Coronado's Refugees

 (This feature will be a regular on Thursdays before game day exploring some relative function of Texas football history and that of our upcoming opponent. This particular one takes a long and broad view at the history of Texas and Texas Tech, focusing on the Southwest Conference era up to the present. Despite the depth of modern stats and the ever-present verbiage everywhere, there is usually something to be gained by an intuitive study of the historical record. whills)

Prediction for the game: Texas 43, Texas Tech 28

Actually, the prediction is the actual average score in the Mack Brown era. Darrell's teams skunked Tech four times, and Freddie garnered two more shut outs. In this era, that is just a dream, although I'm sure Will Muschamp dreams it. Early Mack teams twice held the Red Raiders to seven points, but those dirt-bound pirates have scored in the 40s three times, winning two of those in '98 and '02. In 2007 Tech scoring peaked with 43, but Texas ran up a big lead in the first half behind Jamaal Charles and essentially played tit-for-tat in the second half of a 59-43 victory. The 59 is the most points scored in the series by either team.

Last year's 33 points were the least Texas has scored in the three losses to Tech in the Mack Brown-era.  The Horns earned a 29-17 victory in 2000, the least they have scored in that span.

Four times Tech has won back-to-back games against Texas: '67-'68, '88-'89, '93-'94 and '97-'98. The first two in DKR's era had profound historical implications. Following a season opening loss at USC in '67, Texas lost to Tech 19-13, not only ending a 7-game win streak but giving the Red Raiders their first Southwest Conference victory over the Horns. Then Texas closed the season with losses to TCU and to A&M, which ended a 10-year run over the eternally depressed farmers. Texas fans were seriously upset, somewhat like 2007, and the press brought a lot of heat on the hallowed one. Emory Bellard designed the wishbone at Royal's behest and the stale days of the split-T Texas offense were suddenly refreshed. But not before Texas Tech became the first team to defeat the wishbone (good bar bet) on a fumbling, stumbling day mesmerized by the shimmering Llano Estacado. Then Texas went out and beat Oklahoma State and OU back-to-back, proving that whipping a couple of Okie teams will do wonders for your spirit. They liked it so much they did it a couple more times en route to 28 more wins in a row. I highly recommend it.  

Tech only has four wins in Austin in the modern era: '67, '89, '93 and '97; none to a Mack Brown-coached team. The last two are credited to John Mackovic, who was 1-2 at home and 2-1 at Tech, just backwards to all the other coaches. But then Mackovic introduced the word cloud long before word clouds were cool (thanks to Tony Brackens).

Two of my most favorite crowds in the modern era were for the 1990 Houston game, when Texas stuffed David Klingler and brought the curtain down on the run-and-shoot, and the '95 game, when Spike Dykes brought Zebbie Lethridge and the boys to town. Tech was ranked #23 while Texas was tabbed at #13. In each game, the east side student section was well lubed, loud and ravenous for victory, giving the opponents holy hell from the gitgo.

Against Tech, Texas played a pressure defense, getting right up on the receivers, and the defensive line, led by Tony Brackens, gave Zebbie little time to throw and stuffed the running game.  There were plenty of big hits in that game, many courtesy CB Bryant Westbrook, and Tony Brackens provided the coup de grace on punter Tony Rogers to crown the whole evening.  That's the kind of crowd I'd like to see Saturday night...and the kind of defense.

 If Colt and his offense can find a rhythm and have some fun, I have no doubt Muschamp's marauders will fulfill their end of the bargain and haul down the Jolly Roger at every opportunity.  

In one of the comments this week, it was said Tech was unpredictable. I would say just the opposite. They may look unpredictable to the novice eye, but the offense operates in a very predictable manner. Tech uses a small number of plays with a wide range of variations, formations and patterns. On offense, Leach plays chess, but so does Muschamp, on a multi-dimensional level. Leach is also prone to gamble, not always with the best of judgment of the consequences, more short-term oriented than long term. His gratification quotient is generally diminished because his defense can't back up his play.

This will be football Theater of the Absurd, where nothing is meaningful or as it seems until the ball is snapped. If this Horns squad is alert and fast enough to stop the screens, the DL can plug the middle running game, and the LBs and DBs pound the living snot out the hot receivers (hello Earl, hello Muck), the Tech offense will be continually diminished each quarter.  With essentially a rookie QB at the helm, this might be a most disturbing experience. It's time for Sergio to come out and play.   

The Longhorn offense's role will be that of chief psychological tormentor. For decades the key element in beating Tech has been to force Red Raiders to give up, to find a reason to lose and to never give them any opportunity to get back in the game. Tech is so used to this that it is even embedded in fan psychology (sorta like the Aggies without the emotional baggage). To do that, the Horns must create a lead and then control the ball to keep Tech's D, their weakest link, on the field. This is one game where you roll up the score any way you can, as soon as you can, as long as you can and not even feel bad about it. And then you score some more - and a real live crowd should be egging the Horns on.

"69 is divine, 69 is divine"

 Last year was a reversal of roles from the outset, with Texas forced to play catch-up time and time again. To their credit, the Horns never gave up, period. At the least, they forced Tech to make the big play: they did and they won. Repeats don't come cheap in this league. It is up to Colt and GD to properly set the roles and aggressively go after points early and often. And I have a sneaking suspicion, as an old safety myself, that the defense will want to throw some chips into the pot as well. This is the game to do that. This is not about revenge...it's a lot more serious than that. We are Texas.  

                                    Texas vs. Texas Tech

                                       1928-2008

                                             Texas 43, Texas Tech 15

2008      L     Texas 33, Texas Tech 39   

2007      W   Texas 59, Texas Tech 43

2006      W   Texas 35, Texas Tech 31

2005      W   Texas 52, Texas Tech 17

2004      W   Texas 51, Texas Tech 21

2003      W   Texas 43, Texas Tech 40

2002      L     Texas 38, Texas Tech 42

2001      W   Texas 42, Texas Tech 7

2000      W   Texas 29, Texas Tech 17

1999      W   Texas 58, Texas Tech 7

1998      L     Texas 35, Texas Tech 42

Mack Brown 8-3, all losses at Tech: '98, '02, '08

1997      L     Texas 10, Texas Tech 24

1996      W   Texas 38, Texas Tech 32

1995      W   Texas 48, Texas Tech 7

1994      L     Texas 9, Texas Tech 33

1993      L     Texas 22, Texas Tech 31

1992      W   Texas 44, Texas Tech 33

John Mackovic 3-3, two losses at home, one at Tech

1991      W   Texas 43, Texas Tech 14

1990      W   Texas 41, Texas Tech 22

1989      L     Texas 17, Texas Tech 24

1988      L     Texas 32, Texas Tech 33

1987      W   Texas 41, Texas Tech 27

David McWilliams 3-2, one loss each at Tech and home

1986      L    Texas  21, Texas Tech 23        

1985      W   Texas 34, Texas Tech 21

1984      W   Texas 13, Texas Tech 10

1983      W   Texas 20, Texas Tech 3

1982      W   Texas 27, Texas Tech 0

1981      W   Texas 26, Texas Tech 9

1980      L     Texas 20, Texas Tech 24

1979      W   Texas 14, Texas Tech 6

1978      W   Texas 24, Texas Tech 7

1977      W   Texas 26, Texas Tech 0

Fred Akers 8-2, two losses at Tech, two shut outs

1976      L     Texas 28, Texas Tech 31

1975      W   Texas 42, Texas Tech 18

1974      L     Texas 3, Texas Tech 26

1973      W   Texas 28, Texas Tech 12

1972      W   Texas 25, Texas Tech 20

1971      W   Texas 28, Texas Tech 0

1970      W   Texas 35, Texas Tech 13

1969      W   Texas 49, Texas Tech 7

1968      L     Texas 22, Texas Tech 31

1967      L     Texas 13, Texas Tech 19

1966      W   Texas 31, Texas Tech 21

1965      W   Texas 33, Texas Tech 7

1964      W   Texas 23, Texas Tech 0

1963      W   Texas 49, Texas Tech 7

1962      W   Texas 34, Texas Tech 0

1961      W   Texas 42, Texas Tech 14

1960      W   Texas 17, Texas Tech 0

Darrel K. Royal 13-4, three losses at Tech, one at home, four shut outs

Texas was 8-1 versus Tech prior to 1960.  Yes, Texas had back-to-back home games in '60 and '61 when Tech entered the Southwest Conference.

Feel free to employ your own extrapolations. Til Saturday...

 

Hook 'em

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