Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Texas guarding against overconfidence
By Max Olson
AUSTIN, Texas -- Mack Brown knows all too well it’s easy to start riding the roller coaster after a big win.
Texas’ 66-31 road victory against Ole Miss on Saturday has the program at the No. 10 spot in this week's coaches' poll and its players and fans brimming with confidence.
Perhaps then there’s no more opportune time than now for a bye week. Brown and his Longhorn coaching staff have safeguards in place this week to ensure their team doesn’t starting getting overconfident.
“It’s a younger team, so we’ll talk to them,” Brown said Tuesday. “I think the environment here is we get too high too fast and we get too low too fast. I think they pretty much understand what they’ve got ahead of them, and that’s the good thing.”
What’s ahead is a brutal three-game stretch against Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Oklahoma. Brown isn’t even touching those games during the bye week though.
This is a week for re-evaluation, for circling back and analyzing what did and didn’t work during Texas’ nonconference slate.
For example, defensive coordinator Manny Diaz will meet individually with each and every one of his defenders this week. The performance reviews will include watching film of every missed tackle or missed assignment a player has made through three games.
The goal? Find the flaws and make the fixes. The Longhorns have been good, but there's plenty to improve upon. Even the Texas offensive line, which recorded a combined 101 knockdown blocks against the Rebels, isn’t infallible.
“I think Stacy Searels will bring the offensive line back down to Earth today,” Brown said. “They’ll think they lost the game by the time we get to about 6 o’clock tonight.”
To keep the focus on self-correction, Brown said he and his coaches won’t even start talking to players about Oklahoma State until Sunday.
The staff isn’t grinding away on tape of the Cowboys’ No. 1 ranked scoring offense. Assistant coaches will spend more of this free time hitting the recruiting trail.
Texas is only worried about Texas right now.
“We will actually look at cleaning us up, and we’re going to look at what we need to do to improve,” Brown said. “We feel like, in the past, if you’re not careful you can start playing games too early. If you start on them and talk about them all week, it’s kind of old news when [players] get back for next week.
“We’re going to work on things that they do, but we will not mention Oklahoma State until next week.”