After Saturday’s solid season-opening beating of the ULM Warhawks, the team is now turning its sights on a trip to Laramie, Wyoming for a road test against the Cowboys. Today’s newly released depth chart certainly has some new faces due to the loss of five players off the opening depth chart.
Saturday’s opening game can certainly be described as an adequate opening day performance with all facets of the game showing both highlights and areas for improvement. But perhaps the biggest issues are from the two injured Longhorns, right guard Michael Huey and middle linebacker Jared Norton and the three players who were held out of the opener for “unresolved academic issues.” Huey (ankle) and Norton (shoulder) are definitely out for this week’s game. Their injuries are not considered season-ending. On the other hand, the academic woes of senior corner Deon Beasley, safety Christian Scott, and wide out Brandon Collins do have the possibility of de-railing them for the entire season. At this point, the team is still waiting on a final ruling from the NCAA on their status for the year. As a result, Saturday’s depth chart versus Wyoming certainly looks different than the ULM chart. Several guys also pushed their way onto the depth chart by way of their outstanding play on Saturday. Ten positions have changes. The flanker (Z) position has junior James Kirkendoll as the lone starter with redshirt freshman DeSean Hales backing him up. Previously, Brandon Collins was a co-starter there. At the “Sub B” wide receiver position which is on the field in a three wide receiver set, co-starters John Chiles and Malcolm Williams have switched spots although both are still co-starters. The injury to Michael Huey has caused both guard position spots to change. Previous co-starter at both right and left guard David Snow is now the lone starter at right guard and no longer a co-starter with Charlie Tanner at left guard. True freshman Mason Walters moves up to the back-up at right guard, while Tray Allen is the back-up at left guard. Allen is also listed as the lone back-up at left tackle to starter Adam Ulatoski. Snow is still the back-up center as well. After D.J. Monroe’s sterling opener, he is now listed as the “or” third team running back. Offensive coordinator Greg Davis said today that they are looking to expand his package of plays and could see him getting 15-20 snaps at some point near conference play. Since the team started in a dime package against ULM, senior Roddrick Muckelroy actually started at the middle linebacker position on Saturday with redshirt sophomore Keenan Robinson at the other linebacker position. With Jared Norton out against Wyoming, the depth chart changes a bit with Robinson starting at weakside, Muckelroy at middle, and Emmanuel Acho at strongside. With Scott and Beasley’s returns in question, Blake Gideon is now the full time starter at right safety with Ben Wells backing him up and Curtis Brown is now the back-up at both corner positions. In the kick return game, Monroe and Marquise Goodwin are also now listed as options to return with Jordan Shipley. Aaron and Malcolm Williams are the other set of kick returners.