The Five Biggest Disappointments of 2006: #1 - The Running Game

Throughout the posting of this list, various readers have noted their desire to see Henry Melton, Jamaal Charles, and various members (if not all) of the offensive line in this group. My original plan was to place Hank "I'm Not A Tank" Melton at the top of this list, but in thinking it through, the real disappointment was the running game as a whole. The disappointment extends beyond Melton to include Charles, Selvin Young, the offensive line, and Greg Davis.

Melton's shortcomings are obvious. He's a freak of a physical specimen who hasn't shown the least ability to leverage his unique talents to productive use. His pathetic goal line run against Kansas State was part of the reason we were forced to turn to a Colt McCoy quarterback sneak to score on our opening drive. That fateful play, of course, ruined Texas' season. His 4th and 1 run against Texas A&M was equally devastating. Simply put, Melton's performance this year cost Texas two games and, in all likelihood, ended his career as a running back at Texas. I do believe that qualifies as a disappointment - and none of us really expected all that much of him to begin with.

The rest of the crew, though, disappointed in their own ways. The offensive line showed a decided ineptitude for power blocking. Charles and Young danced about horizontally far too frequently. Greg Davis, who did a brilliant job molding Colt McCoy into an instant star, fell flat on his face in terms of providing balance: the promising running game that we saw against Ohio State devolved into the team's glaring achilles heel by the end of the year.

For the first time in forever, Texas failed to have a 1,000 yard rusher. The offensive scheme, which was tweaked to phase out its VY-centric foundation, excelled in terms of providing an aerial attack, but bombed in terms of providing balance.

There's just no way to blame all the struggles on one person. It was Davis' fault, it was the linemen's fault, and it was the tailbacks' fault. It was, even, Colt McCoy's fault. His inability to run the zone read play properly stunted its efficacy. The net result was that, by the end of the season, Texas had become one-dimensional, a team that would sink or swim with the play of its freshman signal caller. Once McCoy went down to injury, the party was over.

And what a bitter, bitter disappointment that was. Clearly, the #1 priority for Greg Davis this offseason.

Top 5 Disappointments of 2006
#5: Frank Okam
#4: Sergio Kindle
#3: Drew Kelson
#2: Gene Chizik
#1: The Running Game

--PB--

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