No Excuses For This Meltdown, Horns!
Needed a blocked punt early in the second half to tie the game at 21-21? That's Texas football. They lead in nation in blocked kicks since 2000. It's to be expected.
Being on top of the fake punt getting a sack instead of giving up the punt. If K-State punts, it is blocked. Once again, Texas Football. It's expected.
Colt McCoy getting hurt in the first quarter. Two reasons this is no excuse. First, It took Texas, with its supposedly All-American offensive line, four tries to get the ball in the end zone from the half yard line. They were forced to go with the QB keeper which led to the injury. Second, Jevan Snead found a major groove late in the third quarter but his receivers started dropping balls and the defense folded in the clutch. This was not about the quarterback. Not as much as I'd thought it'd be anyway.
This was about piss poor play. I think the Horns got cocky. They'd lost Vince Young. Lost Ramonce Taylor. Lost to Ohio State. But saw the teams in front of them falling like flies and Colt McCoy emerge as a real threat. I don't know if it is looking past the opponent, but it very well could have been. It, however, may also have been reacting poorly to losing your team leader early in the game. This was a team that leaned heavily on Vince Young for two years, then found it could count on Colt in the clutch. When he was out, who knew who to turn to in that moment. But no excuse. Winners rally together.
Losers do the things Texas did throughout this game. They do things like allowing a long kick return inside your own 5-yard line after posting the go-ahead TD in the first quarter. Do things like getting completely outworked in the trenches all game. Do things like biting on back-to-back tailback passes to allow a score after tying the game early in the third. They fumble, fumble, and allow a blocked kick on consectutive drives resulting in three unanswered TD's by the opponent. They do things like allow the drive for the game-clinching field goal just after your backup QB led the charge down the field to pull you within one touchdown.
Now, I can't say I didn't see a game like this coming. We've seen Texas put the ball on the ground with regularity. They have lacked serious disciplne in this area. The main culprits are the sorry excuses for tailbacks Texas runs out there every week. Don't get me wrong. Jamal Charles and Selvin Young are great athletes. But when you put the ball on the ground that often, you make yourself worthless. You create a situation where a team can't lean on you with the backup QB thrust into the game because you can't be trusted. Instead of controling the clock and keeping the game close, you are having to come back from 21-down.
So I can't accept this season simply based on preseason expectations. Those tempered expectations were due to QB uncertainty. Once that question was answered, we should have expected to at least be in the championship game. Instead, the Horns secondary has come up way short this season. Even tonight, Snead was not the reason for the loss. He didn't play great until late. But he did what any QB seeing his first meaningful action has to do. Avoid the critical error. Something his mates made up for tonight. I could accept another loss against a team that deserved it or just proved it was a better team. But K-State, despite mostly great play from freshman QB Josh Freeman, littered the field with their own mistakes. And Texas still managed to give the game away.
So no acceptance here. No pat on the back for the players. They failed. Had a golden opportunity fall in their lap and gave it away like it was 2001 all over again.
Give me tailbacks that hold onto the ball. Give me receivers that can hold onto a pass. Give me safeties that can cover a damn receiver. (Who are they, the Dallas Cowboys?)Give me a line that can punt block. And I'll take McCoy or Snead against anyone anyday. (Okay, maybe not Ohio State)