Don't expect to find answers here. I have none.
"It's been a lot of pain and a lot of agony," UT center David Snow said.
On the two main lethal blows, A&M running back Cyrus Gray busted loose straight up the middle for touchdown runs of 84 yards and 48 yards — but it also took a late interception by senior All-American linebacker Von Miller to seal A&M’s second victory in Austin since Big 12 play started in 1996.
Turnovers were an issue again.
Gilbert, the beleaguered sophomore quarterback for Texas, glided through the first quarter against Texas A&M. He built drives, executing plays with composure and poise.
He flipped a 31-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Goodwin, who merely had to dodge a defender to score. Texas led 7-0.
But Gilbert stumbled later.
He lost a fumble on a mismanaged handoff 10 yards from his goal line. The Aggies scored after the turnover to tie the game.
Gilbert threw an interception early in the second half. The Aggies scored again, this time with a field goal.
Texas never found a way to stop the Aggies — or help themselves.
"It was a disaster for the offense," Brown said. "It really hurt us."
When asked to sum up the year in words, Brown replied: "I think it's disappointing. You can say a lot of words, but it's not our standard."
So, you noticed this back in September?
"It seemed like there was a hangover," he said during Thursday night's aftermath of the Longhorns' 24-17 loss at home to Texas A&M. "I said from the first scrimmage of the year that I didn't see what I wanted. At Rice [the opener against the Owls at Reliant Stadium, a 34-17 win] I walked out of there mad.
"There were some things that were flawed. That's what I've got to figure out: what we missed. That's the coaches' job. That's my job."Why didn't we play with emotion early? Why didn't we play better? Why didn't we score points like we had? Why did we give up too many big plays on defense? Why was our kicking game inconsistent when we had really good players and I thought it would be the best we'd ever had? Those are the things that are puzzling and will be on my shoulders to look at."
"I've learned I don't like losing. It's been 20 years since I haven't been to a bowl." - Mack Brown
At least everyone gets to spend Christmas with their family. This is the first time in Brown's tenure at Texas that the Horns will not go bowling.
It was a fitting end to a dismal season.
It ended, fittingly, with the ball untouched and the mystified Texas Longhorns looking for answers.
For a moment, it was unclear if they would ask the officials for more time, but there was no point in begging for an extra second or two. At long last, this UT season had been put out of its misery.
Belmont trusts Brown to make the right decisions.
Brown said he's very lucky because university president William Powers and Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds trust him to do whatever he deems necessary for the benefit of the football program, meaning that he gets to make all of the decision on his own.
"I will take my time and evaluate the coaches and staff and each player and everything that we're doing," Brown said. "At that time I'll be able to make a conscious decision on what's best for the program."
There are a lot of questions about this season and everyone expects some answers.
Mercifully, this season is over. But Brown needs to be very careful in assessing why a preseason top 10 team sank to such levels that it too often looked worse even than its record — and then correct it.
He has to deliberate and make the tough choices about who remains on his staff. It’s hard to imagine beleaguered offensive line coach Mac McWhorter returning, and Brown has to ask himself if offensive coordinator Greg Davis has called his last hitch pass. Curiously enough, Texas A&M lifted that page from Davis’ playbook and threw sideways passes at least eight times for 85 yards.
One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, and Mack’s ready to junk this season.