The Wolf of Leo Harris Parkway: how Mark Helfrich is running the pump-and-dump on Texas

In the time-honored tradition of outrageous coach-speak, Mark Helfrich told the media Oregon didn’t belong on the field with 8-4 Texas, a team that features a second-string quarterback who’s thrown 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

“We can’t match up with that in terms of just man for man talent,” Helfrich said, “I think you know they are a very well coached team and like us have very high expectations. They want to finish right. There is the added motivation with Coach Brown retiring but our guys will be excited to play.”

Cancel the game. Oregon can’t possibly win. Texas is too deep, too talented and too fast. It’s a wonder they’re not in the national championship game, and after Mack Brown’s stirring pre-game speech, they’ll be so fired up to win the game for Bevo and the Ol’ Ball Coach, Austin variety that the original Alamo will be forgotten forever by Longhorn fans moved to tears by the inspirational effort that follows (Mark Rebilas, USA Today Sports Images photo).

After suspending Pharaoh Brown for getting carried away with a box of white stuff, Helfrich is busy with a snow job of his own. Texas has talent, no doubt. One of the reasons Brown is getting fired is that so much talent streams in to UT Junior Days that the Horns ought to contend for a title every season. Yet they haven’t won double-digit games since 2009.

The burnt orange squad has been decimated this year by injuries, losing their best quarterback, running back and middle linebacker for the year, an issue that became worse when three more players were declared academically ineligible this week.

Oregon matches up very well with Texas in the speed and talent department. They’re not even giving up much size on the offensive and defensive lines. The Longhorn’s best defensive player is defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat, the Ted Hendricks Award winner at 6-5, 250. He’s good, a future NFL player and the son of a former Dallas Cowboy, but the Ducks’ Tony Washington actually has reasonably comparable stats, 56 tackles to 62, 7.5 sacks to 10, and no one would claim Washington is the Ducks’ best defensive player. That honor goes to Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, and the Texas secondary doesn’t have anyone of his caliber.

Visit the Texas websites, and they are all pretty clear on the hoped-for strategy Texas should use to ruin Oregon’s San Antonio vacation. Today Alex Dunlap of printed his “Blueprint to beat Oregon:”


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