Longhorn Football 2018: The Maryland Game

Good Morning Longhorn Fans!

Longhorn Football is finally here!

Texas and Maryland meet at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland on Saturday.  11:00 a.m. this Saturday on FOX Sports 1 (for those new to the newsletter, all times are Austin, Texas time, except as otherwise noted).  Joe Davis, Brady Quinn, and Bruce Feldman will be working the game for FOX.  You can listen to Craig Way, Roger Wallace, and Quan Cosby on the Longhorn IMG Network (Bob Cole’s Austin Radio Network in the great Austin-Webberville Metroplex – The Horn, 104.9 FM and 1260 on the Amplitude Modulation side of the dial).  I understand from my more tech savvy friends that with modern television equipment one can actually synchronize the television broadcast to the radio broadcast.

FedEx Field is where the Washington Redskins play.  I grew up a Cowboys fan.  Not much else to say about the Redskins, other than Colt plays for them and is being well paid in one of the best jobs in America – highly regarded NFL back-up quarterback.


One of the coolest things I have seen in all the videos from UT I have watched the last few years are the walk-on scholarship announcement clips.  This one is no exception – please take the time to watch this.  So darn cool.


Maryland Terrapins vs. Texas Longhorns

Texas opens on the road, facing a program in meltdown.  In May, a young man, Jordan McNair, died after suffering a seizure.  The story is tragic, and as of this writing, a lot of blame being spread around.  Who knows what shape the team will be in on Saturday, but I am guessing that a lot of the kids will be playing for their fallen teammate and highly motivated.

In the meantime, if you Google “Maryland Football”, the search results are not about football as much as this mess.  A good article from the Washington Post:


Head Coach D.J. Durkin is on administrative leave, and offensive coordinator Matt Canada is coaching on Saturday.  I don’t know if Matt is related to one of my favorite musicians, Cody Canada, but I am assuming not.  (Cody will no doubt make an appearance in my newsletter this season, maybe in addition to the Red River Shootout edition, in which he is a mainstay.)

The line opened at 10, and as of Thursday evening, the consensus line was Texas by 13.5.

The Horns need to win this game.  Last year’s home opener loss to the Terps was stunning, even more so when you realize Maryland went 4-8 last year.  Recall Texas knocked out their stud quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome, then his replacement want down a couple of games later.  But before Pigrome was injured, he had passed for 175 yards and 2 touchdowns (9-12-1) and he had gained 64 years on 11 carries, including a long of 25 and a touchdown.  His replacement Kasim Hill went 3-3 for 44 yards and ran the ball for a touchdown. [Okay, look – it wasn’t fun for me to go look at the box score from September 2, 2017, but I figured we ought to remember what these kids did to us in Austin last year.]   Their feature running back, Ty Johnson, is back for his senior year.  Last year he galloped for 132 yards (noteworthy, gain & net) on 12 carries, with a long of 50 yards, a touchdown, an average of 11 yards per carry.

Both Pigrome and Hill are back.  Pigrome (#3) is 5’11’’ and 205 pounds.  Kasim (#11) is 6’2”, 234 pounds.  They are listed as “OR” on the Terp depth chart, with Kasim Hill first.  Ty Johnson (#24) is list as “OR” at running back with #2 Lorenzo Harrison III.

I did not have time to research their offensive scheme, but the depth chart reveals some interesting clues.  They list a tight end (#82, 6-4 240 pound Avery Edwards), and “F-TE”, in this case a 235 pound freshman, #17 Chigoziem Okonkwo.  Also listed is an “F-RB”, #8 Tayon Fleet-Davis.  So, possibilities of 2 tight-ends, and/or a fullback, sounds like a creative running game with a lot of RPO.

Their defense is okay, with a pretty good secondary.

So, last year’s game with the Terps didn’t go exactly as planned.  I know I was supremely overconfident.  “Maryland is a mediocre Big 10 team.  The Terrapins were 6-7 last year and 3-6 in conference.”  Well, I am just as confident this year, and I am confident I will not be proved wrong again.

Texas is going to win this game.  I think the Horns will score between 30 and 40 points, and I don’t see Maryland scoring more than 2 or 3 times, and I would be stunned if they got the ball in the endzone more than twice, at least on offense.  That is the wildcard:  Will the Horns protect the football?  Of course, it cuts both ways, because as I noted last week, this Texas defense is going to score points.  If the Texas D scores and Terrapins D doesn’t, then I think a 42-17 score is entirely possible.  If it breaks the other way, then 35-24 or something like that is definitely possible.  That makes your betting pick tough, as the line is 13.5.  If I had to bet, I would take Texas.  I am betting on three factors: DBU, Sam Ehlinger, and the three beasts along the Texas defensive front – Omenihu, Nelson, and Hager.  And one of our tenets of faith now:  In Todd We Trust.

Game Notes


Or, for ease of printing, here is a direct link to the PDF:


The Depth Chart

The depth chart for Maryland is in the Game Notes.

No real surprises. I am pretty sure all of these were as reported last week.

On offense, Ehlinger at quarterback, and Tre Watson and Daniel Young are “OR” at running back.  Collin Johnson, Lil’Jordan Humphrey, and Devin Duvernay at wide receiver (X, H, and Z, respectively).  Tight end is Andrew Beck, backed up by Cade Brewer.  And the line, left to right, Calvin Anderson, Patrick Vahe, Zach Shackleford, Elijah Rodriguez, and Derek Kersteter OR Samuel Cosmi (the predictions that Cosmi was battling hard for a start were dead on).

Defense, same:  Hager, Nelson, and Omenihu across the front.  Linebackers:  B-Backer is Malcolm Roach [See link to Scipio Tex’s excellent piece on Roach], M backer is Anthony Wheeler, and Rover is Gary Johnson.  Kris Boyd and Davante Davis on the corners, and Caden Stearns and Brandon Jones at Safety.  P.J. Locke, III at nickel, backed up by Josh Thompson.

Ryan Bujcevski is punting.

Only surprise is that Cameron Dicker and Joshua Rowland are listed as “OR”.  I am really curious to see if Rowland has fixed his “kick 50’s down the middle in practice” but shank the heck out of anything long in games.  We will see.  Would be great to have two reliable placekickers.

Returning kicks:  LJH, Devin Duvernay, Daniel Young, Kyle Porter, D’Shawn Jamison (can we just go with DSJ for the indefinite future?), and B.J. Foster.  Punt returns:  Brandon Jones, DSJ, and Jerrod Heard.

Speaking of Jerrod Heard, he is listed behind Duvernay, and another senior, John Burt is behind Heard.  I hope they both get some quality playing time and do well.  Jerrod in particular has been an exemplary team player, going from starting quarterback (and setting a heck of a record – his 527 yards of offense against Cal in 2015 broke the record held by a guy named Vince) to back-up receiver.  Very proud of kids like that in this program.

Terrapins vs. Longhorns Previews

This post from Cody Daniel is very thorough and worth a read.


Scipio Tex, on Malcolm Roach:


I subscribe to a couple of the pay sites, but am particularly partial to InsideTexas.com, with writers that include Paul Wadlington (Scipio Tex), Eric Nahlin who is great on recruiting, and Ian Boyd who is very good, plus occasional contributions from my friend, Coach Pat Culpepper.

If you do subscribe, you have probably already read Paul’s preview.  If not, maybe you will.


I also like HornsDigest.com, which is the 247Sports Longhorns site.  Writers include Chip Brown, Jeff Howe, and Taylor Estes.  www.HornsDigest.com

OrangeBloods.com, the Rivals site.  Geoff Ketchum and Jason Suchomel are two of the best, and the message boards there are among the most popular.  Lots of entertainment there.

Texas Pregamer (irreverent, funny, NSFW depending on where you work, and my opportunity for this annual disclaimer:  Just because I provide a link doesn’t mean I endorse the views or statements published therein.)


From the Terps SB Nation blog, Testudo Times:


This isn’t a link to the game, and would be best for the Southern Cal email in a couple of weeks, but since it is current, let’s go on and start reliving the Glory Days.  VY Rose Bowl.



Let me make this very simple:  if you are going to the game, you are going to the game.  You are not making the trip to go to Landover.  Landover, Maryland is an unincorporated area in Prince George’s County, labeled a “census-designated place”.  I think that means if you live there, when someone asks “Where you from?” you can say “Landover”, as opposed to “about 4 square miles in Prince George’s County, Maryland, kind of near the northeast diagonal boundary of the District of Columbia.”   About 24,000 people.  The entire history of Landover on Wikipedia, and I am not making this up:

“Landover was named for the town of Llandovery, Wales.”

Landover’s economy:  Headquarters of Giant Foods.  Farmer, I think they need Opportunity Landover 1.0.  Or maybe a starter, Opportunity Landover 0.3.

Based on a quick search on Yelp, don’t plan on eating in the vicinity.

However, I think just about everyone going to the game is staying in Washington.  And why wouldn’t you?  With Mary Elizabeth living in the District, we have been up to visit a couple of times, and I have reacquainted myself with one the destination of one of my favorite roadtrips from my college days at W&L.  Of course, these days, visits to DC don’t start with pizza and pitchers at The Tombs followed by a marathon evening at Third Edition or Chinese Disco.

Here are some recommendations for cocktails, dinner, and fun:


  1. The Dabney – This is Mary Elizabeth’s and Parker’s favorite. Amazing food. Probably too late to get in, but worth a shot.  Go in for a drink, put your name on the list, and maybe you will get lucky.
  2. Red Hen – the one in the District, not Lexington. Wood oven Italian.
  3. All Purpose – Also Italian.
  4. Garrison – really good American.
  5. Mi Vida – high end Mexican. Wharf.
  6. Ghibellina – Tuscan. In the hot Fourteenth Street area.
  7. Iron Gate – Italian & Greek small plates.
  8. China Chilcano – Peruvian/Chinese fusion.  Downtown by Capitol One Arena, this is  José Andrés’ place.  Pisco cocktails.
  9. The Hamilton.


  1. American Ice
  2. Blue Jacket Brewery
  3. Jack Rose
  4. All Souls
  5. Point of View on top of the W. Good view of the Mall and White House.

Finally, you may be thinking, “Where is Taylor going to be, and I wonder if I can meet him there?”  Well, I will be in Memphis, Tennessee, celebrating the first birthday of Peter Alan Dean, first grandson in the family.  Dr. Mark Dean graduated from The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio this year with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree, and he has entered a wonderful residency program with the Christian & Medical Dental Association.

Mary Elizabeth and Parker are coming in from DC, Charles is driving up from Oxford, and the rest of us hit Memphis Friday afternoon.  The Dean’s are already there, so after we have birthday cake and watch the Horns take care of the Terrapins, we will settle in for the first Saturday of college football.  And that evening, I will join Mark Dean and Rich and hope the boys from Notre Dame Play Like Champions.  Sorry Tiernan.  Nothing personal, but my grandson will likely be wearing a Fightin’ Irish t-shirt, and no way I am cheering against Peter!

University of Maryland

The University of Maryland, College Park, is “The Flagship Institution of the State of Maryland”.

AAU member, and it is a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant university.  Rankings and fast facts:  No. 22 public research institution (USN&WR), No. 8 best value (Kiplinger’s), and No. 9 for entrepreneurship (Princeton Review/Entrepreneurship magazine).  Enrollment of 39,083, with students from 50 states and 118 countries.   Faculty includes 3 Nobel laureates, 2 Pulitzer Prize winners, 3 Emmy winners, and 2 Tony winners.

The Terrapins used to be aggies!  Maryland Agricultural College was chartered in 1856, and 2 years later, Charles Benedict Calvert (see Maryland history below, he’s one of them), bought 420 acres of the Riversdale Mansion.  Calvert founded the school and was the acting president from 1859-1860.  Like most colleges and universities, Maryland Agricultural College suffered during the Civil War, almost going bankrupt.  The state paid off some of its debts, and MAC became a public school, reopening in 1867.  Its most famous building is Morrill Hall, built in 1898, and named for Senator Justin Morrill, author of the Morrill Land Grant Colleges Act.  Of all of the interesting things I have learned over the years of writing this newsletter, the impact of the Morrill Act on higher education and our country may be the most amazing.

The school was renamed Maryland State College in 1916, and 4 years later it became part of the University of Maryland, replacing St. John’s College as the undergraduate campus.

UM’s motto is “Strong deeds, gentle words”.  No idea.  Clearly not a motto that Coach Durkin followed.

Their mascot is a turtle named Testudo.  Testudo is a genus of tortoises found in North Africa, western Asia, and Europe, but the Maryland turtle is a diamondback terrapin.  Testudo is also the name of one of the preferred formations of the Roman Legion, where the legionnaires would pack together tightly and hold their battle shields above and all sides, like a turtle.

Maryland has a really good journalism school.  Maryland alumni include two of my favorite sports reporters – Scott Van Pelt and Tim Kurkjan.  Others: Connie Chung, Carl Bernstein, and Heidi Collins.  Other alums of note:  Jim Henson, creator the Muppets, Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google (he’s made some money), and Larry David.

Being an old ACC school, basketball is big.  2002 National Champions under Gary Williams, and a Final Four before that.

Maryland football claims two national titles, 1951 (CFRA, DeS, DuS, NCF, SR) and 1953, which was definitely legit, with AP and UP, plus INS, which was the International News Service.

So, that was a ridiculous diversion, which resulted in the following post here on AustinHornsFan.com.  You can go here and see what these designations mean.


Maryland football has five undefeated seasons (1893, 1951, 1953, 1955, 1976), eleven conference titles (1937, 1951, 1953, 1955, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1983, 1984, 1985, and 2001).

Maryland and the Baltimore area are historic hotbeds of lacrosse.  The Terps have three national titles in the NCAA tournament era (1973, 1975, and 2017), and 9 in the pre-tourney era.  23 ACC conference titles, and 4 in the Big 10, plus 2 Big 10 tournament titles.


This is a great history lesson for college football fans.

Maryland moved to the Big 10 in 2014, after being a founding member of the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1953.  Virginia, Maryland, Duke, Clemson, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina, and Wake Forest left the Southern Conference in 1953 to form the ACC.

The Southern Conference was founded in 1921, when 14 schools left the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association:  Southern Conference charter members were Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi State, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Washington & Lee.

In 1932, the thirteen schools in the Southern Conference which were located south and west of the Appalachians (Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Louisiana State, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, University of the South (Sewanee), Tennessee, Tulane, and Vanderbilt) formed a new conference that has been somewhat successful, the Southeastern Conference.


Maryland is best known for the Chesapeake Bay (4,000 miles of coastline), Baltimore and its sports teams (the Colts, which could easily lead me down a long winding path beginning with the great motion picture, Diner, but I will do that another time, and the Orioles), and Fort McHenry, American fort in Baltimore bombarded by the British in the War of 1812, which inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner.

It is famous for seafood and especially crab.  But I remember when I was in Baltimore for Pryse Elam’s wedding about 30 years ago, we went to this famous crab restaurant.  They brought the big beautiful blue crab out on cafeteria trays and dumped them on your butcher paper covered tables.  As we cracked crab and drank beer, I (or one of us) asked something about the crab and when they were caught.  I will never forget the response:  the guy wasn’t sure exactly when, but these were blue crab from Texas, fresh out of the Gulf of Mexico.

Maryland is one of the original Thirteen Colonies, founded by George Calvert, a foreign minister for and personal friend of King James I (son of Mary Queen of Scots, successor to Elizabeth I on the English throne).  Calvert asked James to give him a charter to provide a religious haven for Catholics persecuted in England, and, in 1632 James’ son, Charles I, granted Calvert a charter to settle lands in America held by the Crown, to wit: to “transport … a numerous Colony of the English Nation” to settle there.  Maryland would prosper as a British colony, but Charles I had a less successful time after succeeding is father as King of England, Scotland, and Ireland.  His reign saw the Irish Rebellion of 1641, and then the English Civil War and a guy named Oliver Cromwell.  Long story short, On January 30, 1649, Charles I was beheaded.

Things were going a little better in Maryland, although there was conflict between the Catholics and Puritans.  Order was restored under Calvert’s son, Leonard Calvert, and soon thereafter the House of Delegates adopted the Maryland Toleration Act, on September 21, 1649.  If you look up stuff like this on the Internet, this will be pointed to as an example of how much more open-minded Maryland was.  And it was, relative to the Catholics, Anglicans, Puritans, and Pilgrims.  As best I can tell, you could get fined and whipped if you called someone a “heritick, Scismatick, Idolator, puritan, Independant, Prespiterian popish prest, Jesuite, Jesuited papist, Lutheran, Calvenist, Anabaptist, Brownist, Antinomian, Barrowist, Roundhead, Separatist, or any other name or terme in a reproachfull manner relating to matter of Religion”.  But, if one reads the Act, it doesn’t take long to realize this was definitely a seventeenth century view of tolerance, as the first substantive paragraph is not really open to interpretation.

You can check it out here:


The tolerance did not last long, and in 1688 Maryland outlawed Catholicism.  The religious disagreements were also accompanied by border disputes with neighboring colonies, and this included a nasty one between Pennsylvania and Maryland, carried out largely by the Penn family (William Penn) and the Calvert family.  Delaware got drug in somewhere along the way, and King George eventually intervened.  I guess having the King tell you to settle your differences is a good incentive, and settlement negotiations resulted in two surveyors being hired to draw an east-west line between Pennsylvania and Maryland (and to establish a north-south boundary between Maryland and Delaware, on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay).  The two men hired were Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon.  The boundary they surveyed is somewhat famous in American history, known to all as the Mason-Dixon Line.

Back to football.


AP Poll:  Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Washington, OU, Miami (FL), Auburn, PSU.  Notre Dame at 12, Southern Cal at 15, Texas Christian at 16, West Virginia at 17, Texas at 23.  Hook Em!

Coaches Poll:  Roll Tide, Clemson, Buckeyes, UGA, Land Thieves, Washington, Wiscy, Miami (FL), PSU, War Eagle.  At No. 11, L’Université de Notre Dame du Lac. Leland Stanford Junior University at 13, Texas Christians at 16, West Virginny at 20, and the Texas Longhorns at 21.

Before I switch to the games, of interest was this post on ESPN.com.  Those guys do have some impressive analytics, and they have identified the only 14 teams they think can win the national championship this year.  I wasn’t surprised Clemson was the favorite, but surprised at 66% chance to make the playoffs and 24% chance to win it.  Bama next, at 47% and 14%.  Notre Dame in fourth spot, 42/10.


Big 12 –Week 1

Again this year, the Okie aggies got things started for the 2018 season with a Thursday night game.  OSU and Missouri State.  A balanced destruction, 17, 14, 14, and 13, to finish 58-0.

In addition to Texas and Maryland, there are two other big games to start the season.

Ole Miss and the Texas Tech Red Raiders meet in Houston at NRG Stadium.  11:00 a.m. on the Entertainment and Sports Programing Network.  Nice of the World Wide Leader to kick-off the first Saturday of college football in Texas with the Rebels and the Sand Aggies.  Coach Skinny Pants and Texas Technical favored by 2.5, and the over/under is 67.  Not sure how much Ole Miss has this year, given some of those darn old NCAA issues.  Don’t those folks know Ole Miss is in the $EC?  They can’t compete without, um, aggressive recruitment techniques.

Another neutral site marquee match-up, with No. 17 West Virginia and the other UT, Tennessee, meeting at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.  2:30 p.m. on the Columbia Broadcasting System.  Mountaineers favored by 9.5, and the over/under is 61.5.

The No. 7 Land Thieves welcome Florida Atlantic to Norman.  11:00 a.m. on FOX.  This guy you may have heard of, Lane Kiffin, coaches the Owls.  FAU went 11-3 last year, and 8-0 in conference.   OU favored by only 21, and the over/under is 72.  Not a laydown by any means, and as we know, the FAU’s and South Florida’s of the world can sneak up on you.  Won’t happen to the Sooners, but if betting I might take the Owls and the over.

Texas Christian gets Southern at home.  No. 16 Frogs should roll. No line.  11:00 a.m.  No TV as best I can tell.

Hard to imagine the excitement in Lawrence, as Kansas opens their 2018 football season with Nicholls.  6:00 p.m.  No line, and I am guessing no lines at the concession stands or bathrooms.  You can pay to stream it on ESPN+.

K State has South Dakota at home.  6:00 p.m.  No betting line.

Iowa State gets South Dakota State in Ames.  7:00 p.m.  Also no TV and no line.

Last year Baylor had Liberty at home to start the season.  This year, Abilene Christian.  7:00 p.m. in Waco.

This Week in College Football

Thursday’s only top 25 game was a thriller, University of Central Florida and Connecticut.  Golden Knights were favored by 23.5.  No problem, as the Knights hammered the Huskies 56-17.

As an aside, one of my favorite observations of 2018:  Ever noticed how many weird news stories begin with two words:  “Florida man”?  Well, one would think that betting on a Floridian directional school in the first week of the season Thursday night game is as almost as questionable as, say, taking an alligator into a liquor store on a leash.


Some great teams in action Friday night.

No. 11 Michigan State hosts Utah State in East Lansing, 6:00 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.  Spartans are favored by 23.5, and the over/under is 50.5.  MSU should win and cover.

Camp Randall will be hopping, with a Friday night game for Wisconsin.  No. 4 Badgers get Western Kentucky.  The Hilltoppers are a 36.5 point underdog, and the over/under is 52.5.  8:00 p.m. on ESPN.  That is a really large line, even for a game like this.

Best game of the night will be from The Farm.  No. 13 Stanford welcomes San Diego State.  8:00 p.m. on FS1.  The Cardinal is favored by 14.  Now that is a sensible line.  Take Stanford. Over/under is 48.5.


I guess there is some synchronicity in that both Texas and Ohio State kick-off at the same time Saturday morning.  Buckeyes have Oregon State in the Horseshoe, 11:00 a.m. on ABC, and the home OSU is favored over the road OSU by 38.5.  Wow.  Over/Under is 63.5

Big Palmetto State match-up, with the team many pick to unseat the Tide, No. 2 Clemson, playing Furman.  Furman.  11:20 a.m. on the ACC Network.  No line.

Huge game from Atlanta, as No. 8 Washington and No. 9 Auburn play in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  2:30 p.m. on ABC.  Tigers favored by 2.5, and the over/under is 48.5.  War Eagle!

No. 3 Georgia has a slightly different approach from their aforementioned SEC brethren.  The Bulldogs have Austin Peay at home between the Hedges.  The horror.  2:30 p.m. on ESPN.  No line, but this is $EC football, so I am sure one can find a way to wager.

Remember when Appalachian State upset Big 10 superstar Michigan at the Big House?  App State goes to Happy Valley to play PSU.  Nittany Lions favored by 24.  One can only hope …

No. 15 Southern Cal hosts the Running Rebels of UNLV.  3:00 p.m. on the PAC 12 Network.  Trojans only favored by 26.5, and the over/under is 63.5.  Take the Trojans.

No. 22 Boise State on the road to Troy, speaking of Trojans.  5:00 p.m. on ESPNN, and BSU favored by 10.5.

The Lumberjacks go to Starkville!  Nothing against Nacogdoches, but I am from Tyler, and people from Nacogdoches used to come to Tyler to go shopping.  If the kids from Stephen F. Austin were given a choice between going to Tyler and going to Starkville, I am guessing Starkvegas loses.  Anyway, No. 18 Mississippi State will commence the beating of the Jacks at 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU.  No line, although my guess is that a casino in Tunica will take your money.

The Big One!  No. 14 Michigan at No. 12 Notre Dame.  6:30 p.m. on NBC.  Line opened with Michigan favored by 1.5.  Monday, Irish favored by 1.0.  Thursday night, it was Pick.  Time to wake up the echoes.  Harbaugh hopes not.  His record against key rivals is a bit frustrating for the Michigan faithful.

A decent game in the Camping World Kickoff.  (As an aside [your clue was I put this in parentheses], does it tell you something about your $EC demographic when the premier opening weekend games are sponsored by a company that sells Winnebago’s and pop-up trailers and a company that sells fried chicken?  Nothing against Chick-Fil-A.  Love the sandwich, love the company, love the values.  Just an observation.).  Where was I?

Louisville goes to Orlando to meet No. 1 Alabama and celebrate the company that invented the chicken sandwich.  7:00 p.m. on ABC.  Crimson Tide favored by 24.5, and over/under is 61.5.  I would not bet against Saban.

No. 24 Oregon gets Bowling Green at Autzen.  7:00 p.m. on PAC 12 Network.  Ducks favored by 33. Dang.  Over/under at 72.

Sunday, No. 8 Miami (FL) at No. 25 Louisiana State.  6:30 p.m. on ABC.  Miami (FL) favored by 3.5, over/under is 46.5.  Geaux Tigers!

Monday night, No. 20 Virginia Tech at No. 19 Florida State.  7:00 p.m. on ESPN.  I get that this is a good football game and will draw a decent audience, but I would hate to play a ranked conference rival to open the season.  Seminoles favored by 7, and the over/under is 55.

Other Games of Interest This Week


A big Big 10 match-up, with highly regarded Northwestern at Purdue.  After the Cubs game, I watched this.  Was actually a decent game, with Purdue close late, but a stupid penalty by a Boilermaker sealed the game for Northwestern, who headed back to Chicagoland with 31-27 win to open the season and Big 10 play.

SE Louisiana at UL Monroe.  I think Southeast Louisiana is the last of the named Louisiana directional schools, now that the Warhawks are Louisiana Monroe and the Ragin’ Cajuns are University of Louisiana Lafayette.  ULM prevailed 34-31.

Northwestern State played Texas Agricultural & Mechanical in College Station.  59-7, and aggy covered the spread.  Tip of the Open Road (still wearing the straw, but will have to move back to felt soon) to the aggies – looked like they filled Kyle Field up.  Impressive on a Thursday night against Northwestern State.

Wake Forest 23-17 over Tulane.  In overtime.


Army at Duke, 6:00 p.m. on ESPNU.  David Cutcliffe does amazing work at Duke.  And it is always fun to watch Army.  This is a decent little game.  Duke favored by 13.5, over/under is 45.5.

Colorado and Colorado State.  Rams played and lost to Hawaii last week, the “Week Zero” game.  I didn’t bother to see if that was sponsored by Coke Zero.  CSU, who lost to the Rainbow Warriors, is favored by 7.5.


Great game in H-Town.  Houston and Rice play at 11:00 a.m. at Rice Stadium.  Okay, maybe not great.  Major Applewhite and his Cougars favored by 26.  But the Owls come into this game with a perfect record  of 1-0, undefeated after their thrilling 31-28 win over Prairie View A&M.

Villanova and Temple, but they are playing at the Linc, not the Palladium.  11:00 a.m. on ESPN news.  No line.

Howard at Ohio. 1:00 p.m. from Athens, Ohio.

Stoney Brook at Air Force.  1:00 p.m.

Southern Methodist and North Texas, 7:30 p.m.  Mustangs are 4.5 point underdogs at Apogee Stadium in Denton, and the over/under is 71.

Washington State at Wyoming.  The Pirate is back!  2:30 p.m. on CBSSN.  Cougars favored by 1.5.

UTEP hosts Northern Arizona in the Sun Bowl.  6:30 p.m.  No line, no TV.

UTSA at Arizona State. 9:30 p.m. on FS1.  Sun Devils favored by 18.5.

Marshall at Miami.  The Thundering Herd favored by 2.  2:30 p.m. on ESPN+  Look for the Redhawks to cover.  A big home game in famous Yager Stadium in Oxford.

National Previews

HornMafia, and The Week That Will Be:  This Is Texas


Week One Viewing Schedule, from BON:


Bill Connelly’s picks, for those of you who might enjoy a friendly wager now and again.





With Manu Ginobili’s retirement announcement, the end of an era in San Antonio.  The last time the Spurs played a game without Manu, Tim Duncan, or Tony Parker on the roster was April 20, 1997.  It has been a glorious two decades.

A nice tribute by Shinyribs.

Washington & Lee

The Generals open the 2018 season in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, with a 1:00 p.m. game against Dickinson.  Garrett LeRose (W&L ’07) will be coaching his first career game as W&L takes on the Red Devils.  He was promoted from within the staff following the departure of Scott Abell to Davidson College after six seasons at the helm.  LeRose had served as an assistant coach with the Generals ever since finishing his playing career with the Generals in 2006.  He won one ODAC title as a player (2006) and has had a hand in four more (2010, 2012, 2015, 2017) as a coach.  Good stuff from W&L:  “Among the state slogans in Pennsylvania is “You’ve got a friend in Pennsylvania”.  However, Pennsylvania has proved to be less than friendly to the Generals who represent the slogan “Virginia is for Lovers”.  In fact, W&L is just 1-6 in its last seven games played in the Keystone State.  The Generals have not won a game played in Pennsylvania since a 45-3 victory over Juniata in the 2010 season finale.”  I had totally forgotten about that big win over Juniata.

Dickinson finished the 2017 season with a 3-7 overall record after allowing 32.2 points per contest and scoring just 13.8 points per game themselves.  The Red Devils are picked seventh out of 10 teams in the Centennial Conference Preseason Coaches Poll, but return a fair amount from a season ago.

Video Broadcast:


Radio Broadcast:


Major League Baseball

Heck of a season so far, at least for the Cubs and Astros.  Rangers not so much, although I sure appreciate their sending Cole Hamels to Chicago.  Since escaping Arlington being traded to the Cubs he has made six straight outstanding starts, each of them a Cubs Win.  Hamels’s WHIP with the Northsiders is 1.00, compared to 1.37 in Texas.  His ERA is 0.69 in 39 innings.

Chicago is in somewhat of a battle in the NL Central.  St. Louis has been playing great ball since Mike Shildt took over from dismissed Mike Matheney.  Milwaukee is just 5 back.  Going to be a fun September.  Cubs and Cardinals meet in Chicago the last weekend of the season at Wrigley.  Texas plays at Kansas State that weekend.

So a few fun items from my Cubs file.

Javier Baez is nicknamed “El Mago”, the Magician.  Watching him play baseball is so much fun.  His defense is beautiful to watch, and he is swinging the bat well.  A few Twitter links to great video clips.

Jon Lester.  Having a great year, and he hits.

Wilson Contreras, catcher for the Chicago Cubs.

Thanks @mlb for this amazing video 💪

A post shared by Don Ernesto 💪 #T’KILLER😎 (@willsoncontreras40) on


Some weeks I struggle with music I want to include in my email.  Some weeks I try to be thematic.  And once every year or two, the answer falls in my lap out of the blue.

I have known Andy Fish and his family for a long time.  Know his brother John too.  Andy’s kids went to Austin High, which is how I got to know Drew.  Knew him before he got famous, as they say.  So, for those of you heading to DC for the game with no plans Friday night, I have the perfect solution, especially if you want to entertain some of your friends up there who don’t get much exposure to great Texas music.

The Drew Fish Band will be playing at Hill Country BBQ Friday night, August 31.  410 Seventh St. NW, just north of the US Navy Memorial Plaza.  Doors open at 7:00, show starts at 9:30.


If you miss Drew and the band in DC, he will back in Austin playing at the Belmont the night before the Tulsa game:


Some of you may recognize some of the folks in the videos.  Some of you may see your kids.  Some of you may see you.

Flood, their last radio single, was No. 1 for 2 weeks.

Sounds Like a Plan.

Livin’ For the Weekend

Small Price to Pay


John McCain

I will never make this email and blog into anything political.  I have tried assiduously over the years to avoid that and to keep my shared musings about Longhorn sports, The University of Texas, heroes like Frank Denius, and the Great State of Texas, with a little music and humor along the way.  So I hope, my friends, you will accept this as my offering in memory of John Sidney McCain, III, the late United States Senator from Arizona, and an American hero.

“We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe.  We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been.
We are three-hundred-and-twenty-five million opinionated, vociferous individuals.  We argue and compete and sometimes even vilify each other in our raucous public debates.  But we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement.  If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country we will get through these challenging times.  We will come through them stronger than before.  We always do.
Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.   Americans never quit.  We never surrender.  We never hide from history.  We make history.”

– – Excerpt from the final statement by Senator John McCain, read by Rick Davis, former presidential campaign manager and family spokesman, at the State Capitol in Phoenix, Arizona, August 27, 2018.  [Courtesy of Mark Beto]

I too believe in the greatness of this Republic, and I believe in American exceptionalism.  I agree and endorse this statement, and I am grateful for college football and the Texas Longhorns, great examples of common ground, where we can enjoy something together, where we can console each other in losses, and where we can celebrate victories through our common bond of The University of Texas.

God Bless Texas.

Tim Taylor

 Tailgating before Home Football Games

The Juan Heisman Tailgate 

Lot 38, East of Sid Richardson Hall.



© Timothy C. Taylor, Sr. 2018.  All Rights Reserved (as to original material).


On Twitter:  @tctayloratx

On LinkedIn:  www.linkedin.com/in/tctatx

On Instagram:  @tctayloratx

On Facebook:  www.Facebook.com/Tim.C.Taylor

and:  www.Facebook.com/Juan.Heisman