Thursday 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.


Perspective Piece: Texas-Texas Tech
Historically and currently, the flagship football program in the Lone Star State is used to playing in Texas-sized showdowns. Therefore, when the No. 1 Longhorns take the field Saturday night in Lubbock, the leading contender for the BCS Championship Game will not sweat bullets. The Eyes of Texas will instead be fixed upon the team standing in the way of a South Beach sojourn for Bevo's boys.

Longhorns again TV favorites
Austin American-Statesman
To the victor goes the TV spoils. Texas, thanks to its No. 1 ranking, has become a national television darling over the past month.

Notebook: Brown isn't interested in style points
Austin American-Statesman

Texas' opponents experiencing Orakpo phobia
Dallas Morning News
Brian Orakpo, a fan of author John Steinbeck, penned a concise description of his playing style for the Texas football Web site: "Too fast for your eyes." The problem was that Orakpo was more visible than he wanted to be in 2007, slowed by a knee injury. The senior defensive end whom coach Mack Brown called maybe the best pass rusher of his time in Texas managed just 5 ½ sacks after suffering a chop block against Arkansas State. Now, the Orakpo everybody expected has emerged. He's in the face of offensive linemen, the heads of quarterbacks and on a mission, he says, to make up for time lost.

Walk-on Texas Tech kicker's role might expand
Dallas Morning News
Texas Tech coach Mike Leach was noncommittal when asked this week if Matt  Williams, the regular student from Weatherford turned extra-point kicker, would also be considered for field goals.

Tough catches becoming the norm for UT's Cosby
San Antonio Express-News
Days after "The Catch," Quan Cosby's teammates still were buzzing about it... Cosby's acrobatic touchdown grab — in midair, falling backward, over a defender's outstretched hand — was perhaps the highlight of the Longhorns' 28-24 victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday at Royal-Memorial Stadium. UT may need more catches like that from Cosby if the No. 1 Longhorns are going to remain undefeated and beat Texas Tech Saturday in Lubbock.

Texas Longhorns' Ryan Palmer keeping secondary focused
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Texas cornerback Ryan Palmer arrived at this week's news conference wearing a protective sleeve on his left arm to minimize swelling from a hyperextended elbow. Palmer, an Arlington Bowie graduate, also is nursing a strained hamstring. Neither ailment has kept Palmer off the field, although his string of 20 consecutive starts ended in last week's 28-24 victory over Oklahoma State. Palmer played primarily as a nickel back in that contest. His role in Saturday's showdown against No. 6 Texas Tech could vary from down to down, with the top-ranked Longhorns expected to use lots of five- and six-deep coverage packages. But the one role Palmer will not abdicate, even if injuries force him to the sideline, is emotional anchor of a young secondary that is in for its toughest test of the 2008 season.

Rough road for Tech tackle
Daily Texan
Going up against Big 12 sack leader Brian Orakpo pales in comparison to the many challenges Texas Tech starting left tackle Rylan Reed has faced. The road hasn't been easy for the 26-year-old senior, who has faced cancer and tragedy.

Heisman candidate or not, Texas defensive end Orakpo is a beast'
Lubbock Avalanche Journal
Brian Orakpo's dream is to win the Heisman Trophy.

West Texas feels like home turf to ‘Horns' McCoy
Lubbock Avalanche Journal
Colt McCoy plays football for Texas, but Texas Tech feels like home to a certain degree. The junior quarterback is a West Texas native, for starters, having played his high school ball just south of Abilene at Tuscola Jim Ned. McCoy played his last high school game at Lubbock's Lowrey Field, and several of his hometown friends are now students at Texas Tech. So as he talked this week about returning to Lubbock for Saturday's showdown between the unbeaten Longhorns and unbeaten Red Raiders, McCoy almost sounded giddy.

Tech seeks another big second half from Britton
Lubbock Avalanche Journal
Texas Tech got Edward Britton going early last week. On the team's second play from scrimmage, Britton ran a post pattern into a wide-open middle of the field, snagged a Graham Harrell pass and dashed for the end zone like a Labrador off his leash. Just two minutes past opening kickoff, and Britton had the Red Raiders on the scoreboard at Kansas... The Raiders would be thrilled if Britton kept it up for the rest of the season. And they'd sure like him to duplicate his performance against Texas. Last season in Austin, Britton caught seven passes for 116 yards - both career highs - and scored a touchdown.

Red Raiders Football Notebook 10-30-2008
Lubbock Avalanche Journal

When it comes to Tech-UT matchup, take your pick
Daily Toreador
This week's Tech-UT game is unquestionably the biggest game in the history of Texas Tech football. This is Tech's chance to take the program to the next level. This is a chance to join the nation's elite or, at the very least, join the elite programs of the Big 12 South. But hopefully, Mike Leach and the Red Raiders are not giving in to the hype. Hopefully, they are looking at this game as if it is just like any other.

Texas Tech thrives on character of offensive line
USA Today
Australia's Brandon Carter is a theoretical physicist who studies black holes. Texas Tech's Brandon Carter is a right guard who creates holes in defenses... Tech's Carter is the painted face of the No. 5 Red Raiders, who host No. 1 Texas on Saturday (8 p.m. ET, ABC). He's the one you see on highlight clips with his face Picasso-ed like a pro wrestler, which is what he hopes to be one day.

Texas Tech ‘D' is Ruffin ready
The phone will ring Saturday, probably about three hours before kickoff, and Ruffin McNeill Sr. will pick up the handset and talk with his son. Ruffin Jr. probably doesn't need Dad's advice anymore. He's 50 now and the defensive coordinator at sixth-ranked Texas Tech, which plays host to No. 1 Texas this weekend at Jones SBC Stadium. Without a doubt, it's the highlight of McNeill's coaching career to date.

Defense is No. 1 with Akina
Honolulu Advertiser
Maybe it was during the trips to the Jim Thorpe Award dinners, where his players won the trophy emblematic of college football's top defensive back in consecutive years (2005 and '06). Perhaps it was watching all those drafts, with 23 of his protegee going to the NFL. But somewhere along the line Duane Akina, one-time quarterback and offensive coaching aspirant, made his peace and found a home coaching on the defensive side of the ball. And a wondrous marriage it has been for the secondary and assistant head coach at the No. 1-ranked University of Texas, whose Longhorns are bidding for a second national championship in four years.


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