Good morning. Breakfast is served.
It’s September 10th — 254 down, 112 to go.
And only 1 till the Dak Prescott era begins in Dallas.
YESTERDAY: No. 13 Louisville raced past Syracuse, thanks to QB Lamar Jackson’s five TDs. The Patriots ruled Rob Gronkowski out for Sunday’s opener. Over at the U.S. Open, Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka won their semifinal matches.
TODAY: Texas, with its No. 11 ranking, hosts UTEP as a 30-point favorite (6 p.m., Longhorn Network, 104.9). As good as last week’s opening-week schedule was across the nation, this week’s isn’t. Around here, Baylor plays SMU, Texas A&M hosts Prairie View A&M and Texas State is off. TCU has the best matchup of the Big 12 (Arkansas, tonight). Our plan — Kirk Bohls, Cedric Golden, Brian Davis and Danny Davis are at DKR for Texas-UTEP; Suzanne Halliburton is in Fort Worth, for TCU-Arkansas.
TOMORROW: The NFL season kicks off en masse (and the fantasy football season, too). The Houston Texans host the Bears at noon, and the Cowboys host the Giants at 3:25 p.m. Bohls will be at the Texans-Bears for us, Golden at the Cowboys-Giants.
Sept. 10 has a sports history. On this date, there have been several U.S. Open championships won — Serena Williams (2012), Maria Sharapova (2006), Venus Williams (2000), Steffi Graf (1988) and Martina Navratilova (1983), Andy Murray (2012), Roger Federer (2006), Pete Sampras (1995) and Boris Becker (1989); Bud Selig was named baseball’s interim commissioner (1992); Deion Sanders returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown, the first of his NFL career (1989); Jimmy Connors beat Bjorn Borg to win the U.S. Open, becoming the first player to win the U.S. Open on three different surfaces (1978); Muhammad Ali beat Ken Norton (1973); and 16-year-old Chris Evert‘s U.S. Open run ended with a semifinals loss to Billie Jean King (1971).
Texas has played on Sept. 10 only four times, but they’ve all been wins. The Longhorns blanked Boston College 44-0 in the 1977 season opener; beat Louisville 30-16 in 1994; won at Ohio State 30-16 in a top-five matchup in 2005; and edged BYU 17-16 in 2011. The 2005 win at Ohio State was the Limas Sweed game.
Today’s sports birthdays: Marcus Paige (23), Paul Goldschmidt (29), Joey Votto (33), Ben Wallace (42), Randy Johnson (53), Charlie Waters (68), Bob Lanier (68) and Arnold Palmer (87).
Saturday trivia: Who’s the only athlete to play in a World Series and a Super Bowl? (Answer’s at the end of Breakfast).
Top of the menu: Texas football.
It’s gameday. Texas (1-0), ranked 11th in the country, hosts UTEP (1-0). Kickoff at Royal-Memorial Stadium is at 6:30 p.m. It’s on Longhorn Network for those of you watching from home.
1. How will Texas look in its follow-up game off the big win over Notre Dame?
2. Shane Buechele and Tyrone Swoopes each looked solid in Week 1. How will they look in Week 2?
3. Will we finally get to see freshman receivers Collin Johnson and Devin Duvernay? They were virtually missing in action against the Irish.
4. UTEP’s Aaron Jones leads the country in rushing after his 249-yard day against New Mexico State. What’ll he he against the Longhorns?
5. The schedule is about to get real — at Cal, at Oklahoma State, vs. Oklahoma in Dallas — so will Texas build on that Notre Dame momentum for this next month away from DKR?
Our Texas-UTEP crew shared their thoughts on tonight’s game.
Kirk Bohls: All about the C word. Saturday’s game for Texas is all about setting the consistency standard. Sure, the classic win over Notre Dame was spectacular, but the Longhorns have to follow it up and play to that same level every week, no matter the opponent. So I’m looking for the same effort as well as a big improvement on the defensive side of the ball. I’m expecting a big Texas win.
Cedric Golden: History lesson. I sure hate to bring up old memories, but Texas’ big win makes it necessary. Before Sunday night, Charlie Strong’s lone signature win at Texas was over Oklahoma last year. The Horns put it all together and just plain outplayed OU, causing some of us in the media (including me) to think that the team had turned a corner. But the Horns ran into a brick wall two weeks later in an embarrassing 24-0 loss at Iowa State. So now Texas gets UTEP, a team it should beat handily at home. Strong knows his recent history, and an Iowa State repeat — either on Saturday or next week at Cal — would be a real kick in the pants to a fan base that has patiently stood by him as he’s tried to figure this out. Times are good now and the Horns are getting national notice. It’s up to Strong and his staff to make sure things stay on the upswing.
Brian Davis: Time to back up the ranking. As happy as Charlie Strong was late Sunday, we’ve seen him be equally mad and disappointed after losses, too. His team was up against Oklahoma and Baylor last season, only to get whipped by Iowa State and West Virginia. So feel free to jump on the Texas bandwagon. Just know that it’s been bumpy these last two years. And that’s what must be different against UTEP. The same team that piled up 237 rushing yards against Notre Dame must come out and pulverize this Conference USA squad. Shane Buechele and Tyrone Swoopes were magical against the Irish. Can offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert push all the right buttons? This is supposed to be Texas’ easy game in September, so the Horns should win. Voters took a chance by slotting them 11th nationally. Time for Texas to back it up.
Danny Davis: Defending the run now, the pass later. It’s unfair to just judge the Texas defense by the 47 points it surrendered in the double-overtime win over Notre Dame, but grades could be due in two weeks. David Webb will quiz the Longhorns’ secondary when they visit Cal next week, but Saturday’s test will be administered by UTEP running back Aaron Jones. Fans shouldn’t expect another thriller, but things might just get interesting if Texas’ front seven can’t win its battle with UTEP’s experienced line and dynamic runner.
Our coverage in advance of tonight’s game included a main bar on whether Texas is truly on its way back to superpower status, Texas-UTEP matchups, three Miners that Texas will have to watch, four questions facing the Horns and a Q&A with UTEP beat writer Bret Bloomquist of the El Paso Times. We also took closer looks at Aussie punter Michael Dickson and Swoopes’ 18-Wheeler package.
The Dallas Morning News wrote about new offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert and his new offense that was unveiled against the Irish.
AROUND THE BIG 12: TCU’s taking its turn in the conference spotlight with Arkansas coming to town, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram wrote. The S-T also examined Art Briles’ future coaching prospects. Rice has made its presentation to the Big 12, the Houston Chronicle reported. The Waco Tribune-Herald had a nice read on former Baylor running back John Westbrook, who became the first black player to see the field for a Southwest Conference team when he was inserted into the Bears’ game on Sept. 10, 1966. He’ll be honored during Saturday’s Baylor-SMU game. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal wrote about Texas Tech’s 1-2 punch at wide receiver in Reginald Davis and Dylan Cantrell. The Oklahoman wrote about new Sooners cornerback Parrish Cobb and how Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph has improved as a runner.
OPPOSITION RESEARCH: UTEP. From the El Paso Times — the Miners don’t have to beat Texas to still have a great season; backup quarterback Kavika Johnson is ready to start against Texas in place of injured starter Zack Greenlee; and the Miners’ offensive line thinks it’s ready for Texas’ defensive front.
AROUND THE FORTY ACRES:
Volleyball: No. 3 Texas swept Colorado State at home on Friday night, 25-20, 25-23, 25-23. Freshman Micaya White led the Horns with 21 kills, the sixth time in seven matches that she’s had double-digit kills. Texas plays Wichita State at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Soccer: Texas fell at No. 19 Ohio State on Friday night, 2-1 in overtime. Alexa Adams scored for the Horns. Texas next plays at Miami (Ohio) at noon Sunday.
On Sept. 10, 2008: The CERN large hadron collider was powered up for the first time, in Geneva.
On Sept. 10, 1977: The last person to be executed by guillotine in France — Hamida Djandoubi, who was convicted of torture and murder.
On Sept. 10, 1955: The TV show “Gunsmoke” premiered on CBS.
Trivia answer: Deion Sanders is the only athlete who has played in a World Series (1992, Atlanta Braves) and a Super Bowl (1995 with the San Francisco 49ers, 1996 with the Dallas Cowboys).
OK, Breakfast is over. Thanks for stopping by.
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