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Photo Credit: Angela Wang | Daily Texan Staff

Make no mistake — Texas is just fine.

The No. 9 Longhorns entered Saturday’s road game against Texas Tech as losers of two of their last three games, pushing them to the edge of the nation’s top 10 for the first time all season. 

But with questions looming over the team, Texas delivered an all-caps response, dismantling the Red Raiders in a 90-39 victory.

The Longhorns made a commitment to winning through their defense in the opening quarter, employing a full-court press that resulted in eight forced turnovers.

Senior guard Ariel Atkins, meanwhile, did it all on the offensive end in the first quarter, lighting up Texas Tech for eight points on 4-5 shooting and crashing the glass for two offensive boards. The Red Raiders managed to keep it close, ending the quarter with a pair of buckets to only trail 19-13.

After feeling out Texas Tech, the Longhorns began landing haymakers in the second quarter.

The first one came in the form of a 7-0 run to start the quarter that left the Red Raiders reeling. The second was a dizzying 14-3 burst to go up 40-16 with 2:51 left in the half.

Senior guard Brooke McCarty led the ambush, finishing the half with 12 points and six assists as Texas headed into the locker room with a commanding 44-19 lead.

The Longhorns didn’t lose focus in the second half, keeping Texas Tech scoreless for the first four minutes and 25 seconds.

Junior guard Lashann Higgs found her touch as well, outscoring the Red Raiders in the third quarter on her own, 11-10. Texas also took advantage from the charity stripe, going 11-of-15 from the free throw line during the quarter to take a 73-29 lead into the final 10 minutes of regulation, where the Longhorns put the game on ice.

Atkins shined in the blowout with a game-high 22 points to go along with seven rebounds. Higgs kept pace, posting 19 points and five rebounds. Texas forced the Red Raiders into a whopping 29 turnovers on the day.

The Longhorns (15–3, 6–1 Big 12) took away the Red Raiders’ identity, out-rebounding a Texas Tech team that prides itself on winning the battle on the boards, 31-18. Texas Tech’s 39 points also marked the second-lowest total allowed by the Longhorns this season. Texas defeated McNeese State, 100-34, on Nov. 15.

Texas will need to maintain that level of defensive intensity when it heads to Waco on Thursday for a showdown against No. 4 Baylor at 6 p.m.

Photo Credit: Ethan Oblak | Daily Texan Staff

After getting shutout against Kansas State last weekend, the Longhorns looked to rebound against in-state rival Texas Tech in Lubbock. Both Texas and the Red Raiders sat at 3-5 overall heading into the matchup, seventh and eighth, respectively, in Big 12 standings.

10:08- Final in Lubbock, Texas deafeats Texas Tech 34-13: The Longhorns are now 4-5 on the season and will host West Virginia next weekend.

10:03- Fourth Quarter 3:20, Texas 34 Texas Tech 13: Red Raiders turn the ball over on downs inside the Texas 10. The Longhorns have scored their most points in Lubbock since scoring 35 in 2006 and are on pace for their longest win streak in the rivalry since 1966. 

9:56- Fourth Quarter 6:12, Texas 34 Texas Tech 13: Red Raiders take over from their own 41 after a punt. Longhorns have rushed for a season-high 232 yards tonight.

9:49- Fourth Quarter 9:30, Texas 34 Texas Tech 13: Senior safety Mykkele Thompson comes away with his first interception of the season.

9:40- Fourth Quarter 11:47, Texas 34 Texas Tech 13: Senior running back Malcolm Brown nearly scores from 10-yards out. He scores on the next play for his second score of the game and has rushed for a season-high 116 yards. It's the first 100-yard rushing performance of the season for the Longhorns.

9:34- Fourth Quarter 13:17, Texas 27 Texas Tech 13: Junior wide receiver Daje Johnson comes up with his longest play of the season on a 30-yard run.

9:28- Fourth Quarter 14:16, Texas 27 Texas Tech 13: Senior wide receiver Jaxon Shipley scores his first touchdown of the season on a four-yard grab from sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes.

9:20- End of the Third Quarter, Texas 20 Texas Tech 13: Longhorns have the ball on second down and goal from the Tech four. 

9:16- Third Quarter 2:06, Texas 20 Texas Tech 13: Senior wide receiver John Harris continues his big night with a 35-yard grab. Junior running back Johnathan Gray follows with 24 yards on two carries. Longhorns are threatening inside Tech's red zone. 

9:09- Third Quarter 4:12- Texas 20 Texas Tech 13: Sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes is unable to complete a pass to junior wide reciever Marcus Johnson. Longhorns punt. Red Raiders start drive at their own 37.

8:55- Third Quarter 7:41- Texas 20 Texas Tech 13: Senior wide receiver Jaxon Shipley fumbles the ball after a 14-yard reception. Red Raiders take over on their own 35-yard line. The play is under review.

8:49- Third Quarter 8:54, Texas 20 Texas Tech 13: Red Raiders turn the ball over on downs on the Longhorns 37. 

8:40- Third Quarter 12:02, Texas 20 Texas Tech 13: Longhorns settle for a 42-yard field goal after driving the ball 40 yards.

8:38- Third Quarter 12:47, Texas 17 Texas Tech 13. Sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes runs for 25 yards to bring the ball to the Texas Tech 25. 

8:13- End of the Second Quarter, Texas 17 Texas Tech 13: Longhorns will receive to start the second half.

8:12- Second Quarter 0:17, Texas 17 Texas Tech 13. Longhorns turn the ball over on downs on the Texas Tech 47. 

8:03-Second Quarter 2:59, Texas 17 Texas Tech 13: The Longhorns answer with a two play 85-yard drive led off by a 68-yard reception by senior receiver John Harris who has topped the century mark for the night. Junior running back Johnathan Gray takes it in from 17 yards out to put Texas ahead.

7:58 Second Quarter 3:34, Texas 10 Texas Tech 13: The Red Raiders drive 75 yards on nine plays, scoring on a six yard run by running back Kenny Williams.

7:55 Second Quarter 4:08, Texas 10 Texas Tech 6: Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be out the rest of the game. Timeout Texas Tech, which has the ball on third and eight from the Texas 16.

7:49- Second Quarter 7:01, Texas 10 Texas Tech 6: Tech quarterback Vincent Testaverde completes his first attempt of the game for 37 yards. The Red Raiders are driving and now have the ball inside the Texas 30.

7:46- Second Quarter 7:12, Texas 10 Texas Tech 6: Senior running back Malcolm Brown punches it in from three yards out to put the Longhorns back in front. 

7:40- Second Quarter 9:21, Texas 3 Texas Tech 6: Senior cornerback Quandre Diggs lights up Tech freshman quarterback Patrick Mahomes to force a fumble. Junior defensive end Shiro Davis recovers the fumble to put Texas in prime position to score.

7:29- Second Quarter 12:24, Texas 3 Texas Tech 6: Junior placekicker Nick Rose misses a 37-yard field goal wide left, keeping the score 6-3 in favor of the Red Raiders.

7:23- End of First Quarter, Texas 3 Texas Tech 6: Sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes is sacked for an 11-yard loss to end the first quarter. 

7:21- First Quarter 0:28, Texas 3 Texas Tech 6: The Red Raiders miss a 29-yard field goal attempt to keep the score at 6-3.

7:09- First Quarter 4:09, Texas 3 Texas Tech 6: Sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes is hit and fumbles the ball, which was recovered in the end zone by Texas Tech for a touchdown. Red Raiders missed the ensuing PAT to keep the score at 6-3 

7:05- First Quarter 4:20, Texas 3 Texas Tech 0: Longhorns force a third straight punt and start their next drive with the ball on their own 15-yard line

6:45- First Quarter 11:31, Texas 3 Texas Tech 0: Junior placekicker Nick Rose hits a 46-yard field goal to give the Longhorns the early lead.

6:36- Texas wins the toss and decides to defer. Red Raiders get the ball to start.

6:30- Texas and Texas Tech about to kickoff. Injury update: Daje Johnson and Kent Perkins both available for Texas tonight. 

After a series of tumultuous events and heated debates, UT students can rest assured that measures to allow students to carry guns on campus will not be permitted. Last week, Sam Cummings, a conservative federal judge in Lubbock, Texas, dismissed the National Rifle Association’s challenge to a Texas law prohibiting teenagers and adults ages 18 to 20 from carrying concealed weapons in the case Jennings v. McCraw. Partnering with UT’s Student Government, the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project fought to defend the law that will help ensure our safety on campus.

Citing the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms, the NRA urged that this law be altered to give teens as young as 13 access to concealed weapons in public. The judge disagreed with this extreme interpretation of the Second Amendment. Instead he opted to follow the wisdom of other courts around the country that have prohibited weapon concealment around parks and playgrounds, and he noted that this right does not “extend beyond the home.” The Brady Center fought against the NRA’s challenge, declaring in a brief that studies demonstrate that persons under 21 may lack the same insights and judgment that adults possess. Furthermore, persons aged 18 to 20 fall within the range of the highest rates of homicide and criminal gun possession. Their brief effectively demonstrated the dangers of underage gun possession, helping to close this irrational case.

The issue of gun control is close to the University’s heart because of the incident involving an armed individual our campus faced in 2010. But even prior to this event, the issue of guns on campus was highly contentious, with many viewing the number of college shootings in recent years as clear evidence that guns should be prohibited on campus. As school becomes increasingly competitive around the country and mental health issues are becoming more common, allowing young adults to carry concealed weapons on campus would create a dangerous environment, threatening not just other students, faculty and staff but the weapon wielders themselves.

With the responsibility and potential dangers that come with concealed weapon privileges, the utmost precaution must be taken. The Lubbock judge was able to distinguish this fact without constructing constitutional rights.

Critics of the Texas law argue that 18-year-olds may enlist in the army and are responsible for carrying weapons at this age and that, consequently, all 18-year-olds should be afforded this privilege. This irrelevant argument attempts to equate a situation in which 18-year-olds are highly trained and supervised with a situation of an untrained 18-year-old interacting in normal settings with only a permit.

According to an analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , there were 1,547 gun-caused deaths in the United States among people between 18 and 19 years old during 2007, which illustrates the danger of gun use in this age group.

With recent assaults in West Campus calling for the need of a safer campus environment, permitting concealed weapons for young adults is not the answer. Increasing safety education and the use of programs such as UT’s SURE Walk will better ensure students’ safety. Moreover, working to raise awareness of stress and mental illness and removing the stigma surrounding seeking medical help in these cases will further improve the well-being of students. Fortunately, the federal court judge made the right call on this issue and thereby helped to increase our safety.

Waliany is a Plan II and government senior.

Big 12 Exchange

Scott Janssen, from left, a sophomore undeclared major from Oklahoma City, Collin Speciale, a junior community, family and addiction services major from San Angelo, Howard Monsour, a senior community, family and addiction services major from Hico and Grant Parker, from San Anglelo, make up the band Your Boyfriend Hates Us. (Brad Tollefson | The Daily Toreador)

Photo Credit: The Daily Toreador | Daily Texan Staff

It’s summertime in Lubbock and a local band is performing at a friend’s house. It’s loud. There are at least 50 people present, and the neighborhood 11:30 p.m. noise curfew approaches.

Host Wesley Farrow knows this and peeks through the front window blinds into the dark street. He notices two cops approaching.

The band plays its final notes as the cops bang on the front door, demanding an audience with the homeowner. Farrow opens the door, exposing the concert audience to the searching eyes of the authorities, whose expressions quickly change to confusion after a quick scan of the room.

“They had the weirdest looks on their faces when they realized there was no one drinking alcohol,” Farrow said, laughing.

“At first, they said we needed to leave, but after they saw everyone was sober, they told us we could stick around but to keep it down.”

Concerts with Lubbock-based pop-punk band, Your Boyfriend Hates Us, tend to lack the all too common stigma of drugs and alcohol lurking in the shadows of rock or the music industry in general. A stranger to the group could easily stereotype the four men as pot-smoking alcoholics on stage.

But the musicians, Collin Speciale, Scott Janssen, Grant Parker and Howard Monsour, play to a different standard: sobriety.

Singer and guitarist Speciale, along with bassist and vocalist Monsour, are members of Texas Tech’s nationally recognized Collegiate Recovery Community, a program run by the Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery. Parker and Janssen live sober, but they are not registered members of the community.

Speciale, a junior community, family and addiction services major from San Angelo, boasts two years of sobriety from an addiction to alcohol and OxyContin, a strong painkiller that also took over two of his bandmates’ lives.

“It’s easier to start using because it’s just a pill,” said keyboardist and vocalist Parker. “It’s as close as you can get to heroin.”

After hearing about Tech’s addiction center and the substantial scholarships offered, Speciale said he knew he wanted to be a part of it. Although not all four band members actively participate in the addiction community, the band’s beginnings can be attributed to relationships formed there, and the non-active members can still attend 12-step meetings open to the public.

“Basically, they have AA meetings, eating disorder meetings — whatever you’re in recovery for, [it’s] all in the center, five days a week,” Monsour, a senior community, family and addiction services major said. Then, for the community members themselves, more intimate group meetings become available to help cope with life without addiction.

Swimming upstream as a sober punk band, the group does not seem to find any problems living out the combination but sees backlash in terms of getting themselves out there.

“You’re not in the bars spending money, so the owners don’t see you or know who you are,” Janssen, a sophomore without a declared major said.

Because of the band’s absence from the bar scene, Speciale said they sometimes feel like outsiders looking into the music scene.

Monsour, however, has a unique perspective because of his previous memberships in bands where sobriety was not a focus.

“It only lasts for a certain point before we all start to hate each other,” he said. “It’s a lot easier to write, it’s a lot easier to get along, and a lot easier to get close with one another when you’re not high and drunk all the time because you really start to distance yourself, especially when you have this disease called addiction.”

George Comiskey, associate managing director of the center, expressed his appreciation for the band despite not personally knowing them.

“They do a good thing for our community in giving them an opportunity to see that you can be sober and still pursue your passions and do that in a way that’s healthy for someone who is in recovery,” he said.

Their success and eagerness to spend the rest of their college years sober in a public way puts a positive light on the center and sobriety, Comiskey said. The center’s student population is very supportive of them.

Although the band feels passionate about sobriety, they do not assume it is the case for anyone else, Monsour said. They do not pass any judgement or try to press their lifestyles on others.

“It’s pretty cool,” Parker said. “Everyone in this room is a stable individual in the community for sober people. So, for me, it’s like I’m with the people I want to surround myself with anyway.”

Printed on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 as: Pop-punk band champions sobriety.