Greetings, ’Horns fans! I bet you’re wondering where I’ve been. OK, maybe two or three of you. Since my recent trip, I’ve become obsessed with genealogical research. Warning: it is as addictive as World of Warcraft, but without the human interaction that online gaming brings. I knew I reached a crisis point when I became unreasonably excited about discovering a relative who was hanged as a witch. I’m taking a break from looking up dead people, with football.
So let’s talk about that garbage football game from last weekend. What was that? So much garbage! Garbage on the offense! Garbage on the defense! Malarkey! Poor play calling! Being outcoached by Kansas, the worst team in the Big 12. Playing any team at home gives them the advantage. But let’s be real here for a second. Kansas? They have literally no real weapons, yet Texas made them look GOOD. Again, I say: Malarkey! I still don’t know what happened.
I did find a great image someone took last Saturday, that represents the ferocity that both the offense and defense brought to their gameplay.
What I am sure of is that Texas has some coaching problems. As you know, I’ve been willing to heap all the blame on Manny Diaz. Repeatedly. I’m still willing to blame Coach Diaz, but I now realize that all this poo flows uphill to Coach Brown. He’s ultimately in charge, and the team is struggling.
I saw an article in Bleacher Report that got directly to the point: Coach Brown has spent the last few years half-rebuilding. It’s not working. To rebuild the team, you have to sacrifice an entire season. The coaches must give up the idea that you can have a winning team and rebuild at the same time. You must commit to losing, and rebuild from the ground up, for one season. Coach Brown has been half-sacrificing the team for a couple of years, and the results are terrible. The results took the field against Kansas and stunk up the joint.
Texas slithered out with a win, from a clutch play at the last minute against a terrible opponent. That does not bode well for this week’s match-up.
I expect a gut-punching, helmet-flinging ball game. At this point in the season, after the absolutely schizophrenic performance of the ’Horns, I just plan to sit back and see what unfolds. Which Texas team will show up? The team that almost beat WVU and was in it until the end? Or the wispy fluffs of cotton candy that showed up against Kansas? I’m just hoping they can make a game of it.
Let’s talk statistics, but first, a weird fact. Tech is debuting its “Lone Star Pride” uniforms against Texas. No word what they will look like, but I assume they’re referring to the beer.
Just kidding: I found an image, and they’re underwhelming. Don’t say I never did anything for you.
Tech comes into the game as the favorite for a change, predicted to win by 6.5 points. They’ve dropped 11 of the last 13 games to Texas. They’re probably feeling pretty confident right now, especially after the blistering ineptitude of Texas last week. Seth Doege is underplaying it all, pretending they’re concerned about Texas, trying not to sound too confident.
Then he goes in the locker room and laughs until all his muscles hurt. Doege has a 70 percent completion rate for over 2500 yards. That’s a lot. David Ash has racked up a respectable 68.7 percent completion rate and thrown for over 1700 yards. And the discrepancy is not because Tech only has a passing game, although the team is ranked 3rd in the nation for passing yards. Their running backs have rushed for more yards than the ‘Horns’. Tech is 11th in the nation for total offense. Where is Texas? Way down at 38th.
Texas’ defense has been lit up by every offense it played, being shredded for over 200 yards per game on average. That’s the worst in the league!
Tech is not some invulnerable monster. They’re not Godzilla, although they might suffer from radiation poisoning. Texas has its strengths, and when the team fires on all cylinders, good things happen. Last week, Ash was off. Way off. Like, his brain was back in Austin hanging out at Scholz’s, watching it all on TV. Coach Brown is committed to starting Ash, despite Case McCoy’s heroics at the end of that miserable crap of a game. If Ash is on, the offense has an opportunity to make some things happen.
Human battering ram and part-time spirit animal Johnathan Gray has a personal stake in Saturday’s contest. His father, James Gray, played for Tech from 1986-1989, and piled up over 4,000 rushing yards–second-most in school history. Johnathan expressed interest in lighting up the Tech defense for some yardage of his own. He continues to show himself as a mature player, handling the ball well, making some big plays. If Tech has a vulnerability, it’s perhaps to a strong running game. Here’s hoping Johnathan takes it up the middle for one million yards. Repeatedly.
Jordan Hicks and Malcolm Brown are still sidelined with injuries. The offense has spare weapons, but the defense does not. Coach Brown said this week he is focused on the defense now, because they are struggling.
You already know, Tech is favored by 6.5. The over/under is 67 points, so it sounds like a high-scoring contest is expected. Bet wisely, children.
Here’s hoping for a Saturday Surprise, and not the bad kind! Hook ’em!
Photo courtesy Texas Athletics