Texas trying out some new options on special teams

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Even with four regular season games remaining for the Texas Longhorns, Mack Brown is making adjustments.

As he should.

At 4-4 and on the brink of bowl ineligibility, Texas is looking for anything (and I mean anything) to jump-start a team that was supposed to contend for another Big 12 South title. If there’s on aspect of the game that can swing momentum *snap* like that, it’s special teams, and that’s exactly where Brown is looking for help — mainly in the department of punt returns.

The Longhorns’ original punt returners were cornerbacks Aaron Williams and Curtis Brown, who received a tremendous amount of preseason praise. However, neither has lived up to said praise. Come to think of it, they haven’t gotten close.

Kind of sounds like a microcosm of the whole program.

Brown has muffed several punts this season, including two in a 30-22 loss to Baylor. Special teams have also failed to score a touchdown all season, but gave up a punt return for a touchdown in a 20-13 win over Nebraska.

Mack Brown stated in his weekly press conference that he and the coaching staff have been looking at defensive backs Christian Scott and Adrian Phillips and receiver Mike Davis to return punts in addition to Williams and Brown. Despite the experimentation, however, no permanent changes have been made yet (I’m seeing a theme here).

(A thank you to the Dallas Morning News)

Rutgers reinstates WR Leonte Carroo to football team

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 28:  Wide receiver Leonte Carroo #4 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights makes a touchdown catch on the first play of the game against the Washington State Cougars at CenturyLink Field on August 28, 2014 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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While the news of late has been littered with the exits of two SEC wide receivers, one team from the Big Ten is welcoming back a player who plays the same position.

In a press release, Rutgers confirmed that Leonte Carroo has been reinstated to the Scarlet Knights football program.  The release stated that head coach Kyle Flood, who is suspended himself, “reinstated Carroo after the student-athlete agreed to the conditions of his reinstatement and after he accepted the responsibility that comes with his return to the team.”

The reinstatement comes one day after a domestic violence charge against him was dropped after the alleged victim decided not to testify against he former boyfriend.  Carroo had been accused of slamming a woman with whom he had a previous relationship into the concrete outside of the RU football facility last month.

Carroo has missed the last two games (Penn State, Kansas) because of the suspension.  He will be eligible to return to practice today and play in Saturday’s game against 10th-ranked Michigan State.

Despite missing those two contests, Carroo is still tops on the team in receiving yards with 181 and tied for the team lead with three receiving touchdowns.  He’s also averaging nearly 26 yards per reception.

Carroo led the Scarlet Knights last season in receptions (55), receiving yards (1,086) and receiving touchdowns (10).

Pig Howard dismissed by Vols

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 5: Pig Howard #2 of the Tennessee Volunteers fumbles the ball through the end zone during overtime of the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Neyland Stadium on October 5, 2013 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
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It’s been a bad week for talented SEC wide receivers.

On the heels of Auburn giving the boot to D’haquille Williams following an alleged bar rampage, Tennessee announced Wednesday that Pig Howard has been dismissed from Butch Jones‘ football program.  Violations of unspecified team rules was the only explanation offered.

Howard had been suspended for the season opener for the same reason due to an unspecified incident several months before.  It’s unknown if the dismissal is related in any way to that suspension.

Injuries had allowed the senior to play in just two games this season, against Oklahoma and Western Carolina.  He had one reception for eight yards, with that coming in the overtime loss to the Sooners.

The past two seasons, Howard led the Vols in receiving with 54 and 44 receptions in 2014 and 2013, respectively.  He accounted for 1,006 receiving yards in that span, and has also scored a pair of rushing touchdowns.