Mistakes on offense cost the 'Horns against the Horned Frogs on Thanksgiving.
Schizophrenic David Ash
After the Kansas game, the notable quote from Texas quarterback David Ash was the admission that he was ready to play, but wasn't ready to deal with adversity. On Thursday night, Ash once again failed abjectly in dealing with adversity, continuing a troubling trend.
Two interceptions in the redzone in the first half cost Texas chances to put points on the board and a greased-football fumble led to one of the few TCU touchdowns on the night.
Twice Ash was replaced by Case McCoy, who managed to lead the sole touchdown drive on the night for the 'Horns. It was the same deal for Ash -- he simply didn't seem on the same page as his receivers as the Texas tackles did indeed struggle with pressure from the TCU defensive ends, resulting in deteriorating accuracy.
On some level, it's frustrating that the Texas coaching staff isn't giving the starter a chance to work through his problems with the quick trigger for McCoy, as Ash is clearly the future and defines the upside of the program moving forward.
Perhaps that upside isn't as significant as it can sometimes appear when the offense is creating big plays through the play-action game and McCoy is the safety valve for, but it the take here is that Texas has to roll with Ash at some point, because there's no way that McCoy is the quarterback that can take this team to a BCS game or the national championship.
At his best, Ash is that quarterback. At his worst, as was evident on Thursday night, Ash isn't even close to good enough.
Will the real David Ash please stand up?
Failure for the offensive line
Gary Patterson makes sure that his teams are in position to stop the run and that was unquestionably the case against the Longhorns. On 33 carries, Texas gained only 86 yards, less than three yards per carry. The long run on the night was 13 yards from McCoy.
Without the running game upon which everything is based, the offense was essentially neutered, a fact evidenced by the final score and the rushing totals.
The running backs never got anything going as the inside running game predictably fell apart against another good defensive front -- a similar story to the game against Oklahoma.
In the last several games, it was the TCU offense that was suffering from crippling turnovers and an inability to convert on 3rd downs. Instead, it was the Texas offense that turned the ball over as Boykin threw only one interception that hardly changed the game as the 'Horns were unable to convert it into a touchdown.
The struggling running game for the Horned Frogs produced big plays, especially with Boykin running the zone read, something that the Longhorns should have been prepared for entering the game, but apparently were not. All told, the redshirt freshman was the leading rusher in the game and picked up 85 big yards on only 11 carries.
A team that was having trouble running the football came into what should have been a hostile stadium that was instead filled with their own fans and ran the ball to the delight of the crowd like teams did earlier in the season against the 'Horns.
Another setback for Texas.
Texas should hire Gary Patterson
Overall, the performance from the 'Horns was hardly a Cotton Bowl-esque beatdown. Perhaps that represents actual progress for this team. Problem is, it's not good enough, if there really is progress.
In his conversation with Craig Way after the game, Brown didn't offer his usual platitudes about being out-coached and out-played, saying that his team played well. But doesn't that seem empty?
The TCU defense was always scary looking at the numbers against a Texas team that once again looked less than prepared to play a game. After a bye week. Against a defense full of players that the Longhorns didn't recruit. Not a single one. On either side of the ball.
That goodwill brought about by the good run after losing to Oklahoma? Consider that dissipated. Everything that the team wanted to achieve this season was still on the table, the memory of that beatdown fading into the distance.
And Texas responded in the worst possible fashion.
The fact of the matter is that Patterson evaluates better, develops better, and has been able to overcome injuries and arrests and a host of issues to beat an opponent that holds so many advantages.
Anyone want to burn it all down?
Have at it tonight.