Senior wide receiver

Photo Credit: Ethan Oblak | Daily Texan Staff

After getting shutout against Kansas State last weekend, the Longhorns looked to rebound against in-state rival Texas Tech in Lubbock. Both Texas and the Red Raiders sat at 3-5 overall heading into the matchup, seventh and eighth, respectively, in Big 12 standings.

10:08- Final in Lubbock, Texas deafeats Texas Tech 34-13: The Longhorns are now 4-5 on the season and will host West Virginia next weekend.

10:03- Fourth Quarter 3:20, Texas 34 Texas Tech 13: Red Raiders turn the ball over on downs inside the Texas 10. The Longhorns have scored their most points in Lubbock since scoring 35 in 2006 and are on pace for their longest win streak in the rivalry since 1966. 

9:56- Fourth Quarter 6:12, Texas 34 Texas Tech 13: Red Raiders take over from their own 41 after a punt. Longhorns have rushed for a season-high 232 yards tonight.

9:49- Fourth Quarter 9:30, Texas 34 Texas Tech 13: Senior safety Mykkele Thompson comes away with his first interception of the season.

9:40- Fourth Quarter 11:47, Texas 34 Texas Tech 13: Senior running back Malcolm Brown nearly scores from 10-yards out. He scores on the next play for his second score of the game and has rushed for a season-high 116 yards. It's the first 100-yard rushing performance of the season for the Longhorns.

9:34- Fourth Quarter 13:17, Texas 27 Texas Tech 13: Junior wide receiver Daje Johnson comes up with his longest play of the season on a 30-yard run.

9:28- Fourth Quarter 14:16, Texas 27 Texas Tech 13: Senior wide receiver Jaxon Shipley scores his first touchdown of the season on a four-yard grab from sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes.

9:20- End of the Third Quarter, Texas 20 Texas Tech 13: Longhorns have the ball on second down and goal from the Tech four. 

9:16- Third Quarter 2:06, Texas 20 Texas Tech 13: Senior wide receiver John Harris continues his big night with a 35-yard grab. Junior running back Johnathan Gray follows with 24 yards on two carries. Longhorns are threatening inside Tech's red zone. 

9:09- Third Quarter 4:12- Texas 20 Texas Tech 13: Sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes is unable to complete a pass to junior wide reciever Marcus Johnson. Longhorns punt. Red Raiders start drive at their own 37.

8:55- Third Quarter 7:41- Texas 20 Texas Tech 13: Senior wide receiver Jaxon Shipley fumbles the ball after a 14-yard reception. Red Raiders take over on their own 35-yard line. The play is under review.

8:49- Third Quarter 8:54, Texas 20 Texas Tech 13: Red Raiders turn the ball over on downs on the Longhorns 37. 

8:40- Third Quarter 12:02, Texas 20 Texas Tech 13: Longhorns settle for a 42-yard field goal after driving the ball 40 yards.

8:38- Third Quarter 12:47, Texas 17 Texas Tech 13. Sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes runs for 25 yards to bring the ball to the Texas Tech 25. 

8:13- End of the Second Quarter, Texas 17 Texas Tech 13: Longhorns will receive to start the second half.

8:12- Second Quarter 0:17, Texas 17 Texas Tech 13. Longhorns turn the ball over on downs on the Texas Tech 47. 

8:03-Second Quarter 2:59, Texas 17 Texas Tech 13: The Longhorns answer with a two play 85-yard drive led off by a 68-yard reception by senior receiver John Harris who has topped the century mark for the night. Junior running back Johnathan Gray takes it in from 17 yards out to put Texas ahead.

7:58 Second Quarter 3:34, Texas 10 Texas Tech 13: The Red Raiders drive 75 yards on nine plays, scoring on a six yard run by running back Kenny Williams.

7:55 Second Quarter 4:08, Texas 10 Texas Tech 6: Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be out the rest of the game. Timeout Texas Tech, which has the ball on third and eight from the Texas 16.

7:49- Second Quarter 7:01, Texas 10 Texas Tech 6: Tech quarterback Vincent Testaverde completes his first attempt of the game for 37 yards. The Red Raiders are driving and now have the ball inside the Texas 30.

7:46- Second Quarter 7:12, Texas 10 Texas Tech 6: Senior running back Malcolm Brown punches it in from three yards out to put the Longhorns back in front. 

7:40- Second Quarter 9:21, Texas 3 Texas Tech 6: Senior cornerback Quandre Diggs lights up Tech freshman quarterback Patrick Mahomes to force a fumble. Junior defensive end Shiro Davis recovers the fumble to put Texas in prime position to score.

7:29- Second Quarter 12:24, Texas 3 Texas Tech 6: Junior placekicker Nick Rose misses a 37-yard field goal wide left, keeping the score 6-3 in favor of the Red Raiders.

7:23- End of First Quarter, Texas 3 Texas Tech 6: Sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes is sacked for an 11-yard loss to end the first quarter. 

7:21- First Quarter 0:28, Texas 3 Texas Tech 6: The Red Raiders miss a 29-yard field goal attempt to keep the score at 6-3.

7:09- First Quarter 4:09, Texas 3 Texas Tech 6: Sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes is hit and fumbles the ball, which was recovered in the end zone by Texas Tech for a touchdown. Red Raiders missed the ensuing PAT to keep the score at 6-3 

7:05- First Quarter 4:20, Texas 3 Texas Tech 0: Longhorns force a third straight punt and start their next drive with the ball on their own 15-yard line

6:45- First Quarter 11:31, Texas 3 Texas Tech 0: Junior placekicker Nick Rose hits a 46-yard field goal to give the Longhorns the early lead.

6:36- Texas wins the toss and decides to defer. Red Raiders get the ball to start.

6:30- Texas and Texas Tech about to kickoff. Injury update: Daje Johnson and Kent Perkins both available for Texas tonight. 

Senior receiver John Harris is one of four fifth-year seniors making an impact for the Longhorns, with 247 receiving yards and three touchdowns this season.

Photo Credit: Lauren Ussery | Daily Texan Staff

In some ways, senior wide receiver John Harris’ story is the same as that of many of his teammates. 

A fifth-year player, an injury delaying his college progress, and a breakout season so far: All of these attributes apply to some of Harris’ teammates, such as linebackers Jordan Hicks and Demarco Cobbs and punter and place-kicker William Russ.

And yet, Harris finds ways to stick out. He had made just nine catches in his entire career up to this year’s season opener. And after Harris posted seven receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown against North Texas, many had the same question about Harris: Is he the new star on the team? 

“I wouldn’t say that at all,” Harris said. “I’m just one of the guys they look up to and one of the guys that they can trust and go to.”   

However, Harris’ teammates and coaches tout his play a little bit more.

“His mindset has completely changed,” Hicks said. “They gave him an opportunity, and he took full advantage of it … I think everybody knew he had it in him. Nobody is surprised at the numbers he’s putting up and his ability. He’s a very explosive wide receiver.”

Harris has proved his explosiveness through three games this season. Recording 19 receptions and 247 yards, Harris also became the third player in program history to score touchdowns in each of the first three games of the season. His plays against UCLA were likely the most significant, as he captured an 8-yard touchdown catch on third-and-goal late in the fourth, and a 33-yard pass on fourth-and-8 to enable Texas’ first touchdown drive that put the Longhorns up 10-3 at the half. Harris said he saw his team’s potential against the Bruins, but he was disappointed with the end result.

“This one hurt a lot,” Harris said. “We had that game right there, so it hurts everybody in the locker room especially. It was a hard loss for us. The heartbreak is there — that hurts. It hurts bad.”

But Harris isn’t the type to dwell on regrets when he can instead work toward improvement. He sees the near win against UCLA as “breaking through a wall” — proof that the skills are there even if the luck is not. As he looks to capitalize on the bye week to improve, it won’t be the first time Harris has translated adversity into motivation this season. When head coach Charlie Strong told Harris last spring that he needed to improve to stay on the team, Harris met the challenge head-on.

“I told [Harris] — what, two or three days ago — I said, ‘You remember the conversation we had?’” Strong said after the North Texas game. “[Harris] said, ‘Kind of gave me a wake-up call.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, and you needed that because you’re very talented, and you’re going to have this football team.’”

Harris is still developing as a starter, getting a feel for his catches and trying to eliminate mistakes. But he’s determined to keep progressing, taking advantage of the starting position he’s been seeking.

“I was always told that a lot of people don’t get second chances,” Harris said. “And so, when you do get a second chance, you have to take the opportunity and grasp it. My brother told me, ‘Go out there, and just take it, and go get it when you have the opportunity.’ I thought about that, and just took it in, and just did it.”

Junior wide reciever Marcus Johnson fights off a defender during the game against OSU last season. Johnson, who took advantage of his oppurtunities last season, is expected to become one of Texas' top reciever threats, taking the place of Mike Davis. 

Photo Credit: Shweta Gulati | Daily Texan Staff

After a 1-2 start to the 2013 season and an injury to senior wide receiver Mike Davis in the conference opener, Texas needed its younger players to shine. Several candidates were expected to fill the role, but very few signs pointed to sophomore wide receiver Marcus Johnson being the one.

Johnson missed Texas’ previous two games with a knee injury and entered with only one catch in nine career games. However, in the end it was Johnson who took advantage of the occasion, hauling in five passes for 70 yards against Kansas State in the Big 12 opener, including two grabs in Texas’ final scoring drive. 

“I just felt like that first opportunity against Kansas State — I came off the little knee injury, and I went out there and did what I could to step up in the time when Mike was hurt,” Johnson said. “And from then on I think my confidence was there, and from there on everything went well.”

Now a junior, Johnson enters 2014 expected to take over Davis’ old role as Texas’ big play receiver. He showed flashes of potential last season, none bigger than his 59-yard touchdown catch in Texas’ upset victory over Oklahoma last October. 

“That was a major step,” Johnson said. “Going into the game, I wasn’t expecting anything like that touchdown at the time or anything like that. But, when it happened, it just let me know, man, that I could do this. I can be a dynamic player.”

After spending last season as an unknown by opposing defenses, Johnson will now be a team’s defensive game plan to shutdown. Not one to back away from a challenge, Johnson looks forward to taking on opponents’ top corners and facing the most experienced defensive backs.

“You want competition. You want to go against the best,” Johnson said. “Even in practice, I’m constantly calling guys like Duke [Thomas] and Quandre [Diggs] out because that’s who you want. You want the best competition to make you better.”

Johnson’s teammates have even taken notice of the wideout’s urge to compete amongst the best as he continues to improve.

“Marcus is a hard worker, and he wants to go against the best, and we see that,” junior running back Johnathan Gray said. “That’s what we want. We want guys like Marcus to call out some of those veterans and say ‘Come against me.’ That’s what we need, and we love the competitiveness, and we need guys like that to help us win.” 

Because of Johnson’s willingness to challenge himself, it won’t be a surprise if he finishes 2014 as Texas’ leading receiver. 

Ultimately, it will come down to Johnson continuing to take advantage of his opportunities to impact games like he did in 2013.

“It’s funny, because if I would’ve dropped the pass against Oklahoma, it would’ve been a lot different right now,” Johnson said. 

But Johnson hauled in that pass, showing a penchant for making explosive plays that he would repeat on an identical route for a 65-yard touchdown in the next game against TCU. As Texas’ top returning deep threat, the rising junior is poised to take on a vital role in Texas’ passing game.

“When the opportunity or chance comes, [it’s] just [about] taking advantage of it and continuing to build and grow,” Johnson said.

Sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes was sacked four times and threw one interception Saturday afternoon. 

Photo Credit: Sam Ortega | Daily Texan Staff

With more than 10 injuries on both sides of the football, the first game of the new Charlie Strong era saw the remaining Texas quarterback struggle early in the Orange-White Scrimmage on Saturday.

Sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes, who led the first-team offense, struggled through the first half. In addition to opening with an interception, the 6-foot-4-inch sophomore completed just two passes for nine yards through his first nine pass attempts. One incompletion sailed past senior wide receiver Jaxon Shipley, when he was wide open in the end zone.

“Well, he had some overthrows, [but] you have to bounce back and get your head up and just execute and just do what we ask you to do,” head coach Charlie Strong said. “It is about your confidence, and once you start managing the offense, you understand that you are going to run the offense and that you have to have a sense of urgency about you.”

With less than eight minutes to go in the second quarter, Swoopes and the first team offense drove the ball 91 yards capped off by an 11-yard rushing touchdown from senior running back Malcolm Brown. And with seconds before halftime, Swoopes completed a hail mary pass to junior running back/wide receiver Daje Johnson. 

In the second half, Swoopes completed eight of his next 10 passes. With a late third-quarter 6-yard touchdown pass to Brown, Swoopes ended the day 17-for-30 with 229 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

“Well, you like the way he was able to bounce back,” Strong said. “He missed some big throws there … but then the way he settled down and was able to bounce back, then you felt like OK, he is getting himself back under control.”

Swoopes took all of the snaps with the first-team offense and only faced the second-team defense. Strong said he wanted to the first team to come out with some confidence.

In the fourth quarter, Swoopes threw his best pass of the day as he connected with Shipley for a 44-yard touchdown. Shipley, who caught six passes for 95 yards and a touchdown, said Swoopes kept his composure and showed signs of maturity pushing through the bad plays.

Shipley expressed optimism about the coaching change.

“This was our first time to actually go through all the plays that we learned,” Shipley said. “We will have more time in fall camp to get better. We will improve.”

With the second-team offense, senior quarterback Miles Onyegbule completed 5-for-10 passes for 60 yards and had two interceptions. Walk-on quarterback Trey Holtz entered the game in the fourth quarter and went 5-for-7 for 55 yards and a touchdown pass to senior wide receiver John Harris near the end of the game.

Brown, who carried the ball 20 times for 82 yards with a rushing and a receiving touchdown, said the offense was not in sync at the beginning.

“That’s something we are going to work on,” Brown said. “We got a lot of guys on the offensive line that are getting more game reps than they are used to. … We all just have to get on the same page so we can all come out there and play fast.”

Baylor head coach Art Briles addresses media members at Big 12 Media Days in Dallas. Briles and the Bears are looking to improve on a 10-3 record from a year ago.

Photo Credit: Pu Ying Huang | Daily Texan Staff

The Baylor Bears may have lost their top three offensive threats from a year ago to the NFL Draft, but head coach Art Briles doesn’t see that being an issue as his team prepares for the start of a new season.

“We’ve got some holes to fill. We understand that,” Briles said. “In general I think our brand is probably as good as it’s ever been on a national level. What we have to do now is maintain it, and that’s where my inspiration, passion and drive is going to come from.”

The Bears are coming out of their best season in more than 30 years after a 10-3 finish in 2011, which included the team’s first bowl victory since 1992. But the loss of Heisman-winning quarterback Robert Griffin III as well as leading wide receiver Kendall Wright and running back Terrance Ganaway have many wondering if the Bears can duplicate their success from a season ago.

“We have to fill in the gaps because Robert created a lot of gaps,” Briles said. “We have to fill that in with a variety of different methods, schematically and personnel-wise, that will give us an opportunity to stay at the level we finished at last year.”

One of the players who will attempt to fill the massive hole left by Griffin III and others is senior quarterback Nick Florence. Florence would have two remaining years of eligibility, but he was forced to relinquish his redshirt late last season after Griffin III suffered a concussion against Texas Tech. In that game, Florence threw for 151 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another score, eventually leading the Bears to a 66-42 win over the Red Raiders.

It was then that Briles knew Florence would do anything to see the Bears win.

“That’s where his drive is — being a good football player that contributes to Baylor being successful,” Briles said. “I have a tremendous amount of confidence in the passion, energy and fearlessness he’s going to bring to the table.”

Briles isn’t the only one confident in Florence’s ability to lead the Bears. Senior center Ivory Wade feels the Bears are right where they left off at the end of last season.

“We’re going to be the same offense we were last year,” Wade said. “Very explosive and hopefully rack up a lot of yards.”

Those yards will have to come from somewhere, and that’s precisely where fifth-year senior wide receiver Terrance Williams comes in.

Williams played in all 13 games last season, including 11 at receiver on his way to 957 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. His receiving totals were second on the team, trailing only Wright, who is now a Tennessee Titan. At 6-foot-2, Williams provides a big target for Florence and should emerge as this year’s most reliable downfield threat.

“He’s going to blow up this year,” Wade said.

The Bears also return Tevin Reese, Lanear Sampson and Levi Norwood at receiver in addition to recent Michigan transfer Darryl Stonum. The loss of Wright hurts, but there are several players who are capable of working as a unit in order to replicate Wright’s receiving totals from last year.

With all the attention paid to Griffin III and Wright a year ago, it’s easy to forget that the Bears also had a 1,500 yard rusher, Ganaway, who is now a member of the New York Jets.

Ganaway found the endzone 21 times on the ground in 2011, and his production will be greatly missed as well.

At the moment, senior Jarred Salubi is listed as the Bears’ No. 1 running back. He’s played in 38 career games, tied for the most on the team.

“Jarred is an outstanding back. He’s able to make guys miss in space and he’s big and strong enough to be powerful inside,” Briles said.

Someone will have to step up in order to replace Ganaway, and that someone could be Lache Seastrunk. A graduate of nearby Temple High School and former Oregon Duck, Seastrunk joined the Bears in 2011 but was forced to sit out the entire season per NCAA transfer regulations.

“Lache is a very dynamic player that has three years left and we’re anxious to see what he can do when there’s people in the stands hollering, because he’s got ability and that’s something that’s hard to hide,” Briles said. “We’re going to have him open up the jacket and let it show.”

It won’t be an easy task replacing the drafted players on the offensive side of the ball, but the pieces are there.

“Perceptions change and there’s still people who are going to write us off, and that’s the way it’s always going to be,” Florence said. “We want to earn some respect. We’ve won a bowl game and got to 10 wins, so now we want to win a Big 12 Championship.”

 The Baylor Bears may have lost their top three offensive threats from a year ago to the NFL Draft, but head coach Art Briles doesn’t see that being an issue as his team prepares for the start of a new season.

“We’ve got some holes to fill. We understand that,” Briles said. “In general I think our brand is probably as good as it’s ever been on a national level. What we have to do now is maintain it, and that’s where my inspiration, passion and drive is going to come from.”

The Bears are coming out of their best season in more than 30 years after a 10-3 finish in 2011, which included the team’s first bowl victory since 1992. But the loss of Heisman-winning quarterback Robert Griffin III as well as leading wide receiver Kendall Wright and running back Terrance Ganaway have many wondering if the Bears can duplicate their success from a season ago.

“We have to fill in the gaps because Robert created a lot of gaps,” Briles said. “We have to fill that in with a variety of different methods, schematically and personnel-wise, that will give us an opportunity to stay at the level we finished at last year.”

One of the players who will attempt to fill the massive hole left by Griffin III and others is senior quarterback Nick Florence. Florence would have two remaining years of eligibility, but he was forced to relinquish his redshirt late last season after Griffin III suffered a concussion against Texas Tech. In that game, Florence threw for 151 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another score, eventually leading the Bears to a 66-42 win over the Red Raiders.

It was then that Briles knew Florence would do anything to see the Bears win.

“That’s where his drive is — being a good football player that contributes to Baylor being successful,” Briles said. “I have a tremendous amount of confidence in the passion, energy and fearlessness he’s going to bring to the table.”

Briles isn’t the only one confident in Florence’s ability to lead the Bears. Senior center Ivory Wade feels the Bears are right where they left off at the end of last season.

“We’re going to be the same offense we were last year,” Wade said. “Very explosive and hopefully rack up a lot of yards.”

Those yards will have to come from somewhere, and that’s precisely where fifth-year senior wide receiver Terrance Williams comes in.

Williams played in all 13 games last season, including 11 at receiver on his way to 957 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. His receiving totals were second on the team, trailing only Wright, who is now a Tennessee Titan. At 6-foot-2, Williams provides a big target for Florence and should emerge as this year’s most reliable downfield threat.

“He’s going to blow up this year,” Wade said.

The Bears also return Tevin Reese, Lanear Sampson and Levi Norwood at receiver in addition to recent Michigan transfer Darryl Stonum. The loss of Wright hurts, but there are several players who are capable of working as a unit in order to replicate Wright’s receiving totals from last year.

With all the attention paid to Griffin III and Wright a year ago, it’s easy to forget that the Bears also had a 1,500 yard rusher, Ganaway, who is now a member of the New York Jets.

Ganaway found the endzone 21 times on the ground in 2011, and his production will be greatly missed as well.

At the moment, senior Jarred Salubi is listed as the Bears’ No. 1 running back. He’s played in 38 career games, tied for the most on the team.

“Jarred is an outstanding back. He’s able to make guys miss in space and he’s big and strong enough to be powerful inside,” Briles said.

Someone will have to step up in order to replace Ganaway, and that someone could be Lache Seastrunk. A graduate of nearby Temple High School and former Oregon Duck, Seastrunk joined the Bears in 2011 but was forced to sit out the entire season per NCAA transfer regulations.

“Lache is a very dynamic player that has three years left and we’re anxious to see what he can do when there’s people in the stands hollering, because he’s got ability and that’s something that’s hard to hide,” Briles said. “We’re going to have him open up the jacket and let it show.”

It won’t be an easy task replacing the drafted players on the offensive side of the ball, but the pieces are there.

“Perceptions change and there’s still people who are going to write us off, and that’s the way it’s always going to be,” Florence said. “We want to earn some respect. We’ve won a bowl game and got to 10 wins, so now we want to win a Big 12 Championship.”

Oklahoma State
The Cowboys are ranked first nationally with 34 sacks. Against Baylor last week, the Cowboys had two players (Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith) rush for more than 100 yards and one player (Justin Blackmon) with more than 100 yards receiving for the fourth time in school history. However, Smith sustained an undisclosed injury on a 63-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and did not return to the game. Wide receiver Josh Cooper also strained a leg muscle and did not return.

Texas A&M
In the Aggies’ three losses this season they have held leads of 17, 18 and 14 points. In the second half of those games, the Aggies have scored only 13 points and have committed seven turnovers. Cornerback Coryell Judie did not dress for the Missouri game last week because of a strained hamstring. Wide receiver Kendric McNeal missed his second game in a row because of a foot injury. Defensive end Tony Jerod-Eddie returned from a foot injury and recorded five tackles against the Tigers.

Texas Tech
Until last week, the Red Raiders had thrown a touchdown pass in 69 consecutive games. Sophomore safety Terrance Bullitt injured his shoulder against Iowa State and is out indefinitely. Sophomore cornerback Tre’ Porter suffered a head injury and also had to leave the game. The Red Raiders’ 41-7 home loss to the Cyclones was the third-consecutive home loss for the team — their longest home losing streak since 1991 (Oregon, TCU, Texas A&M).

Oklahoma
Cornerback Jamell Fleming did not participate against Kansas State a week ago after undergoing minor arthroscopic knee surgery two weeks ago. Running back Dominique Whaley suffered a broken ankle on the first play from scrimmage last week and will miss the remainder of the season. Whaley had rushed for 627 yards and nine touchdowns in six games this season. Senior wide receiver Ryan Broyles is 508 yards away from surpassing Nevada’s Trevor Insley’s NCAA record of 5,005 yards receiving.

Texas
The Longhorns were able to shut out Kansas 43-0, marking the team’s first shutout since the 2005 season against Baylor. The 36 plays that Texas held Kansas to is the lowest total ever in Big 12 history. Running back Malcolm Brown became the sixth freshman in school history to rush for more than 100 yards in back-to-back weeks. The last to achieve the feat? Cincinnati Bengals’ running back Cedric Benson.

Missouri
Running back Henry Josey became the first back in school history to run for more than 125 yards in three-straight games last week when he gained 162 yards on 20 carries against Texas A&M. Josey has 1,017 yards on 119 carries this season. The Tigers’ 38-31 overtime win in College Station was the team’s first road win over a ranked opponent since 1997. Defensive end Brad Madison strained his knee in the second quarter against the Aggies and did not return to the game.

Kansas State
Cornerback Nigel Malone intercepted two more passes against Oklahoma, raising his season total to six. Malone has also been named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s top defensive back every year. Starting wide receiver Brodrick Smith missed his third-consecutive game for undisclosed reasons.

Kansas
With only 46 yards of offense to show in last week’s 43-0 loss to Texas, the Jayhawks nearly set a new low-yardage mark in a game. For now that mark of 44 yards of total offense remains untouched. The shutout was the Jayhawks’ first since 2002 when Mark Mangino was coach. The Jayhawks’ defense is on pace to surrender the most yardage and points allowed in major college football history.

Baylor
Linebacker Brody Trahan, a former quarterback prospect, completed the second pass of his career on a fake punt when he connected with tight end Jerod Monk for a 21-yard gain. Junior quarterback Robert Griffin III now holds Baylor’s single-season school record for touchdown passes with 24. With his 11 catches for 117 yards last week against Oklahoma State, senior wide receiver Kendall Wright now has caught at least seven passes in eight consecutive games.

Iowa State
The Cyclones 34-point margin of victory over Texas Tech last week was the largest over a ranked opponent in school history. Running backs James White and Duran Hollis both racked up more than 100 yards rushing to make it two-straight years the Cyclones have had dual 100-yard performances against the Red Raiders. Redshirt freshman quarterback Jared Barnett was taken to the locker room in the first half last week for a concussion test but promptly returned to the game. Offensive guard Ethan Tuftee was also helped off the field after sustaining a leg injury. There has been no update on his condition.
 

Senior wide receiver Malcolm Williams practiced this week for the first time this spring after sitting out with what head coach Mack Brown called a “family issue.”

Williams has been a veteran presence at practice in the first half of spring camp, assisting new wide receivers coach Darrell Wyatt as he gets acclimated to a young corps of wide outs.

“We’re really happy to have him back. He’s a great leader for us,” said Brown. “He’s gained some weight. He can play the H-back position. He can play the wide receiver position. He can play a lot of things for us and he’s doing well in those areas.”

The Garland native is the Longhorns’ leading returning receiver, with 80 catches for 1,118 yards and seven touchdowns in his three-year career. Williams is also a fixture on special teams and is the elder statesman of the Texas receivers. The 6-foot-3, 228-pounder should shore up a position that gave the Longhorns trouble a season ago with a number of untimely dropped passes.

“He gives us great leadership, outside of just the receiving position,” Brown said. “But he also gives us one of the best special teams players in the country.”

<strong>Brown focusing on run game</strong>

Texas’ poor performance on the ground over the past few seasons certainly hasn’t been lost on the Longhorns’ head coach, who said his teams have failed to run the ball consistently for four years.

Brown placed most of the burden on the offensive line to get things right this year, as the Longhorns continue to adapt to new co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin. Brown noted the hardest part for the offense this spring has been line play, but that isn’t stopping him from stressing the importance of the running game.

“We’re going to run the ball and we are going to run it well, and it’s going to take a while because it’s a transition,” Brown said. “It’s a whole lot for the offensive line, and we only have eight scholarship offensive linemen healthy so we’re really thin there.”

Injuries have also taken a toll on the ball carriers, but not the usual suspects. The oft-injured Fozzy Whittaker has turned heads this spring and has stayed off the injury report.

“Fozzy has looked great, not good. We’re really excited about him, and he’s stayed healthy so far,” Brown said. “He really looks the best I have ever seen him look.”

Instead, the injury bug bit redshirt freshman Traylon Shead and junior Jeremy Hills. Shead pulled his hamstring and missed the Longhorns’ last scrimmage, while Hills missed time with a pulled groin.

Fifth-year senior Cody Johnson is working almost exclusively at fullback but has gotten reps at tailback this spring, as the coaching staff plans to use him in short-yardage and goal-line situations.

Junior speedster D.J. Monroe, the most elusive of Texas’ backs, joined the team for practice this week after missing the opening of spring camp because of track-and-field commitments.

<strong>Horns get talk from Navy official</strong>

The assistant secretary of the Navy, Juan Garcia, greeted the Longhorns on Wednesday morning before practice. Garcia, who was in town for a lecture, spoke to the team about becoming leaders and took time to meet the players and coaching staff.

“It was a great meeting. It was fun, and I told him how much we appreciate him and all the guys and ladies that are across the world trying to help us stay safe,” Brown said. “We got some tips on leadership, which was good as well.”

The Longhorns lacked consistent leadership a year ago, and the coaching staff has put a larger emphasis on that dynamic this spring.

“We’ve got to compete hard every play and we didn’t all the time last year,” Brown said. “We’ve got to get that culture out of here.”