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Austin American-Statesman Golden's Nuggets column

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 22, 2014 at 7:15 am •  Published: April 22, 2014
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Austin American-Statesman Golden's Nuggets column

Cedric Golden

Austin American-Statesman

Raise your hand if you believe we witnessed a 10-win team at DKR on Saturday.

OK, I'm still waiting.

Let's set off this week's nuggets with five thoughts from the Orange-White scrimmage:

1. This is no time to panic. It's far from September, and Texas looks headed in the right direction. By the time September rolls around, David Ash will be back at quarterback and Tyrone Swoopes will have four more months of throwing under his belt. Add freshman Jerrod Heard to the mix and perhaps a name transfer from California and things will be rosier. Maybe not Rose Bowl rosy, but you catch my drift.

2. Defensive ends Shiro Davis and Caleb Bluiett will provide enough of a pass rush opposite All-America candidate Cedric Reed to make up for the loss of Jackson Jeffcoat. Plus the secondary will notch more sacks thanks to blitz-heavy defensive coordinator Vance Bedford.

3. Still waiting for offensive tackle Desmond Harrison to blossom into the All-American that Mack Brown projected him to be. He was banged up this spring and wasn't operating at 100 percent Saturday, but it wasn't good to see him give up sacks to Bluiett on consecutive plays.

4. Would have loved to have seen some return game in the scrimmage instead of a bunch of fair catches. Special teams are a huge part of the game, and it would have been nice to see Daje Johnson on a kickoff. I did notice that Jaxon Shipley was back there fielding punts instead of the electric Johnson, which suggest he still hasn't earned Charlie Strong's trust.

5. We didn't get to see the complete receiver talent on display, partly due to Swoopes' early struggles, but expect Marcus Johnson, Kendall Sanders and Shipley to take on huge roles if Ash does come back. I expect Johnson to be the breakout star on this offense.

LAMARCUS Aldridge is the most unsung star in these NBA playoffs, but that may soon change after busting through the door with 46 points and 18 rebounds in Sunday's overtime win at Houston. LA is the second-best Texas alum playing in the league, behind Kevin Durant and just ahead of resurgent Chicago point guard D.J. Augustin, who will win the Most Improved Player award.

He also put himself in place as one of the most coveted free agents entering 2015 if he doesn't re-up with Portland.

Aldridge, who is scheduled to make $15.2 million in the final year of his contract next season, has said he wants to make sure he's fully appreciated in Portland before signing a long-term deal.

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