AUSTIN, Texas What started as a quiet interview with a student newspaper in Florida escalated into the talk of Texas.
Florida Atlantic coach Howard Schnellenberger said this month the No. 11 Longhorns have a lot of polish but aren't very tough, and can easily be intimidated with a few hard hits.
“If we put three hats on them and make them not want to get up, that's the way to beat Texas,” Schnellenberger said, although he's tried to back off those comments since then.
It's too late to backtrack. It's time to play. The Longhorns and Owls open the season Saturday night and Texas players certainly paid attention to the musings of FAU's 74-year-old coach, who actually spent a year at Oklahoma, tying the Longhorns 24-24.
“The players didn't say it,” said Texas defensive tackle Roy Miller. “When you don't have to get out (on the field) and do something, it's easy to say something about it. The real talk is when you line up.”
Texas coach Mack Brown didn't seem to get worked up by it.
“He's been around a long time,” Brown said, noting Schnellenberger's history of leading programs at Miami and Louisville to national prominence. “Anything he would say he's trying to motivate his team and that's fair.”
CLEMSON: Athletics officials say safety DeAndre McDaniel will be allowed to play this season.
The school announced that McDaniel will be placed on deferred suspension following his June arrest on aggravated assault and battery charges. He will be suspended if he fails to meet requirements of an intervention program for first-time offenders.
According to a police report, McDaniel's girlfriend told police he covered her head with a comforter, punched her and pushed her down a flight of stairs.
McDaniel has remained in school and on the football team since his arrest.
TENNESSEE: Linebacker Gerald Williams has been cleared by the SEC to play for the 18th-ranked Volunteers this season, the team announced.
“It's wonderful to have him out there. He's worked so hard to get himself here,” coach Phillip Fulmer said.
The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder from Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., will travel with the team to play at UCLA on Monday. Fulmer said he might not see much playing time in the game aside from some special teams assignments.
Williams signed with the Vols in 2005, but was denied eligibility by the NCAA just before the season began after problems with some of his high school credits.
He played at Hargrave Military Academy prep school during the 2006 season and City College of San Francisco during 2007.
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