2009 Texas Longhorns Football Preview
2008 Record: (12-1, 7-1)
2008 Bowl: Fiesta Bowl vs. Ohio State (W 24-21)
Coach: Mack Brown (115-26 at Texas, 201-100-1 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Greg Davis
Defensive Coordinator: Will Muschamp
Other Key Returnees: CB Deon Beasley, CB Curtis Brown, WR Brandon Collins, S Blake Gideon, CB Cody Johnson, RB Vondrell McGee, LB Jared Norton, OT Adam Ulatoski
Key Losses for UT: LB Rashad Bobino, WR Quan Cosby, G Cedric Dockery, DE Henry Melton, DT Roy Miller, RB Chris Ogbonnaya, DE Brian Orakpo, CB Ryan Palmer
There is little doubt who the second best team heading into the 2009 season will be. Texas returns a whole slew of talent on both sides of the ball, but this is not a team that will waltz through the Big 12 and grabbing a conference championship is anything but a sure thing…especially since one little loss can put a quick end to that as Longhorn fans know all too well.
The defensive front four needs to be totally replaced, but the rest of the defense is a great, experienced group. Linebackers Roddrick Muckelroy and Sergio Kindle are two of the best in the nation. Muckelroy led the team with 112 tackles and Kindle tallied an impressive ten sacks on the year. Add Jared Norton to the mix and Texas has one of the best linebacker corps in the nation. The secondary returns most of its talent too. The team ranked seventh in the conference in pass defense and that number should be better for a team that generated such an amazing pass rush. With corners Deon Beasley, Curtis Brown and Chykie Brown back and young safeties Blake Gideon and Earl Thomas performing so well last year, the secondary is in good shape.
But how effective can they be without Brian Orakpo and the rest of the d-line wreaking havoc in the opponent’s backfield? The Longhorns led the nation in sacks last year and are desperate to keep up the pressure. So desperate in fact that Sergio Kindle is being tried out at defensive end. Quan Cosby, the team’s leading receiver last year, is gone, but the Longhorns have plenty of talented receivers ready to step up. They also return a stable of running backs. The problem is Colt McCoy was the team’s leading rusher last year. Vondrell McGee, Cody Johnson and Foswhitt Whittaker are all capable backs, but it would be beneficial if one of them stepped up and became the go-to-guy.
The Bottom Line for the Longhorns:
This is McCoy’s team and they will go as far as he can take them. His elusiveness is a big plus and it is never easy to bring him down, especially with four starting offensive lineman returning. Yet, that means McCoy takes a lot of hits and he is always one play away from being hurt. If a running back emerges, McCoy will not need to use his legs as often and that will be a good thing for the Longhorns and Coach Mack Brown.
By Joel Welser
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