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.
Saturday's win against Texas Tech marked the 9th in 10 seasons. That is a dominant streak. But without question very few gave the Texas Longhorns much of a fighting chance heading into the contest, much less cautious optimism. It's really hard to blame them after the eggs they dropped the last several games in terms of performance.
But just as with your child's many attempts to ride a bicycle, so too have the Longhorns fan base needed to show patience with this young team.
The poise and growth displayed Saturday was a big step toward meeting the preseason expectations fans bought hook, line, and sinker. It is refreshing to glimpse the team fighting to validate their potential.
I'm sure many of you were surprised of the effort. Give credit to the team for not giving up and continuing to fight through adversity when it seemed like the entire world was against them.
On to the games.
You've got to control what you can control and do what you can do. - Magic Mike Davis
Give that man the ball. No drops on Saturday. One unfortunate celebration penalty aside that was about as pure a wide receiver performance since Jordan Shipley's record breaker against Kansas in 2009. But that one was in the comfy confines of DKR. What Mike did against Tech was in hostile territory and without a Heisman candidate throwing to him. Great play by the playmaker.
While those spectacular highlights by Mike were dramatic, the dominant performance by junior cornerback Carrington Byndom was critical in determining the final outcome. The final stat sheet will not bear this out but the timing of the big stops were highlight reel quality and came when the team had its back against the red zone wall. The blocked field goal alone would have been enough to carry POG honors but he did so much more than that.
And credit the defense who scrapped and clawed the entire game holding the highly ranked Red Raider offense to its 2nd worst scoring performance through 9 games. Tech was averaging better than an 11 point cumulative scoring average advantage in the first three quarters of games. The Texas defense held them to -2 points during that span and shut them out in the 4th quarter.
Say what you will but that's the definition of resiliency.
Kendall Thompson left the game after a bone crushing, blindside block with concussion symptoms. It is likely the conservative Kenny Boyd will hold him out this week.
Also, Steve Edmond was seen limping off the field late in the game. After he found his sea legs against Tech it would be disappointing to learn if his injury resulted in holding him out of the upcoming game.
On the next opponent:
With three games remaining, Iowa State hasn't notched an upset victory against a top ranked conference foe. The Cyclones bring a healthy Kansas type defense into DKR for an early kick off. Seven, count them, SEVEN of their starting 11 defenders rank in the top 50 in total tackles in conference play. That was until all conference senior veteran Jake Knott suffered a career ending shoulder surgery last week. But that will only thwart their defensive talent as A.J. Klein is as stalwart a tacking phenom. While they'll miss Knott's league leading tackles per game, expect extra effort by Klein and a stable of more than capable defenders.
In the defensive backfield, strong safety Durrell Givens is one of three league leaders in forced fumbles and has one fewer fumble recovery in Big 12 play than Texas has as a team. Iowa State is 2nd in the league in turnover margin at +5. The Longhorns haven't forced many turnovers the last several games and are even par through 6 conference games in turnover margin. The team has been impressive in protecting the football and has improved dramatically in this area versus the last few seasons.
So, the storylines in this week's game are a) can the Longhorns clear their eye boogers and get ready to play a morning game, and b) can the offense withstand the punishing, physical play of a very disciplined Paul Rhodes defense.
And FYI, the game will be broadcast on the Longhorn Network.