Texas Longhorns head coach Mack Brown will meet with the media today at 11 am CST to discuss the upcoming game against the Iowa State Cyclones and recap last Saturday's match-up. Watch the press conference streaming live at MB-TF or on the Longhorn Network.
On the last game:
Losing stinks. Period. Thursday's game against TCU marked the second time this season the Texas Longhorns lost to new Big 12 members...at home.
With one weekend left in the regular season, there is only one other Big 12 member with a combined losing record against TCU and West Virginia this season. And that team (Baylor) played West Virginia on the road.
Let that sink in.
This combined with the OU debacle has put the fan base on edge. While understandably disappointing, no one can really say honestly that 8-9 wins wasn't a reasonable expectation entering the season.
Unproven quarterback? Check.
Loss of senior leadership on defense? Check.
But what is disheartening to fans is the continuation of the team, for whatever reason, to not perform under the lights in big games that have a lot riding on the outcome. Sure the wins versus Oklahoma State, Baylor, and Texas Tech were impressive but each required the almost flawless performance of David Ash.
In other words, for the most part, this team has surfed on the coattails of a true sophomore quarterback who has improved significantly in year two but also proven inconsistent in overcoming adversity. That is a straight by-product of experience and maturity and improves with more game experience.
Hookem.com ($) broke down the stats for recent UT quarterbacks through their sophomore campaigns and concluded that David Ash's passing performance was on par not all that different.
Major Applewhite (1999, 14 games/13 starts): 58 pct., 3,357 yards, 21 TD, 9 INT
Chris Simms (2000, 10 games/6 starts): 57 pct., 1,064 yards, 8 TD, 7 INT
Vince Young (2004, 12 games/12 starts): 59 pct., 1,849 yards, 12 TD, 11 INT
Colt McCoy (2007, 13 games/13 starts): 65 pct., 3,303 yards, 22 TD 8 INT
Garrett Gilbert (2010, 12 games/12 starts): 59 pct., 2,744, 10 TD, 17 INT
David Ash (2012, 10 games/10 starts): 69 pct., 2,354 yards, 17 TD, 5 INT
Of course the primary difference between those teams and the 2012 version is not the offensive side of the ball but the outlier performance of the Texas defense, which when it is all said and done will turn in one of the statistically worst in Texas history.
So what to take away from all of this? Youth mixed with inexperience do not often make for an upside cocktail. More work is to be done to overcome these deficiencies and the team must reach deep, play with supreme confidence and effort, if it expects a win against the next opponent.
There is one conference game left for the Texas Longhorns to punctuate the 2012 season. Will it be one of exclamation or question?
Longhorns head trainer Kenny Boyd released news last night that David Ash, Marquis Goodwin, and Alex Okafor are listed as questionable. The next update to their status will more than likely come on Friday.
On the next opponent:
Kansas State lost a key cog in their defensive with the injury to Ty Zimmerman and it exposed the lack of depth in their secondary in the game against Baylor. Baylor took advantage and had the Wildcats on their heels the entire game.
And the usual grind it out KSU offense proved uncharacteristic with 3 thrown interceptions by Heisman hopeful Collin Klein. It certainly didn't help that Wildcats top receiver duo of sophomores Curry Sexton and Tyler Lockett were limited due to injury. I do not expect these to linger for their final home game of the season and especially with a Big 12 conference title and BCS Fiesta Bowl on the line.
The game showed that you have to be more physical at the point of attack and throw over the defense to better the odds of winning.
The Longhorns have the offensive power but lack the defense to stop Kansas State at home. The matchups just don't look good unless we stack the box and force Klein into passing situations.
Texas defense must somehow keep KSU behind the chains and not allow penetration into the red zone as the Longhorns enter with the league worst ranking allowing scores on 93% of red zone possessions.
Yes, turnover margin will again be critical as Texas cannot afford one single pick or fumble and must find a way to score defensively or on special teams.
It will take the entire team to beat KSU. Hopefully that one will show up.