Tag:Fozzy Whittaker
Posted on: December 16, 2011 3:38 pm
 

Holiday Bowl Key Match up



Posted by Bryan Fischer


A look at the key matchup that could decide the Holiday Bowl

Texas running backs Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron versus California linebacker Mychal Kendricks

There are plenty of match ups to watch for in this game but Texas' two running backs against the Pac-12 defensive player of the year should be a focus if you're watching at home. Both Brown (turf toe, knee) and Bergeron (hamstring) have been hurt and missed time during the second half of the season but have been practicing and should be full strength for the bowl game.

They're going to need to be 100% against Kendricks. The heart and soul of the Bears' defense, Kendricks was a big reason why the team was solid on that side of the ball despite having to replace several contributors. He averaged eight tackles a game and was third in the conference in tackles for loss at over one per game. His pass defense is pretty good too despite being a bit undersized at 6-foot, 240-pounds and learning the inside linebacker position this season after a few years on the outside.

Highly touted out of high school, Brown took most of the rushing load this season for the Longhorns and finished 7th in the Big 12 in yards. Bergeron was more of a surprise but did just as well, if not better, with fewer carries. The loss of Fozzy Whittaker put even more on the two freshmen and with both battling injuries, was a big factor in the offense slowing down.

Texas needs the ground game to be effective to take pressure off of their so-so quarterbacks and the Longhorns need Brown and Bergeron to be healthy and productive if they want a chance to win. They'll be squaring off against a great, experienced linebacker in Kendricks however. Should be a fun match up to watch.

You can read our complete Holiday Bowl preview here.


Posted on: November 15, 2011 5:45 am
 

Keys to the Game: Texas vs. Kansas State

Posted by Tom Fornelli

TEXAS WILL WIN IF: The Longhorns are going to have to adapt to life without Fozzy Whittaker. He wasn't the team's leading rusher, in fact he's third on the team with 386 yards, but he was the key to Texas' Wildcat formation. The good news is that as long as Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron can play, the Longhorns still have plenty of talent at running back, even without the offense's vocal leader. Still, it won't be easy to find running space against a Kansas State defense that is third in the Big 12 in rushing yards allowed per game (117.2) and has only given up 16 rushing touchdowns on the season. What's tougher than running against Kansas State? Keeping Kansas State, particularly Collin Klein, from running against you. Though this is a Texas team that has the best rushing defense in the Big 12 and has only allowed 9 touchdowns all season. This will be the toughest test that Manny Diaz's unit has faced this year. If it can prove capable of slowing down Klein, then the Longhorns can win this game.

KANSAS STATE WILL WIN IF: On defense the Wildcats are going to have to take away the Texas ground game. It won't be easy, but the fact of the matter is that this Texas offense needs to run to have success. David Ash is not a passing quarterback yet, and when the Longhorns lost Fozzy Whittaker last week it was ugly. If the Wildcats can avoid their recent trend of getting down early in games and actually build a lead and force Texas to throw more than it wants to, this could get out of hand quickly. On offense, the formula will remain the same. Collin Klein right, Collin Klein left, Collin Klein up the middle. Sprinkle in a pass here and there, mix, and voila! Touchdowns. Though it's not going to be easy against this Texas defense.

X-FACTOR: John Hubert. This Texas defense is good enough against the run that it can slow down Collin Klein if the Wildcats become too dependent on their quarterback. The best way for Kansas State to make sure that doesn't happen will be if Hubert can find some room and make the Texas front seven respect the option. If Hubert isn't able to pick up yards and the Texas defense is allowed to key solely on Klein, Kansas State could be in trouble.
Posted on: November 13, 2011 8:42 pm
 

Fozzy Whittaker's Texas career is over

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The news was somewhat expected after seeing the injury on Saturday, but Texas confirmed the worst for running back Fozzy Whittaker on Sunday night. The school announced that Whittaker had suffered a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee, which ends Whittaker's 2011 season and college career.

Whittaker suffered the injury during the first quarter on Saturday in Texas' loss to Missouri.

The impact of Whittaker was very evident in that loss, as the Longhorns offense seemed lost without him. Not helping matters was that Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron were both out of the game as well. Still, even when those two return, Whittaker will not be easy to replace.

As well as being a special teams threat on kick returns, Whittaker also runs the Wildcat formation for the Texas offense. A formation that Bryan Harsin's offense had been using with great results in the last few weeks.

Whittaker finishes his career at Texas with 1,233 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. He had 386 yards and 6 rushing touchdowns this season. 
Posted on: November 12, 2011 11:31 pm
 

Big 12 Winners and Losers: Week 11



Posted by Tom Fornelli


A handy recap of who really won and who really lost that you won't find in the box score.

WINNER: Collin Klein's fantasy owners

I know that college fantasy football isn't as popular as the NFL version, but if you do play it and you don't have Collin Klein on your team, then you did something wrong earlier this season. Klein had another amazing game on Saturday as Kansas State beat Texas A&M 53-50 in four overtimes.

What was truly amazing, however, was how dominant Klein was. Kansas State scored 7 touchdowns in the game, 6 of which came courtesy of Klein as he ran for 5 (increasing his season total to 24 rushing touchdowns) and threw for another. The other Kansas State touchdown came when Klein fumbled at the goal line while going in, but luckily receiver Tramaine Thompson jumped on the loose ball.

Even more insane than the scoring? Kansas State had 411 yards of total offense in the game. Klein was responsible for 384 of those yards, or 93% of the Kansas State output.

LOSER: Mike Sherman's job stability

I've mentioned it here before in recent weeks, but Mike Sherman can't exactly be feeling too comfortable in College Station these days. Texas A&M came into the season as a top-ten pick in both polls, and now ten games into the season the Aggies find themselves at 5-5 on the year and 3-4 in the Big 12. When you're as talented a team as Texas A&M is and you keep making the same mistakes over and over -- though there was no second-half disappearing act this week, but A&M did blow a 10-point lead in the closing minutes -- then at some point the blame has to fall squarely on the coaching staff.

It's very possible that with the season's final two games, and hopefully a bowl game, Sherman is coaching to keep his job with Texas A&M. Either that or the Aggies will be moving on to the SEC and bringing in a new staff to go with its new conference.

WINNER: Brandon Weeden's Heisman Campaign

On Saturday we saw both Andrew Luck's Stanford team fall to Oregon, and Kellen Moore's Boise State team fall to TCU. You know what that means? That means Brandon Weeden is going to start climbing on a lot of Heisman ballots. Not that he really needed Luck and Moore to fall to start gaining the attention, as after Saturday's 66-6 romp over Texas Tech, Weeden now has 3,635 yards passing with 31 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He also has two more games to add to those numbers, and while they're not as incredible as Case Keenum's numbers, Weeden's doing it against the Big 12 for the #2 team in the country.

LOSER: Texas Tech

I don't even know what to say at this point. I remember seeing Texas Tech beat Oklahoma earlier this season, I know it happened, I just can't fathom how it happened at this point. How does a team that played so well on that night go into such a devastating tailspin so fast?

It's not that Texas Tech lost to Oklahoma State, it's that Texas Tech never even had a prayer. This looks like a team that just doesn't care about anything anymore. It already won its Super Bowl, and now it's just trying to get through the year.

WINNER: This guy



Kudos to you, Texas Tech fan. Even during the worst of times, you do not abandon the GUNS UP attitude. Many of your fellow fans had gone home long before you fired your gun into the air. If only it hadn't been filled with blanks of despair.

LOSER: Kansas fans

You poor souls. You'd given up on your team this season already, and with basketball season now officially underway, you were ready to turn your backs to football and never look back. But then something strange happened.

Kansas not only took a lead against Baylor, but it held it. It even expanded on it. Suddenly, it's the fourth quarter and your Jayhawks are up 24-3 on Baylor! This team is going to reward you! They're going to thank you for sticking with them through all this pain!

And then suddenly Baylor scores 21 points in the fourth quarter to force overtime and then beat you 31-30 when Turner Gill decided to go for two but a terrible fade into double coverage fell incomplete.

The lesson here is never care, Kansas fan. Never. Care.

WINNER: Gary Pinkel's Big 12 Check List

With a 17-5 win over Texas on Saturday, Missouri beat Texas for the first time under head coach Gary Pinkel, and in the last time the two schools will meet as conference opponents. It was also the first time Missouri had beaten Texas in the last six meetings of the team, and only the second time in the last seventeen. Pinkel has now beaten every team in the Big 12 at least once, and what was looking like a disappointing season could be on pace for a respectable 7-5 campaign, including two wins over ranked teams.

Of course, it wasn't all good news for Missouri, and I'll get to that next.

LOSER: The knees of some of the Big 12's best

These are players that the Big 12 has lost in the last two weeks due to knee injuries: Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles, Texas A&M's Christine Michael and on Saturday Missouri's Henry Josey and Texas' Fozzy Whittaker.

We know Broyles and Michael are done for the year, and we learned on Saturday night that Josey, the conference's leading rusher, is also done for the year with a myriad of injuries to his left knee. There's been no official word on the status of Whittaker, but given how the injury looked and that he finished the game in street clothes and crutches on the sideline, I'm not expecting good news for Fozzy either.

Image of the Texas Tech fan courtesy of Mocksession
Posted on: November 12, 2011 3:26 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2011 3:27 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Missouri 17 Texas 5

Posted by Tom Fornelli

MISSOURI WON. This was not the prettiest game ever played, and a lot of it had to do with the wind howling through Columbia, Missouri on Saturday. The difference maker was that Missouri was able to run the ball a lot more effectively than the Longhorns and used it to put points on the board. Though just because the Mizzou ground game was more effective than Texas', it doesn't mean it was that great. The Tigers averaged only 3.4 yards per carry on the day and finished with 151 yards on the day. Kendall Lawrence did most of the damage, as Henry Josey left the game in the second half with what looked like a knee injury. Lawrence finished the day with 106 yards and a touchdown.

WHY MISSOURI WON. Not to take anything away from Missouri in this game, but the entire game changed with the injury to Texas running back Fozzy Whittaker in the first quarter. The Longhorns came into the game already missing both Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron, and once Whittaker went down the Texas offense could get nothing going against this Missouri defense.

WHEN MISSOURI WON. As I said above, this game was probably over when Whittaker left the game. Still, things weren't officially over until Mack Brown and Texas decided to punt twice in the fourth quarter after there were only six minutes left in the game and they trailed by 12. It seemed as though the Longhorns were waving the white flag.

WHAT MISSOURI WON. Well, this is a huge win for Missouri for a couple of reasons. It's the first time Missouri has beaten Texas under Gary Pinkel, and the first time it's beaten Texas under anybody since 1997. More importantly for this season, however, the win improved the Tigers record to 5-5 on the season and leaves them only a win shy of bowl eligibility.

WHAT TEXAS LOST. The Longhorns had built up a nice amount of momentum the last few weeks behind their ground game, but with so many injuries to the backfield, this team will have a hard time winning games if it has to throw the ball. The Longhorns will have to get healthy in a hurry if they want to finish the season with a winning record in the Big 12.

THAT WAS CRAZY. There was a bit of a Blocked Punt Party in this game during the third quarter. Missouri blocked a Texas punt to set itself up with a first and goal at the 1-yard line, but only got a field goal out of it. A few minutes later Texas returned the favor by blocking a Missouri punt, sending the ball out the back of the end zone for a safety.
Posted on: November 12, 2011 12:50 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2011 12:50 pm
 

Texas loses Whittaker to knee injury

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The depth Texas has at running back is being severly tested on Saturday afternoon. The Longhorns were already without both Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron heading into today's game against Missouri, and now the Longhorns will be without Fozzy Whittaker.

Whittaker hurt his right knee while making a cut on a run in the first quarter. Whittaker immediately went to the ground clutching the knee and looked to be in a lot of pain. There is no official word on what the injury is, but according to sideline reports, Whittaker will not be returning to the game.

Which means that Bryan Harsin will have to rely on D.J. Monroe, Jeremy Hills, and Cody Johnson for the rest of the afternoon.

Texas came into this game rushing for more than 400 yards in each of its last two games, but it looks like it will have to rely on the arm of quarterback David Ash a bit more today.
Posted on: November 5, 2011 3:34 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2011 3:35 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Texas 52 Texas Tech 20

Posted by Tom Fornelli

TEXAS WON. For the second week in a row the Longhorns looked dominant against an opponent. Last week it was Kansas on the other end of a beatdown, and this week it was Texas Tech's turn. The trio pictured to the right -- Fozzy Whittaker, Joe Bergeron, and D.J. Monroe -- did most of the damage for Texas on Saturday, as the Longhorns rushed for 416 yards and 6 touchdowns, averaging 8.2 yards per carry on the day. 

WHY TEXAS WON. Simply put, Texas Tech just couldn't stop the Texas rushing attack. Bergeron finished with 191 yards and 3 touchdowns, and Whittaker had 83 yards and 2 touchdowns. Hell, even wide receiver Marquis Goodwin picked up 45 yards rushing on 2 carries, as he just wanted to get his hands on the ball considering Texas only threw 9 times in 63 plays on offense.

WHEN TEXAS WON. When Joe Bergeron scored his first touchdown of the day with 1:46 left in the first half to give Texas a 31-6 lead, there was no reason to believe the Red Raiders would mount any kind of comeback in the second half considering they hadn't stopped Texas once in the entire first half.

WHAT TEXAS WON. The respect is coming back. While Texas is not on the same level as either of the Oklahoma schools in the Big 12 -- which their two losses showed -- there's a chance that Texas may be the third best team in the Big 12 conference. In fact, if the Longhorns play like they have the last two weeks on both sides of the ball for the rest of the year, then I wouldn't be shocked to see the Longhorns finish third in the conference and go to the Holiday Bowl. Not a terrible end to the season after what took place in 2010.

WHAT TEXAS TECH LOST. What isn't Texas Tech losing at this point? The program was on a high two weeks ago after beating Oklahoma, but even in that game it had to hold on to dear life after blowing a 31-7 lead. Since then it's been blown out at home by Iowa State and now was manhandled by Texas. Tech is now 5-4 on the season and needs another win to get to a bowl game, but with Oklahoma State, Missouri and Baylor left on the schedule, there's no guarantee they'll get it.

THAT WAS CRAZY. The Texas offense had 10 possessions on Saturday, and scored on 8 of them. The only 2 possessions that Texas didn't score on? Those were stopped by halftime and the end of the game.
Posted on: October 16, 2011 1:38 am
Edited on: October 16, 2011 3:09 am
 

Big 12 Winners and Losers: Week 7



Posted by Tom Fornelli


A handy recap of who really won and who really lost that you won't find in the box score.

WINNER: Fans of offense

The Big 12 often gets flak for the lack of defense that is played in the conference, and for the most part it's criticism that's deserved. Of course, there's another side to that coin, and it's that the Big 12 is also home to some good offenses as well. Offenses that were fully on display throughout Saturday.

In five games between all ten teams in the conference, there was a total of 355 points scored, 45 touchdowns and 4,658 yards of total offense. That's 71 points, 9 touchdowns and 931.6 yards of offense per game. That is insane.

LOSER: The Baylor defense

Okay, and there's just genuinely bad defense too. There is little doubt what the strengths and weaknesses are with Baylor this season. The strength is Robert Griffin and the Baylor offense. The weakness is the other side of the ball, and it was evident on Saturday. Texas A&M racked up 681 yards of offense on Saturday, and Ryan Tannehill threw for 415 yards and 6 touchdowns. Robert Griffin, despite evidence to the contrary, is not perfect, and in order for Baylor to beat the best teams in the Big 12, Griffin can't do it all on his own. He's going to need his defense to step up and make plays from time to time, and it just didn't do that on Saturday. The result? A 55-28 blowout in College Station.

WINNER: Ryan Swope

Somebody had to benefit from all those yards that Baylor was giving to Ryan Tannehill and it was Ryan Swope. Swope finished the day with 11 catches for 206 yards and a school record 4 touchdowns. Swope is one of the most underrated receivers in the Big 12, and he's often overshadowed on his own team by Jeff Fuller, but he showed everybody why he deserves a lot more attention this weekend.

LOSER: David Ash's hold on the Texas quarterback job

For the first time since the Longhorns replaced Garrett Gilbert, Mack Brown and Bryan Harsin handed the reins to David Ash for a full 60 minutes on Saturday and got some mediocre results. Ash completed only 22 of his 40 passes for 139 yards with no touchdowns. More importantly, he turned the ball over three times. There's no guarantee that Case McCoy will see time next week because of it, but you can bet at the very least Malcolm Brown and Fozzy Whittaker will get a lot more than the 28 carries they split on Saturday.

WINNER: Missouri offensive coordinator David Yost

Coming into Saturday, Missouri's offense hadn't exactly been lighting up scoreboards the same way it has the last few seasons. Obviously, a lot of this had to do with breaking in a new quarterback in James Franklin. Coming into Saturday the Tigers were averaging 32.2 points per game, but if you took out the 69 points Mizzou scored against Western Illinois, that average dropped to 23 points per game. Against Iowa State Yost's offense blew up for 52 points and 583 yards of offense, with James Franklin totaling 5 touchdowns. No doubt Yost is hoping that becomes a trend for the last half of the season.

LOSER: Brandon Weeden's Heisman stock

I put Robert Griffin in this spot last week following a Baylor victory, and now Brandon Weeden finds himself in the same situation. Sure, Oklahoma State scored more points (38) than it ever had before during a trip to Austin, but Weeden's numbers on Saturday weren't very Weeden-esque. He finished the day with only 218 yards and a touchdown. Compare that to last week when he threw 288 yards and 5 touchdowns in less than a full half. The good news for Weeden is he has plenty of time to help people forget this performance.

WINNER: Believers in Bill Snyder

Let's be honest, nobody expected Kansas State to be 6-0 at this point in the season. A lot of people didn't expect the Wildcats to be 6-0 even after they started the season 5-0, as Kansas State opened the week as 3 1/2-point underdogs on the road against Texas Tech. Yeah, well, Bill Snyder doesn't care. The style of offense he runs may seem a bit old fashioned, but it works, and Kansas State is a contender to win the Big 12 whether you're willing to believe it or not.

WINNER: Ryan Broyles

It was just another night for the Oklahoma receiver, as he caught 13 passes for 217 yards and 2 touchdowns. His first touchdown catch of the night was the reception number 317 for Broyles in his career, and it moved him past Taylor Stubblefield for the most receptions by any player in NCAA history. Broyles finished the night with 326 career receptions, and he's still got seven games to go. He could pass 400 by the time he's done.
 
 
 
 
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