BEVO BEAT

Herbstreit: ‘On paper,’ UT should have shot to be good

Posted August 13th, 2013

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On a media teleconference Tuesday, ESPN college football announcers Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit were asked for their impressions of the 2013 Longhorns. Their responses:

Musburger:

Well, we know one thing: They have always got outstanding, talented football players, simply because Texas is up there with Florida, California and now Georgia in the way the high school programs turn out very talented athletes. So I don’t think there’s an excuse for Texas not to have a good season, and I think Mack Brown realizes that and I think he has felt some of the pressure from the fans and the media down there.

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I don’t know about you, but I see Texas as one of the sleepers this is year. If you’re looking at sort of a long shot to make a run, they might be able to do that down in the Big 12. I don’t know how you feel.

Herbstreit:

Well, 19 starters back on a team that people forget, they still won nine games last year. It feels like they were 6‑6, but they went 9‑4. And I think that there’s two issues for me with Texas, that you want to see how much they have improved.

No. 1, how consistent can they be at quarterback? I think if you really go back and watch Vince Young hand the baton to Colt McCoy, that was seven or eight years of just outstanding play at that position, and the offense scored a lot of points. And then you go from (the 2009 BCS championship game), watching Garrett Gilbert step in for Colt to the 2010 season and beyond, they have really struggled for consistency at quarterback and they have not been able to blow people off the ball. It’s a bad combination for an offense. Yet, still they scored 35 points a game a year ago. So how will they play at quarterback?

Then watching their defense last year, it was mystifying.  I mean, they missed more tackles, I think, than any other team that I watched film of all year a year ago, and most of those guys return. You just wonder, how is their off‑season gone ‑‑ how angry are they.

If I’m a Texas football player and I’ve had to be around for the last two or three years, and listen to what’s being said about my coach and my teammates and myself, I would think that they are going to show up somewhat with a chip on their shoulder and I think they are going to have to.

I think with Texas, potentially, on paper, it’s hard to imagine them not having a good year. But until they go out and kind of play with an attitude and play in a bad mood, I think everybody has to really reserve judgment until you see the 2013 version of who the Longhorns are. But on paper, they look to be a team to look out for and have a legitimate shot at competing and winning the Big 12 and maybe getting back to a BCS Bowl game.

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