I find there are two main groups on BON when it comes to this football team: The group that will complain about everything and want everyone fired and the group that wouldn't make a change no matter what. Then there are those who perhaps can't decide which group to be in.
I have been on both sides of the Mack Brown debate and I've admitted as much. While I don't think we'll win another national championship with him as coach, I have to be able to admit that he's done a very good job in the last six weeks. Last night's game was a great example. Fans were turning on the team by 7:14pm EST on the game thread and by 7:17 we already had the obligatory "game could be over" comment before we'd even broken halfway through the first quarter. Let me rephrase: There were still over 52 minutes of football left to be played and we were already seeing people bail on their television sets.
No team in Texas' situation last night (i.e., on the road facing an early deficit and a fired up opponent while not playing well) is going to stay in the game much less win it the way that they did WITHOUT some coaching. That isn't to say that this team was well-coached against BYU but it was certainly well-coached last night.
There were limits. The play-calling at some points was perplexing. Zero-coverage on the long WVU TD comes to mind. The execution was poor at times (e.g., blocked punt, half of Moxie's throws and perhaps even "Dancing Daje"). That said, if you can't see last night's win as a coaching victory you're not being very objective.
Am I back on the Mack Brown Bandwagon? I wouldn't say so. I do think that he created a lot of his mess and his management style isn't to my liking. He did do a good job getting a road win out of a difficult situation though and he deserves credit for that.
As long as I am eating crow, I should take the opportunity to eat some side-dishes of crow:
1) Moxie McCoy- You have the absolute worst QB mechanics I've ever seen. You put so many receivers at risk by your extreme lack of accuracy. Setting your feet and stepping into an accurate throw would probably kill you but I have to give you credit: you didn't give up. You got us into enough of the right plays to win.
2) Anthony Fera- I don't like guys who commit to one school and then play for another (see Simms, Chris). You may have had good reason to leave Penn State but the coincident timing is off-putting. That aside, if you don't win the Groza award this year they should retire the trophy. Dude is friggin' nails.
3) Quandre Diggs- Looked impressively sharp around the line and in coverage but ran down a would-be touchdown which was huge
4) Offensive line- Have not criticized this group much this year but I could not help noticing how well they played in pass protection. Did a very nice job against a lot of pressure.
5) Steve Edmond- I've always seen Edmond as a limited player with very little awareness. The last two plays of the game were all awareness plays. He bailed out the DB and made incredibly athletic plays on the ball. No Steve Edmond=No Longhorn Win last night. Game ball for sure.
6) Greg Robinson- If you overlook Ole Miss (which was the first game on board in a DC capacity) this defense has been impressively re-styled. There is gap integrity. The players don't look lost. They are executing the plays that are called. True, I don't agree with some of it but he isn't calling plays that his players don't understand or can't adjust. As much an indictment of Manny Diaz, this job also underscores that Greg Robinson has more coaching ability than the Michigan fans or his other detractors would suggest.
Eating the Crow. Should you?