Hiccups and starts for Saturday’s OU game

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Football Notebook

Senior safety Christian Scott injured his wrist in his first game this season. Scott was suspended the first three games of the year. (Daily Texan file photo)

Photo Credit: Caleb Bryant Miller | Daily Texan Staff

Safety out indefinitely

Frustrating season continues for Scott.

Christian Scott’s senior campaign isn’t going the way Texas had hoped.

The safety injured his right wrist against Iowa State and will be out indefinitely, head football athletic trainer Kenny Boyd said.

Scott was suspended for the first three games of the season after being charged with misdemeanor assault this summer. He’ll watch the Oklahoma game from a familiar spot — the sidelines.

Scott saw early action against the Cyclones and registered a quarterback hurry in the first half. But just when it looked like things were finally going his way, his injury occurred.

Without Scott, the Longhorns’ depth in the defensive backfield will be tested against the Sooners’ pass-heavy attack. Last week, junior safety Nolan Brewster was forced to quit football because of concussion symptoms, leaving Texas with a pair of freshmen as backup safeties.

“It puts us back in a situation where we’re very thin in the secondary,” said defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. “We get to freshmen fast. I feel bad for Christian, but it’s a stress to us.”

Mykkele Thompson and Sheroid Evans will back up starters Blake Gideon and Kenny Vaccaro against No. 3 Oklahoma. Gideon, though, expects the youngsters to fill the void right away.

“They’ve come to all the same meetings and been at all practices,” the senior said. “We’re five games into the season. By now they need to be able to have a good understanding of our defense. There’s really no reason why somebody else shouldn’t be able to step up and do their job.”

Sophomore cornerback Adrian Phillips can also fill in at safety.

Cobbs ready to make season debut

Demarco Cobbs couldn’t have timed his return any better.

The sophomore linebacker will play this week for the first time in 2011 after missing the first four games with a broken right forearm. Cobbs provides the Longhorns with some much-needed depth at linebacker with starter Jordan Hicks nursing a sore right hamstring.

Cobbs was the No. 1 recruit in Oklahoma two years ago at Tulsa Central, but turned down the Sooners to play for Texas.

He appeared in all 12 games last season on special teams and as a defensive back. During spring practice, though, Cobbs made the switch to linebacker.

Cobbs should see a good amount of playing time this week against Oklahoma’s high-octane offense. He played quarterback, tailback, wide receiver and safety as a high school athlete and is one of the Longhorns’ most versatile linebackers. That will come in handy against a Sooners team that plays at a blistering pace.

“Demarco brings us great speed and athleticism,” Diaz said. “Demarco is a runner and a hitter, you can never have enough of those on defense. With some of the packages that we like putting together where we can flood the field with speed, Demarco is the guy. Going against spread offenses that are going to throw a lot of screens out on the perimeter, it’s nice to have a guy that can play in space.”

Offense needs to finish drives

The Longhorns got away with a poor second half offensively against Iowa State last week.

On Saturday, Texas can’t afford to waste productive drives against Oklahoma. While Missouri racked up 532 yards against the Sooners on Sept. 24, the Tigers couldn’t capitalize and lost, 38-28.

The Sooners will give up yards, they’re 40th in the country in total defense with 348 yards per game. On the other hand, points have been hard to come by against the OU defense, which allows 15.3 points per game, good for 14th in the nation.

“You have to put points on the board, you can’t leave points out there,” said senior running back Fozzy Whittaker. “That’s one thing we were frustrated by in the second half against Iowa State. We put up yards and we put drives together, but we didn’t put any points up.”

The Longhorns will need to extend drives with third-down conversions this week after converting just four of 15 against the Cyclones. Senior running back Cody Johnson was stopped short on a fourth-and-one play in the red zone against Iowa State, just the type of missed opportunity that could come back to haunt Texas in a game like Saturday’s.

“We need to be better on fourth down and short yardage situations,” Whittaker said.  

Printed on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 as: Scott's frustrating year continues Cobb's return timely for defense