Posted: 1:42 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013
By Wescott Eberts
"We've got Kansas State, and we can get all this righted by winning the Big 12 championship."
This type of foolish garbage prompted someone on Twitter to seriously ask me if Brown has early-onset Alzheimer's.
"For some reason, we didn't play consistently well in the second half, and we've got to go back and figure out why."
Typically, these things happen because of halftime adjustments -- the things that good coaches do during the 15-minute break between halves to give their teams the best chance of winning in the second half. Maybe there was just no way that a Texas offense that was schemed not to lose could continue producing points. Maybe this team just isn't any good.
Things also snowballed when the Rebels started to take the lead and could sit back in coverage as Texas had to throw the ball more often to attempt to make up the deficit, which was not a good situation for the Horns to be in with Case McCoy at quarterback.
"We actually came in and just made one change and tried to stay with them. They were hitting the zone on us and bouncing it out the back and we were able to pursue a little bit so we started bringing a guy down weak side away from the backs and lineman. We stopped the zone play and made them give us third-and-longs and they're uncomfortable with that, just like anybody is, and we got a little rush on them then. The other thing, believe it or not, we just said, 'Hey, look I know we're young, but let's go out and play our base defense and see if our kids can compete. Just line up and play base with the exception of the zone adjustment,' and they did."
One of the most positive things from the game was the ability of Texas to run inside zone effectively, which had been a major weakness through the first two games. There's something to build on there if David Ash returns next week and can once again threaten defenses vertically, though the injury to senior wide receiver Mike Davis, which looked to be some type of leg injury, doesn't bode well for that. Not to mention the fact that sophomore offensive weapon Daje Johnson will likely be out for several more weeks.
"Got back ahead, had a great opportunity that we blew at the 1-yard line with the motion penalty, in fact, had two motion penalties and had to kick a field goal which cost us four points. Also allowing them to get three points right before the half to take momentum into the half was really critical."
What type of teams commit silly penalties at the doorstep of the end zone? Teams that lack discipline, as Curry Shoff noted in his Sunday Morning Optimist. Then the defense gave up a field goal and the Longhorns lost their hard-earned momentum and was never really in the game after that.
"I don't know. That's something we'll have to go back and look at it. We've had it for two weeks. I thought the effort was better tonight. They kept fighting and kept competing. We've got to have guys continue to make plays when things aren't going well. When we lose our momentum, we're having trouble getting it back. Somebody has to step up and make those plays."
So at least Brown thinks the team is trying harder, which seemed to be the case when watching it live. Maybe there's some pride there after all.
"It doesn't. It doesn't change. If we win the Big 12, go back and win every game, they're all excited. A lot of the recruits are here tonight, and they'll see that we played hard. Sometimes they'll think they can help us and they'll be excited about coming."
"We all have confidence. What I think it is is that we sometimes get on such a high and when we do we need to learn how to stay there. Sometimes we will just drop real low. So I think it is that high that we need to learn to stay on but confidence is not a question. We all have confidence."
The bolded statement is quite candid and makes it sound as if this team just doesn't deal with adversity particularly well, which is something that has characterized the team in recent seasons, though they did manage to overcome the early deficit to take the lead late in the first half.
"The degree to which Mack Brown continues to resist inevitability will determine ten years from now whether we can look back upon him fondly as a healer and program rebuilder or if he'll be a permanent object of scorn and derision who chose to wear the martyr's mantle of "serving the kids" while selfishly seeking a delusional BCS-Bowl-Ride-Into-The-Sunset faerie tale ending to his own personal narrative. He can't fix this. He broke it."
Brown seems to have a high capacity to resist the inevitable. It's one of the most pathetic things about a program that is increasingly pathetic. But also pitiful -- rival fans that once laughed at the failures of the Longhorns now think it's just sad.
And it is. Really f****** sad.