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This is the type of game that Texas would have lost a couple of years ago. Mack Brown set out to make his team a tougher team and it has paid off. The offensive line is much more physical than in the days of the spread offense. The Horns are now a downhill running team and they have the ability to dominate and wear down a defense.
Oklahoma State redshirt freshman quarterback J.W. Walsh was making his first start. He played well and did everything he could to get his team a win. He threw for over 300 yards and his runs late in the game gave the Longhorns defense fits.
This game went back and forth with both teams swapping the lead. Oklahoma State took the lead with 2:35 to go. Texas sophomore quarterback David Ash showed that he had grown up over the offseason, taking his team on an 8 play 75 yard drive to win the game. Along the way, Ash completed a 29 yard pass to tight end D.J. Grant to convert a 4th and 6. Running back Joe Bergeron went over the top to score with 0:29 left and get the win for Texas.
Here are my thoughts on the draft eligible players from this game. I will start with the winning team:
Mike Davis – WR- Jr: Mike Davis had a very good freshman season, but his numbers fell off a bit last year. This year, he seems to have rededicated himself and is contributing to the offense. He is doing a good job finding the sticks and converting 3rd downs. He is a fast athletic receiver that does a good job catching the ball at its highest point. He made a 32 yard catch on the winning drive to give the Horns a first down at the Cowboys 5 yard line and setup the winning score. He had 4 catches for 49 yards.
Marquise Goodwin-WR-Sr: Early in his career, Goodwin was a player that was just used for his speed. He was a very good kick returner and was able to beat his man deep because of his Olympic class speed. He has always been a threat to go all the way every time he touches the ball. This year, he looks like he is maturing as a receiver and becoming a better route runner. Once he gets the ball in his hands, he looks like a running back. He has become better at breaking tackles and he has improved his concentration. He had 6 catches for 28 yards and 4 carries for 5 yards. One of his catches converted a 4th down situation.
D.J. Grant-TE-Sr: Once upon a time, D.J. Grant was a very promising player. Along the way, he suffered knee injuries that caused him to miss the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Sadly, he is not the same player after recovering from injury. He is a very good blocker, but is not used much in the passing game. He only had one catch against Oklahoma State, but it may have been the play of the game. The Horns were down by 2 points and were facing a 4th and 6. David Ash found Grant on a slant play over the middle for 29 yards and a 1st down.
Donald Hawkins-LT-Jr: Donald Hawkins is a highly regarded JC transfer that is in his first year as a starter. He had a rough night. He had block below the waist penalty and a false start called against him.
Trey Hopkins-G-Jr: Hopkins showed good mobility and his ability to pull and trap is a staple of the Horns rushing attack. He also does a good job getting out on screen plays.
Alex Okafor-DE-Sr: Alex Okafor is one of the top defensive ends available for the 2013 draft. I have him rated as my #5 ranked DE. He is one of the most dominant defensive ends in the country. He is a natural pass rusher, but he also does a good job playing the run on his way to the quarterback. He had 3 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and 1 sack.
Chris Whaley-DT-Jr: Chris Whaley was one of the most highly recruited running backs in the state. After spending one year as a running back, he was moving to defensive tackle and is now a 292 lb. run stuffer. He does a good job getting off of blocks. Whaley had 2 tackles and 1 tackle for loss.
Jackson Jeffcoat-DE-Jr: The son of former Cowboys defensive end Jim Jeffcoat was a highly recruited defensive end. He has been in the rotation since his first game at Texas and he continues to get better and better. He is a disruptive player that is very quick into the opposing backfield. Jeffcoat gives great pursuit and doesn’t give up on a play. He is very agile and can stay on his feet, even when the offense tries to cut block him. Jeffcoat had 7 tackles and 4 tackles for loss. He also had a sack and strip of the quarterback.
Quandre Diggs-CB-Jr: Quandre Diggs is the brother of former Longhorn corner Quentin Jammer. He is a good cover corner and does a good job battling receivers for the ball. Diggs had 6 tackles, 2 pass breakups and dropped an interception in the end zone.
Kenny Vaccaro-S-Sr: Kenny Vaccaro is a versatile defensive back that is the key to the Longhorns defense. He lines up all over the field and does it all. He tackles well in space and does a good job reading the QB and breaking on the ball. Vaccaro had 5 tackles, ½ tackle for loss and an interception.
Joseph Randle–RB–Sr: Joseph Randle almost single-handedly beat the Longhorns. He had a 69 yard TD run on his first carry of the game and the Texas defense struggled to stop him all night long. His versatility makes the Cowboys hard to stop. He has great explosion and doesn’t need a big crease to get yardage. Randle does a good job finding and exploiting the soft spots in the defense. He has a low pad level and he can go around or over a defender. Randle also did a good job pass protecting the young quarterback. He had 25 carries for 199 yards and 2 TD and also caught 2 passes for 12 yards.
Tracy Moore-WR-Sr: Tracy Moore is a big, athletic wide receiver. He was held in check in the 1st half, but emerged in the 2nd half. He led all Cowboys receivers with 6 catches for 93 yards.
Blake Jackson-WR-Jr: Blake Jackson is a 6’3” 225 lb. receiver that excels in the red zone. He Cowboys like to look to him when they get close to the end zone. He is tough to bring down after the catch. Jackson had 1 catch for 26 yards.
Lane Taylor-G-Sr: Lane Taylor is an experienced lineman that has started since his freshman season. He does a good job finishes his blocks and plays until the whistle is blown. He has a good short pass block set and is able to keep the pocket from being pushed from the inside.
Cooper Bassett-DE-Sr: Cooper Bassett’s teammates call him “Captain America”. He is a 6’5” 270 pound player that started off as a tight end, but moved to defense last year. Bassett is in his first year as a starter and is still learning. He is raw, but very athletic and tackles well in space. He had 4 tackles.
Shaun Lewis-LB-Jr: Shaun Lewis is an active player that is always around the ball. He does a good job making plays behind the line of scrimmage. He sometimes misses tackles because he doesn’t wrap up the ball carrier. Lewis had 10 tackles, including one on 3rd down that forced a punt. He also had 2 ½ tackles for loss, 1 ½ sacks, 1 QB hurry and 1 forced fumble.
Alex Elkins-LB-Sr: Alex Elkins is a linebacker that can stay on the field on 3rd down. He does a good job covering backs out of the backfield. Elkins had 4 tackles.
Brodrick Brown-CB-Sr: Brodrick is a small corner, but he plays with a big heart. He stands his ground against bigger receivers and is able to do well against them despite his size. He is a very physical player. Brown had 5 tackles and recovered a fumbled punt. He also was called for a pass interference penalty.
Justin Gilbert-CB-Jr: Gilbert doubles as the team’s kick returner and he had a 43 yard kickoff return. He also had 8 tackles and was called for a pass interference penalty.
Shamiel Gary-S-Jr: Shamiel Gary is a player that is always in good position and he gives good pursuit of the ball. Gary had 7 tackles and broke up one pass.
by Dwayne Wilton