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February 22, 2013
In 2011, Mack Brown said Texas would be in contention for a BCS championship in 2013 or 2014. '13 is here so what does that mean for Texas football? Is Mack still thinking the Longhorns could win a BCS championship this year or next? Is he feeling the pressure of his words? Not exactly.
"You feel the same pressure you did in 2010. We felt like we would be good that year and didn't win it." Mack Brown said. "I think there is excitement more than pressure. You've got 19 of 22 starters back. You've got a chance to get the program back to a top level program and keep it there.
"I would think the biggest thing is we're so excited. We had to go through a process here of getting it back. And I think we're headed back in the right direction and we have shown that over the last two years. I think we'll see more progress this year."
After losing the 2009 national championship to Alabama with a wide open spread passing attack, Mack Brown changed the focus to a power running game plan. Two years later, the offense is changing back to a spread attack that will incorporate no huddle and a rapid tempo.
"What we got from Boise was really, really good for the two years. It helped us get back on track. We got more physical. We're attempting to run the ball better than we did three years ago. And at the same time, we felt like that by packaging so many things, that sometimes you had to take Marquise (Goodwin) out of the game or maybe Johnathan Gray out of the game.
"What we do feel like right now is our tailbacks haven't consistently stayed healthy. But, we do feel like that we can have two to three tailbacks. And you're hoping that one of the main reasons you go tempo is to get more snaps and to try to get the ball in your identified playmakers' hands. And by doing that, you're going to need guys in shape and if you get 85 snaps a game, which we feel like you can, minimum - then you're going to need a lot of guys to play."
The Texas offense was more consistent in 2012 than the Texas defense, which was the worst statistical defense in school history. The defense has a lot of prove in 2013, without safety Kenny Vaccaro, who led the team in tackles, and defensive end Alex Okafor, who led the team in sacks.
"The big plays were killers. You go back and study, we were not consistently good at linebacker in our play and we had some safeties miss some tackles early in the year that just were killers.
"To me right now, we have got some good linebackers to look at. I was so excited about Peter Jinkens at the end of the year. He made a difference. He played like he was old at Kansas State and he played great in the bowl game. I mentioned it the last time I talked to you that Dalton Santos is down to 235 [lbs] from 255, 256 and he looks like he's moving a lot better and it will be fun to watch him. But Tevin Jackson played great in the bowl game.
"We have got Jordan Hicks back. Steve Edmond has really lost weight and he's trying and he's in a fight right now at linebacker, and you have Tim Cole coming on. There's Kendall Thompson - Aaron Benson has had a good offseason and Aaron has not played very much. So we really have six or seven guys there that have a chance to step up and play and that's by far better than we've been since Emmanuel (Acho) and Keenan (Robinson) left."
Texas fans will have the chance to see the Longhorns on the field in two open practices on Friday March 1st and Saturday March 2nd.