Breakfast with Bevo: Opening night

Posted August 30th, 2014


Good morning. Breakfast is served.

It’s August 30th — 242 down, 123 to go.

And 5 till the NFL season opener, Thursday Night Football style.


YESTERDAY: High school football began in earnest across the state, with some of the area’s top-rated teams all losing (Westlake, Lake Travis, Cedar Park, Bowie). BYU — next week’s Texas opponent — started its season with an impressive road win over UConn. Texas Tech gave Kliff Kingsbury a contract extension through 2020. Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova advanced, but Venus Williams didn’t at the U.S. Open. The Rams cut 17 players — Michael Sam made it, Garrett Gilbert didn’t — but Sam must survive four more cuts today. Texas A&M quarterback Kenny Hill‘s Heisman odds shot way up in Vegas. And Kevin Durant celebrated his 26th birthday.

TODAY: College football kicks off en masse. The Charlie Strong era begins at Texas. The Mack Brown era begins at ESPN. There’s a Top 25 doubleheader (No. 12 Georgia vs. No. 16 Clemson, 4:30 p.m. on ESPN; No. 13-LSU vs. No. 14 Wisconsin, 8 p.m. on ESPN). More U.S. Open.

TOMORROW: Baylor plays SMU in its season opener and first game at McLane Stadium (6:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1). The U.S. Open continues.

Aug. 30 has a sports history. On this date, the Houston Comets beat the New York Liberty to win the first title in WNBA history (1997); Russia’s Sergei Bubka broke his own world record in the pole vault for the 31st time, with a vault of 20-1 (1992; U.S. long jumper Mike Powell set a world record with a leap of 29-41/2 (1991); Twins slugger Kirby Puckett went 6-for-6 with two homers against Milwaukee (1987) on the same day that Canada’s Ben Johnson broke the world record in the 100-meters, in a time of 9.83 seconds (1987); Kathy Horvath, at 14 years and 5 days, became the youngest to play a U.S. Open match, which she lost (1979); and Ty Cobb made his rookie debut, hitting a double (1905).

Last year on Aug. 30, Time Warner Cable and the Longhorn Network struck a deal, just in time for the Texas-New Mexico State season opener the following day; Kansas State was shocked by North Dakota State in the season opener, 24-21 in Manhattan; Kliff Kingsbury won his Texas Tech debut over SMU, 41-23; and Robert Griffin III was cleared medically to play again for the Redskins.

Today’s sports birthdays: Andy Roddick (32), Adam Wainwright (33), Cliff Lee (36) and Robert Parish (61). Other notables: Cameron Diaz (42), Lewis Black (66) and Warren Buffett (84).

TODAY’S TRIVIA: From what Central Texas-area high schools did Robert Griffin III and Kliff Kingsbury graduate? (Answer’s at the end of Breakfast.)

TODAY’S LEAD: TEXAS FOOTBALL. Ten things that perhaps you didn’t know in advance of tonight’s Texas season opener.

No. 1: Texas has won 91 percent of its season openers when they’ve been played at home. Under Mack Brown, Texas was 15-1 in the first game.

No. 2: Only three schools — Florida State (26-2), Ohio State (24-2) and Alabama (24-3) — have won more games the past two seasons than Strong’s Louisville Cardinals (23-3). Oregon (23-3) and Stanford (23-5) also were 23-game programs.

No. 3: Missing from tonight’s lineup: wide receiver Daje Johnson (suspended), right tackle Desmond Harrison (suspended), safety Josh Turner (suspended), tight end Greg Daniels (ACL surgery).

No. 4: New numbers that you’ll have to learn. And quickly. Freshman quarterback Jerrod Heard is No. 13. Freshman running back Donald Catalon is No. 21. No. 24 isn’t Joe Bergeron anymore, it’s freshman safety John Bonney. Freshman safety Jason Hall, expected to start tonight, is No. 31. There’s still a 44 on defense, but it’s walk-on safety Dylan Haines, who’s backing up Hall, and obviously not Jackson Jeffcoat. Freshman receivers Armanti Foreman and Lorenzo Joe are Nos. 83 and 84, respectively. And Daje Johnson is now No. 23. He was 4 last year.

No. 5: Jaxon Shipley enters the season looking to move up in a couple of school career receiving lists. He’s No. 3 in consecutive games with a reception (33), and is 11 behind Quan Cosby‘s 44 for No. 2 on the list. Roy Williams, who caught a pass in 44 straight games from 2000-03, looks pretty safe. Ship’s also No. 7 in career catches (159). He should finish his career in the top five, which right now is Jordan Shipley (248), Williams (241), Cosby (212), Mike Davis (200) category. And he’s No. 8 in career receiving yards, and is only 67 away from becoming only the eighth Longhorn with 2,000 or more career yards.

No. 6: This will be the 10th time these schools have played. Texas has never lost. In their last three meetings, the Longhorns have outscored the Mean Green 148-7.

No. 7: There are question marks with both quarterbacks. David Ash hasn’t played since Sept. 21, 2013 and he wasn’t hit during the spring or fall camps. And North Texas’ Josh Greer is a juco transfer making his first start. And he wasn’t named UNT’s starter until this Monday.

No. 8: Kickoff is at 7 p.m. It’s on the Longhorn Network, for all of you with Time Warner, AT&T Uverse, DISH and Grande. Sorry, DirecTVers, not tonight. Texas, by the way, is 7-1 all-time in LHN games.

No. 9: Texas is 25-2-1 in first games under a new head coach, so that’s good news for Strong. But more recently, Texas is only 3-2 in new coaches’ first games under Brown, John Mackovic, David McWilliams, Fred Akers and Darrell Royal, so that’s not-so-good news.

No. 10: Keep an eye out for No. 11 in green. That’s Darius Terrell, the one-time Longhorn.

So, what’s being written about the Longhorns?

We all know Strong’s wanting to “put the T back in Texas.” But what’s that really mean? ($) T stands for toughness, we’re told. If you missed Kirk Bohls‘ annual Texas season predictions column ($) on Friday, it’s worth a look. Here are five questions facing the Longhorns ($) tonight as well as three Mean Greeners ($) that they’ll be watching extra close.

The Dallas Morning News set up the first game of the Strong era with a look at Strong’s offseason road to his first gameday.

AROUND THE BIG 12: No one’s giving Oklahoma State much of a chance against No. 1 Florida State tonight (7, ABC) at Jerry World … except, maybe, the Cowboys themselves, the Dallas Morning News writes. With DeVonte Fields no longer on the team, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram looks at other candidates to be the Horned Frogs’ top defender. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal set up Texas Tech’s season opener with a look at big left tackle Le’Raven Clark. Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops will coach his 200th game with the Sooners today, writes the Daily Oklahoman. But it’s not all sunshine in Norman; former OU linebacker Frank Shannon‘s attorney had a scathing attack on OU officials and coaches. The Oklahoman also explored all the youth and question marks for OU’s offense. The paper also looked at the primetime opportunity Oklahoma State has against the Seminoles, including three specific reasons why OSU could score an upset.

OPPOSITION RESEARCH: One possible edge for the Mean Green tonight? Most of the players know that the Longhorns all overlooked them as recruits, writes the Star-Telegram.

AROUND THE FORTY ACRES: A quick sweep of UT teams.

Volleyball: No. 2-ranked Texas its season with a pair of 3-0 shutouts over UTEP and New Mexico on Friday at the Lobo Classic in Albuquerque. Sophomore Pilar Victoria had 14 kills and 10 digs in the win over UTEP. Victoria (12 kills, 10 digs) and seniors Haley Eckerman (9 kills, 5 digs, 2 blocks) and Khat Bell (9 kills, 4 blocks) led the way against New Mexico. Texas (2-0) plays Seattle U at 4:30 today.

Soccer: Texas tied No. 22-ranked Arkansas, 0-0, despite being out-shot 15-8. The Longhorns (1-0-2) next host Nevada on Sunday (2 p.m., Myers Stadium).

Cross country: Texas’ men’s and women’s teams both finished fourth in Friday night’s Bear Twilight Invitational in Waco. Robert Uhr was the top finisher, ending up third in the men’s race. In what hopefully won’t be a sign of things go come this weekend, North Texas won the meet. The next meet isn’t until Sept. 19, at UTSA.

ON AUG. 30 …

1984: The Space Shuttle Discovery launched on its maiden voyage. It served for 27 years before its final mission in 2011.

1967: Thurgood Marshall became the first African American justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He served until 1991.

1836: The city of Houston was founded. I think ground was broken on the Astrodome the next day.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Robert Griffin III graduated from Copperas Cove (Class of 2008). Kliff Kingsbury graduated from New Braunfels 10 years earlier, in 1998.

TODAY’S LITTLE NUMBER: 2. Former Longhorns players who now are Texas coaches — defensive coordinator Vance Bedford and receivers coach Les Koenning.

TODAY’S BIGGER NUMBER: 9. Rushing touchdowns for Malcolm Brown last year. That led the team.

TODAY’S BIG NUMBER: 99. Texas football victories so far for Bevo XIV, whose 10-year run as UT’s mascot has seen the team go 99-30.

OK, Breakfast is over. Thanks for stopping by.

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