Texas drops to 4-5 on the season after they lose to #8 TCU, 7-24 in Fort Worth. Here are some quick thoughts on the tough loss.
1. Sloppy start cost the Longhorns
On the very first drive of the game Texas spotted TCU 30 yards in penalties. That is not something you can do, and it was exacerbated by Texas getting -15 yards of total offense on the next two drives. This slow, ugly start allowed TCU the ability to get a quick 17 points on Texas. With a cleaner start on both sides of the ball, Texas is possibly only down by 3 going into the half. However, the undisciplined start and sloppy offense killed the game before it even started.
2. Offensive Line problems are still killing Texas
Shane Buechele was sacked 7 times, 3 official QB hits, and knocked down a dozen or two more times. TCU got 12 tackles for loss through the front. If one thing is apparent, it is that the offensive line is atrocious. But does that mean that Texas should have no offense? No. Quick slants, bubble screens, keep deep routes, and RB screens could work. And they were working in the first half. Texas at one point had 211 yards of offense with 200 of them coming through the air. Tim Beck spread the ball around to 11 different receivers with the bulk of plays going to Collin Johnson and Lil’Jordan Humphrey. Even the running back, young Daniel Young, was getting it done by breaking off 5-yard runs. Every part of the offense was clicking… except the offensive line. Texas could not block the four-man front of TCU. The game plan wasn’t bad until they went away from it due to Shane Buechele taking a Rocky type beating and TCU adjusting to dropping 8 guys into coverage. Even up until the end, Shane was fighting trying to give his big wide receivers jump balls, but he just didn’t have enough time and was so shell shocked from hit after hit, that he couldn’t deliver them correctly. I understand what the offense is trying to do at times, but the offensive line just makes the offense so inept and it’s infuriating to no end. Please come back for WVU, Connor Williams.
3. This defense can keep Texas in any game
Like I said up top, the defense got off to a slow start. Kenny Hill got 141 yards to start the game. After that first quarter, Texas held the TCU QB to 41 yards. They kept Texas in the game with the #8 team in the country and the best defense Texas will line up against that isn’t on the practice field. TCU entered the game averaging 37.2 points per game overall and 48.3 points per game at home. Texas’ defense held the Horned Frogs to 24 points. TCU was averaging 446.4 yards per game and 251.4 passing yards per game. The UT defense held the Horned Frogs to 343 yards and just 166 through the air. Aside from that 1st quarter and a late TD scamper on a 4th and 1 (that happens), this defense was lights out once again vs another top 10 team. Fortunately, it only seems like they’ll be losing a few key players like Poona Ford, Malik Jefferson, DeShon Elliott, and Holton Hill to the draft (guesses). Hopefully, Texas will be able to fill those spots with Gerald Wilbon, who had a tremendous double-team beat for a sack, Gary Johnson, Chris Brown, and take-your-pick CB.
4. Special teams are good!… except field goals.
Michael Dickson is insane. He placed a ball on the 15-yard line while standing in his own end zone. He’s a treasure. If he doesn’t win the Ray Guy, then I’m calling Mafia style meddling.
A blocked punt set the offense up with some phenomenal field position.
Josh Rowland is struggling. He obviously was told to put a little more leg under his kick to keep it from the waiting hands of the defense. Except, he doesn’t have enough leg to do that. Please save up Dicker the Kicker.
5. The season is not over
I’ve already seen people lamenting that they don’t think the Kansas game will be an easy win and even think Kansas will win. While this 17 point loss is the biggest margin of loss for Herman on his first year… Slow down folks. While the loss in Fort Worth was ugly, it was not unexpected. As I said above Texas just faced the toughest defense they will all season with the best and deepest defensive line in the Big XII. Now that the toughest part of the schedule is behind Texas, the Longhorns have 3 very winnable game ahead of them. Take two of them and you’re in a bowl game. Kansas just got destroyed by a Baylor team Texas destroyed a week ago. Texas Tech and West Virginia will be tougher games (especially WVU), but this defense gives Texas the ability to be in any game. It ain’t over yet.
What are your thoughts on the game? Let us know!