Austin Laymance

Editor’s note: Missed our double coverage live chat? Here are a few highlights, but make sure to join us next Wednesday at 4 p.m. at bit.ly/dt_chat.

Sameer Bhuchar (Daily Texan):
I’m Sameer Bhuchar, Double Coverage editor. As always, I am joined by Austin Laymance and Christian Corona, the Daily Texan’s best two football beat writers. How are you fellas feeling?
Christian Corona (Daily Texan):
Doing well.
Austin Laymance (Daily Texan):
Doing well, ready for the final home game.
Sameer Bhuchar (Daily Texan):
Austin, you were in Columbia for the game ... What was that atmosphere up there like?
Austin Laymance (Daily Texan):
It was rowdy. Mizzou fans chanting “S-E-C.” They were happy to finally beat Texas. But it got real quiet when Fozzy went down and then Henry Josey later on.

Question From William:
Are Malcolm Brown, Jaxon Shipley, Joe Bergeron or Keenan Robinson healthy?
Austin Laymance (Daily Texan):
Brown is still battling turf toe. I would be surprised to see him carry the ball on Saturday. Shipley tweaked his knee, and he didn’t practice last week. And Bergeron is dealing with a tight hammy — he’s the most ready to play in my estimation.
Christian Corona (Daily Texan):
Turf toe injuries, like the one Malcolm Brown has, and hamstring injuries, like the one Joe Bergeron has, are tricky. A player can feel fine, play a few snaps and then re-aggravate the injury. I’d get ready to see another healthy dose of Jeremy Hills on Saturday.
Austin Laymance (Daily Texan):
As for Keenan, I don’t see how a thumb injury will keep him off the field on senior night.
Christian Corona (Daily Texan):
As for Keenan Robinson, Emmanuel Acho said the “warrior” will be good to go this weekend.
Austin Laymance (Daily Texan):
Remember, Texas has a short week after K-State. So will [head coach] Mack [Brown] rest Malcolm for A&M? We’re about to find out.

Question From Jerry:
Is Jeremy Hills ready to handle the load?
Christian Corona (Daily Texan):
Jeremy Hills can be a serviceable running back, but he’s not capable of being dominant the way Brown or Bergeron have been. Hills won’t be able to take the pressure off the passing game like Texas needs him to.
Austin Laymance (Daily Texan):
Hills will have to be ready. He had some huge holes against Mizzou and just didn’t have the explosion like Malcolm or Joe. Hills isn’t the best option; he’s the only one.

Question From Eli:
I’ve heard coach [Bryan] Harsin discuss how Texas will try to remain a running team in spite of this run of injuries our stable of running backs have stumbled upon. What sort of production can we really expect from a guy like Jeremy Hills? And is there any chance we see DJ Monroe’s potential maximized now that we’re low on weapons? Gimme a zone read or something!

Austin Laymance (Daily Texan):
They need to take pressure off of Ash, so running the ball is still the best option. Monroe will get an expanded role this week, but he’s a liability in pass protection. And that’s killed Texas in the past.
Christian Corona (Daily Texan):
People are forgetting who actually led this team in rushing last year — Cody Johnson. He’s said that he doesn’t mind playing fullback, realizing that position provides him with the best shot at playing in the NFL, but in a situation as dire as Texas’, Johnson should get a few more carries.
Austin Laymance (Daily Texan):
And Ash can run the ball as well, so a zone read might work with Monroe.

Editor’s note: Missed our double coverage live chat? Here are a few highlights, but make sure to join us next Wednesday at 4 p.m. at bit.ly/dt_chat.

Double Coverage Editor Sameer Bhuchar:
Dear Double Coverage/Daily Texan readers! Welcome to our weekly live chat! It’s great to be back after the bye week. We are joined today by Kansas football beat writer, Mike Vernon.

Sameer Bhuchar:
And as always, our Texas football beat writers Austin Laymance and Christian Corona.

Sameer Bhuchar:
Well, let’s get this show on the road and start with something the Texas writers here can answer ... and something that everyone on the 40 Acres is always asking ...

Comment From Guest:
What do you think will be done about the quarterback situation this week?

Football Writer Christian Corona:
Case McCoy and David Ash are back to splitting first-team snaps in practice this week and Mack Brown said a decision would not be made until Thursday or Friday, but it’s hard to see David Ash not starting again.

Austin Laymance:
I think it’s going to be Ash to start, and maybe McCoy in some mop up duty late in the game if Texas has a big lead. The Longhorns are in rebuilding mode and Ash needs reps. He’s the QB of the future and will get the majority of snaps the rest of the year.

Sameer Bhuchar:
Mike, from Kansas’ perspective, who do you think the Jayhawks’ less-than-stellar defense is equipped to handle?

Mike Vernon:
Neither guy to be honest. Kansas is the perfect team to raise the confidence level of the young Texas quarterbacks.

Comment From David:
Can the Horns put up 70 points on the Jayhawks like Oklahoma State did?

Sameer Bhuchar:
Not 70 ... but look for them to get into that 40 range.

Austin Laymance:
I wouldn’t count on it. Seventy points is more than the Longhorns have scored in their last two games combined.

Mike Vernon:
I would say even the 50-point range is possible.

Sameer Bhuchar:
True ... they do give up 50.1 points a game.

Austin Laymance:
Yes, KU is bad on defense, but Texas is not an explosive team on offense. I’m not buying 50 points.

Christian Corona:
I think 40 is a better goal for the Longhorns offense, which is just now getting used to having a true freshman as its full-time starting quarterback. Until Texas proves it can be more effective in the red zone, I can’t see the Longhorns scoring more than 50 against anyone.

Mike Vernon:
No offense, but Texas’ offense isn’t an Oklahoma State or Oklahoma.

Christian Corona:
True. Texas does not have a Heisman candidate behind center this year.

Austin Laymance:
Texas will run the ball, and that will mean long drives and lots of time off the clock.

Comment From Boohoo:
Mike, how worried do we Longhorns have to be about Jordan Webb ... is he the real deal?

Mike Vernon:
Webb is a good quarterback, who typically makes smart decisions and has improved greatly between his freshman and sophomore campaigns.

Austin Laymance:
He’s a good player, but Texas will be happy it’s not Landry Jones or Brandon Weeden taking the snaps this week. Webb is not on par with those two, and the Longhorns should have a better day on defense. They should contain Webb.

Editor’s note: Missed our double coverage live chat? Here are a few highlights, but make sure to join us next Wednesday at 4 p.m. at bit.ly/dt_chat.

Double Coverage Editor Sameer Bhuchar:
What is happening, Double Coverage readers? It is live chat time. We are really excited to be back after a week hiatus. Once again we are joined by football experts Austin Laymance and Christian Corona, two of the Daily Texan’s finest football beat writers. (They are our only football beat writers, but they’re doing a bang up job don’t you think?)
How are you fellas doing? Ready to kick this off?
Football Writer Austin Laymance:
Feeling good, bye week is over. Nothing like game week.
Football Writer Christian Corona:
Let’s do it.
Sameer Bhuchar:
Great, well lets start with the person Texas needs to clearly watch out for the most. Steele Jantz... George asks...

Question From George:
Is Steele Jantz’s mobility going to be an issue for the front four of the Longhorns?

Austin Laymance:
I think it will be an issue if Texas is not disciplined up front. Jantz will make plays with his feet, the Longhorns just need to limit the explosive plays that go for big yardage and swing momentum.
Christian Corona:
It definitely can. In the first three games, Texas has been able to pressure quarterbacks into bad decisions. But Steele Jantz sometimes hurts you the most when he’s moving outside of the pocket.
Sameer Bhuchar:
Speaking of bad decision making ... Jantz may be the Cyclones’ biggest weapon ... but he is also their biggest liability. He has thrown 6 TDs, but 6 INTS as well this season.

Question From Taylor:
What do you think about Texas’ run defense? Are they ready for Iowa State?

Christian Corona:
They held UCLA’s rushing attack in check so, yes, they can definitely handle Iowa State’s running game. Alexander Robinson torched the Longhorns for 120 yards and 2 TD’s but I don’t see a repeat performance coming this weekend.
Austin Laymance:
The run defense has been spotty at times, and Jantz presents a huge challenge for Texas on the ground. The Longhorns haven’t been able to consistently stop the run this year and I haven’t seen anything to convince me it will be different on Saturday.
Sameer Bhuchar:
But will they be able to stop the pass ... especially with C. Scott back, Jess wonders ... ?

Question From Jess:
What can we expect from Christian Scott in his first game back from suspension?

Christian Corona:
Christian Scott isn’t coming off an injury Saturday (like linebackers Demarco Cobbs and Chet Moss might) so he should be able to get back in the swing of things quickly. He’s been staying in shape and keeping his body ready for his season debut so Scott should be fine.
Austin Laymance:
Scott gives the Longhorns depth in the secondary, Nolan Brewster was forced to give up football this week after dealing with migraines and concussions for several years. Scott won’t start, but he will see a good amount of action in this one. He is far from being in football shape, so expect the coaching staff to ease him back into things. But look for cornerback Adrian Phillips to continue forcing turnovers in the secondary.
Christian Corona:
He’ll still get the chance to ease his way back onto the field with Blake Gideon and Kenny Vaccaro firmly entrenched as the starting safeties.
Scott started 10 games last season, though, and gives Texas some much-needed experience behind the starting safeties with Nolan Brewster leaving the program.

Printed on September 29, 2011 as: Secondary, Cyclones QB spark discussion in chat

Missed our live chat? We’ve got you covered. Make sure you join us next week at 4 p.m.

Double Coverage Editor Sameer Bhuchar:
Hey there, Double Coverage fans! We are excited about getting our fourth Chat underway! Once again, we are joined by Austin Laymance and Christian Corona ... the UT football beat writers.

Question From LateGameHero:
What is it about Texas and its slow starts?

Associate Sports Editor Austin Laymance:
The new system — it takes some time for the players to adjust and get used to it at game speed. There are a lot of new plays, formations and schemes being used this year, so it was expected for Texas to start slowly.
Football beat writer Christian Corona:
Texas has had problems coming out of the gate. They led Rice by just four at halftime and trailed BYU by 10. But it’s been a point of emphasis in practice this week, so the Longhorns could strike first this weekend against UCLA.
Sameer:
Texas finishes strong though ... the Longhorns haven’t given up a fourth quarter point all season.
Austin:
Yes, they have a 21-0 advantage in the fourth quarter
Sameer:
But shifting to the most important news coming out of Mack Brown’s office ... the QBs.

Question From William:
What can we expect from David Ash vs. UCLA now that Case McCoy is the starter? Will he see more playing time?

Christian:
The coaches have said that the package for Ash has only five plays, but that’s sure to expand. Ash has done well when he’s seen the field and has earned the right to more playing time, especially with McCoy making his first start.
Austin:
David will see a good amount of time this week at the Rose Bowl. OC Bryan Harsin likes to use two QB’s, he did it very successfully at Boise State and will do as well this week. David Ash should be on the field for at least 10-15 plays, and that’s if Case is moving the ball.

Question From Berrington:
Do you think Gilbert will ever get his spot back? Or is this
change permanent?

Christian:
After the way McCoy and Gilbert played this past weekend, it’s suddenly McCoy’s job to lose. If he plays the way he played against BYU, McCoy will remain the starter and Gilbert will stay at third string.
Austin:
I think Gilbert will play QB at Texas again. When? I’m not sure. But if McCoy and Ash struggle, don’t be surprised if Gilbert is back in there.
Austin:
I see Gilbert playing on the road, not at home. You heard the boos last week. Why not build his confidence away from home?
Sameer:
From the sounds of it, the coaches do have a lot of confidence in their younger QBs though. Harsin really runs plays catered to their styles.
Christian:
Players on both offense and defense have mentioned how vocal McCoy was in the BYU game. Not only has McCoy played better than Gilbert thus far, but he has seemed to win the respect of the locker room. Not sure if Gilbert ever did that.

Question From Stephen Farnesworth:
So is it true that McCoy and Shipley are roommates?

Austin:
Yes, just like the older duo.
Christian:
Yes, McCoy did confirm after Saturday’s game that he and Shipley, like their older brothers, are roommates.
Austin:
Jaxon plays guitar, same as Jordan Shipley did. Jordan sang; now it’s Case doing the vocals.
Sameer:
A couple more QB questions coming in here ...

Question From Poopycat McGee:
If McCoy and Ash struggle, how do you think the fans will react to Gilbert? With all the clamor to get Gilbert out of the QB spot, do you think they’ll be willing to see him play, or will he be welcomed with a chorus of boos?

Austin:
He will be booed the moment he throws a pick. But if he moves the ball and limits the turnovers, he’s going to be cheered.
Christian:
When Gilbert didn’t complete passes, he was booed. When he threw interceptions, they could hear the boos all the way at Lake Travis. So, yes, the fans will not react kindly if he returns.
Christian:
The fans are so eager for change after a season like the one Texas had last year. When Case McCoy and Malcolm Brown just step on the field, the Longhorn faithful go nuts.
Sameer:
We shift now to a concern a fan has about the running game.

Question From William:
How do you think Malcolm Brown will do now that he’s the No. 1 running back?

Austin:
If you ask Mack Brown, he’ll say Brown is not the No. 1 running back. He’s listed as co-starter with Fozzy.
Christian:
Malcolm Brown has led Texas in carries both games but hasn’t seen much playing time in the early parts of games yet. Now that he’s the starter, the Longhorn offense will get a boost right away.
Austin:
But I think he will do well against UCLA this week. He’s a powerful runner with good vision. He’s averaging more than four yards per carry.

Question From Fazzad Wang:
Do you expect Fozzy to be relegated to a Wildcat/passing-game-only role? With Malcolm now listed as co-starter, the promise that Bergeron would get more carries at UCLA, and Cody Johnson, do you think there is any place for Fozzy to be getting carries?

Austin:
Fozzy will see more time in Wildcat than in running sets, yes. And Cody Johnson will be the goal lineback.
Christian:
Not at all. Malcolm Brown may eventually prove himself to be the team’s best running back, but he’s learned a lot from Fozzy over the offseason and in these first couple of games. Also, Whittaker’s a senior so he’ll always get a fair amount of carries, some in the Wildcat, some not in the Wildcat.
Austin:
Malcolm Brown will be the workhorse. Bergeron did not play last week, so his carries may be limited.
Sameer:
The people want to know about defense!

Question from William:
UCLA’s run game really hurt Texas last year. Will the Longhorns’ run defense step up this time around?

Austin:
To a certain extent. Remember, UCLA went for more than 250 yards last year. So Texas should improve from that mark. But I don’t see them completely shutting down the Bruins’ attack.
Christian:
Texas has a good one.
Christian:
It’s a run defense that won’t give up the 264 rushing yards it allowed to UCLA last year. Defensive coordinator has pounded the importance of stopping the run into his players’ heads, and they’ve bought in.

Question From Bane Baneson:
When they aren’t running, UCLA likes to complete short, quick passes. BYU QB Jake Heaps was able to complete many of his quick strikes during Saturday’s game, so how will the defense be ready for this quick attack?

Austin:
Texas will go with man coverage if the Bruins start throwing it short. Quandre Diggs and Adrian Phillips can stick to the UCLA receivers, and the outside linebackers are mobile enough to limit the slant.
Christian:
Despite being the defense’s youngest unit, the secondary may very well be the most impressive. Sophomore Carrington Byndom was Texas’ defensive MVP Week 1 while freshman Quandre Diggs and sophomore Adrian Phillips each had an interception Week 2. The Bruins will have their hands full when they put the ball in the air.
Sameer:
Minny has a question about Alex Okafor!

Question From Minny Jackson:
Help! I’ve been looking all over the place for Alex Okafor, and I can’t seem to find him. Do you guys know why he hasn’t been as productive as they said he would be?

Austin:
Want to find Alex? Just look for him stuck to a lineman. He’s not getting off blocks, period.
Sameer:
Slow. Slow. Slow [off the blocks].
Austin:
Okafor is not a beast, yet. Sometimes he does not finish plays, the coaches are on him to reach his potential. But he’s not there yet.
Christian:
Jeffcoat hasn’t been productive either. Jeffcoat and Okafor have combined for just nine tackles this year. Texas has gotten away with not getting much production from their defensive ends so far, but that’s going to have to change soon.

Comment From wow:
Alex Okafor is not slow guys; he’s been double-teamed. No way is he “slow.” Get out of here.

Austin:
He’s fast and quick. Just getting blocked.
Sameer:
He’s been getting double teamed, but a player of his potential can’t consistently get held up like that.
Sameer:
Speaking of [Ashton] Dorsey though ...
Christian:
If Okafor is getting double-teamed, that’s fine. Then Jeffcoat should be wreaking havoc in the opponent’s backfield. No team is going to line up with seven offensive linemen.

Question From Rusty Dickenson:
What impact will Dorsey starting have on the defense?

Christian:
Despite being suspended against Rice, Dorsey was good enough against BYU to earn defensive MVP honors when Texas faced BYU.
Austin:
Dorsey will have a big impact, he was the team’s defensive MVP in the BYU game. He will benefit from playing next to Kheeston Randall and should have some lanes to the QB. Dorsey is only going to get better, so he will help shore up the run D.
Sameer:
Our most famous fan has a question regarding ... the law?

Question From Lil Wayne:
I’d like to sue the Texas defensive backs for copyright infringement ... Quandre The Giant??? Seriously?

Christian:
Quandre plays a big game that’s [how] he has that nickname, sorry.
Quandre went up against a BYU receiver that had about six inches on him and picked it off. He’s earned the right to be called a “Giant.”
Sameer:
Let’s keep the talk about the DBs going ... IrateFan has something to say.

Questionfrom IrateFan:
I can’t get over how sloppy Blake Gideon has been recently. What gives?

Austin:
Not tackling. And the coaches admit it.
He got juked at least once against BYU. If he does not play better against UCLA, watch out.
Christian:
Missed a couple open-field tackles against BYU. As a safety, he’s the last line of defense and is supposed to be one of the team’s surest tacklers. Gideon needs to improve in that area.
Austin:
He may be thinking too much out there. Just needs to make plays.

Double Coverage Live Chat

Sameer:
Hello Double Coverage readers! We are pumped for our third live chat of the year! I’m Sameer Bhuchar, Double Coverage editor, and joining us are football beat writers, Austin Laymance and Christian Corona. They’ll be taking all of your question regarding the upcoming Texas vs BYU game, as well as conference realignment issues. Ready? Set? Go!

 

Question from Trevor:
What do you think Texas’ biggest challenge will be on Saturday?

Austin:
Controlling the line of scrimmage will be paramount. Texas needs a better performance in the trenches than we saw last week against Rice when the Owls rushed for 130 yards.

Christian:
BYU’s a lot better than Rice, especially up front. Texas’ defensive line, which had trouble stopping the run last week, will have their hands full with the Cougars’ O-line. Not a man below 295 pounds there.

 

Question from Jenny
Are we going to see Heaps of trouble from the BYU offense?

Sameer:
Nice pun Jenny

Christian:
Rice didn’t challenge Texas in the downfield passing game but Heaps definitely will. But the way the secondary played in the opener makes it seem as though they’ll be up for the challenge.

Austin:
I think Texas will limit the BYU offense enough to win. They should get a better pass rush and create some havoc in the backfield.

Christian:
Diaz said Rice threw 3 passes farther than 7 yards in the air last weekend. That will change when Texas plays BYU.

Sameer:
While on the topic of new components to the team (Diaz), a reader has a question about the freshman

 

Question From Terry
Which Texas freshmen really stood out in your eyes?

Christian:
Jaxon Shipley was outstanding his college debut. Made a sensational TD catch on the WR reverse pass and even provided a spark out of the backfield.

Austin:
Joe Bergeron is a guy that could really emerge as a legitimate threat out of the Texas backfield. He came in before fellow frosh Malcolm Brown and made the most out of his carries.

Sameer:
That Shipley catch was stellar, and the play was creative. Certainly something that we didn’t see under the Greg Davis offense

 

Question from Brett:
What did you think of the offense’s new playing style under Bryan Harsin? Does the offense need time to adjust to it?

Austin:
I liked that Harsin moved players and shifted formations. They had Rice scrambling on defense and took advantage on some trick plays. Texas made a big commitment to running the ball, which was nice to see.

 

Question From Mary
What does the return of Marquise Goodwin mean for Texas’ receiving corps?

Sameer:
Now that the Horns have Goodwin back at receiver, how do you guys think Harsin will utilize him? Mary has a similar question....

Christian:
Even though Marquise will need some time to readjust to playing football again, he provides a lightning quick threat that defenses have to respect.

Austin:
Goodwin’s return will expand Harsin’s playbook even more. Look for the Longhorns to get some special packages that fit Goodwin’s skill set. He could get the ball on a reverse or a be a target down field on a flea-flicker type pass.

Christian:
He and DJ Monroe were part of a relay team that finished the 4x100 in under 40 seconds. The Longhorns have plenty of speed at their disposal.

Sameer:
One important point we haven’t discussed yet was the play of Gilbert...after all, he was the subject of much controversy this offseason...Ambra wonders the same.

 

Question From Ambra:
What do you think of Garrett Gilbert’s play?

Christian:
Garrett Gilbert was much better than he was last year against Rice (and most of the season for that matter) but you could still see him lock in on receivers and overthrow others.

Austin:
Gilbert made some good throws (two 50 plus yard bombs to Mike Davis) and some bad ones. He still misses his target on some throws, which perplexes me considering he’s the state’s prep leader in passing yards. But overall, a good performance. He didn’t turn the ball over, made plays with his feet, and executed the game plan.

Christian:
BYU, like Texas, didn’t give up an offensive TD in their first game. Cougars will present much tougher challenge.

Sameer:
The stat line doesn’t indicate it Ambra, but he was much more poised...though he has a lot more to work on

Austin:
Gilbert also made some poor decisions, like his ill-advised pitch to Fozzy Whittaker under pressure that could have easily been a turnover.

Christian:
The fact that he did not turn the ball over, however, was extremely encouraging. Ball security is a big point of emphasis for him this year.

 

Question From Philpot
Will BYU be offended by the dirty words in Texas Fight?

Austin:
Good question Philpot. I say they won’t be too offended considering they have some athletes who broke the school’s honor code.

Christian:
Not as offended as Texas was when it heard when BYU basketball player Brandon Davies broke his honor code.

Sameer:
I don’t even think they’ll like the word “fight”

Austin:
Jimmer Freddette might have his ears plugged on the sidelines.

 

Question from Trever:
I thought the TE position was supposed to be taken care of with Irby, Terrell and Grant, what happened in week 1?

Sameer:
Thanks for bringing us back trever

Christian:
Well Blaine Irby dropped the only pass thrown to him, which is understandable considering his long time away from the game and the fact that it was the same play he got hurt on three years ago. He has great hands and should be back to form this weekend.

Austin:
Irby missed his chance and dropped the only ball that came his way. Granted, he hadn’t played in 3 seasons. But I see him improving, along with the entire team, from week to week. They blocked well, though, as Texas rushed for over 200 yards.

Christian:
But Irby and some other tight ends need to step up soon because Harsin’s offense calls for 2-3 tight ends on the field every now and then.

Austin:
The tight ends are a big key to the offensive success, Mack Brown says, so they will need to step up if Texas wants to get back to a bowl game.

Sam McGuffie, No. 2 above, ran for 47 yards on 14 carries in last yearÂ’s matchup against Texas. McGuffie and the Owls will look to test the defensive line of the Longhorns after they struggled to stop the run effectively last year. The junior has 1,369 yards and nine touchdowns for his career. (Daily Texan file photo)

Photo Credit: Derek Stout | Daily Texan Staff

As a primer for tomorrow’s game against Rice, our beat writers Austin Laymance and Christian Corona as well as Double Coverage editor Sameer Bhuchar participated in a live chat Wednesday to discuss the depth chart and the Week 1 match against the Owls. Here are some highlights:

Q: Were you surprised by any of the choices on the depth chart?
Corona: I thought for sure D.J. Grant or Blaine Irby would be the starting tight end, but seeing Dominique Jones at the No. 1 tight end spot was surprising to me. Laymance: I was surprised to see Dominic Espinosa as the starting center. He replaced David Snow, who moved to guard. Gilbert gets the call, experience was a major factor in the coaches’ decision. Translation: not surprised.
Corona: Not surprised at all by Gilbert being named the starter, but it’ll be interesting to see if he’ll still be the guy taking the snaps at the end of the year. He needs to step up.

Q: Will Case McCoy see any playing time in week one, in mop up time or if Gilbert struggles?
Laymance: Yes. Look for him to get in the game against Rice if Gilbert struggles or if the Longhorns run away with it.
Corona: Well, he should see more playing time than he did last year (only one pass attempt). The coaches need to make sure Case McCoy gets his fair share of snaps so they know what they can expect if Gilbert doesn’t play well.
Bhuchar: Do you guys think he should see some time earlier in the game? Like say, the start of the 4th or even to end the third? Assuming Texas is running away with [the game] by then.
Laymance: Offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin was adamant this week that McCoy needs to be ready to play. He said the backups need to do more preparation than the starter. He could see time in second half, but don’t expect to see him before then barring injury.

Q: What are your thoughts on how well Gilbert will be ready for the game versus Rice (both physically and mentally)? This year, he has two QBs in McCoy and Ash breathing hard on his tail, so he can’t afford to play the way he did last year.
Laymance: Physically, he’s fine. Mentally, he says he’s worked on becoming a vocal leader in the huddle and on the field.
Corona: If the quarterback competition was as tight as the coaches said it was, Gilbert’s leash should be a short one. But I think he’s more ready than any of the other QBs considering how much more experience he has. Remember — Colt McCoy made tremendous strides between his sophomore and junior years.

Q: Who are some freshmen standouts not named Brown or Diggs?
Laymance: Desmond Jackson makes it on the two-deep as Kheeston Randall’s backup at D-tackle. He’s been a nice surprise. Coaches say he’s very tough to block.
Corona: Jaxon Shipley. Offensive coordinator Major Applewhite has said he can’t tell the difference between him and his older brother Jordan on tape. He’ll be a starting receiver and first-team punt returner. Not bad for a true freshman.
Laymance: Joe Bergeron has burst on the scene at tailback, going to break out from under fellow frosh RB Malcolm Brown’s shadow.
Bhuchar: Let’s shift our focus to this Rice team fellas ... Sam McGuffie, or the “human hurdler,” is a speedy running back ... you see Texas having any problems containing him?
Laymance: Don’t think he will get around the edge, Jackson Jeffcoat and Alex Okafor are two of the fastest DEs in the Big 12.
Corona: Texas has one of the best front sevens in the country, especially with Kheeston Randall at defensive tackle inside. McGuffie might have a couple big runs, but the Longhorns’ defense will be ready for him.
Laymance: McGuffie wasn’t faster than the Texas defenders last September. Hard for me to see something different on Saturday. This isn’t a C-USA defense.

Printed on Friday, September 2, 2011 as: Rice's Sam McGuffie, depth chart surprises.