* Last year at this time Texas had four quarterbacks, and there was a lot of concern about trying to get them all prepared. Garrett Gilbert gets hurt, David Ash steps up, Case McCoy steps in and Conner Wood transfers. But this year they're coming in in a much better place. McCoy and Ash left spring practice even, and it sounds like they've both matured and are having good summers.
* Texas had a great defense last year by the end of the year, and it was really led by seniors. So the question will be, who will be the guy to step up and take the leadership roles? At linebacker, Jordan Hicks is the most experienced. He needs to be the leader in the middle of the defense, and he understands that role.
* Carrington Byndom will be one of the best defensive backs they've had. He's smart, he's in great condition, he's confident and he doesn't talk a lot. He played a lot as a freshman, he can intercept the ball and make plays. He's physical. He'll end up being one of the better defensive backs in the country this year.
* When Colt McCoy was under center, he was so accurate that he thinks they became a softer football team, relying on him converting 3rd and short situations through the air. Mack Brown wants them to become a tougher football team top to bottom, and that means the running game. They still need the QB to make plays, but they need to be in a position where if the QBs can't go they can still have the same success.
* He has faith one of the QBs will separate himself, based on 37 years of experience. If the players don't make it obvious, then he'll bring in key players and ask their opinion.
* Toughness on offense is the ability to move the ball either through the air or on the ground. It's confidence. And they didn't have it last year. You can't just throw it all the time and be successful. The knock against the throwing teams for years has been you can't score close to the goal line. The other aspect is forcing the other team's offense to be one dimensional.
* Mike Davis had an outstanding freshman year until he hurt his knee. They thought he was on target to become one of the great players they've had at Texas. Last year he had some personal issues crop up, and it's tough for receivers to get into a rhythm. They expect big things from him this year.
* What Texas will do is try to be balanced. They'll play to their confidence. They'll play to the guys who are performing the best and making the plays.
* The question mark on the defense will be whether or not the young players can replace the experienced players. There's talent there. They've got really good players, but they don't have the senior leadership - only two who would start today on defense, and only two who would start on offense.
Story published by Kansas affiliate Phog.net