Good morning. Breakfast is served.
It’s August 30th — 243 down, 123 to go.
And 5 till we find out (a) who Texas’ starting quarterback is, (b) whether Texas will avenge last year’s blowout loss to Notre Dame, and (c) who got the new Bevo gig.
YESTERDAY: Charlie Strong and players held their first Monday press conference of the 2016 season, but we left without a depth chart or name of the starting quarterback. In the NFL, the Broncos named Trevor Sieman (not Mark Sanchez, not Paxton Lynch) their starting quarterback and the Chargers finally came to terms with DE Joey Bosa. The Georgia Bulldogs found out they’re getting star RB Nick Chubb back. At the U.S. Open, winners included Djokovic and Nadal on the men’s side. And Kevin Durant celebrated his 28th birthday.
TODAY: We talk to UT offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert in the evening. Tim Tebow will work out for MLB scouts in Los Angeles. The U.S. Open continues in NYC.
TOMORROW: More U.S. Open. And we talk to UT defensive coordinator Vance Bedford around lunchtime.
Aug. 30 has a sports history. On this date, Dwyane Wade married Gabrielle Union (2014); Andy Roddick announced he’d be retiring after the U.S. Open (2012); Greg Maddux won his 330th career game (2006); the Houston Comets beat the New York Liberty for the first WNBA championship (1997; Kirby Puckett went 6 for 6 with two homers in the Twins’ 10-6 win over the Brewers (1987); and Detroit’s Ty Cobb played his debut game, hitting a double (1905).
Last year on Aug. 30, a team from Tokyo, Japan beat Lewisberry, Pa. for the Little League World Series title, 18-11.
Today’s sports birthdays: Adam Wainwright (35), Andy Roddick (34), Cliff Lee (38), Ricky Sanders (54) and Robert Parish (63). Other notables: Cameron Diaz (44), Lewis Black (68) and Warren Buffett (86).
Tuesday trivia: What number did birthday boy Robert Parrish wear with the Boston Celtics? (Answer’s at the end of Breakfast.)
Top of the menu: Texas football.
Who’s it going to be? Shane Buechele, the true freshman who enrolled early and looked pretty good in the spring, or Tyrone Swoopes, who’s had chances the last two years to secure the Longhorns’ starting quarterback spot, but has seemingly settled into a groove with his 18-Wheeler short-yardage package. And there are reports out of fall camp that Swoopes, a senior, has been impressive. On Monday, we gathered for the first Monday morning press availability of the season.
We want to know which quarterback it’s going to be. So we asked Charlie Strong and his players. Again and again. In different ways. They’re not talking.
Still, Texas’ quarterback question isn’t going away. The Horns didn’t release a depth chart yesterday because Strong said some positions were still being worked out this week. Quarterback, though, apparently isn’t one of them; Strong said he knows who’s going to start, but that we (and Notre Dame) will have to wait to see which quarterback trots onto the field Sunday night.
Other items of note from Monday: Everyone should be healthy. A handful of freshmen — receivers Collin Johnson and Devin Duvernay were singled out, along with running back Kyle Porter and center Zach Shackelford — should see action against the Fighting Irish on offense, though not so much with the defensive freshmen. We shouldn’t expect a season-long quarterback drama, where Swoopes plays one or two games, then Buechele plays a game or two, etc. Strong said whoever starts Sunday night is going to be Texas’ guy, barring an injury or getting beaten out.
It’s a new season for us too, in a way. Ryan Autullo has left his UT beat to cover courts for the Statesman, and we’ve moved Danny Davis — who’s been covering high schools for us for the past nine years — over to fill his spot. He and fellow beat writer Brian Davis and columnists Kirk Bohls and Cedric Golden shared their respective takeaways from Monday’s presser.
- From Bohls: “I saw a strong, quiet confidence among the eight Texas players who came to media availability. No boasts, no bragging, but then again they are coming off a 5-7 season. This is a team loaded with talent and athletic ability, but very little experience. When I asked senior tight end Caleb Bluiett if Texas could do to Notre Dame what the Irish did to the Longhorns in last year’s 38-3 blowout, he said, “Hey, maybe.” We’ll see.
- From Brian Davis: “The Longhorns have a pair of tall targets this year in wide receivers John Burt and Collin Johnson. “Yeah, we’ve got some good wide receivers,” Bluiett said. “We’ve got some fast, lanky wide receivers. That is right.” Both Burt and Johnson could have big numbers this season simply because there will be plenty of balls to catch. That seems to be overlooked in the whole Swoopes/Buechele debate.”
- From Danny Davis: “Do the Longhorns need any motivation? Strong said that he occasionally uses last season’s 38-3 loss to Notre Dame as a motivational tool for his players, but it didn’t appear on Monday that the Longhorns need that 35-point carrot. Left guard Kent Perkins said that he was “fired up” to show that the team has improved from last year’s 60-yard rushing performance against the Fighting Irish’s defense.
- From Golden: “Strong appeared relaxed. He smiled a lot and even took some good-natured jabs at the media, which seemed only interested in talking about his starting quarterback. It’s similar to the Strong we saw at this point last season, except that the talk of the historic significance of a Texas-Notre Dame game is no longer in the air. What I saw was a twinkle in his eye. It’s almost like he knows something that the rest of us don’t. Just a hunch, but I see a coach who truly believes his team will get after the No. 10 Fighting Irish and avenge that 38-3 shellacking in South Bend last season. We’ll find out soon enough.”
Our coverage from Monday: Lots of quarterback angles. Our main bar out of the presser centered on The Big Mystery surrounding Buechele and Swoopes. Bohls’ column broke down all the possible scenarios (and implications) of a Swoopes start and a Buechele start. And we had a UT notebook that addressed the question: Are Texas’ receivers or defensive backs the fastest unit on the team?
What else is being written out there? The Dallas Morning News’ QB story centered on the season implications of Strong’s choice.
AROUND THE BIG 12: The Fort Worth Star-Telegram examined the coaching futures of Art Briles and Tom Herman, calling Briles the better coach but Herman the safer bet. And the S-T wrote about how TCU’s handling new quarterback Kenny Hill — no pressure, pick your spots. In Waco, Baylor held its first presser of the season just like Texas did, and it was a welcome respite from all the offseason talk of scandal, player departures and athletic department firings, wrote the Waco Tribune-Herald. Oh, but get this: Even with all the offseason turmoil, Baylor has broken its season tickets record. Our coverage of Baylor centered on some more negatives — injuries and suspensions that are further muddying the depth chart. Up in Lubbock, the Avalanche-Journal wrote on Texas Tech’s two-deep, which includes three true freshman linebackers. The Oklahoman had a nice read on OU center Jonathan Alvarez and a story on Oklahoma State receiver Austin Hays, who looks ready to lead.
OPPOSITION RESEARCH: NOTRE DAME. The South Bend Tribune wrote about ND linebackers coach Mike Elston, who doubles as the team’s social media guru, and also examined the Fighting Irish’s potentially vulnerable defense.
AROUND THE FORTY ACRES:
Volleyball: Texas plays a doubleheader at home on Thursday, vs. Lipscomb at noon and then against UTSA at 7 p.m. at Gregory Gym. Both matches will be carried on the Longhorn Network.
Softball: UT announced it will hold walk-on tryouts for UT female students on Sept. 15 at 2 p.m. at McCombs Field. More info at the Athletics Compliance office on the North End Zone (5th floor, NEZ 5.500) or from softball’s administrative office (NEZ 5.500A). All forms must be turned in by 5 p.m. Sept. 13.
Men’s golf: Junior Scottie Scheffler was one of three players selected to play in the World Amateur Team Championship in Mexico from Sept. 21-24. He’ll join Stanford’s Maverick McNealy and Oklahoma’s Brad Dalke. The event takes place every two years; Beau Hossler played in the 2014 event in Japan.
Men’s tennis: Two Longhorns — senior George Goldhoff and freshman Yuya Ito — were announced part of the 32-player singles draw for the Oracle ITA Masters in October. It’s one of four national championship events on the college calendar.
On Aug. 30, 1967: Thurgood Marshall was confirmed as the first African American justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
On Aug. 30, 1963: You know the “red phone” set up between the U.S. and Russian presidents? That system went into operation. (Though an actual red phone has never actually been used.)
On Aug. 30, 1836: The city of Houston was founded, named after Gen. Sam Houston.
Trivia answer: Robert Parrish, who turns 63 today, wore 00 with the Boston Celtics.
OK, Breakfast is over. Thanks for stopping by.
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