Photo from Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Texas gets win number 7, its first winning season since 2013, and its first bowl win since 2012 when Texas won the Alamo Bowl vs Oregon State. With the 33-16 win over Mizzou and their potent offense, Texas ends off the season on an actual good note for the first time since that Alamo Bowl. So with that said…
– It feels good to be a winning team again
Texas is a winning football program. Soak it in. Winning a bowl game is an excellent launching pad to the offseason and just… it just feels good. Texas now has momentum going into a crucial recruiting season, gets some belief back into the program, and gets the players some belief in themselves and their coach. Much needed after a rocky first year for Tom Herman.
– Give Todd Orlando ALL of the money
Texas was missing Chris Nelson, Holton Hill, Malik Jefferson, and DeShon Elliott. Todd Orlando rallied the troops and let Texas play fast, high-flying defense that had Mizzou QB Drew Lock running all over the field.
Texas held Mizzou’s powerful run game to under 4 yards per carry and forced a fumble that was returned for a touchdown (the 8th non-offensive touchdown of the season).
Despite the 79-yard hiccup to start the second half and few breakdowns, the Texas secondary was pretty sturdy. Kris Boyd had a nice PBU and Davante Davis looked great against some solid competition. PJ Locke also looks like he will be a great plug and play at the boundary safety position. Holding the QB leading the nation in passing touchdowns to 1 touchdown is impressive.
Mizzou may have been missing their stud OC, but besides that Texas held the #10 to 16 points, 3-14 on third down, and forced 4 turnovers. Finished off the game with a turnover. That’s just this Texas defense
This defense is what next year’s team will look like and that’s exciting.
– I already miss Michael Dickson
He won the MVP of the bowl game for a reason. Michael Dickson’s punts tonight:
Yardage (yard where downed)
Mizzou has an average starting field position behind the 15 yard line. 11 punts, 10 inside 15, 7 inside 10, and no touchbacks all while averaging 41.1 yards/punt. That was just this game. Michael Dickson deserved the MVP this game and it wasn’t even close.
The Ray Guy award winner may be the best special team player to walk into the Texas program and that’s saying something. Watching him boom punts or finesse punts inside the 5 was a wonderful thing for the past 3 years. He’s going to make an NFL team very happy. He was this team’s MVP all season long.
– Don’t get cocky
While Texas did win, Mizzou was allergic to winning. They started off the game with 45 yards if penalties, had a safety, fumbled the ball away for six, dropped a PAT, dropped some big balls, and didn’t capitalize when it mattered. Texas did take advantage of Mizzou’s mistakes, but it’s a toss up between Mizzou giving the game away and Texas winning it.
While the offense did get 21 points, which is an improvement, it did so against a lackluster defense and stalled out way too much for the field position they had.
The offense still looked better with the ability to block. Having a competent LT in there made a difference. Certainly made Patrick Vahe look a lot better.
– But still be excited
That game was basically a preview of what Texas will be seeing in 2018. Daniel Young is an impressive running back and made Mizzou pay all night long. This WR corps is coming back missing just a few guys. I don’t think there is a wrong decision between Shane and Sam. The OL will be missing Connor Williams, but they looked competent which is a huge step forward and are bringing back more guys than it seems.
Given Chris Nelson comes back, the DL will be going into next season missing Poona Ford but just fine. Omenihu, Hager, and Roach off the edges is just nasty. The LBs looked just fine without Malik Jefferson after Gary Johnson had a coming out party. The DBs returning next year all looked pretty darn solid. Add that to the young crop of DB talent arriving pretty soon. With Todd Orlando at the helm I’m pretty excited there.
Texas ends off the season with momentum, a win, a great recruiting class, and reestablished faith. Tom Herman has to be as happy as his players. Be just as happy Longhorns fans. Winning is hard and Texas won a bowl game. Celebrate!