• Texas down 14-7 at the half

    Texas enters the half down 14-7 to Kansas.

    Yes, that’s the same Kansas team that has yet to record a Big 12 win and the same school who’s only victory came against South Dakota State.

    But, Texas has managed to bungle what should have been a confidence booster with an almost unthinkable – before the season – lack of ability to stop the run.

    Kansas has rushed for 177 yards thus far in the game, and their starter James Simms has gashed the Longhorns for 139 yards.  The majority of the Jayhawks big plays have come off simple spread running plays up the middle. Texas has them contained, but a missed tackle will allow Kansas to break off 10-yard plus gains.

    Both of the Jayhawk touchdowns have been walk-in rushes in the red zone, and the defense just looks at a loss to contain them.

    Texas’ offense isn’t playing much better either. Besides the groups quick opening drive score, the Texas offense has only combined for 75 yards against a defense that allows over 30 points a game.

  • Longhorns defeat Bears 56-50

    The Longhorns ended a two year losing streak by defeating Baylor 56-50 on Saturday night.

    The second half scoring began when the Longhorns forced a fumble from Nick Florence, but tight end Jordan Najvar fell on the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.  The Bears two-point conversion attempt failed.

    Later in the quarter, a 42-yard field goal from Baylor’s Aaron Jones made the sore 42-40.

    The Longhorns quickly responded.  Mike Davis caught a 67-yard pass from David Ash.  This led to an 8-yard touchdown by Joe Bergeron.  This was Bergeron’s fifth touchdown of the game, a career high.

    Though the Longhorns’ defense gave up 607 yards, they stopped the Bears and only allowed a field goal.

    Mykkele Thompson had a fumble recovery at the end of the third quarter, giving the Longhorns the ball and the momentum at the Baylor 46-yard line.  The Longhorns took advantage of this possession and Mike Davis scored with a 15-yard touchdown reception, making the score 56-43.

    Florence cut it close with five minutes left with a one-yard touchdown run.

    Though both defenses struggled, the Longhorns won the offensive battle and pulled out the win, 56-50.

  • Texas leading Baylor at half

    Texas offense Joe Bergeron attempts to score a touchdown.
    Texas offense Joe Bergeron attempts to score a touchdown.

    It was clear that this match up was going to be high scoring from the start.

    Texas freshman Daje Johnson ran the ball 84-yards for a touchdown on the first play of the game.

    The Bears tied the game after a gift from the Longhorns.  Kyle Ashby’s snap went over the head of Alex king and gave Nick Florence and the Bears the ball at the Texas eight-yard line.  Florence ran it in for a touchdown.

    The Texas offense pounded the Baylor defense in its third possession and a 15-yard touchdown run by Joe Bergeron gave the Longhorns the lead.

    Penalties by Quandre Diggs and Kendall Thompson helped the Bears along in their game tying drive.  Glasco Martin made it 14-all with a 2-yard touchdown run.

    Terrance Williams beat Diggs and he took full advantage of it.  He scored on an 80-yard touchdown pass from Florence, making the score 21-14 and giving the Bears their first lead of the game.

    Bergeron scored his second touchdown to tie the game with a 2-yard run.

    Florence found Lanear Sampson for a 7-yard touchdown to give the Bears the lead.  D.J. took the kickoff return 70-yards.  With the help of advantageous field position, Bergeron scored a 9-yard touchdown run to tie the game.

    An interception by Texas’ Josh Turner gave the Longhorns the ball at their own 37.  On third and seven, Mike Davis made up for a dropped pass in the first quarter and caught a 35-yard pass.

    Johnathan Gray finally scored his first touchdown as a Longhorn on the drive.  His 25-yard run gave the Longhorns a 35-28 lead.  Bergeron’s four-yard touchdown at the end of the half gave the Longhorns a two-touchdown lead.

    The Bears finished off scoring in the half with a 29-yard field goal to make the score 42-31 in favor of Texas at the half.

  • Top 10 NBA MVP candidates

    1. LeBron James – Winner of three out of the last four MVP awards, LeBron has dominated the game of basketball like few have ever done before. It is already evident that Lebron will be among the greatest players ever by the time his career is finished. There really isn’t much James isn’t capable of accomplishing on the court. To top that off, he is only getting better. Every offseason James makes it a goal of his to improve an aspect of his game. Last offseason it was a deadly post-up game; this upcoming season he promises a lethal hook shot. But the real phenomenon worth noting is the profound mental resilience he has gained this past year. In the playoff series against the Indiana Pacers and the Boston Celtics, James illustrated a new side of his basketball character. He demonstrated to the world that he is no longer the man who had a complete meltdown in crucial playoff games against the Boston Celtics in 2010 and the Dallas Mavericks in 2011. No, this was a new James who wouldn’t back down in the most important moments. The 45-point, 15-rebound and five-assist performance, facing an elimination game against the Celtics, really sums up this mental growth and his newly acquired killer instinct. Watch out, ladies and gentlemen, because you will be awe-inspired by this phenomenal player who finally has both the physical and mental tools to become the greatest ever.

    2. Kevin Durant – Since 1980 only two players have won three or more NBA scoring champion awards in a row: Kevin Durant and Michael Jordan. That is some exclusive company. It goes without saying that Kevin Durant is one of the most gifted scorers this game has ever seen. However, the improving aspects of Kevin Durant’s game are grossly underrated. Last year, Durant had career highs in rebounds, assists and blocks. Not only is this 24-year-old already the leader of a championship contender, but he is also very humble and willing to improve his game. Just this past offseason after the most success he has seen in his NBA career, Durant added approximately 15 pounds of muscle to his lanky frame in order to better play the power forward position for the Oklahoma City Thunder and also become a stronger defender. This guy is a workhorse. We have definitely not seen the best of Durant yet.

    3. Chris Paul – With a continually developing frontcourt in DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, Chris Paul’s game will only get better. Griffin and Jordan will make Paul look better by the year because of their expanded offensive arsenals. With the absence of Derrick Rose for the majority of the year, the light will shine ever so gloriously on the incredible play-making abilities of the best point guard in the league. However, in order for Paul’s rank to be this high, his individual play is not sufficient. He must also be able to will the Clippers into the championship contender they are capable of becoming.

    4. Kobe Bryant – As the greatest player of this generation, Kobe Bryant will have a lot to leave on the court in his last two years in the NBA. Very recently, Bryant chuckled when Ken Berger of CBS Sports questioned him about his willingness to play second fiddle or as a role player, reportedly saying, “That’s not gonna happen. That’s just not me.” Even as a spectator of the sport, it should become painfully obvious that Bryant will not want to leave the league without a final championship stamp on his first ballot Hall of Fame resume. With recent additions Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, Bryant’s offensive load will certainly lessen, allowing him to be the most efficient player he can be.

    5. Deron Williams – Deron Williams had gone into the shadows for MVP discussions these past two years. However, there is good rationale to explain that. No player since the 1982-1983 season has won the MVP award while playing for a team with a winning percentage lower than .610. It is fairly reasonable to say that the Nets weren’t close to achieving that standard those past few years. After nearly three or four seasons of pointless basketball, Deron Williams finally has a team that will motivate him to reach his full potential. The addition of Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace will solidify the Nets as a second-round playoff team and give Williams all the motivation in the world. Watch out for Williams to have a statement year for the rising Brooklyn Nets.

    6. Rajon Rondo – After his meteoric rise in the 2009 NBA playoffs, when he nearly averaged a triple double, Rondo has not failed to deliver in each of the following seasons. Since 2008, Rondo has made four NBA All-Defensive teams, led the league in assists and steals and dominated ball game after ball game without scoring a single point. Not much will change this year. Expect Rondo to grow as a leader and continue dominating games in ways very few can match.

    7. Kevin Love – Is it safe to say Kevin Love is the best power forward in the league right now? After averaging 26 points and 13 rebounds last year, Love is poised to maintain that status (unless Dirk Nowitzki’s knee concerns dissipate). The addition of a resurgent Brandon Roy, the recovery of Ricky Rubio and the growth of Derrick Williams should finally provide Love with all the tools he needs to forge a playoff contender, almost a necessity for an MVP. The 24-year-old’s best days are still ahead of him.

    8. Russell Westbrook – Kevin Love’s teammate at UCLA, Russell Westbrook, is not doing so bad himself. Although he plays second fiddle to Kevin Durant, Westbrook’s tremendous athletic ability and growing maturity make it impossible to leave him off this list. To me, Westbrook is the next Dwayne Wade of basketball, able to assassinate as he wishes through sheer athleticism. However, the next step in Westbrook’s development as a player has nothing to do with his athleticism. Rather, it has to do with the refining of his decision-making process and his leadership abilities.

    9. Dirk Nowitzki – If not for the knee problems and potential arthroscopic injury, Nowitzki could beat out Love as the best power forward in the league. The ability of Nowitzki to instantaneously take over a game whenever he chooses to makes him a phenomenal player on the dark horse contender that is Dallas. At this point of his career, his offensive output might not match Durant’s or Lebron’s, but this guy can score at will. Because Nowitzki’s game doesn’t require tremendous athleticism, expect his game to age very gracefully. His fadeaway matches Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s sky hook as the most unguardable shot in the history of the NBA. So age should be no deterrent for Nowitzki this season.

    10. Dwight Howard – In the ongoing debate surrounding the best center in the league, neither Dwight Howard nor Andrew Bynum seems to be a promising selection. Howard is coming off major back surgery and Bynum’s longtime best friends — knee injuries — are back in full force. However, Howard tops Bynum because he can impact the game so effectively in a multidimensional manner. Without even scoring, Howard’s dominant defense and rebounding abilities can create the largest imprint on a given basketball game. Although Bynum can finally be that No. 1 guy, the franchise player, he has to prove himself as a mature leader before he surpasses Howard.

    *Before chaos ensues, there is a reasonable explanation for leaving out Dwyane Wade. His athleticism-based skill set does not age gracefully (ask Allen Iverson and Tracy McGrady). Also, the addition of Ray Allen at shooting guard and Wade’s open willingness to defer to LeBron will slightly diminish his role on the Heat this upcoming season.

  • UT commits find mid-season form

    Several members of Texas’ 2013 recruiting class came up big over the weekend, including a few record-setting performances.

    Whitewright quarterback Tyrone Swoopes’ best efforts weren’t enough Friday night in a 40-36 loss to Leonard. The loss dropped Whitewright to 0-6 on the year, despite Swoopes rushing for 277 yards and two touchdowns on 38 carries. The Army All-American Bowl Honoree and Elite 11 participant also threw a 45-yard touchdown pass. Swoopes’ play has helped Whitewright average 23.5 points per game this season, but it hasn’t been enough to prop up a defense that gives up 41.8 points per game. Swoopes, who committed to UT on Feb. 17, is rated as the best dual threat quarterback in the nation by rivals.com.

    Swoopes wasn’t the only UT commit to have success on the ground this weekend. Arlington Martin running back Kyle Hicks rushed for three touchdowns in his team’s 63-9 blowout over Fort Worth Paschal. Hicks, who also passed for two touchdowns as a Wildcat quarterback, led 4-2 Martin in setting a new school record for total offense in a single game with 579 yards. Hicks currently leads District 3-5A with 18 rushing touchdowns.

    Livingston quarterback Chevoski Collins found success in his first game since committing to play for the Longhorns as Livingston beat Ozen, 21-14. Collins, who committed to UT Monday, rushed for a 30-yard touchdown before leaving the game with cramps. Although Collins plays quarterback for Livingston, he will most likely line up at safety or cornerback for Texas.

    Harker Heights outside linebacker Naashon Hughes came up with the biggest play of the night during Harker Heights’ 25-22 double overtime victory over Ellison. Ellison only needed a field goal to send the game into a third overtime, but opted to go for it on 4th-and-2 on the Harker Heights 17-yard line. Hughes sealed the game by tracking down Ellison running back Isaiah Cowan, tackling him for a six-yard loss. The win improved Harker Heights’ record to 2-4, going 2-1 in district play.

    The weekend’s most significant performance, however, belonged to Dallas Jesuit wide receiver Jake Oliver. Oliver caught six passes for 96 yards and three touchdowns in Jesuit’s 59-7 win against W.T. White, doing the vast majority of his damage in the first half. Those six catches give him 259 for his career, tying him for the second most catches in state history with University of Oklahoma freshman Trey Metoyer. Oliver needs only six more catches to break the all-time record that former Longhorn Jordan Shipley set in 2003.