The Longhorns believe all of their problems are fixable and, according to Limas Sweed, "[The ugly performance against Arkansas State] may have been a blessing in disguise."
On the first count, I think that's mostly true. Much of Texas' offensive struggles Saturday can be traced to McCoy having such an off game after the first quarter. The actual play scheming, too, is something that can (theoretically) improve. The real concern, though, is not that there were mistakes; it is that these mistakes were of the exact same nature as the ones which hurt Texas in 2006. That's the real worry.
I do think Limas is right that the poor performance is probably going to be helpful for Texas heading into TCU week. If Arkansas State had rolled over and Texas had won big, the Longhorns might not be focusing so intently on improvement throughout this week. I think both the players and coaches are on notice after such an underwhelming win, and if they weren't 110% focused on being their best for the Horned Frogs before - they sure are now.
So many big questions this coming Saturday. I hope the team finds the right answers.
Mack probably wished he didn't have to spend so much time with reporters on his Labor Day, but the anxiety among Texas fans ensured that he would. Among his talking points are a few worth talking about:
*TCU is not talked about nationally the same way Boise State is, but they should be. Gary Patterson has built a monster of a program and they won't have any feat coming into Austin.
*The team speed on defense for TCU isn't something you appreciate until you watch the film.
*Mack announced to the team that changes to the depth chart might be on the way today.
I want to focus in on that last one, as that's the critical point. Some of the problems we discussed in the postmortem centered around schematic, structural issues. Trying to execute lateral running plays, for example, is a schematic problem. Blitzing a quarterback while having your corners sit 12 yards off the ball is another example of a scheming issue.
Having those cornerbacks be Ryan Palmer and Brandon Foster, though, is a personnel problem. The incompetence at linebacker is much more a personnel problem than anything else.
The question, then, is just how willing the coaches are to be flexible with playing the alternatives. I empathize with Mack Brown's belief that all other things being equal, you want the guys with experience out on the field. I really do.
There's simply no question, though, that all things are not equal in this case. Ryan Palmer and Brandon Foster lack the talent to stay ahead of their younger counterparts on the depth chart. Even if Texas was in a sink or swim situation in which it was guaranteed to sink either way, it would be preferable to sink with the younger talent. The thing is, of course, we're in a sink or swim situation and we don't yet know whether the young guys can be good enough to get us through. I think we do know, however, that we won't get it done with the status quo.
Now I'm just getting my feet wet here in law school, but the logic here seems simple enough for a junior high schooler to work through. Ditch the status quo, Mack.
What is it they always say? If you're going to fail, fail spectacularly.