That sound you just heard was the chances for a Texas victory against Baylor on Saturday being flushed down the toilet. The university revealed on Friday afternoon that freshman running back Joe Bergeron will miss the Baylor game with his injured left hamstring and that fellow frosh back Malcolm Brown will be limited with a knee injury.
The injury to Brown appears to be a new development this week and is independent of the turf toe injury that cost him the game against Missouri and has limited him since. Texas characterized Brown as questionable, meaning he will likely play, but won't be likely to be the Malcolm Brown that Longhorn fans started to know and love during the middle of the season.
Speaking of the middle of the season, the decision to keep riding Bergeron late into the game against Texas Tech when the contest was already well in hand continues to look worse and worse. It killed his season, basically. So that's awesome.
Speaking of killed, that's pretty much what happened to the Texas gampelan with this news. The Longhorns were expected to lean heavily on the running game to take pressure off of Case McCoy, keep the Baylor offense off the field, and punish a Baylor defense that is terrible against the run. Hopefully this week Bryan Harsin has actually prepared a back-up plan instead of simply hoping and wishing that the running back would play and then having little plan when they couldn't.
The usual suspects will be called upon to step up. If there's ever been a time to unleash DJ Monroe this season, it appears that time might be now, though the Missouri game illustrates how difficult it is to use him in the traditional running game and the way that defenses can key on him on the jet sweeps if there isn't a concern about being gashed up the middle.
Redshirt junior Jeremy Hills will likely receive the bulk of the carries if Brown is severely limited, but he showed little against Missouri except that he can't break tackles or move the pile. The first defender there for Baylor will likely tackle him where he hits him. Don't expect to find any hidden yards from Hills.
As for Cody Johnson, it's possible the Longhorns could look to him in some single-wing sets, but he's been as unproductive as both Monroe and Hills in traditional running looks.
Adjust your expectations accordingly, Longhorn fans.