Whoops, We Found An Explosive Offense

First, join me: "WOOOOOO!!!!"

Whoop like an Aggie at a sheep farm, Longhorn fans. And not because we beat Nebraska - that was to be expected. Whoop because we got an explosive performance in the fourth quarter the likes of which we haven't seen since... well, since 2005.

No matter what Mack Brown was saying, this Texas offense was stuck in a deep, nasty rut. For three quarters today, the offense settled right into that rut, with moderate running success, non-existent vertical passing, Colt McCoy body-slamming, and general incompetence. It was an exercise in futility, until....

Well, let's just look at the Jamaal Charles rush chart, shall we?

Unofficial numbers.

Something pretty clearly changed there, now didn't it?

Let's take one more look, with a little graphic illustration for visual aid:

Let's be super-duper-extra-motherf-cking clear about the situation right now.

HALF-TRUTH #1:  You're gonna hear a lot of BS like this:

They booed Jamaal Charles. Then they cheered Jamaal Charles. And then they cheered him some more.

That was the range of emotion Saturday when Texas scored a come-from-behind 28-25 victory over Nebraska at Royal-Memorial Stadium.

Charles, the Longhorn running back, had his share of one- and two-yard runs, bringing out occasional boos from the crowd of 85,968

And then he absolutely broke loose in the fourth quarter with three touchdown runs of 25, 86 and 40 yards.

THE TRUTH:  Fans weren't booing Jamaal Charles. They were booing Greg Davis. They were booing one of the single worst offensive gameplans any Texas fan has ever seen, and for most folks, that's saying a lot. Few doubt Jamaal Charles' ability. Many tear their hair out watching Greg Davis fail to put together an offensive package that works well.

****

HALF-TRUTH #2: You're gonna hear a lot of BS like this:

ya.... jamaal charles is not the right back for texas.... hes just got overe 220 yards and 2 tds... you guys are dumb

THE TRUTH:  Back it up to Tuesday's conversation at BON, when we talked about Charles' struggles. In particular, the following argument was articulated:

There are two realistic, base changes that the coaches can consider in an attempt to improve the Texas offense going forward:

  1. Begin transitioning from Colt McCoy to John Chiles, in an effort to rebuild the zone-read offensive firepower from 2005.

  2. Accelerate the transition from the McCoy-based shotgun pass attack to a more balanced system featuring increased power rushing.

Ultimately, I said I had no faith in the coaches realistically thinking about #1 (where Charles could thrive), so we focused on #2 and whether the Texas offense could/would succeed with JC being the main guy.

Well, what happened today?

Texas went with JC as its main tailback, didn't change the system, and floundered for three quarters. After poor Colt McCoy got hammered for the fortieth time, he had to take a play off to recover. John Chiles came in, Texas ran the zone read, the defense paused to watch John Chiles, and off went Jamaal Charles for 25 yards. Even after McCoy returned, the offense kept running the zone read, with McCoy finally keeping the ball, and everything opened up as one would expect against a team like Nebraska.

It was, for the first time all year, an explosive offense.

In fact, the only bad play in the fourth quarter came when Greg Davis got away from the run, called a pass play, and let McCoy get hammered again. Nebraska intercepted the ball and the Texas defense was forced to make a stand.

Anyone who dares try to say I've sold Jamaal Charles short needs to re-read everything I've ever said about the kid and how he can and does thrive. My only argument for using Charles differently was centered around this staff's commitment to a Colt McCoy-based offense.

After today, with Jamaal Charles sticking his middle finger up at all of us who were prepared to let things drift that way, the better question might be: is it time to retire the ineffective Colt-based offense?

I mean, it was kinda cool having an explosive offense for one quarter, right?

And not just 'cause Mack says so.

--PB--

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