- Carter Strickland, Reporter, HornsNation
Not so easy to find the positives for Texas after its 20-13 loss to TCU. The negatives, on the other hand, are piling up for this team. The biggest of those being that the Longhorns, who were poised to finish strong and possibly get a BCS bowl bid, now have to beat Kansas State to secure a Cotton Bowl bid. Texas is 2-6 against K-State in the Mack Brown era and has lost four straight to Kansas State.
1. Wide receiver Jaxon Shipley was the one reliable and consistent weapon Texas had in the passing game. The sophomore had six receptions for 80 yards. Mike Davis had been leading the team in receiving and he did have six catches as well. But Davis had a ball hit him in the hands on the goal line and he dropped it. Davis has been prone to drops but they year has usually atoned. Shipley is as sure-handed as they come. He continually makes the tough catch in traffic and has become extremely reliable with the ball after the catch.
2. It's hard to highlight any player on the defense because it allowed so many rushing yards -- 217 -- and was unable to stop TCU when it mattered. But senior Kenny Vaccaro continued to prove he is strong tackler and very good pass defender. The senior led Texas with 10 tackles. He was also integral in stopping the game from being a blowout. With the Texas offense being ineffective, the defense was forced to be on the field for extended periods and was saddled with poor field position. That it only gave up 20 points might be considered a win.
3. Senior wide receiver Marquise Goodwin was not a huge factor in the passing game but was able to make in impact in the return game. Goodwin had three returns for 67 yards and was able to bust a 41-yard return to set Texas up with solid field position. Goodwin did have one catch for 18 yards on a shovel pass. The speedy senior hit the edge and took he ball inside at the TCU 22. Texas managed to a field goal on the drive.
1. Quarterback play: Texas is back to not knowing which quarterback is going to play when. David Ash was yanked after three turnovers. Case McCoy was ineffective. He was then yanked in favor of Ash. But then Ash injured his ribs and McCoy was put back in the game. The coaching staff did not declare one or the other the starter following the game. When Ash was pulled in favor of McCoy at Kansas a few games ago, Ash came back to start the next game. Given that Ash was put back in before he injured himself, the odds are he will again be the starter when Texas plays at Kansas State.
2. Running game: Texas had averaged 201.5 yards during its four-game winning streak. It had 86 yards in the loss to TCU. More than half of those yards (46) came in the first quarter. Texas only got the ball to starter Johnathan Gray three times in the second half. He finished with 15 carries. Malcolm Brown, who is 100 percent healthy, according to the coaches, did not touch the ball. Brown, who was also available to play against Iowa State, did not have a carry until the second half of that game. Brown was the Longhorns' leading rusher before he was injured at Oklahoma State. The sophomore led the team in rushing last year.
3. Rush defense: TCU rushed for 217 yards and ripped off a 94-yard drive with most of it coming on the ground to start the game. The Horned Frogs had 14 straight rushes at one point and had they gone for it instead of electing to kick on fourth-and-short twice, the final score might have been slightly more lopsided. The one time TCU did go for it, the Horned Frogs made it with ease. Every team has against Texas. The Longhorns have allowed 17 of 22 fourth-down conversions. So TCU coach Gary Patterson's choice was curious. Not as curious as Texas' inability to wrap up on defense. The Longhorns, who had 101 missed tackles coming into the game, had double-digit missed tackles against the Horned Frogs.