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Sunday, September 21, 2008
What Irby's season-ending knee injury means to Texas


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Losing starting tight end Blaine Irby to a season-ending knee injury might have bigger ramifications for Texas than might be expected.

Irby had developed into a good secondary option for Colt McCoy, producing 10 catches so far this season. He was especially effective against Florida Atlantic when the Owls did a nice job of snuffing out the Longhorns' outside receivers. Irby snagged a career-high seven receptions in that game.

Texas still has a serviceable pair of wide receivers in Quan Cosby and Jordan Shipley. They aren't burners like Jeremy Maclin or Michael Crabtree, but are still nice producers nonetheless. But their chances of getting open will be lessened after Irby's injury.

Look for senior Peter Ullman and sophomore Greg Smith to compete for reps as the starting position. Neither are the receiving threat that Irby was. And that could lead the Longhorns to sputtering little bit more later this season, particularly as defenses gear to stop their outside threats while giving more leeway to their tight ends.