Looking back at the first half of the season

October, 16, 2012
10/16/12
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AUSTIN, Texas -- Six weeks into the season, Alex Okafor realizes Texas could be done by Week 7.

"It all comes down to the Baylor game," the senior defensive end said. "It determines whether we are an 8-5 team or an 11-2 team."

Eight wins might actually be a generous projection for Texas if it were to lose to Baylor. Likewise, 11 wins might be generous projection if Texas beats Baylor given the fact Texas still has three games against BCS top-25 teams remaining.

But at least, halfway through the season, Texas appears to know where it stands.

The Longhorns are 4-2 and barely a BCS team at No. 25. They are again staring a second half that could either be a starting point, or if you happen to be an assistant coach on staff, quite possibly an ending point to your Texas tenure. Because as Mack Brown has shown before -- post-2010 -- and reaffirmed vigorously on Monday that he is in it for the long haul no matter who is standing with him on the sidelines.

The thing is Texas does have the opportunity to stand tall in the second half. Sure, the mistakes are many. But, if the coaching staff is to be believed -- yes, a big if these days -- most of the mistakes are correctable.

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Over the next three days, HornsNation will take a look at the mistakes made by Texas and what, if anything, the Longhorns might do to fix them.

It starts with the defense. Once believed to be a strong suit of the team, Texas has its worst defense in the Mack Brown era and, quite possibly, the worst defense, at least statistically, ever to play at Texas.

From there, HornsNation will move to the offense. The ills did not appear to be as great on that side of the ball through the first five games. But Oklahoma, as it has done so many times in the past, exposed Texas. Now Texas has to figure out if the foundation of its offense has fissures or can things be patched up by a few minor adjustments.

Finally there are the special teams. Texas coach Mack Brown started the season by saying he wanted that unit to be the best unit in the country. To that end, he put in extra special-teams practice sessions and brought in two transfers at kicker and punter. To this point, the midway point of the Texas season, the extra work has paid dividends in some areas but not in many others.

Carter Strickland | email

Reporter, HornsNation

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