The SMO: Your Sunday Morning Optimist (Friday Edition)

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sport

The consistently underachieving Longhorns stumble their way into an undeserved victory.

Well, that was stressful.

But, we did it. We are 2-0 in conference play. Everything is going according to plan. All it took was a bye week, a Hail Mary, a dozen pass interference penalties, a last minute drive, a very questionable fumble call, and an offensive line miscommunication to beat a rebuilding sub .500 Iowa State team by one point. Can you believe that this Texas team was actually ranked in the preseason? Despite all the negatives, and there were a lot of negatives, Texas avoided another embarrassing loss on the shoulders of Case McCoy. It was a game with forgettable performances contributed by everyone.

Pretty Optimistic- Johnathan Gray

Gray is the hardest working Longhorn on this team and deserves recognition for everything he does. Unfortunately, he hit that arbitrary talent level where he is "too good for the field" (see Marquise Goodwin) and so he was essentially a non-factor for most of the second half. His first touchdown was indicative of his elite skill set. His vision is phenomenal and after a quick cutback move he strolled into the end zone untouched. Unfortunately, all good things have to come to an end. Texas coaches, for whatever reason, decided that they weren't looking to win in convincing fashion, so Gray's carries significantly decreased for the rest of the game. The Longhorns, despite averaging over 5 yards a carry, ran the ball only three times in the first ten minutes of the third quarter. It was apparent that Texas had no interest in utilizing Gray, and his second half rustiness was evidenced by some uncharacteristic goal line fumbles. Unlike a majority of this team, I am proud that Gray represents my university.

Pretty Optimistic- Defensive Line

The defensive line, most notably the defensive tackles, stepped up big and pressured young Cyclone quarterback, Sam Richardson, on most of his passing plays. Led by Malcom Brown and Chris Whaley, this unit comprised the only successful component of the defensive scheme last night. Cedric Reed and Jackson Jeffcoat made the most essential batted ball/interception play of the year as Iowa State was driving into field goal territory with under a minute to go. That makes it two games in a row that the defensive line has picked up critical turnovers. Kudos to these guys for playing tough, even if the defense behind them struggled to maintain the success.

Extremely Pessimistic- Major Applewhite

I will concede that a quarterback with a half-decent arm would have put up Heisman numbers against the Cyclones, but we don't have that, so why throw the ball 40+ times? Applewhite immediately came out after the game and claimed responsibility for the performance. It's something he's done every week and it's not enough. This excuse doesn't justify bad decisions. Last night, the Texas offense looked unprepared.

Pessimistic- Mike Davis

Suspend him. He's not good enough to get away with being this stupid.

Pessimistic- Case McCoy

I feel bad for McCoy, because he was not utilized to his strength tonight--handing off the ball. Applewhite thought it would be better for McCoy to pass the ball 40+ times against a team that gave up 218 rushing yards to Northern Iowa. Excluding the Hail Mary, he consistently missed receivers on deep balls, some in embarrassing fashion. He targeted receivers in double coverage multiple times and threw what a couple critical dropped interceptions. He is now 2-7 in games where he has attempted 16 or more passes. Serious question; is Case McCoy spoiling the family name for Texas fans? In the future, what will you remember when you hear the last name McCoy? It looks like the heroics of older brother Colt are slowly being overshadowed by the ineptitude of his younger brother.

A win is a win, but this one feels dirty. It's sickening to think that this victory would count towards Brown's ultimate goal of surpassing DKR's win total at Texas. It is going to be an unbearable week of Texas football media, listening to Big 12 championship propaganda as though it were an actual possibility. If Texas plays like this next week, Oklahoma is going to win by 75 points.

Last Sunday, the AMC hit drama Breaking Bad ended. For the few unfamiliar, it was a show about a chemistry teacher who started cooking meth before slowly becoming consumed by the criminal lifestyle. The show created a perfect anti-hero, and though the series finale appealed to most, I was left unsatisfied. Without spoiling anything, I'll say that I believed more needed to be done to the infamous Walter White. He didn't deserve to get off that easy. That's how I feel about this Iowa State game and Mack Brown's legacy. Brown doesn't deserve to walk away from a game like this unscathed. Just like the Kansas game in 2012, Brown has once again escaped another embarrassing performance by his unprepared Longhorn squad. I'm happy Texas got the victory, but it would have been fitting to see Iowa State win, because they deserved it more.

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