Commentary

Breakout soon for Malcolm Brown

Freshman back has proven much through three game, but bigger things are expected

Updated: October 4, 2011, 6:15 PM ET
By Carter Strickland | HornsNation

AUSTIN, Texas -- Tray Allen just wonders when the wait will be over.

So does Fozzy Whittaker.

Ditto for Mason Walters.

Shoot, all of Texas is wondering when, not if, running back Malcolm Brown will have a breakout game.

"It is coming," said Allen, Texas' left tackle. "It might happen this week."

"He is very close," Whittaker said.

[+] EnlargeMalcolm Brown
Reese Strickland/US PresswireMalcolm Brown has shown his power so far this season, and the Longhorns will need him against Oklahoma.
"One block here, a little bit of technique there," added Walters, Texas' right guard.

Add it up, sprinkle in a little of Brown's hard-charging running style and the freshman could be on the verge of a big game.

"We are one step away, one block away, one key thing away from this thing to just break out," Whittaker said. "And I feel like Malcolm, he has the patience to do that. That game is going to come."

Just maybe not against Oklahoma. At least if history has its way. Some of Texas' great running backs have not fared well in their debuts against the Sooners. Priest Holmes had 36 yards. Ricky Williams had 12 yards. Cedric Benson had 60 yards. Earl Campbell had 70 yards. Jamaal Charles went for 116, but that was against an unranked Oklahoma team in 2005.

Brown already has posted his first 100-yard rushing game. He went for 110 on 22 carries against UCLA. But he took a giant leap backward in his conference debut. After going for 22 yards on the first play from scrimmage, Brown rushed for 41 yards on 14 plays.

Iowa State kept an extra player in the box just to stop Brown. Oklahoma, because it has superior speed on defense, might not have to do that.

Regardless of how the Sooners attack Texas on defense, the Longhorns are committed to running the ball. And that means Brown will get his chances.

"If you are running the ball 40, 42 times a game, you are going to have a chance to win," Texas coach Mack Brown said.

If Malcolm Brown is the guy running it about 20 of those times, Texas' chances are better as well. His 22 carries against UCLA were his season high. He had 16 carries for 86 yards against Rice, and all of them came in the second half. Eleven of his 14 carries against BYU were in the second half, as were 53 of his 68 yards.

So, when allowed to get into a rhythm, Brown has proved that he can pick up yards in bunches.

"That guy has got tremendous ability," H-back Blaine Irby said. "He can run between both tackles, he can break it outside. If everyone can do their part, he can have breakout game.

"I am anxious to see what he is going to do this weekend."

Carter Strickland covers University of Texas football and recruiting for HornsNation

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