b The Longhorn Mafia <$BlogRSDURL$>

Friday, October 15, 2004

Longhorns: Picking Up the Pieces 

So we got beat last Saturday. In some ways it was much worse than the 12-0 score would indicate, but in others it wasn't quite as bad. You could say that OU dominated the Horns (and they did), but for all of their domination, Texas had a chance as late as the mid-fourth quarter to pull ahead.

I've avoided discussing the game all week, because no matter what stance I take I look like I'm either whining or piling on. Believe me, plenty of Texas fans are doing one or the other. Who wants to read anymore of that? You don't, I'm sure, and I don't want to write it.

The point is: Texas had a chance to end four years of frustration and they didn't get the job done. Now we're a week into year number five. As I wrote last week, however, this isn't the end of our season.

Yes Texas lost to Oklahoma again. Anyone care to remember what happened the week after each of those losses (home team in italics)

10/7- #11 Oklahoma 63, #10 Texas 14
10/14- #25 Texas 28, Colorado 14

10/6- #3 Oklahoma 14, #5 Texas 3
10/13- #11 Texas 45, Oklahoma St. 17

10/12- #2 Oklahoma 35, #3 Texas 24
10/19- #8 Texas 17, #17 Kansas St. 14

10/11- #3 Oklahoma 65, #11 Texas 13
10/18- #20 Texas 40, Iowa St. 19

Since 2000, Texas has only lost four times after the Oklahoma game:

2000- #8 Oregon 35, #12 Texas 30 (Holiday Bowl)
2001- #9 Colorado 39, #3 Texas 37 (Big XII Championship)
2002- Texas Tech 42, #4 Texas 38
2003- Washington St. 28, #5 Texas 20 (Holiday Bowl)

Two of those were in bowl games that we clearly had no interest in, one was on the road against a team who's whole season keys on that game, and the other a game in which our quarterback played the worst game of his life.

Unless Vince Young turns the ball over five times tomorrow and Phillip Geiggar runs into the punter to keep a Mizzou drive alive in the fourth quarter, we're not going to lose. Texas, for whatever reason, turns it up a notch once they lose to OU. It defies logic; you'd think they'd peak when playing the Sooners, not the week after, but it's been the case for four years.

I saw an interesting post from Kris at Dummocrats, whose taking a break from politics to talk football. She says:

Missouri at Texas: Last week was the first time I've watched Longhorn football. I was completely unimpressed. I think they are a very poorly coached team. In their loss to Oklahoma, they committed way too many costly personal fouls. Not only that, they just gave up during Oklahoma's final drive. I don't think it's a question of their talent, it's a question of their heart and discipline. And that is a direct reflection of their coaching. I'll take Missouri in an upset.
She's right that Texas is a poorly coached team, at least in regard to the unimaginative offense that showed up in the Cotton Bowl. I think our defensive scheme worked well. Adrian Peterson went Rashaan Salaam on us, but what did he do in the red zone? We gave up the run to stop Jason White and the Sooner passing game that torched us a year before, and we did it well. White barely threw for 100 yards. So I'm not going to discount the gameplan that Greg Robinson devised, which incidentally kept us in the game for three-and-a-half quarters, despite not putting any points on the board.

Heart is also not a problem for this team. Derrick Johnson, for one, is all heart. He's going to win the Butkus in a landslide and he's going to make some NFL team very happy next April. We just made too many mistakes (e.g., fumbles at inopportune times) and tried to be too vanilla with the playbook.

In short I'm sure that Kris is not alone in her assessment of Texas football, and some of the points she mentioned are true, which is alarming as they came after one viewing. But I would go so far as to guarantee that Missouri doesn't come close to beating Texas on Saturday.

We've been here before. Four times. We've beaten better teams than Missouri, on the road, after worse losses. Sure they have Brad Smith and he's talented, but he's not any better than Arkansas' Matt Jones. We'll contain him. Look for Derrick Johnson to have yet another big game.

Anyone that expects Texas to half-ass it on Saturday just hasn't watched enough Mack Brown football (and I can't really blame them). With the Oklahoma monster in the rearview mirror, the Horns will come out this weekend and make us all wonder "where that was last week." The offense will move the ball, the defense will make the stops, and we'll continue on in the season like we never even went to Dallas a week ago. Sure we'll probably drop another game somewhere along the line, but it won't be the Missouri Tigers on the other end.

That's Texas Football for you, for better or worse.

Texas 31, Missouri 16


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