Mack Brown will meet the press this morning at 11:00 a.m. local time. As with all of his pressers, you can watch the streaming action live on TexasSports.TV.
I owe everyone an apology. In the game thread I commented that Kansas quit on their coach. That was not a fair, or accurate, observation of what occurred Saturday night at Darrell K Royal Memorial Stadium.
Jayhawk linebacker Steven Johnson was still hurting after the tough loss on Saturday but there is no quit in this young man. "It does a little bit." He went on to say, "I mean, I'm a person of a lot of faith, so there's not a day where I'm going to give up. I'm going to keep going. Hopefully these things turn around because we still have four games ahead of us. We're trying to establish the season. Me, personally, I'm not going to quit and my teammates aren't."
No, KU did not quit. What happened was as dominating a physical performance offered up by the Texas Longhorns as has been seen since before Baby Boomers were born.
Here was a Kansas team that ranked last in FBS in total defense. So it was not surprising that the Texas offensive line, and its stable of fresh running backs, were able to line up and take them to the wood shed given the advantages at the point of attack.
But the story of the game belongs to the Texas defense.
"Tough ballgame all the way around", said head football coach Turner Gil. "Tough on our offense. Wasn't expecting us to be totally shut down as far as moving the ball concerns, but you've got to give a lot of credit to their defense. They are very good. Their defensive front handled our offensive front, and that's kind of the bottom line."
Led by the second highest rated quarterback in the Big 12, Kansas had averaged over 400 yards of offense plus scored over 30 per game and who up until Saturday night had faced undefeated opponentseach time they took the field since game 2. Returning upper classmen on the offensive line of scrimmage, the Jayhawks had acquitted themselves in each outing, in spite of playing a schedule that would give any program shivers. This crew helped to lead the Jayhawks to a respectable offensive statistical resume ranked in the top half of FBS total and scoring offense.
But they had not faced as focused and motivated a defensive unit as the Texas Longhorns on a rare night where the stars aligned and found the Jayhawks on the receiving end of -2 yards of rushing offense, only 3 first downs, 5 three-and-outs, scoreless since a 2002 game against Kansas State, and giving up 11 TFLs worth 44 yards of which 3 were sacks.
Sure, Texas was coming into the game with good morale vibe after playing OSU tough with chances to pull off the upset. (Editors Note: BON does not endorse moral victories. Ever.). But the front 7 got gashed in two successive weeks that really drew substantiated criticism of scheme and effort with several long-time observers calling for personnel changes. I was inclined to think the same but noted it was not Mack Brown's tendency to do so.
So it's probably time to get the future players more reps and game situation exposure, right?
Well, probably not. The current season aside, Coach Brown has demonstrated throughout his tenure unwillingness to promote an inexperienced or youthful player over a "bled for the program" player. While really not given any options on offense as young players are basically all we have available to play, this is a contract year for the few veteran players on the squad but I wonder if it is time to get the future defenders on the field. And I also wonder if Mack thinks the same way. Injury may necessitate this decision for him for one defensive position given Phillips unconfirmed injury. The Kansas game would be a great opportunity for this to occur but call me skeptical.
This game saw a complete turnaround by the Texas defensive starting front 7 who amassed 26 out of the 36 defensive tackles, assisted in holding the Jayhawks to zero third down conversions through three quarters, forced KU to play on their end of the field the entire game, save for scrub time, and was the primary reason Kansas came up blank on the scoreboard.
I don't know what coaches Searels and Davis said to their protégés in the span of two weeks but whatever it was they need to bottle it and hand it out for daily consumption. The extra time paid dividends as the Longhorns set some modern day statistical marks that will stand for a long time.
You probably already reviewed the game notes at MB-TF.com, but here are a few seriously historic stats from the game:
• UT held Kansas to 36 total plays which is the fewest plays allowed in Big 12 conference play history. The previous low was 44 by Kansas State against Tennessee Tech on Sept. 26, 2009.
• The 46 yards of total offense is the second-lowest by a Texas opponent since 1944. The Longhorns held Southwestern to 37 yards in 1944. The school record was 5 yards of total offense held against the, ahem, Aggies in 1941.
• This game marked just the third time in school history Texas has recorded over 500 yards of total offense (590) while holding the opponent to under 100 total yards (46). The other two games were in 2001 against Kansas (606-67) and UTEP in 2009 (639-53).
• Texas had two freshmen rush for over 100 yards for the first time in school history. Malcolm Brown recorded 119 yards on 28 carries and Joe Bergeron finished with 136 yards on 13 carries.
• Kansas set a school record for the fewest number of first downs in a game with only 3 bettering the record of 4 against a 1972 Nebraska team.
Add to the above an incredible play differential of 93-36 and you begin to understand the significance of the effort.
Look for Coach Brown to discuss the physical whipping put on the Jayhawks. One he was hard to recall comparing in his storied coaching career. Also watch for Coach Brown to point out in his patented positive reinforcing manner the all too many mistakes, missed opportunities, and turnovers yet to be corrected. But with the kind of effort displayed against the Jayhawks, it makes it much more difficult for coaches to leverage that hunger in a player. Practice this week will be very tough and grueling. There will be no let up from the staff as the team is so close to becoming consistently good to great.
So Mack Brown will be working hard to keep his team focused and on track. Texas Tech comes into Austin having upset OU and then laying a big turd at home against Iowa State in successive weeks. As everyone knows, the strengths of both teams will be tested with #2 ranked FBS QB Seth Doege throwing to a platoon of capable receivers against a stingy, Longhorn defensive backfield. But the Raiders have not shown an ability to consistently stop the run which as we have seen is the brut force strength of this Texas offensive squad.
In this space you will usually find my thoughts on the positive and negative takeaways of the game. But I'm not going to waste your time with that individual type of analysis as others will get into the details. The effort, from the staff and players, was one of T-E-A-M to get too bogged down in the particulars. We'll just savor the aroma of skewered Jayhawk a little while longer if it is all the same to you.
Join us here for the live presser action.