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Culpepper’s Commentary: Kansas

It was cold and windy in Lawrence — when we awoke on Saturday morning, it was in the 20s with the wind sweeping and biting in your face at 30 mph — just the type of weather that made Nebraska’s option power running offense dominate the Big 8 conference during the 70’s and 80’s. Today’s teams, including the Huskers, don’t run that type of attack, so you just knew it had to be a defensive day. And was it ever for the Longhorns. It was Will Muschamp’s group’s finest hour thus far.
Kansas should have never scored and wouldn’t have except for a bonehead hit-out-of-bounds penalty by Texas linebacker Jared Norton and an acrobatic catch by the Jayhawks’ excellent wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe.The pressure on Todd Reesing was outstanding; four sacks and by my count five throwaways kept Kansas completely off balance. Roy Miller, Henry Melton and Sergio Kindle kept the pressure on. Sam Acho, Eddie Jones and Lamarr Houston added to the confusion as well. The group that was most impressive, though, was the Texas secondary. Ryan Palmer has come into his own at corner and Earl Thomas is lockstep at safety. This has become a good-looking group. Remember, this is the same Kansas offense that put up 35 points on Oklahoma in Norman.Blake Gideon suffered a crushing hit by junior running back Angus Quigley, who hails from my hometown of Cleburne. Angus ran over young Blake and the result was a trip to the Lawrence hospital for the true freshman. Let’s hope the hit does not have lingering effect because Gideon has been a steady performer all season.On the very next play, Kansas ran a repeat to Quigley and he burst through a crack in the Texas front only to be unloaded on by redshirt freshman safety Christian Scott from Dallas Skyline. At 6-1, 208, Scott, filling in for Gideon, made the most out of his opportunity to play. He finished Quigley off, and later caused a fumble, making sure nobody thought his first hit was an accident.Colt McCoy must have had wide eyes watching the Kansas linebackers spread out to defend the Texas four receiver sets. McCoy ran 16 times for 78 yards, one of them a 25-yard beauty that help set up the last Longhorn score, a 36-yard strike right down the middle of the field to Brandon Collins.The Texas offensive line gave McCoy lots of time. Youngster James Kirkendoll, one among seven different receivers Colt threw to, had three nice catches in a row. So now a weekend off and then a Thanksgiving night game against Texas A&M.I expect to see Stephen McGee, Jorvorskie Lane and Mike Goodson at their best in Aggie Maroon trying to bring back the ghost of their former self when the Ags buried the Longhorns in 2006 and 2007. Coach Mike Sherman is almost through with his first season’s nightmare, but not quite. Texas 49, Texas A&M 10.

Pat Culpepper played for The University from 1960-62 and graduated from UT with a B.A. degree with honors in history. He coached college football for 12 years as an assistant at Texas, Colorado, Tulane, Baylor and Memphis State and was head coach at Northern Illinois from 1976-79. He also spent 16 years as a high school coach in Texas at Midland, Lufkin, Galveston Ball, Westfield and his hometown of Cleburne. He was selected to the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1991. His commentary appears regularly in the Inside Texas magazine and at InsideTexas.com.