National Notebook: Week 12

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Senior safety Blake Gideon prepares for a play against Kansas State this past weekend. Gideon’s sister is a Texas A&M alumnus but he says she’ll be pulling for him and the Longhorns when they take on the Aggies Thursday night.

Photo Credit: Ryan Edwards | Daily Texan Staff

The Longhorns defense has done its job over the past two games. The same can’t be said about the offense.

Texas has allowed 17 points in each of the two last weeks, but the offense has scored just one touchdown and totaled 16 points as the Longhorns have lost twice in a row.

The players, though, said there’s no division in the locker room between the offense and defense, something that wasn’t the case in 2010.

“We experienced a little of that last year, and we’re nowhere close to that this year,” said senior safety Blake Gideon. “If anything, there’s more encouragement.”

Texas fell victim to intra-squad animosity last year during the program’s first losing season since 1997. But after two straight disappointing games with the defense clearly outplaying the offense, the Longhorns are saying they won’t return to that form.

“We saw what could happen when a team divides like that last year,” Gideon said. “As seniors, as leaders, we made a point way back in January that we’re going to build this team on one single unit.”

Brown defends Harsin

In his first year as the Texas play-caller, Bryan Harsin’s offense is scoring 29 points per game. In his final season at Boise State in 2010, the Broncos averaged 45. The Longhorns have gone into a funk offensively in recent weeks, but head coach Mack Brown defended his new offensive coordinator on Monday, citing the rash of injuries of late and Texas’ freshman-heavy team.

“He’s doing a great job,” Brown said. “We’ve got him shorthanded because of youth and inexperience anyway. He’s coaching his third quarterback in a game this season, which probably hasn’t happened anywhere else in America.”

Jaxon Shipley, who leads Texas with three touchdown catches, has not played in three weeks and leading rushers Malcolm Brown (turf toe) and Joe Bergeron (hamstring) have also been slowed by injuries. Mack Brown cited those losses when discussing Harsin’s performance in his first year in Austin.

“He and the offensive staff have had to keep working back and forth to try to scratch and claw and find a place,” Brown said. “But I’m totally convinced that he’s the right guy and this is the right offense for us to keep moving forward.”

Harsin did not address the media on Monday for the first time this season during a game week.

“I’d hire him again,” Brown said.

Snow, Gideon have Aggie connections

David Snow will play against the Aggies on Thursday, but he’s used to being around Texas A&M types. The senior left guard said he was the only person from his graduating class at Gilmer High to choose Texas.

Snow said he hasn’t heard much from former classmates since they chose College Station over Austin, though, but expects some chatter leading up to the final game of the 118-year series.

“Once they went to the dark side I haven’t really stayed in contact with them,” Snow said. “They’re lost to me.”

Gideon also has a connection to the Aggies, albeit a more personal one. His older sister, Quincee Gideon, graduated from A&M in 2009.

She won’t be rooting against her brother on Thanksgiving, though.

“She’s more of a Blake Gideon fan than an A&M fan,” Gideon said. 

Printed on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 as:Last year's frustration not returning despite offensive inefficiency