AUSTIN (KXAN) - Major Applewhite holds an advantage running the University of Texas offense that few have had.
The veteran is entering his eighth and maybe most important season as a Texas assistant coach. Applewhite is the co-offensive coordinator along with receivers coach Darrell Wyatt, but he shares the play calling duties with no one.
Applewhite took over that job in December when Bryan Harsin took the head coaching job at Arkansas State. The Texas offense made big strides in Harsin's 2nd season as play caller, averaging more than 35 points per game compared to 28.1 points per game in 2011. But the play caller is also the quarterback coach and that's Applewhite's experience can't be matched.
"Bryan Harsin did a tremendous job for us," said head coach Mack Brown. "The one thing Bryan couldn't do is talk to the quarterbacks about being the quarterback at Texas, the pressures, the attention and all of that, and Major can do that and I do think that helps."
Applewhite will be called on to help junior quarterback David Ash get to that next level after improving from his freshman to sophomore year, but still battling some inconsistency particularly in their win at Kansas when Case McCoy came off the bench to engineer the comeback and then against TCU when Ash struggled, later revealng that he was bothered by a rib injury in their Thanksgiving day loss.
"He demands a lot out of them, he's hard on him, but again he can reach out to him and talk to him," said Brown. "He's got a good balance, I think Major will be a great coach."
"I'm going to coach him hard but I'm going to praise him hard at the same time, that's only fair", said Applewhite. "We're just going to demand a lot out of each other, we do that as coaches, we're going to do that with our players, he's done a great job responding to it."
With the Horns emphasis on an up-tempo offense to create more plays and give the defensive fewer chances to substitute, Applewhite and the offensive statf has simplified the playbook.
Freshman quarterback Tyrone Swoopes has been slowed in practice by a hamstring injury.
Sub-freezing temperatures and an approaching upper level disturbance could combine to produce some patchy freezing drizzle or sleet Saturday and early Sunday morning.
Investigators are still trying to figure out who murdered an Austin teacher in Benghazi on Thursday.
Back in June, Governor Rick Perry signed a new law officially letting teachers and students use greetings such as "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hannukah" in school, all without getting in any trouble.
The Round Rock-based computer giant, Dell Inc., is offering some workers voluntary buyouts as it seeks to trim costs and boost productivity.
The Austin Humane Society reopened to the public Friday after closing its doors for six weeks.
Sub-freezing temperatures will continue across much of Central Texas all day Saturday. A second disturbance associated with the winter storm that slammed Texas Thursday and Friday could lead to more freezing precipitation Saturday and …