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August 26, 2008

Chip's Corner: Tuesday rewind

SCHNELLENBERGER COMPLIMENTS TEXAS, TALKS INJURIES

Florida Atlantic coach Howard Schnellenberger said Tuesday on 1530 ESPN Austin with Chip Brown and Sean Adams of Orangebloods.com that he "said what I said," about Texas being notoriously soft.

"But I was really trying to emphasize the talent they have on that club and have always had," Schnellenberger said. "If we're going to have a chance at all, we're going to have to knock the ball loose, intercept the ball or get some sacks and play really good defense.

"Our offense is going to play well. I don't have any doubt about that. But our defense has been less-than-perfect the last several years. And we need to shore that up."

When asked if he liked his offense's chances against a secondary with five freshmen listed in the two-deep at safety, Schnellenberger said:

"It's wonderful to be able to come down and play the University of Texas, and I appreciate the coaches and athletic director for allowing us to play this game. You have no chance to beat Texas unless you play Texas.

"They've given us that opportunity. So, yes, there's an outside chance. I understand the point spread is between 21 and 28. That gives us little to no chance to win. But from our kids standpoint, they think they have a chance to win if we can make a lot of things happen that don't normally happen against a team like Texas."

On Texas' defense, Schnellenberger said, "I don't know what I'm looking at because they brought in someone from the outside.

"We hear the style of defense will be a lot more pressure-type stuff; forcing the issue; and trying to keep the ball from coming out quick; bump-and-run; and a lot of double-coverage on the outside guys.

"If that's the way it goes, it will be different from last year, when Texas had more of a bend-but-don't-break defense. Whatever it is, they've got a lot of great players to execute.

"We're going to have to be letter-perfect every time we try to protect our quarterback and get the throw out in less than 2.5 seconds to receivers who can beat one-on-one coverage.

When I mentioned FAU had 18 starters returning, Schnellenberger quickly corrected me and said his team would be without three of those starters because of injury - senior DE Robert St. Clair; All-Sunbelt Conference junior TE Jason Harmon; and senior C Nick Paris.

Catch the full interview on the home page.

COSBY TELLS WILLIAMS NOT TO GET 'DOWN IN THE DUMPS'

The worst-kept secret going into the weekend was that redshirt freshman WR Malcolm Williams had hit the wall and struggled with drops and missed blocks on screen passes.

"The biggest mistake you can make as a young guy is to get down in the dumps and be harder on yourself than you really need to be," said senior receiver Quan Cosby.

"Malcolm knows what he's capable of and just needs to get back to that point. It's the same for all the young guys. They've been looking good, but they're human. They just have to stay positive and get back to what they're capable of."

VY CEREMONY SET, 600 TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE

Yikes, there are still 600 tickets available for Saturday's game and Vince Young (cue the angels singing) is being honored in connection with his jersey retirement.

Here's the skinny on the ceremony per UT:

Fans attending Saturday's game against Florida Atlantic should plan on getting to their seats as early as possible. The official retirement ceremony of Vince Young's Longhorn jersey No. 10 is set for about 25 minutes before kickoff. With the kick time set for 6 p.m., fans should be
seated no later than 5:30 p.m.

For fans still hoping to attend the game, the last remaining tickets are going fast. As of Tuesday morning, about 600 tickets were available. Seats are $65 and fans interested in purchasing tickets can order online at TexasBoxOffice.com or by calling 512-471-3333 or 800-982-BEVO.

Young will be presented with a framed jersey, a tribute video will be played
and he and his family will be present on the field for fans to recognize.

MCCOY GOES WITHOUT A TURNOVER IN PRESEASON

Colt McCoy, who went from seven interceptions as a freshman to 18 last season, didn't have a single turnover in the preseason.

Of course, he didn't have a single turnover in the 2007 preseason, either. The big difference this year, going in, is obviously an improved and healthy line.

"Colt has been really smart," offensive coordinator Greg Davis said.

RUNNING BACK BATTLE 'WILL HANDLE ITSELF'

Offensive coordinator Greg Davis said even though Vondrell McGee is listed first on the depth chart at running back, followed by Chris Ogbannaya and Fozzy Whittaker, the players will determine who the starter will ultimately be.

"I think they will make that determination," Davis said. "With the exception of Ricky, we've always gone into the first few ballgames and it's been a little unknown and it handled itself. Cedric Benson took off really well. It will handle itself, and we'll play who gets hot."

Mack Brown said Monday Whittaker lost ground to the other backs after suffering a minor knee injury in a scrimmage 10 days ago. Whittaker missed a couple practices. But Davis said Whittaker is fine now.

"I think he's looked really good," Davis said.

RUNNING BACKS COULD HELP IN PASSING GAME

With a lack of depth at tight end and players failing to step up at receiver, the running backs could become a factor in the passing game.

Vondrell McGee, Fozzy Whittaker and Chris Ogbannaya (a former receiver) have been catching the ball well.

"Obviously, Chris has really good hands, and I've been really pleased with the way Vondrell and Fozzy have caught the ball," said offensive coordinator Greg Davis. "So they could have a bigger role in the passing game, take some of the pressure off the tight end."




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