If Mack Brown said it once, he said it umpteen times.
His Longhorns, he told anyone who would listen over the offseason, are “getting ready to make another run.”
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THE MACK ERA, YEAR BY YEAR
In his 15 years at Texas, Mack Brown has compiled a 150-43 record, including a 91-31 mark in the Big 12. He’s 10-4 in bowls. The Longhorns, over the last three seasons, are 22-16 and 11-15 in the Big 12.
2012;9-4;5-4;15/19;Alamo Bowl (def. Oregon St.)
2011;8-5;4-5;—/—;Holiday Bowl (def. Cal)
2009;13-1;8-0;2/2;BCS title game (lost to Alabama)
2008;12-1;7-1;11/4;Fiesta Bowl (def. Ohio State)
2007;10-3;5-3;4/10;Holiday Bowl (def. Arizona St.)
2006;10-3;6-2;3/13;Alamo Bowl (def. Iowa)
2005;13-0;8-0;2/1;BCS title game (def. USC)
2004;11-1;7-1;7/5;Rose Bowl (def. Michigan)
2003;10-3;7-1;5/12;Holiday Bowl (lost to Wash. St.)
2002;11-2;6-2;4/6;Cotton Bowl (def. LSU)
2001;11-2;7-1;5/5;Holiday Bowl (def. Washington)
2000;9-3;7-1;7/12;Holiday Bowl (lost to Oregon)
1999;9-5;6-2;17/21;Cotton Bowl (lost to Arkansas)
1998;9-3;6-2;—/15;Cotton Bowl (def. Miss. St.)
* Preseason/final AP ranking
Four Longhorns freshmen shined in 2012:
The runner: Johnathan Gray — Ended up starting five of Texas’ last six games, took over for Fozzy Whittaker in the “wild” set and led the Longhorns in rushing, with 701 yards. That’s ninth best ever for a Texas freshman.
The playmaker: Daje Johnson — When he touched the ball, good things usually happened. Johnson averaged 11.5 yards per touch, including a 7.5 yards-per-rush mark. He started two games, including his best performance of the season against Baylor, including an 84-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game. It was Texas’ longest run since Jamaal Charles went 86 yards against Nebraska in 2007.
The kicker: Nick Jordan — We thought Penn State transfer Anthony Fera would be the one replacing Justin Tucker, but while Fera got his shot, it was Jordan who had the better season. He made seven of his last 10 field goal attempts of the season, including a career-long 40-yarder in the Alamo Bowl.
The tackler: Dalton Santos — Endeared himself to fans by being a season-long presence on special teams, especially on kickoff coverage. He led the team in special teams tackles and started at linebacker against Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl, his first career start.
Who’ll shine in 2013?
Get back to us in December. But these are five freshmen to watch …
Tyrone Swoopes, QB: Connor Brewer’s gone, which means Swoopes is the third quarterback. He’s big and fast, and there may be a package put in just for him.
Pick a receiver, any receiver: Cayleb Jones’ decision to transfer coupled with the loss of Marquise Goodwin will have a trickle-down effect on the receiving corps. Jake Oliver broke Jordan Shipley’s prep state receiving record, coaches like Montrel Meander and Jacorey Warrick has perhaps the highest ceiling of the three.
Chevoski Collins, S: Coaches love his versatility — he worked out at wide receiver the first week of practice.