Beasley continue to be listed as co-starters at LCB. Brown started the FAU game; both were on the fields with the Ones when Texas opened with a nickel package against UTEP.

Charlie Tanner missed the UTEP game (ankle) but is listed as a co-starter with Michael Huey. The sophomore logged his first start at UTEP in subbing for Tanner.

Official Texas Depth Chart

Position No. Player | No. Player | No. Player
Flanker (Z) 8 Jordan Shipley | 11 James Kirkendoll      
Tight End (Y) 19 Blaine Irby | 83 Greg Smith | 86 Peter Ullman
Right Tackle 64 Kyle Hix | 72 Britt Mitchell | 76 Aundre McGaskey
Right Guard 55 Cedric Dockery | 63 Michael Huey OR 75 Steve Moore
Center 71 Chris Hall | 65 Buck Burnette | 75 Steve Moore
Left Guard 52 Charlie Tanner OR 63 Michael Huey | 78 David Snow
Left Tackle 74 Adam Ulatoski | 56 Tray Allen
Split End (X) 6 Quan Cosby | 4 Dan Buckner | 85 D.J. Grant
Tailback 3 Chris Ogbonnaya OR
Vondrell McGee
Fozzy Whittaker
Cody Johnson
Jeremy Hills
Fullback 31 Cody Johnson | 24 Antwan Cobb OR 49 Luke Tiemann
Note: 99 Roy Miller will also play fullback in short yardage and goal-line situations.
Quarterback 12 Colt McCoy | 7 John Chiles | 17 Sherrod Harris
Sub B 9 Malcolm Williams | 5 Brandon Collins      
(replaces TE or FB in three-receiver set)
Place-Kicker 15 Hunter Lawrence | 39 Ryan Bailey | 9 Justin Tucker

Position No. Player | No. Player | No. Player
DE (Quick) 98 Brian Orakpo | 81 Sam Acho | 97 Russell Carter
Nose Tackle 99 Roy Miller | 92 Ben Alexander OR 94 Michael Wilcoxon
Tackle 95 Aaron Lewis OR 33 Lamarr Houston | 91 Kheeston Randall
DE (Power) 37 Henry Melton | 32 Eddie Jones      
Strongside LB 2 Sergio Kindle | 1 Keenan Robinson      
Middle LB 44 Rashad Bobino OR 11 Jared Norton | 42 Dustin Earnest
Weakside LB 38 Roddrick Muckelroy | 18 Emmanuel Acho | 42 Dustin Earnest
Right CB 13 Ryan Palmer | 3 Curtis Brown | 4 Aaron Williams
Right Safety 12 Earl Thomas | 6 Christian Scott      
Left Safety 21 Blake Gideon | 27 Nolan Brewster OR 5 Ben Wells
Left CB 8 Chykie Brown OR 7 Deon Beasley | 4 Aaron Williams
Punter 47 John Gold | 17 Trevor Gerland | 9 Justin Tucker

Position No. Player | No. Player
Kickoffs 9 Justin Tucker | 15 Hunter Lawrence
Punt Returns 6 Quan Cosby | 8 Jordan Shipley OR 3 Curtis Brown
Kickoff Returns 6
Quan Cosby
Jordan Shipley
Chykie Brown
Malcolm Williams



Christian Scott
Holder 8 Jordan Shipley | 17 Sherrod Harris | 21 Blake Gideon
Deep Snapper (PAT/FG) 83 Greg Smith | 72 Britt Mitchell  
Deep Snapper (Punts) 58 William Harvey | 48 Alex Zumberge  

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