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Texas abuses OU defense with converted tight end position

BY JOHN HELSLEY Published: October 11, 2008
DALLAS — Texas lost tight end Jermichael Finley to the NFL and his replacement Blaine Irby to injury, seemingly leaving it without a major weapon from last year's Red River Rivalry.

So the Longhorns reinvented the position, just for the Sooners.

Too tempting to resist, the Longhorns filled the tight end slot with wide receiver Jordan Shipley – a twist just for this game – and went to him repeatedly, gouging OU down the middle.

Recalling what Finley did a year ago (four catches for 149 yards and a touchdown), Texas offensive coordinator Greg Davis hoped to take advantage of OU's defensive tendencies again, trying to create matchups on linebackers.

“We felt like by what they did, the tight end spot should have some opportunities,” Davis said.

“Probably, most of Jordan's catches was from that position.”

Shipley worked his way into spots and seams, catching a game-high 11 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown.

None was bigger than a 37-yard catch and run that Shipley carried to the OU 1, setting up the touchdown that put Texas ahead to stay.

“We had a zone blitz on and initially had him covered,” said Sooners coach Bob Stoops.

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