Thoughts from the coaches and players after the game.
Head coach Mack Brown, on the loss...
"I want to congratulate Kansas State on being Big 12 champions. They have a really good football team and you understand that after watching them play. Collin Klein did some great things in the fourth quarter and was physical and he also made the perfect throw that really put us in trouble. Proud of the effort our guys put out. I thought they did exactly what we asked them to do. We will leave tomorrow, learn where we are playing our bowl game, and we will regroup and get ready to work."
Once again, effort wasn't the problem for Texas, it was turnovers and an inability to stop the running game, along with the big passing play, a consistent story throughout the season in losses for the Longhorns.
With the regular season ended, it's kind of hard to find more ways to talk about the same things.
Brown, on Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder...
"Bill is unbelievable I have said many times that I think what he has done here is the best in the country from start to finish. The crowd is also unbelievable those fifty thousand were there an hour, hour and a half before the game and never sit down. You have to give K-State a lot of credit they have built a wonderful place here and it is a tough place to play at."
The "I told you so" portion of the post-game press conference, extremely important in a loss. With how many times the Longhorns lose these days, Texas should really monetize this portion of the press conference and find a sponsor for it. Any suggestions?
Brown, on running back Daje Johnson...
"Daje has a chance to be really good for us."
Considering that Johnson scored on one of his first touches at Texas and then took the run against Baylor to the house from a great distance on the first play, it's not exactly a revelation that Johnson has all the potential in the world.
There have been plenty of rumors swirling about Johnson's attitude, though -- he was suspended for the first game and there has been talk the entire season about him being in the doghouse with the coaches, for various reasons. There's also a rumor out there that he went off on his head coach following the TCU game.
As a result, there's a significant amount of potential, then, that Johnson is his own worst enemy.
But none of that explains why DJ Monroe didn't receive a single touch offensively in the other three Texas losses this season and did the most that he could with the one he did get, taking a jet sweep 46 yards to set up a Longhorn touchdown.
Quarterback Case McCoy, on when the game got away from Texas...
"I do not think it ever got away. It came down to turnovers, I guess we turned it over three times and gave up 21 points off of them. That is something that happened tonight. We have been preaching about it, it cannot happen."
Well, at one point the game was close. And then it wasn't, which most people would probably pinpoint as the time when things got away from Texas.
It started in the 2nd half with the inability of the Texas defense to stop Kansas State and get off the field, but the score was 21-17 in favor of Kansas State at the start of the 4th quarter. Then the Wildcats hit Tyler Lockett on the 55-yard touchdown pass on the first play of their first possession in the quarter when the Texas secondary bit hard on the play-action fake, a breakdown in the eye discipline that defensive coordinator Manny Diaz had been preaching.
But the game hadn't yet totally gotten away from Texas, which officially happened when Quandre Diggs made a rare mistake in the punting game and fumbled. Kansas State quickly took advantage with a Klein touchdown run.
And if the game wasn't truly out of hand at that point, McCoy tried to throw an out route that was intercepted and nearly returned for a touchdown, a play that looked almost exactly like his mistake to start the game, except that it occurred on the other side of the field.
So, the point at which Kansas State scored three touchdowns in just a little more than 10 minutes of game time -- that would be when the game got away from Texas, because it most certainly got away from Texas.
McCoy, on his confidence in throwing out routes ($)...
"Yeah, man. I've been throwing that route since I was three years old."
The issue isn't really how long McCoy has been throwing out routes, but whether or not he can do so effectively and the answer to that question is resoundingly negative. The lack of arm strength, the inability to spin the football, and poor footwork all combine to make those efforts extremely dangerous, as evidenced by two interceptions on the only out routes that he threw all night.
It appears that McCoy didn't respond particularly well to the question, either, as Chip Brown described McCoy's response as "testy ($)" and then said that the Texas quarterback " stormed out of the press conference like an angry child."
If McCoy wants to continue to get game reps at the position for the Longhorns, he needs to admit to himself that there are throws that he can't make. If he can't admit that, the coaches need to make sure that he understands or adjust the gameplan accordingly.
The unfortunate reality is that there are significant parts of the field that aren't accessible to McCoy because of his limitations. The sooner McCoy realizes that, the sooner he will stop throwing interceptions that nearly go back for touchdowns, but still directly lead to touchdowns.
At his best, his confidence is his greatest asset. At his worst, his confidence is his greatest weakness.
And in last two starts, McCoy has now thrown six interceptions.
Defensive tackle Desmond Jackson, on "We Own Texas" chants...
"I had a feeling in my stomach that I never want to feel the way I feel right now. I feel like there's so much we could have done this year, and we just missed opportunities. I feel with the people we have coming back next year, we have a chance to be really good. All I can say to the people who were saying that is we'll get that fixed. I can promise you that."
Obviously, it's good that Jackson believes that Texas can get things fixed and is motivated to make sure it happens, but words are still cheap after yet another loss to the Wildcats and the 10-year anniversary of the last victory approaches.
For Texas football, it's a time for proving, which they will have an opportunity to do in the bowl game, either in the Cotton Bowl against LSU or Georgia or in the Alamo Bowl, where Oregon State would be the likely opponent.
The Longhorns better take advantage, too, because otherwise it will be an extremely long offseason.