Goodwin looking to get more involved
Marquise Goodwin is nowhere to be found in the Texas offense, and head coach Mack Brown would like to change that. The junior receiver has not recorded any statistics over the past two games.
“We’ve got to get the ball in his hands more,” Brown said.
Goodwin made an immediate impact in his season debut against BYU on Sept. 10, returning three kicks for 74 yards, catching two passes for 10 yards and rushing once for three yards. He made strides the next week at UCLA with three carries for 33 yards, one catch for five yards and three kickoffs returned for 65 yards.
But Goodwin’s big day against the Bruins was costly. He left the Rose Bowl with his shoulder wrapped heavily with bandages and ice and missed a week of practice during the ensuing bye week.
Goodwin did not participate in spring practice or fall camp, as he was training for an Olympic berth in the long jump. He’s had one month to learn co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin’s extensive playbook, and the missed practice reps have definitely stunted his development within the offense.
“He has not been able to learn as much as quickly as we would like,” Brown said. “That learning curve has got to pick up. We had some confusion lining up Saturday.”
Goodwin’s also been removed from his kick return duties. With freshman receiver John Harris sidelined with a foot injury, the Longhorns are thin at wide out. To protect Goodwin — who did not lift weights with the team this offseason — and preserve their depth at receiver, the coaches took him off special teams.
“He can’t [take] the pounding on kickoff returns like he could last year,” Brown said.
That’s one less way to get the ball in the speedy receiver’s hands.
Changes coming along o-line
The Longhorns made mistakes across the board against Oklahoma. The offensive line was not immune to those miscues.
Texas allowed a season-worst eight sacks to the Sooners, who piled up a school-best 17 tackles for loss.
“We did not pick up the blitz well,” Brown said. “We didn’t protect the quarterback like we needed to. We’ve got a lot of work to do this week in that area.”
Part of that work includes working in freshman left tackle Josh Cochran, who is now listed on the depth chart as an “or” for the starting spot, which has been senior Tray Allen’s to date. Cochran has seen limited duty this season but should see his workload increase in the coming weeks as the Longhorns search for their best o-line combination.
“I think he’s been doing a great job for us,” said senior left guard David Snow. “He’s been doing really well in practice and in the games, too.”
Texas is also looking to get freshman Sedrick Flowers into the mix. The right guard has been limited in practice, though, with a sore ankle. He’s missed time on and off for three weeks.
“We’ve been trying to get him ready,” Brown said. “He just hasn’t been able to play enough. We kept thinking he would be able to play, then he would get to the game and he couldn’t do it. He’s not as far along as we’d hoped he’d be at this time.”
Brown expects to have Flowers healthy enough to play in two weeks, after the Longhorn’s open date on Oct. 22.
Texas had its chances against Oklahoma to keep the game close in the first half.
Trailing by 10 early in the second quarter, the Longhorns needed a stop. With the Sooners facing third-and-25, it appeared Texas could get the ball back and turn things around. That didn’t happen.
OU converted with a 30-yard pass down the right sideline, later turning the drive into a touchdown.
“I didn’t even realize it was third-and-25 until I came off the field,” said senior linebacker Emmanuel Acho. “That hurt us a lot. That was a huge momentum swing. It’s stuff like that that gets you beat.”
Printed on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 as: Horns want receiver involved