Gray, Shipley among few bright spots for Longhorns

David Leffler


RB Johnathan Gray (So.)

Gray was one of the lone bright spots for the Longhorns in Saturday’s loss to Ole Miss, pacing the offense with 91 rushing yards and his first touchdown of the season. This marks the second consecutive solid outing for Gray, who rushed for 90 yards against BYU last week before Texas was forced to abandon the run after falling behind the Cougars. Although his numbers could be better, he has performed well considering he is playing behind a struggling offensive line riddled with injuries. If the Longhorns can manage to generate any kind of consistent passing attack against Kansas State and force the Wildcats to take a few defenders out of the box, Gray’s numbers should improve.

WR Jaxon Shipley (Jr.)

Like Gray, Shipley has quietly had a couple of solid performances the past weeks despite Texas’ overall offensive struggles. Although he is yet to reach the end zone, the junior from Brownwood has averaged more than 13 yards per catch the last two games and appears to be returning to form after beginning the season with a nagging hip injury. Regardless of who is playing quarterback for the Longhorns on Saturday, expect them to look Shipley’s direction early and often, as he has been catching just about everything thrown his way.



DE Jackson Jeffcoat (Sr.)

Following Alex Okafor’s departure for the NFL, Jeffcoat was expected to step up as the leader of Texas’ defense and a force in opposing backfields. However, through the Longhorns’ first three games he has been practically invisible, failing to register a sack thus far. Although he did recover a fumble last week when Ole Miss’ Bo Wallace inexplicably dropped the football in the middle of his throwing motion, Jeffcoat is a talented player and leader that Texas desperately needs to start playing well.

RB Joe Bergeron (Jr.)

Coming off of a 16-touchdown season in which he averaged 4.5 yards a carry, Bergeron was expected to complement Johnathan Gray’s speed with his bruising running style. Things seemed to be looking that way after he started the year with a solid outing against New Mexico State, rushing for 79 yards on only nine carries. Since then, though, Bergeron has done little to help Texas’ offense, carrying the ball a combined 10 times for 25 yards over the past two games. Although he hasn’t gotten many touches lately, he needs to do a better job when given the opportunity.