Blog Entry

Spring Practice Primer: Texas

Posted on: February 22, 2011 5:02 am
Edited on: February 23, 2011 8:54 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli

College Football has no offseason. Every coach knows that the preparation for September begins now, in Spring Practice. So we here at the Eye on College Football will get you ready as teams open spring ball with our Spring Practice Primers. Today, we look at Texas which begins its spring practice on Thursday.

Spring Practice Question: Is Garrett Gilbert really in danger of losing the starting job?

Last month, Texas head coach Mack Brown declared the Texas quarterback position to be wide open. It seems that after a less than stellar performance from Garrett Gilbert in his first season as a starter, along with plenty of coaching turnover in Austin, Brown isn't ready to hand the job over to just anybody.

Of course, whether he truly meant it or not, we'll begin to find out on Thursday when the Longhorns begin spring practice.

If I had to lean in one direction, I'd believe Brown, but only with the understanding that the job is still Gilbert's to lose. Whether or not Gilbert was successful in 2010, he still has more experience than either Connor Wood or Case McCoy. The true wild card in all of this, however, is the addition of Bryan Harsin as Texas' co-offensive coordinator (Major Applewhite being the other co-coordinator, though something tells me Harsin wasn't brought in from Boise to defer to Applewhite).

Harsin comes from Boise State, and has no favorites amongst the quarterback trio. Gilbert may have started all 12 games for Texas last season, but he did so under Greg Davis and with Greg Davis' plays, so in that sense he's on the same ground floor that both Wood and McCoy are.

Still, this spring could be the deciding factor for Gilbert. If he can show a strong grasp of Harsin's offense over the next few weeks, he can begin to put the job on lockdown. If he struggles, then things will be a lot more interesting this fall, as both McCoy or Wood could wrestle the job away from him.

The most important thing that Gilbert will have to do to earn Harsin's trust, and make better decisions in the pocket. While Garrett was able to make enough plays with his arm and legs last season to tally 3,124 yards and 15 touchdowns, it was the 17 turnovers that most people will remember.

17 turnovers that had an awful lot to do with Texas finishing the season 5-7 and missing out on a bowl game for the first time since 1997. That cost John Mackovic his job as head coach in Austin, and though Mack survived, that fate may still befall Gilbert.

There is reason to believe that Gilbert will be able to cut down on the mistakes. First of all, he'll be a junior in 2011, and with a year of experience under his belt, he'll be a smarter player. Plus, there's some history to look at with quarterbacks under Harsin.

In 2008, as a freshman, Kellen Moore started every game for Boise State and threw 10 interceptions. Over the next two seasons, Moore only threw 9. 

Another reason to believe that Gilbert will improve in 2011 is that his receiving corps will get better as well. Mike Davis -- who caught 47 passes as a freshman -- will be another year older, another year better, and his play could go a long way in improving the performance of his quarterback. Whether that quarterback is Gilbert, McCoy or Wood. If Malcolm Williams and Darius White can start to reach their potential, life will be a lot easier as well.

At the end of the day, I think Gilbert will leave spring practice as the team's starter, and he'll be under center when Texas opens its season against Rice on September 3. He may have had a bad season in 2011, but the truth of it is that he's just more talented than both McCoy or Wood. So unless he has a flat-out awful performance this spring, I just don't see him losing the gig.

Of course, I didn't see Texas going 2-6 in the Big 12 last season, either. So who knows what will happen?

Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 13, 2011 8:56 am

Spring Practice Primer: Texas

I can see you happen to be putting a quite a lot of attempts into your website web page. Care for submitting the great do the trick.Some severely useful knowledge in there.

Since: Oct 15, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2011 6:07 pm

Spring Practice Primer: Texas

Well, we have that in common. I'm an asshole living in Austin too :b

Connor Wood is who you're referring to. He or Case will probably overtake Gilbert unless he has a monster spring. I don't agree that the kid doesn't have talent or heart, I just don't think he is as good as the hype. I think he can be a solid QB in the right system, but Texas is isn't going to be running a offense that is condusive to his abilities.

I'll never understand why Greg Davis went away from the spread when that's the offense that Gilbert thrived in in high school. But, that's why Davis is gone...FINALLY.

Since: May 13, 2010
Posted on: February 23, 2011 9:46 pm

Spring Practice Primer: Texas

No, Texas will never be done. They are a premier college football program. OU and UT fans will be able to go at each other for years to come. I think UT will be better once Gilbert leaves or Mack finally pulls this guy. I don't think Gilbert has heart and I know he is not a great leader. He still has time to develop some game, work on his accuracy and mechanics and he will calm down, but leadership is not learned. I just don't see him accomplishing much. I like the kid out of Houston they have, oh I can't remember his name but he is mentioned in this article. 
It always makes football better when the Horns are good, my fiance is a fan and I don't care who is playing if I can watch football without hearing complaning, fine with me. Of course I root against UT to piss her and everyone here in A town off, but that's cause Im a asshole. Go Huskies!

Since: Oct 15, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 4:30 pm

Spring Practice Primer: Texas


Congrats on FINALLY winning a BS Bowl Game! Of course, you had to play a tomato can to do it...

For all your bluster and nonsense, you still only beat a bad Texas team by 8 and needed a litany of Texas mistakes (9 penalties, many of them giving you bailout 1st downs. 2 turnovers) to accomplish it. Kudos! But, hey, you guys are awesome!

If you honestly think Texas is done, you're either retarded or smoking entirely too much crack. Remember when Adrian Peterson chose Choklahoma over Texas because he "wanted to win a national championship?" How did that work out? That's right, you lost to TCU (at home) and Boise St.

It's called a correction. Oklahoma went through it 2 years ago. Texas went through it last year. No team can sustain dominance for as long as these 2 programs have without a correction.

Texas will be back. Deal with it.

Hook Em

Since: Aug 13, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2011 12:33 pm

Spring Practice Primer: Texas

BOOMER SOONER! !! ! !! ! !!!!

Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2011 9:08 am

Spring Practice Primer: Texas

The only way the shorthorns would be better this year is if was OU not the Huskers that left the confrence.The big 10 or is it still the big 12?, is loaded, OSU, A+M. It will be a tough year for one of the most overated programs ever.This will have been the last banner year for recruiting for the shorthorns, kids will not go to a school that is that bad 2 years in a row.Hope Brent Muskburger has a lot of fun doing Texas games.Instead of the over the top excitement we've had to put up with for decades, I'm going to enjoy listening to him whimper and whine while watching the shorthorns dismantled over and over and over again.

Since: May 2, 2010
Posted on: February 23, 2011 6:14 am

Spring Practice Primer: Texas

What really gets me is WHY any recruit would consider wasting their time at this school.   They have little to offer in terms of comparison to OU when it comes to WINNING! 

Said the Sooners fan.

Geez... biased much?

Since: Dec 9, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2011 12:42 am

Spring Practice Primer: Texas

Texas lacked big time players on the offensive side of the ball last year. They had a handful of one dimensional players and it made field goals instead of touchdowns.

Since: Oct 15, 2006
Posted on: February 22, 2011 10:21 pm

Spring Practice Primer: Texas

Abandoning the run wasn't on Mack. It was on Greg Davis. Texas has had some gifted RBs in the past 10 years and Davis has done nothing to utilize them properly. The best thing that could happen for Malcolm Brown is for Davis to leave. There will be a new emphasis on the running game with Harsin calling the plays. The pressure will be off Gilbert or whomever QBs the team. The D will get the rest it needs to be fresh and this team will be better.

Now, i'm certainly not saying Texas is ready to compete for "national championships" again, but they will certainly be substantially better than last year.

Since: May 13, 2010
Posted on: February 22, 2011 9:25 pm

Spring Practice Primer: Texas

Texas does not look great going into this season. They had one of their worse seasons under Mack Brown ever. Garret Gilbert can't throw a pass toward a receiver, he usually throws to the DB's. Everyone was excited about his play in the NC game against Bama, I also saw this game and wondered, what the hell is everyone excited about? He was 4-24 at one point with 4 int's. He made a comeback because he threw bad passes against Bama's all out blitzes that somehow found Jordan Shipley over single coverage. I live in Austin, I'm a Washington Husky fan so I'm trying to be unbiased here but I think Texas is in for another bad season. I look at their schedule and see 7 or 8 wins, which is good by most team standards but not for UT. Texas has talent, the coaching staff doesn't have to try to recruit to Texas, the name recruits itself. Mack Brown can recruit with the best of them, the problem is, the man cannot coach football. He is one of the worse X's and O's guys in the business. He had one of the worse offensive coordinators in football in Greg Davis for years. These two were bailed out by great college qb's that ran that team single handedly, McCoy and VY. This last season with Gilbert at QB, they struggled because he is not a great QB. They always abandon the run in the first qtr, exclaiming on local radio that they can't run the ball. I see it differently here, I see UT's stats and think these RB's avg around 4 yds per carry. Ummmm, that's a first down every three runs. That's called success running the football. I think Mack was stuck in the past years of McCoy and VY, used to scoring in bunches. In football sometimes you have to punt the ball, run some clock, and give your defense a damn rest. The offense always abandoned the run early, threw with this guy Gilbert 35-45 times a game, and the D got tired which aloud teams to run their asses over all season long. Look at the stats, this is not my opinion. This tells me Mack doesn't have a clue about football. The rest of the Big 12 caught up talent wise and they all have better coaching. UT used to be able to spread out and nobody in the Big 12 could keep up. Now look whos better than UT; OU, Okie st, Baylor, A&M, Nebraska (until they left), K state. Toomy Tubberville will have Tech better and Mizzou is getting up there. Look what's going on, everyone is catching up to Texas. Mack can't get by on  just talent. He needs to coach his team because that is where he is at a disadvantage. All those teams I named have better Coaches as far as football goes.
What also tells me he is clueless is selecting Major Applewhite first as a RB coach? What the hell does he know about RB's. This guy couldn't even select a starter at RB, now he is Co-offensive coordinator? What is going on here? Now the guy from Boise, he maybe a good selection. macl needs great coaching around him because he can't coach Defense or Offense on his own. I see Mack as a great AD, not a great HC. I like the hiring of Manny Diaz, he can keep up what Muschamp started here.
The other problem other than Gilbert not being able to throw the ball properly is, when he did throw it well, it was dropped. Texas does not have great receivers, they have great talent. Talent still has to be coached. Honestly though was Quan Cosby great or did he just do his job? I liked Jordan Shipley  ut I don't think he was the greatest either but he just did his job and both of these guy's became great at UT. I don't see any of the receivers becoming great while Gilbert is at QB. He is a horrible QB. While he struggled all year last season, Mack never benched the guy. Against Kansas St he was allowed to miss 25 attempts and throw 5 picks. I though this was the game he should of been benched, I thought before the half, Mack is gonna pull this guy. But no, he just kept throwing gems out there. 

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