I had a chat with a few folks today to get an update on how the Longhorns are using the bye week. It couldn't come at a better time to let some banged up guys get healthy in time for the conference stretch. Happy to be undefeated.
Daje is back at practice but still limited from the high ankle sprain. Our source, the CDO (collateralized debt obligation), said we'll likely hold Daje and Mike Davis out to get them at full strength for the OU game. Some of the younger receivers showed enough against K. State to make the staff feel confident they can win in Ames with Jaxon Shipley, Marcus Johnson, and Kendall Sanders.
They're also trying to work Swaim into the mix a little more as an eligible receiving threat. He's farther along than expected in the blocking game and has essentially relegated M.J. McFarland to bench duty. It's unfortunate that a guy with McFarland's size is such an ineffective blocker because we need both guys to contribute.
Applewhite wants to get more snaps with both Gray and Brown in the backfield together. Both guys can block well in space and are equally hungry for carries. Don't be surprised if Brown's carries continue to climb heading into OU. We'll be leaning on both RBs heavily until Ash is back to 100%.
When I asked the CDO about QB snaps, he said at the beginning of the week it was mostly Case, and by the end of the week Swoopes was receiving at least half of the snaps if not more. So how does he look? "Imagine a centaur where the lower half of his body is Tom Brady, and the top is VY."
Parsing this guy's unique sense of humor, it means Swoopes has come a long way and still has a long way to go. He's the type of kid that should thrive better in live action and don't be surprised if he plays in Ames. Whether you burn a redshirt when flames from the dumpster fire are so close by is another question. Flame retardant grayshirt? Overstreet running the wildcat might be just as effective considering Swoopes' package would be limited. Pursuing either option also concedes that Case isn't a viable option for winning football games moving forward, at least against a quality opponent. And if the bar was set at BYU (around ankle heigh), then Iowa State qualifies. Mid-shin, imo.
All that said, there's a good shot Ash starts and assuming Major doesn't Belldoze him, should finish the game. He's progressing well.
Stacy Searels is still shuffling guys around the OL and it's not necessarily finding the best five guys, he's trying to five guys that work best together and execute as a unit. Kent Perkins and Rami Hammad would be in the mix if you're talking about getting the most talent on the field. Walters is slowly being phased out at guard in favor of Flowers. If you're wondering why our sasquatch JUCO tackle isn't playing more, it's because he's been clashing with Searels. Work it out, fellas.
Greg Robinson is earning his paycheck, putting in 18-20 hour days, evaluating film to help simplify schemes and instill confidence as a unit. You saw a big improvement in effort and intensity against K. State, but it will take more than that to fix the depth chart issues at lineback and safety. Greg has his work cut out for him there. Expect a lot of base nickel with Jinkens and Santos and hopefully Kendall Thompson and Tevin Jackson can thrive in Robinson's streamlined system.
"We're already gameplanning for OU"
That's a direct quote and was meant to be typed seriously but at this point it's impossible not to laugh at the notion. Fake Ken Tremendous has been dispatched to research exactly what we're doing behind the scenes that has Bob Stoops so nervous.