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If the rain fell hard on the crops of my uncle
If the sun shined steadfast on my white friends
If my love would describe me as her love
I would be so, so happy....

He has read his poetry to the goateed crowd at Emo's, a club in
Austin, and to the great, more-washed masses on CBS during last
year's Sun Bowl. But this season, if Texas has one of its
seemingly annual letdowns, senior noseguard Stonie Clark will
not be so, so happy--and he's going to make sure his teammates
know it. "I'm one of the leaders, so I won't let that happen,"
Clark says. "I will address it. And I doubt I'll be using poetry."

In 1994 the Longhorns climbed (as high as No. 12 in the polls),
crashed (losing three of four), climbed again (averaging 48.7
points over their last three games) and finished 8-4. To guard
against such inconsistency, coach John Mackovic had his troops
up and training at 6 a.m. in the off-season. "In the past, we've
just kind of blown a circuit," says senior linebacker Robert
Reed. "It's strange, because we match up physically with any
team in the nation."

Clark is one reason why, having recovered from a lacerated
kidney he suffered last November in a car crash. Another is
sophomore noseguard Chris Akins, the SWC's defensive newcomer of
the year in '94 and a three-time state powerlifting champ at
Paris (Texas) High. Then there is junior end Tony Brackens, who
at 6'4", 240 pounds, lifted 300-pound tackle Blake Brockermeyer
off his feet in practice last year.

Brackens grew up on a 300-head cattle ranch in Fairfield, Texas,
and has done some horse-breaking and team roping. In his first
two seasons he racked up 17 sacks, and he attributes his
intuitive ability to read offensive tackles to the way he reads
steers and stallions. "Just dispositionwise," Brackens says,
"you get a feel for what an animal's going to do, whether he'll
fight or whether he's bluffing."

The Longhorn offense will most likely be in the hands of
sophomore quarterback James Brown, who played well when
strong-armed Shea Morenz was injured last season. Morenz, a
junior, was a first-round pick by the New York Yankees in
baseball's amateur draft and is pursuing a career on the
diamond. "James takes what is there, and he can make more plays
with his feet [than Morenz]," offensive coordinator Gene
Dahlquist says of Brown, who wound up 20 attempts shy of
qualifying as the nation's leader in passing efficiency. Brown
will be greatly aided by the return of wideout Mike Adams, who
set a school record with 908 receiving yards in '93, and who is
expected to regain his academic eligibility.

Brockermeyer's early departure to the NFL caused massive
shuffling in the offensive line; all three returning starters
will be in new positions. The backfield, too, is in some
disarray after senior Priest Holmes suffered a season-ending
knee injury in the spring. With 55 carries last year, sophomore
Darrell Wilson is the most experienced returning back, though
freshman Ricky Williams from San Diego or converted receiver
Wane McGarity could step into the starting role.

Clark would like nothing more than to pen a ditty about a 1995
conference title and his first victory over Texas A&M in four
years. "The great thing about poetry is, you can say what you
mean but you don't have to really say it," Clark says. In
football, though, it's not enough to mean to win. You have to do

--Hank Hersch

COLOR PHOTO: PHIL HUBER Brackens (98) has shown a knack for Steer-wrestling. [Tony Brackens tackling University of Oklahoma football player]


Head coach: John Mackovic
Career college record: 63-50-2
Fourth year at Texas (19-14-1)
1994 record: 8-4
SWC record: 4-3 (tied for first)

W at Pittsburgh 30-28
W Louisville 30-16
W at TCU 34-18
L at Colorado 34-31
W Oklahoma 17-10 (at Dallas)
L at Rice 19-17
W SMU 42-20
L at Texas Tech 33-9
L Texas A&M 34-10
W Houston 48-13
W at Baylor 63-35
W North Carolina 35-31 (Sun Bowl)

Final '94 ranking: 25 AP, 23 USA Today/CNN

Lettermen lost: 14
Lettermen returning: 42
Returning starters, offense: 6
Returning starters, defense: 8

Sept. 23 at Notre Dame
Oct. 14 Oklahoma (at Dallas)
Dec. 2 at Texas A&M