More lineup changes for reeling Horns
September, 28, 2010
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com
The Texas backfield could now belong to the speedy D.J. Monroe after he received his first carries of the season in last week's embarrassing loss to UCLA, the Longhorns' worst home loss in 13 years.
Monroe is listed as a co-starter with Fozzy Whittaker for Saturday's Red River Rivalry at the Cotton Bowl. Tre' Newton (hip pointer) and Cody Johnson (ankle) continue to deal with injuries. Monroe could become the fourth starter at tailback in five games.
"He's really fast," offensive tackle Kyle Hix said of Monroe. "He's a hard guy to tackle in space."
Mack Brown and the coaching staff hope the No. 21 Horns can take advantage of Monroe's speed against the No. 8 Sooners, whose defense that ranks 93rd in the nation against the run (177.5 ypg). However, that number is bloated due to surrending 351 rushing yards to triple-option Air Forcetwo weeks ago. In OU's other three games, it has allowed an average of 119.6 rushing yards, led by 156 last week by Cincinnati.
Monroe, who spent most of fall camp working at receiver, is one of three changes to the Texas depth chart this week. Alex Okafor replaced Tyrell Higgins as the starter at defensive tackle and Emmanuel Acho moved from middle linebacker to strong-side linebacker, replacing Dravannti Johnson. At middle linebacker, Dustin Earnest and Jared Norton are listed as co-starters. The Horns are looking for playmakers throughout the lineup to ward off what has the potential to sprout into a three-game losing streak. After OU, Texas has a bye and then plays at No. 6 Nebraska.
"We have a great coaching staff, and that's what they are here for," Acho said. "They watch the film. They are going to get us ready, so we are going to be very well prepared. The coaches coach and we just play, and we both just try to do our jobs adequately."
*It could be a disappointing return home for freshman wide receiver Mike Davis, who is questionable for Saturday's game with a knee injury suffered Saturday against UCLA. The former Dallas Skyline star leads the team in receptions (16) and touchdowns (2) and is second in receiving yards (183). The injury is said not to be serious, but it could keep him out of his first Red River Rivalry at the Cotton Bowl, about five miles away from his high school.