UT Should Have Depth To Absorb Sweed Injury


Thursday, October 11th 2007, 3:27 pm
By: News On 6


AUSTIN (AP) _ After nearly dropping out of the Top 25 for the first time since 2000, the Number 23 Texas Longhorns now face the second half of the season without one of the best players -- with Limas Sweed sidelined with a wrist injury.

But if there's any position where Texas (4-2, 0-2 Big 12) has enough depth to absorb a big hit in the lineup, it's at wide receiver.

Sweed is UT's big-play guy with 20 career touchdowns averaging 33.3 yards, but the Longhorns still have a wealth of talent to catch passes from quarterback Colt McCoy.

Senior Nate Jones and juniors Quan Cosby and Jordan Shipley have been dependable targets all season. And with tight end Jermichael Finley's emergence as a big-play threat, Texas should be able to keep moving the ball through the air.

Sweed ranked fourth on the team with 19 receptions but led the team in yards per catch (16.1) and touchdown (three). He also drew an extra defender on deep passing routes.

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FUMBLITIS: -- Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell's tips on how to hold onto the ball didn't help Jamaal Charles when Oklahoma stripped the ball from him near the Sooners goal line, a key play in OU's 28-21 win last Saturday.

Coach Mack Brown says they've got to protect the ball better.

Charles has four fumbles in the last four games and it's clear Texas coaches are close to giving someone else a chance to get more carries at tailback if it happens again.

Vondrell McGee got the call when Texas scored on a short run in the fourth quarter.

Charles has rushed for 622 yards and seven touchdowns. McGee has 89 yards and four TDs in limited duty, but both average 5.2 yards per carry.

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FALLING FORWARD: -- Even with an 0-2 start in the Big 12, Texas fans are pointing toward October and November as the time when the Longhorns typically play their best football.

Since 2000, the Longhorns are a whopping 36-4 the rest of the regular season after the Oklahoma game, although that record took a hit last year when Texas lost its last two contests.

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Texas usually has the advantage of hot weather when teams from up north come to Austin.

This week, the Longhorns are looking forward to playing in some cooler temperatures Saturday at Iowa State (1-5, 0-2).

Game temps aren't supposed to climb any higher than the low 60s.

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QUOTABLE: ``This is the craziest year I've ever seen in college football.'' _ Texas coach Mack Brown on the rash of upsets in recent weeks.