FROM THE STANDS: K State Review

We are friends, so I’ll be honest: that was one of the worst Texas Longhorn football games that I can remember seeing. I am big on comparisons as you know, I don’t have one for this game. It was just garbage from start to finish. Penalties, missed tackles, missed blocks, missed throws, dropped passes, bad play calls, bad spots, bad officiating, bad defense, bad angles … All of it was an F. In fact I was saying that quite a bit on Saturday.

This is the angriest I’ve been at a Texas loss this season. I am tired of hearing about “how young” everyone is. It’s game eight. The young guys that have been playing since September aren’t really young anymore. These mistakes need to stop, because they aren’t a product of youth anymore, they are just mistakes. I am angry for a lot of reasons. I am angry because I was wrong about this game (I don’t like being wrong). I am angry at some of the plays called. I am angry at some of the personnel groupings. I am angry about upperclassmen mistakes. I am angry about underclassmen mistakes. Mostly, though, I am angry that this team isn’t further along than they are, that they can regress this far after the positive momentum from the last three weeks … But I guess that’s what I get for finding the good in a loss. This team has a LONG way to go to get to bowl eligibility. I thought they had a great chance to get one step closer this week, but they completely fell apart and made no steps forward. Of course I realize a big part of this was the No.11 team in the nation, at home, and I could be overreacting completely.

This is like Soprano’s- style therapy for me. So let me get it out, Carm.


TEXAS 0 No.11 KANSAS STATE 23

That was the first time Texas was shutout since the ou game in 2004. The Horns seemed to be right there, like against BYU and Baylor, for the entire first half before blown coverages doomed them. And then more mistakes in the third. And the fourth. It was as ugly a game as I’ve seen Texas play, and if the defense falls apart like last week it gets really ugly. But make no mistake — it was ugly.


Initial Reactions

My initial reaction is pure, white-hot anger. Here’s why I am mad:

  • Tyrone Swoopes was off. He had guys open, but he missed them. He threw into coverage. He underthrew the deep ball. He ran tentatively too often. He needed to take a step forward, but instead he took a step back.
  • The best running back on the field for Texas was D’Onta Foreman. Why didn’t he play more?
  • And why is Foreman, who has played about 10 plays more than me this fall, the key man on the botched reverse?
  • The offensive line was garbage.
  • The defensive ends were lost too many times.
  • Jake Waters played “Find 21” way too many times.
  • How was that not pass interference on K-State in the second quarter when the guy pushed Jaxon Shipley in the face early, with his back to the ball, at the goal line? The referee was right there. What are you looking at? And how IN THE WORLD did Texas not get the first down on the fourth down after that review? If you don’t see that he was on the K-State defender’s head, you are too stupid to be dressing yourself and going outside without supervision. The holding call on Cam’rhon Hughes in the second quarter was also brutal, because there was no holding. Big 12 officiating is horrendous.
  • Back to that fourth down play Texas didn’t get on the review, if Darius James blocks ANYONE on that play, there is no need for a review. That was “get off my field, McLean!” awful. If you were me, you’d understand just how bad that was.
  • Nauseating third down defense. How do you lose, TWICE, the best receiver in the Big 12 (TWICE!) on third and long. Is Quandre Diggs the best db on the team? Why is Duke Thomas covering Tyler Lockett? Why is Dylan Haines so late on the safety support? Why aren’t you stomping Private Pyle’s guts out?

Just awful.


The Good

So the Town & Country Warriors South traveled to Georgetown, to play the first place Georgetown Patriots. After trading scores to start the game, my favorite corner-turned-defensive-end went elementary school JJ Watt with two sacks, two TFL’s and a fumble recovery. Even still, after a Warriors turnover led to a Patriots’ td, it was 13-12 bad guys. Another fumble set up Georgetown at the Warriors 45, but on a qb run the Warrior’s safety stripped him and returned it for a touchdown. A stop by the D (our new DE chased the qb out of the pocket on third and fourth downs) gave the ball back to T&C, and they ran out the clock. Ball game. They went ON THE ROAD and knocked off the top team in the league. That’s how you do it, Coach Strong.


The Bad

Everything. Two penalties on the opening drive set the tone for the day, and that tone was “suck.”


The In Between

I almost ran out of gas going to Georgetown Eastview High School. You know what’s by Georgetown Eastview High School? Cows. Cows don’t sell gas. That was almost a problem.

As one of my professors told me, “There is nothing you’ve done here that is good.” No one passes this week, so keep that in mind. Here’s all the F’s I saw on Saturday:


Offensive Line:
Absolutely brutal. I didn’t see any push, and movement and I saw a substandard pass rush harass and hit Tyrone Swoopes way too often. How many times do the tackles give up lookout blocks before they get help or get replaced? Brutal. I’ve been on an o-line that’s played this badly, and it’s going to be a long week of practice next week, and for very good reason.


Wide Outs/Tight Ends:
My wife and her friends say “guh!” when something bad happens. So, guh! Seniors Jaxon Shipley and John Harris dropped as many as they caught: Shipley couldn’t get a foot down on a long sideline pass and Harris dropped a first down catch as well. Shipley let a long pass that he should have caught hit his facemask, and that non-call on the Shipley-at-the-end-zone play was BRUTAL.

K-State’s pass defense was shredded  by Trevor Knight, and the Horns could do NOTHING to exploit it. If it wasn’t a bad throw it was a dropped ball. Big fat F.


Running Backs:
Is it me or does it seem the Texas backs just can’t break any tackles? J. Gray and Malcolm Brown were close a few times, but they just couldn’t separate. D’Onta Forman was the best back on the field Saturday for Texas, but not the best handoff-er. That was the nail, that fumble. Texas was driving and that play, run with a true freshman, was catastrophic when Texas fumbled. Why is he running that play, and why did Tyrone Swoopes say “I don’t know” in the post-game press conference when asked if that play was supposed to be a handoff? You don’t know? WHAT?

I watched K-State’s back break tackles and make plays. I watched Texas’ backs get tackled and fumble.


Quarterbacks:
That was a massive step back. He was late, he was short and he was high, which are killers when a quarterback passes. But more than that, he made some really poor decisions. I saw at least three times he was WIDE OPEN to run, yet he forced a bad pass or handed it off to a back, which inevitably was a short run or no gain.

It has to get better. The progress of the last few weeks was not evident on Saturday. This is the sort of game where you end up at tight end, a la Blake Bell.

No more back steps. Only forward.


Defensive Line:
I thought there were too many times the ends got: A) completely blocked and taken out of the play, B) attacked the wrong gap, or C) just missed the tackle. Malcom Brown and Hassan Ridgeway had solid games, but the ends were at best average. And the pass rush seemed to disappear. ALL DAY.


Linebackers:
Whew. 11 tackles from Jordan Hicks, but far too many times they didn’t get deep enough on drops in coverage, didn’t get Jake Waters down when he ran … didn’t make plays. This is an experienced unit, but it didn’t really show on Saturday.


Secondary:
Awful. Texas was so worried about getting beat deep that they gave up 10 yards underneath the entire game. AND they got beat deep. Again, HOW DO YOU LOSE THE BEST RECEIVER IN THE BIG 12, TWICE, ON 3RD & LONG? How do you lose anyone twice on 3rd & long? I saw busted coverages, no coverages and late reads ALL DAY. Did you guys watch the film from last week? Last year? They throw it to Lockett. A lot.

The numbers allowed look decent, but considering Waters threw for about 140 yards and five first downs on third down, it’s not very good. At all.


Special Teams:
I guess the good news is special teams were not a factor? I did see, on one kickoff return, Marcus Johnson and Jacorey Warrick both let the same guy come through clean to tackle Roderick Bernard on about the 10-yard line. Seriously, do you guys practice this stuff?


So …

I am not super happy or positive right now. I’m angry. I understand that youth, inexperience and whatever are all factors in this loss, as is a damn good team in Kansas State. But for the first time in the Charlie Strong era, I expected more and didn’t get it. There are athletic deficiencies in every phase of the game, and Texas better address those issues right now in recruiting or this will happen again.

The staff doesn’t get a pass, either. I have no idea why Texas didn’t throw more at the ailing Jake Waters, and how do you run that reverse with a freshman that’s played 10 plays? Guh.

 

LAST WEEK IN THE BIG 12

No.12 BAYLOR (6-1/ 3-1)   IDLE

No.17 oklahoma (5-2/ 3-1)   IDLE

KANSAS (2-5/0-4)   IDLE

IOWA STATE (2-5/0-4)   IDLE

No.22 WEST VIRGINIA 34  Oklahoma State 10
As I thought. OSU is not great and WVA is pretty good. The difference in this game was the two Oklahoma State turnovers. And the extra 24 Mountaineer points. Those two things.

TEXAS TECH 27 No.10 TCU 82
Oh, my God. It was as bad as it sounds. TCU had 785 yards of offense (480 passing, 305 rushing) and Trevone Boykin had seven touchdowns. It was a Big 12 record for points in a conference game and, oh yeah, Tech’s starting quarterback was knocked out of the game with a pretty ugly looking ankle/knee injury. You know how many times TCU scored 82 more points in basketball last year? Once. I’m telling you, I think Kingsbury needs a strong finish to hold on to his job.
Back on Thursday with a better attitude and a Tech preview.

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