Gameday Preview: Kansas State


Rebecca May, BA ’91, Life Member, is a Texas ex-pat living in Oregon while rooting for the Longhorns. An attorney by day, she blogs about college football by night as a regular contributor to gridirongirl. This post contains the opinions of one contributing writer; they do not reflect the views of the Texas Exes’ staff, board, or membership.

Hey, ‘Horns fans! The Kansas State Wildcats come to town tomorrow, already confident of yet another win against Coach Brown and the hapless Longhorns. Brown does not seem to have it in him to beat K State. But we’ll always have the 2013 Fiesta Bowl, where the Oregon Ducks embarrassed Heisman candidate (LOL) Collin Klein and the Wildcats with a 35-17 drubbing. Maybe I’ll just watch that game again instead?

Folks, it’s likely that Texas will lose a third straight game this week. I hesitate to make many predictions. David Ash did practice this week, but he is questionable for the game. “Magic” Mike Davis has an ankle injury, and it’s uncertain whether he will play. And, worst of all, Daje Johnson is out this week as well. The O-line has injuries. They’re a walking M*A*S*H unit.

And the defense … well, we’ll see how things go tomorrow. Not coating your hands in butter is a good start toward actually tackling.

Here are five things Texas can do to begin hauling itself back from the abyss:

1. LEARN HOW TO DEFEND AGAINST THE READ-OPTION OFFENSE. Really, this is key to any future Texas victories. The option offense beat Texas badly the last two weeks. There are many flavors of the option, but Texas had the most trouble with the read-option. Basically, the option is a scheme that allows the QB to choose among many options (thus the name), depending on how the play develops. Some types of option schemes involve the QB choosing whether to throw or hand off the ball. Some are running plays disguised as passing plays, leaving the choice of ball carrier to the QB. Some schemes spread out the offense, and therefore the defense—called a “spread-option.” You get it. The scheme that is killing Texas, and is sure to be employed by K State, is the read-option.

The read-option is a type of spread offense. Once the ball is snapped, the QB “reads” the defensive end or linebacker and decides whether to hand the ball off to a running back, or keep the ball himself. Whoever has the best open running lane gets the ball. Texas was gashed over and over for big yardage with this play, and seems unable to stop it. If Texas can’t stop the run, this season is toast.

The key? Tackling “in space,” meaning once the ball carrier is in the open field. Or frankly, tackling at all.

2. Play Tyrone Swoopes instead of Case McCoy. Free Swoopes! Let the freshman play! This is predicated on David Ash not playing, of course. At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, Swoopes should remind you of Vince Young. Since he has far fewer snaps than Case McCoy, the play-calling will necessarily be limited. However, three effective plays is far better than 10 plays that go nowhere but puntsville. McCoy came on strong in the first half last week, then sputtered. That simply can’t happen anymore.

3. Play four complete quarters of football. The end.

4. Throw caution to the wind and hire a new head coach. By that, I mean just decide this season is over and who cares anymore? Brown is definitely on the hot seat, and he feels it. At this point, sadly, I must concede that Brown had some great highs, but the lows are going on far too long. It’s over, and the team needs to move on.

Hopefully this will attract a likely candidate. You know, someone who wants to coach. Don’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling! Contrary to popular belief, leaving the NFL to coach at the college level is not necessarily a step back. Oil- and cash-rich Texas can certainly afford the best coach out there. Besides, just ask Nick Saban how humiliated he feels about his NFL record right now. Go on, I’ll wait.

5. Brown and DeLoss Dodds pop out of a large, beautifully decorated box on the 50-yard-line and yell, “PSYCH!” They let everyone in on the secret: the whole thing was a test. Surprise! We passed! Then we’re swept off to Football Valhalla where we all have stadium seats with backs and all the snacks we can eat. No one knows who the Aggies are, and Saban asks Brown for recruiting advice. The season starts over, and Texas wins everything, including the Kentucky Derby and Stanley Cup.

No, I am not on prescription meds—except for my ulcer.

I’ll be watching from the fallout shelter with my whisky-soaked tee shirt at the ready. Hook ’em!

Photo courtesy UT Athletics.


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