Posted: 1:27 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013
By Wescott Eberts
"There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship smoke on the horizon
You are only coming through in waves
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying
The dream is gone
And I have become
-- Pink Floyd, "Comfortably Numb"
Early in the fourth quarter, as the Longhorns tried to rally from a 37-23 deficit, a short pass from senior quarterback Case McCoy to junior wide receiver Jaxon Shipley earned a needed first down. Two plays later, junior running back Malcolm Brown knocked into McCoy's arm as he readied to throw a pass, leading to a fumble recovered by the visiting Rebels.
What else could be a more perfect encapsulation of where the Texas football team is right now?
McCoy managed the game in a way that he hasn't probably throughout his career, still taking some risks that ended up as near-interceptions, but avoiding the bad decisions that have plagued him since he threw over 100 passes as a Longhorn before one fell into the hands of an opponent.
Yet, it didn't matter -- at a defining moment in the game, there was nothing but the type of bumbling failure that is Texas football right now.
Sorting out and making sense of the Texas Longhorns falling 44-23 to the Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday night depends in large part upon assessing the expectations heading into the game.
Was it a must-win for head coach Mack Brown after yet another debacle last weekend that ranked among the worst losses in the last 20 years of Texas football, an ignominious distinction that nonetheless faces a great deal of competition over the last four seasons?
Or was such a loss as this merely the expectation heading into the game?
Either way, it was hard to feel anything during the game. I'm comfortably numb. There was a moment at the end of the first half when things were trending positively with the defense showing some fight and play caller Major Applewhite managing Case McCoy's limitations effectively when it felt like maybe there was a chance. The possibility of something to feel good about amid the wreckage of Mack Brown's Texas Football.
And then reality reared its ugly head as Ole Miss made adjustments and scored on two long drives offensively to start the half and the limited Texas offense stalled four times before McCoy's fumble through no fault of his own. But even including that last drive, the Horns gained only 16 yards on the four drives after the seven-play, 41-yard drive to open the half produced a punt.
What is there to say?
Kudos to McCoy for managing the game in a way that he hasn't recently? Kudos to Greg Robinson and a defense that competed and even found some success at times?
The same tired refrain from Brown that this is unacceptable? And, by the way, the Texas head coach opted to avoid saying that this time. Which is something, I guess.
Anger is an emotion that has left the building like hang-dog Texas players after failing to defend their home field once again -- It's far past that point.
And words for this?
It just seems pointless -- keystrokes with no meaning. The only thing that matters is the expedition of Mack Brown's removal as the head coach at Texas.
In the sense that yet another home loss furthers that end, there's a cynically numb side that sees this game as nothing but a success.
Perhaps that says more about the current state of affairs than anything else. Past that, the words are hard to come by.
What else is there to say?