Notes: Texas searching for answers

October, 14, 2012
10/14/12
11:15
AM ET
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas has so many issues in so many facets of the game it is hard to know where to begin.

Or if you happen to be a Texas fan, if it will ever end.

[+] EnlargeDavid Ash
Matthew Emmons/US PresswireQuarterback David Ash and the Longhorns could not get in an offensive rhythm against Oklahoma.
But of all the stats, and there are reams, the most startling might just be this provided by the crack researchers at ESPN Stats & Info: If Texas makes it to a bowl game -- while the last two games have not been good, that is a pretty safe assumption -- the Longhorns are on pace to allow 5,846 yards this season. That would break the program record for most yards allowed in a season by more than 1,000. Texas gave up 4,825 yards in 2007.

The assumption would be that since Texas has played the meat of the schedule in terms of offensive juggernauts, there might be a chance that Texas does not break the aforementioned dubious record.

But there are still a few teams who can move the ball up ahead. Baylor, which had a down day against TCU and only scored 21, scored 63 against West Virginia. Remember that’s a defense that Texas’ offense only scored 38 against. (Seven came via fumble recovery.)

Texas has to go on the road to Lubbock and Texas Tech just put 49 on the Mountaineers.

TCU just put 49 on Baylor. And Kansas State has a quarterback, Collin Klein, who averages 85 rushing yards and a running back, John Hubert who averages 101.

Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said he has simplified the defense as much as it can possibly be simplified. But still his players are thinking instead of reacting. That has forced them to be a step slow against faster teams.
That does not bode well for the Baylor game as the Bears, at least at wide receiver, are quite possibly the fastest team in the Big 12. At running back, Jarred Salubi is not necessarily a breakaway threat. But then again no one thought WVU’s Andrew Buie, a backup before racking up 288 all-purpose yards against Texas, was a big-game threat either.

For Texas to compete, the priority has to be to stop the run. Texas has failed to do that in the last three weeks and given up 270 rushing yards per game, lost two games and, save for a controversial call, almost three.

"We're getting out-hit," Diaz said. "But part of when you're getting out-hit is if you don't play fast and confident, and when you wait, you ending up catching blocks instead of attacking blocks."

So what Diaz will do is go back to the tape and try and demonstrate to the players what is not being done and how to get it done.

"We have footage on tape from the last 18 months where we can do those types of things," he said. "What we are doing right now is we are not doing that, and that is what I have to coach. [I have] to get the defense to play faster vs. the run."

Déjà vu
Texas, according to the coaches and yes the media that covers the team, was supposed to be better. Maybe not BCS better. But better nonetheless.

The Longhorns are 4-2. In 2011, after the OU loss, the Longhorns were 4-2. So now the wonder is if the team has regressed.

Texas coach Mack Brown said that it is hard to get a 10,000-foot view of a team when looking at one game through a microscope. Fair enough. But he did allow that there are many, many issues that need to be fixed. And quickly.

"It's sure not pretty today," he said following the OU loss. "It's unacceptable. That's the way I feel, that's the way the players feel and how the coaches feel. It's not a proud moment for us.

"We just have to make sure that we don't forget this, learn from it, move forward and try to win next week," Brown continued. "We can't sit around and feel sorry for ourselves. We're sitting in the same spot we were this time last year, so we have to go finish better than we did last year."

Carter Strickland | email

Reporter, HornsNation

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