Longhorns Tuesday Daily Bullets
By Kevin Flaherty
* The Longhorns lost another lineman on Saturday, bringing the running total of linemen out for the regular season to three. Senior Michael Huey, who has started every game of the year at left guard, had recently earned praise from Texas coaches for his play. But he injured his knee against Baylor and will be out 4-6 weeks, meaning the earliest that he could play would be in a bowl game.
Huey is the second starting guard to miss time. Senior right guard Tray Allen suffered a foot injury prior to the season and is taking a medical redshirt year. Luke Poehlmann, a rotational player at tackle, is also out for the season with a knee injury.
Huey's absence opens the door for true freshman Trey Hopkins, who has earned rave reviews for his athleticism and intelligence. Hopkins has rotated at both tackle and guard this year.
* With Texas sitting at 4-4, Longhorn coach Mack Brown conceded that most of the team's goals, of winning the South, winning the conference and playing a BCS bowl, were off the table.
And while Texas typically makes each game its next goal, Brown did say that Texas had a new long-term goal: bowl eligibility. Brown admitted Monday that the players and coaches typically joked about becoming bowl eligible, since Texas typically hit that mark early on in the season.
But with a young team, Brown said those 13 extra practices would be invaluable.
* Both Brown and offensive coordinator Greg Davis said that quarterback Garrett Gilbert played the best game of his Texas career on Saturday. The quarterback put up more than 300 yards of total offense, including a team-leading 79 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
But both conceded that the effort could have been even better if Gilbert were helped out by dropped passes. The Longhorn receivers dropped five passes in all, including two touchdowns and a pass that resulted in an interception. Gilbert completed 22-of-39 passes, or 56.4 percent of his throws. Without the drops, that completion percentage jumps to a gaudy 69.2.
* A year ago, Texas went to the red zone 38 times by this point in the season. This year, surprisingly, that number is 36, or just two off. But while last year's squad scored 24 touchdowns in those trips, this year's has scored nine fewer, or 15 touchdowns.
The Longhorns currently rank 10th in the league in red zone efficiency, gaining an average of 3.4 points per trip inside the 20. Only Colorado (3) and Kansas (2.7) are worse.
* Gilbert's 79 rushing yards against Baylor marked the second time this year that Gilbert topped 70 yards in rushing. He ran for 71 yards in helping Texas defeat Nebraska in Lincoln 20-13.
Those two performances make up two of the top three marks posted by a Texas runner this season. Gilbert's 79 yards is a season high for the Longhorns, while Cody Johnson ran for 73 yards in Lincoln. Gilbert's 71 yards against Nebraska was the third-best.
Not surprisingly then, Texas' much-maligned power rushing attack has failed to yield a top-10 rusher in the Big 12.