September 14, 2007

Mock: Longhorns know a battle is looming

As a player at The University of Texas, you know that week in and week out you're going to get the absolute best effort that any team has to offer.

Many teams play above their potential. For many the reason is none other than the fact that on that Saturday afternoon or evening, under the lights of Darrel K. Royal Memorial Stadium, in front of 85,000 and the rest of the world, they may be giant slayers. They might mark their place in their school's history and lore forever.

That was never more prevalent than opening Saturday, against the heavily out favored Indians from Arkansas State. They fought tooth and nail until literally the last few seconds. Place the blame for not blowing them out wherever you would like, but in today's college football a win is a win and you should take them anyway they come. In the end it really doesn't matter what armchair quarterbacks say or gripe about, because on Saturday Mack Brown will lead the team the way he feels is best for The University, Greg Davis is going to call the best game he possibly can, and the ball is gonna be in Colt McCoy's hands.

Not mine, Vince's or anyone else's.

After coming off of a game like the Arkansas State, motivation is easy for the staff. In many cases the staff need not say anything at all, because the players motivate themselves. Not only are they disappointed in their own performance, but they can never put it behind them. In this town, if you don't play ABOVE expectations the media and fans let you know. Every night on the news, everyday in the paper, and if it's bad enough (as Michigan is learning) the late night talk shows will remind the players of their lackluster performances.

On the other hand, a second half like the one against the then No.19 team in the nation (and one of the best defenses The Horns will face all season) can be great for confidence and momentum

It can also be quite scary as well.

Coach Brown always says something that is great, and really very truthful. He says," At this University you're never really as good as they say you are and you're never as bad as they say you are either. Truth be told, you're pretty much always somewhere in between."

This is a quote that really sticks out in my mind for this game. The Horns face an extremely talented team in Central Florida. What many fans fail to see is that Central Florida is REALLY talented. I know us Texans have a hard time saying it, but I'll swallow my pride and say that there is some damn good high school football played in the southeast coast of America!

Much like the state of Texas, there's just not enough space on the roster for all the great players to go to the "big" school. Everyone can't go to FSU, Florida or Miami. I promise that Coach Brown and his staff and the team are very much aware that they'll be lining up against a fast, tough, athletic team Saturday. And I promise that they are fully aware that, as always is the case with Texas, it will be a sellout crowd and the game of the year for the UCF fans and the city of Orlando. All week long the players have been patted on the back for their second half performance against TCU, and that can be very dangerous in many cases. Not for this team though, because as a player, you know what's on the line.

You work too hard, sweat too much, study too long for 351 days a year to throw it all away for the lack of focus on one Saturday. When you're at Texas, you know that one thing is an absolute truth, "WE ARE TEXAS, and we don't play to anyone else's standard, we play to our standard. To the Texas standard. With the players and athletes we have here, if we play to our standard, we have an extremely good chance to win against ANYONE who lines up against us!"

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