Sunday, September 15, 2013
What we learned: Week 3
By Max Olson
Texas dropped to 1-2 on the season Saturday after a 44-23 loss at home to No. 25 Ole Miss. Here are three things we learned about the Longhorns:
Still can't stop the run: Ole Miss played it smart. There was no need to get complicated on offense when the same play kept working again and again. The Rebels kept going back to the Jeff Scott sweep play, found zone read and play action wrinkles off it, and Texas just had no answer, much like the BYU game. Scott rushed for 164 yards and a touchdown and was never stopped once behind the line of scrimmage. Bo Wallace added 64 yards (excluding sacks), and together the combo was too much for the Longhorns to handle. As Mack Brown conceded after the game, you can't expect to win if you don't stop the run.
Defense needs time: Greg Robinson was not going to get this defense fixed with only three days of practice. He made one lineup change -- Josh Turner at safety for Mykkele Thompson -- but for the most part, ran a similar defense to what Manny Diaz put on the field a week ago. More changes should be on the way as Robinson gets comfortable with his personnel, and there's a lot of room for growth going forward. But the defense is still a serious work in progress after three games.
Offense needs Ash: Nobody would say it after the game, but Texas knew it couldn't run the exact same offense with Case McCoy running the show that David Ash is capable of. We saw a lot more power rushing, a lot more plays under center and less big-time play-action passing. Offensive coordinator Major Applewhite prepared a solid gameplan for McCoy that was well-executed in the first half, but it's still clear that this is a more limited passing attack when Ash isn't in the game. That's to be expected, of course, but we got a much better sense Saturday of why Ash makes this a more complete offense in several ways.