Freshmen Brown, Shipley feeling better after missing game with injuries

Christian Corona

Texas was without its leading rusher and its receiver, Malcolm Brown and Jaxon Shipley, last weekend but still managed to blow out Texas Tech and amass a season-high 595 yards, 439 on the ground. Brown is suffering from turf toe, and when he’s not practicing, he will wear a protective boot on his foot. Shipley, whose knee was injured in the Longhorns’ 43-0 over Kansas two weeks ago, did not dress this past week but is rehabbing and improving.

“Some people will probably panic when they see [Brown] in a boot, but that’s just normal,” said head coach Mack Brown. “[Shipley] was much better yesterday … I talked to Jaxon last night, and he said, ‘I’m feeling so much better.’ So hopefully he will.”

Wild formation could have been used years ago

When the Wildcat formation was made popular by the Miami Dolphins with Ronnie Brown and former Longhorns legend Ricky Williams, it seemed unstoppable. Now, one would be hard-pressed to find a team implementing the look, especially with teams throwing more and more. But Bryan Harsin has made it work this season, although Mack Brown believed it could have been used with a quarterback-turned-receiver as recent as last season.

“John Chiles would have been perfect for it,” said Brown. “Fozzy’s really good at it. He can’t throw, which has been rather evident. But you’ve got a 10.2, 10.3 100-meter sprinter going across his face and those linebackers get so distracted by the speed of Marquise [Goodwin] and D.J. [Monroe] that they get softer.”

Veteran tailbacks helping Brown, Bergeron along

Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron have made running for 100 yards look easy, combining for 446 rushing yards the last two games and that’s with Brown sidelined with turf toe last week. But they might owe some of their success to Fozzy Whittaker, who has been instructing them in practice and leading them to congratulate offensive linemen after they score, according to head coach Mack Brown.

“I feel that those two will continue to play off each other in the years to come,” Whittaker said. “When Malcolm was on top, I was making sure he stayed grounded and making sure Joe stayed hungry. Now that Joe’s on top, I’m making sure he still stays humble, and Malcolm continues to stay hungry.”

Which conference harder to coach in? Big 12 or SEC?

Texas’ last three defensive coordinators — Gene Chizik, Will Muschamp and Manny Diaz — have all come from the SEC, where defenses dominate, like in LSU’s 9-6 victory over Alabama on Saturday. On the other hand, the Big 12 showcases offensive juggernauts, such as Oklahoma State and Kansas State, who combined for 97 points in their shoot-out last week.

“It’s much easier to be a defensive coordinator in [the SEC],” Brown said. “You can get beat in the 50s in the [Big 12] every week. We’ve scored 43 and 52 two weeks in a row. We had opportunities against Kansas to score more. But we’re going to have to score in the 40s to probably win in the end.”

Blackout at Brown’s house

When Mack Brown got home Saturday after his team trounced Texas Tech, one would think he’d be happy. Instead, the longtime Longhorns head coach was frustrated not because he was disappointed in his team’s performance but because he couldn’t get his television to turn on.

“Thank God we won because my TVs weren’t working,” said Brown. “There’s one little TV in a guest bedroom, so Sally [Brown’s wife] and I were in there flipping back and forth between Oklahoma State-Kansas State and LSU-Alabama. If we’d have lost like last year, I would have been in the tank. I’d be in an institution somewhere.”

Published on Wednesday, Novermber 9, 2011 as: Freshmen Brown, Shipley feeling better after injuries