September 23, 2007

The grades are in - Rice report card

The Texas Longhorns didn't just beat Rice on six touchdowns on Saturday. That was expected. More important than the final score was the way that the Longhorns performed in outclassing the Owls on Saturday night, as the Longhorns finally flexed their muscles and performed like a Top 10 should. Here's a position-by-position look at the 58-14 beat-down.

Grading scale

A - All-American level
B - All-Conference level
C - Average
D - Below average
F - Complete failure

Quarterback - If you take a look at the state sheet, it would appear that Colt McCoy had one of his best games as a Longhorn, as he completed 20 of 29 passes for 333 yards and three touchdowns in a shade over two quarters of action. There's no question that McCoy was outstanding on the night, but he can throw the ball better than he did on Saturday and the fact that he was playing Rice allowed for him to have success even if his passes weren't as sharp as they'll need to be once conference season starts. The good news is that McCoy managed the game perfectly and avoided trying to force the issue, which has led to some turnovers early on. The Longhorn Nation also got its first taste of true freshman John Chiles and the former Mansfield Summit star flashed his elite athleticism to the tune of 72 yards on nine carries in just over a quarter of action. Overall, the Longhorns received almost 400 yards of offense from the quarterback position and not a single turnover.

Overall Grade: A

Running backs - The trio of Jamaal Charles, Vondrell McGee and Chris Ogbonnaya all had some highlight reel moments in the game and they combined for nearly 200 yards of total offense. Charles was more than solid with his 72 yards and three touchdowns in a little more than two quarters of action, but his first quarter fumble only adds more scrutiny to an increasingly concerning issue. He simply cannot out the ball on the turf and that was his third lost fumble in two weeks. This is an issue that Charles must overcome because the upcoming portion of the schedule demands it. He also needs to catch passes when they hit in him in the hands and there's not a single defender that can keep him from walking into the end zone. Texas doesn't get Charles out in space enough for him to not take advantage of those rare opportunities. McGee finally got his first extensive shot at playing time and the former East Texas prep star showed flashes of brilliance in gaining 80 yards on eight carries in the second half. He needs to play more, period. As for Ogbonnaya, he continues to make plays in the passing game, as his 35-yard reception in the second quarter was one of the nicest plays on the evening.

Overall grade: B+

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!