NCAA FB

TOP 25 COUNTDOWN: No. 3 Texas

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Darryl Richards

 
   
 
3. Texas Coach: Mack Brown. 2001 record: 11-2. Defeated Washington, 47-43, in the Holiday Bowl. 2002 projection: 11-1. Texas quarterback has adopted an appropriate slogan for the Longhorns this season. It's simply "No excuses." Texas has won a couple of national titles in February, but those don't count. It is time for Texas to step up and win the big games that will put it in a position to play for the national championship. The Longhorns are loaded on offense with the best receiver corps in the nation. Running back provides balance and the defense has big-play capability with defensive end , linebacker and cornerbacks and . It would be a big disappointment if the Longhorns don't play in a BCS bowl. Memo to BCS: Texas gets away with playing an average non-conference schedule because the Longhorns will play a much tougher Big 12 schedule than last year. The Longhorns should be undefeated by the time they play Oklahoma on Oct. 12. The schedule won't get any easier with a trip to the following week. The Longhorns have another key game on Nov. 2 when they take on in Lincoln. Texas ends the season with a tricky game at on Nov. 16 and a big rivalry game against on Nov. 29. Since the spring: Starting tight end required surgery to strengthen his knee and will miss the 2002 season. ¿ Longhorns junior cornerback gave up football because of a history of broken clavicles. Collier has had two separate surgeries and three broken clavicles in his career. ¿ Wide receiver Marquis Johnson did not qualify and will enroll in junior college. Johnson was a Parade All-America. Safeties and Philip Geiggar returned after missing the spring for academic reasons. Geiggar will redshirt this season. The Foundation: Quarterback is 15-4 as a starter, but had eight turnovers in two losses last season. ¿ Texas coach Mack Brown's biggest mistake was not allowing running back to touch the ball against Oklahoma last season. Benson rushed for 1,053 yards last year, including 867 yards in the final seven games. ¿ Wide receiver is always a big play threat. ¿ Cornerback had seven interceptions last season and can alter a game on kick returns. ¿ Linebacker had 83 tackles last season despite starting just two games. ¿ Defensive end had five sacks last season and is poised for a great year. Add-ons: Redshirt freshman will start at tackle and protect ' blind side. ¿ It is very possible that Texas will have a pair of freshmen safeties. Redshirt freshmen and are battling for the starting job at strong safety and redshirt freshman is currently the starter at free safety. ¿ Freshman defensive back Edorian McCullough won the Texas Class 5A 100-meters. Linebacker and linebacker Garnet Smith are both potential backups at the outside linebacker. ... Freshman running back Selvin Young has been impressive early in the backfield and in kick return duties. The Big If: Can come through when the pressure is on? The answer so far has been no and Simms is running out of time to establish his legacy at Texas. Simms will have plenty of opportunities with games against Oklahoma, and . If he performs in those games, Texas will be in a BCS bowl. Senior writer Darryl Richards can be reached at his e-mail address, drichards@foxsports.com.
Tagged: Bills, Cowboys, North Carolina, Arizona State, Washington, Kentucky, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas State, Kansas, Texas, Mike Williams, Roy Williams

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