Football

Notebook: Texas offensive line grades out well; details about ‘College GameDay’ setup

Competition will continue at cornerback his week.

Posted September 2nd, 2019

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Story highlights
  • Longhorns counting on WR Devin Duvernay.
  • WR Joshua Moore still suspended.
  • 'College GameDay' will be on LBJ Lawn.

Texas coach Tom Herman said the entire offensive line “graded out as champions” for their performance against Louisiana Tech. And that’s with a late-week shuffle in which Parker Braun was inserted  into the starting five.

Herman said center Zach Shackelford is still bothered by his August foot injury. So offensive line coach Herb Hand chose to put Braun into the starting lineup during practice. That way, Braun wouldn’t be cold if he had to be rushed into the lineup during the game.

“They played well,” Herman said of the offensive line. “Certainly not perfect.”

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Herman did praise the group’s communication level. First-year Louisiana Tech defensive coordinator Bob Diaco had shown no history of heavy blitzing at his previous coaching stops.

“All of a sudden, it’s three out of every four snaps is blitz,” Herman said. “That’s a big-time adjustment for an offensive line, and I thought they handled it well.”

Texas allowed only one sack while quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw four touchdown passes in the 45-14 win.

More corner competition: Herman said starting cornerback Jalen Green graded out as a champion. But as for Kobe Boyce, D’Shawn Jamison and Anthony Cook, “None of those other three guys did.”

Texas defensive back Jalen Green deflects a pass intended for Louisiana Tech wide receiver Adrian Hardy during Saturday’s game. [NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

The competition will continue this week as the Longhorns look for someone to start alongside Green. Herman did not go into details about what he liked or didn’t from each cornerback. Boyce had a difficult night, which included a pass interference call on third-on-1.

Dependable Duvernay: Receiver Devin Duvernay went through the entire 2018 season without dropping a pass. That streak continued Saturday as he had nine catches for 55 yards and a touchdown. The longest went for 22 yards.

“In practice, it’s very rare. I mean, I literally can’t remember when and if I’ve seen one,” Herman said when asked if he’s seen Duvernay drop a ball. “I hope you just didn’t jinx us.”

Texas wide receiver Devin Duvernay pulls down a reception against Louisiana Tech in the second half Saturday. [Stephen Spillman for Statesman]

Duvernay could be an optimal choice to catch short passes behind the line of scrimmage as a way of helping the running backs. Take his touchdown catch, for example. Quarterback Sam Ehlinger found Duvernay on the left side in open space, and he slipped into the end zone.

“I think what helps is he’s just a really strong guy,” Herman said.

Moore still suspended: Herman said receiver Joshua Moore is suspended indefinitely after being arrested this summer on a charge of unlawful carrying of a weapon. Herman had said Moore was suspended only for the season opener.

“We’re handling the punishment internally, but he is still practicing and running with the scout team,” Herman said.

“GameDay” setup: ESPN’s famed “College GameDay” will have its primary set on the LBJ Lawn for Saturday’s broadcast from 8 to 11 a.m. The set will be constructed in conjunction with the stage used for the Longhorn City Limits pregame concert.

Parking lots will open at 5 a.m. Saturday, and the “College GameDay” pit — the area directly behind the stage for fans wanting to be seen on TV — will open at 5:30 a.m.

Texas will have its full schedule of normal game day activities. This week, Bevo Boulevard and Smokey’s Midway will open at 11 a.m. The Nissan Heisman House also will open at 11 a.m. on Winship Circle. The band Midland will perform at 5 p.m., and kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

“I think it’s great for our fans, it’s great for our university,” Herman said. “This is one of the premier public institutions in the country. And to be able to showcase it in front of that many eyeballs, I think is really important.”

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com.

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