Golden: Hey Sark, need help calling those first plays Saturday? A few suggestions
Golden's Nuggets on Sarkisian, Derrick Johnson, U.S. Open
- Sarkisian plans to script the first few Texas plays Saturday.
- Sarkisian officially announced redshirt freshman Hudson Card as the starting quarterback.
- Longhorn legend Derrick Johnson honored his mother at Saturday's Texas Sports HOF induction.
Steve Sarkisian took us back to our childhood Monday after revealing that he would be scripting the first portion of Texas’ offensive plays on Saturday against Louisiana.
“Remember when you when you grew up, and you’d go to your grandma's house, and she'd make the best cookies, right?” Sarkisian asked reporters at his first game-week press conference. “Well, we try not to screw up grandma's cookie recipe. We try to make sure that we're putting everything in that cookie that makes it taste the best, right?”
In other words, Sarkisian has an idea of what has tasted good during his expansive offensive travels and isn’t straying too far from the original recipe. In Texas’ case, I have a pretty good idea what will be coming out of the oven when the Horns take the field with redshirt freshman Hudson Card at quarterback.
Since we’re all guilty at one time or another of being an armchair quarterback — and I’m literally writing this from a real-life armchair — here are a few suggestions for Sarkisian’s first 10 scripted plays:
1. Bijan Robinson up the gut. Let’s see if the Ragin' Cajuns are ready to tackle a 6-foot, 214-pound truck coming right after them.
2. Bijan Robinson right. It’s time to see if right tackle Derek Kerstetter is all the way back from that ankle surgery. And the need to get Bijan lathered up early is obvious.
3. Bijan Robinson back up the gut. I don’t think the Cajuns felt good about that 12-yard run on first down. Give them another taste.
4. Hudson Card short toss to Joshua Moore. The chains have already moved once. The field position is good and it’s time to give the kid a chance to complete his first pass of the season.
5. Bijan Robinson on a toss sweep. Get the picture? Sam Ehlinger doesn’t live here anymore. The Horns are going to ground and pound with their Heisman Trophy candidate.
6. Hudson Card pass over the middle to Cade Brewer. Tight ends will be a huge part of this ball-control offense. Brewer and Jared Wiley will see plenty of time together.
7. Jordan Whittington on a jet sweep: They love his open-field running ability and it’s always good to get the ball in the hands of a playmaker early. Expect Whittington to get more than 25 carries this season.
8. Roschon Johnson off right tackle. Robinson will get most of the touches, but Johnson has already won the respect of the locker room and this new coaching staff. He will get his looks.
9. Roschon Johnson off left tackle. he’s a sure-handed, physical runner who has the trust of this staff in the red zone. You’re looking at one of the best 1-2 punches in the country.
10. Bijan Robinson up the middle — from the Wildcat formation. If the other nine worked, the Horns should be inside the 5-yard line. Plus, it wouldn’t be Sark if there weren’t a few wrinkles involved.
Great stock: Derrick Johnson is fine with being called a mama’s boy.
In fact, the Longhorns legend, who was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday in Waco, owes much if not all of his success to Beverly Johnson, who guided him and his older brother Dwight to successful college and NFL careers.
Johnson chuckled when I told him during Saturday’s media availability that my cousin Gary Choice still hasn’t forgotten those 30 tackles that DJ posted against Tyler John Tyler in a playoff game during his heyday at Waco High playing for the legendary Johnny Tusa.
Those kinds of performances would not have happened if not for a mother who famously told him to toughen up and get after it during his season of Pop Warner football.
“My motivation was right in my house,” Johnson said. “The things she instilled in us — me being the youngest of four kids — was awesome. If you could come out of my household, you were a pretty good football player because my mom was tough.”
Johnson went on to star at Texas, win the 2004 Butkus and Nagurski awards and leave as a Rose Bowl champion. The Kansas City Chiefs' career leader in tackles was inducted into the TSHOF along with fellow Texas ex and shot put champion Michelle Carter and seven others during a wonderful night of old stories and laughs.
The four-time Pro Bowler said he was primed and ready for the game because of the encouragement and tough love aimed at him by Beverly, who taught at Waco ISD for more than 40 years. Her lessons have spurred him to become not only a great success in life, but also one of most philanthropic athletes the sport has ever produced. His charitable pursuits in Kansas City, Austin and his hometown have helped thousands over the years.
If they were here, the elders in my family would cast a glance at DJ’s way and say, “Young man, you were raised right.”
That’s the ultimate compliment.
Legends grounded: Father Time is undefeated, and one look at the star power that’s sidelined for the U.S. Open provides the latest proof.
Serena Williams (torn hamstring), Roger Federer (knee surgery) and Rafael Nadal (foot) have won a combined 63 majors, but none will be part of the field for the final one of the year. It's the first major without at least one of them competing since the 1997 U.S. Open.
When you add defending men’s singles champion Dominic Thiem to the infirmary, the advertisers have to be worried that viewership will be down, even with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic vying to become the first man to win all four grand slams in the same year since Rod Laver did it 52 years ago.
The day is coming when one or all of those future Hall of Famers will call it a career, but the love of the game keeps them fighting to stay on the court.
Enjoy them while you can, but understand that even the greatest of legends have expiration dates.