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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Texas Football: The Rice Game 

Week Three: No. 8 Texas (2-0) vs. Rice (2-1)
Last Week: Hurricane Ike 1, Texas 0; Vanderbilt 38, Rice 21
Last Meeting: Texas 58, Rice 14 (2007)
All-Time Series: Texas leads 68-21-1

This week's game will be postponed due to...

Wait. That was last week.

Texas' annual ass-kicking of Rice will proceed as planned.

This Week's Game in a Nutshell

Rice is Rice. The last time they beat Texas it took an equalizer in the form of Houston's biggest monsoon till Ike, a Texas team that came very close to mutiny prior to boarding the bus, and a recovered onside kick in the final minute.

With both Ike and the John Mackovic in the rearview mirror I think the Horns have very little to worry about... except the running game and the secondary, which we'll address momentarily.

Matt visits the mailbag this week...
What we learned last week: We learned that Benjamin Franklin left out UCLA falling on their faces on the road in his “life and taxes” speech…We learned that USC and Oklahoma appear to be on a different level…but let’s be careful about putting them in Miami already…We learned that Georgia and South Carolina can play some mind-numbing football (but wasn’t the worst game in the SEC that day, unbelievably)…We learned that Mark Mangino apparently has never met Darrell Royal…We learned that a postponement of a game due to a hurricane means in fact that Austin will get no rain…and we learned that for some reason, this 2008 Texas Tech offense

Why couldn’t we just cancel the game? Don’t you people know there are more important things than football right now?

B. Petrino
Fayetteville, AR

Well Bobby, this isn’t the NFL and the Atlanta Falcons, you have to actually finish what you start, here. But don’t worry, we have no doubt forgotten that you backed out of next year’s game and the embarrassment of losing to your school in 2003. No seriously, judging by our luck in “revenge” games the past few years, we probably have forgotten about it. Now, almost losing to Louisiana-Monroe and Western Illinois = Kat Deluna singing the national anthem, so we might not be able to help kicking your ass.

Do you have any OxyContin? Vicodin? Percocet? Morphine?

C. Weis
South Bend, IN

Oh, poor Charlie. Things just go from bad to worse. Although you did pick up a victory over perennial Rose Bowl participant Michigan, so you’ve…what? Michigan went 9-4 last year and were lucky to be that good? They’ve already lost to Utah and could have easily lost to Miami…of Ohio? Oh my, Charlie. Well at least you beat San Diego State. And you still have Syracuse left, that oasis in the desert for so many programs. Speaking of which…
Check out the rest at Matt's blog.

They Said It...
Historically, other than 1998, we've started a little slow in the run game. And we've ended up being pretty proficient at it. Hopefully that will be the same again

Greg Davis
The good news here is that the past four seasons, Texas has topped 300 rushing yards almost every time time they've faced the Owls (2007- 227; 2006- 330; 2005- 361; 2004- 339). Each of those contests, except for last year, marked Texas' third game of the season. Coincidentally, Texas gained a season-low 53 yards in their third game in 1998, when they didn't "start slow."
I’m not real pleased where we are on defense.

Will "Boom" Muschamp
I wouldn't want to be a Longhorns defensive player Saturday night if Rice puts up numbers anywhere close to resembling the first half of Florida Atlantic or the entirety of UTEP. Rice has a stellar WR in Jarrett Dillard, so a young defense's baptism by fire will continue.

I'm not worried about who does it. I just like to have yards. We don't care how we score. We don't care who does it. We like scoring a lot, and that's what we want to do.

Mack Brown
I think Beavis and Butt-head took on a similar mentality in the mid-90s. Many Texas fans, I imagine, are looking forward to seeing Fozzy Whittaker at full speed this weekend. If Texas puts up another three-spot on Rice then we'll likely see some highlight reel plays from the newcomer.

In the Huddle with "Sir Rod"

Coming soon...

(Note: "Sir" Rod Walker played RB for the Horns from 1991-1994. He currently chairs a committee seeking to enshrine John Mackovic in the Longhorn Ring of Honor.)

Stonie's Stone Wall

Coming soon...

(Note: Stonie Clark played DT for the Horns from 1992-1995. He once left a permanent dent in Sooner RB James Allen's torso with a flying body tackle.)

Betcha Didn't Know

It's not Longhorn-related, but I found this little stat, courtesy of Barking Carnival, pretty damn fascinating: "Rick Neuheisel’s first loss as UCLA coach was by 59 points. Pete Carroll’s 14 losses at USC have been by a COMBINED 59 points. Wow. Thanks to Senator Blutarsky for the heads up on that one."

The Things I think About

Last week Hurricane Ike tore through Texas, causing massive amounts of destruction. This week the Miami Hurricanes are set to tear through College Station, Texas, causing massive amounts to the Texas A&M Aggies. What's that? Miami isn't very good? Well have you seen Texas A&M play?


A few other College Football-related Thoughts
Personal Anecdote Involving This Week's Opponent

Eh, anything I have has been told before.

Semi-Relevant quote from the movie Tombstone
"Why Ike, whatever do you mean? Maybe poker's just not your game Ike. I know! Let's have a spelling contest!"
Those kids from Rice are pretty smart.

Deluded/Rational Thoughts from an Opposing Message Board

Rice fans are reminiscing this week.
Is it just me, or did we look significantly bigger as a squad back then? Maybe the pads were biggger, I don't know. But everyone from the QB to the CBs looked big and pretty fast. Maybe it was the wet field that slowed down Texas, or maybe Texas just got a lot better and faster with Mack, but I thought that Rice team looked full of BCS-type athletes (of course we were in the SWC then and had several NFL or pro players - Kalu, Izzo, George, LaRocca, etc). The announcers mentioned how fast the Rice D was that night, althought they thought our FS Stanley was small, but he was over 6'0 and weighed almost 200lbs! You have to think the talent gap between Texas and Rice has widened since 94, for many reasons, including conference alignments, coaching staffs, and money (BCS), but it appears to be closing again.
(Delusional part in bold.)

And the response:
I don't know if we were bigger back then. I think the difference might be that they (the Texas, ESU-type BCS schools) are so much bigger now. Its my impression that the average size of a lineman and most of the "skill" positions have increased somewhat in the last fifteen years. Given that and our fall from the SWC to a lower-tier conference, amongst other things, I would think that we would field a relatively smaller looking team now vs. then.

Of course, that Texas team was coached by John Mackovic, so that could've had something to do with it as well.
(Rational part in bold.)

Random highlight that has nothing to do with this week's game, but asks a question that can be summed up with a simple answer...

For. The. Money.

Rice administrators are smart, too.

Prediction: Texas rushes for 300 yards



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