Quarterback Well, damn. We didn't need that. Poor Colt looked like he took a pretty nasty stinger, and without knowing much medical detail, from the looks of things the team made the right decision to keep him on the sidelines the remainder of the game. There are things more important than the BCS - the health of the players chief among them.
Amidst all the transfer talk swirling around Jevan Snead, we heard the same thing from him each time: "I'm just getting prepared to play each week." That was the right thing to say, and we kept hearing from the coaches about the strides he was making in practice.
Unfortunately for Texas, they did have to call on Snead Saturday night, and he did about as well as can be expected. It's now when we have to wonder whether all those decisions not to play him with the team well ahead came back to haunt us last night. Would he have been a little bit sharper if he'd had some extra time in mop up duty? Should Mack have been playing him more during these blowouts?
We can't answer that, of course, but I'm inclined to believe it wouldn't have made that big a difference. Snead played at about the top level you could expect of someone of his age and experience. Some of the throws were off target. He didn't always make the right read. He often held the ball too long. But he did a reasonably good job, all things considered.
More than anything, Snead was let down by his line and by his running backs. Put in a very tough situation, he kept Texas in the game, made some solid plays, and didn't do anything back breaking. It should have been enough to win. That's all I'll say. Grade: B
Running Backs The real bitch of the loss last night was the letdown from Charles and Young, both of whom had terrible, critical fumbles. When your starting quarterback goes down and the backup (a freshman, no less) comes in, it's time for the tailbacks to shoulder extra responsibility.
And they blew it. Both fumbles were devastating. I just can't get over my disappointment with these two for those fumbles. Do we need to say much more about this? When the loss cost us that much?
I really don't think so. Grade: F
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends It was a mixed bag from the receivers last night. Billy Pittman came to play, and became Jevan's "go to" guy throughout, finishing with over 100 yards. Limas did haul in a deep touchdown, but he's having some real drop problems right now, and they appear to be a concentration issue. The drop of Quan Cosby's reverse pass was just a concentration lapse, and wound up being a drive killer.
I don't have an official count of dropped balls, but the number had to be at least five. Once again, when your star quarterback goes down, it's incumbent upon the others to pick up their play. The receivers played adequately, but there were some critical errors that cost the Horns down the stretch. Grade: C
Offensive Line Five sacks? Really? Five? You can chalk a big part of the problems to the two tackles; both Hills and Ulatoski were routinely smoked, making the already big challenge for Jevan Snead that much worse. On one particularly egregious play, Ulatoski just whiffed his assignment, double-teaming with Justin Blalock while that neanderthal Ian Campbell went in to bury Jevan Snead.
It's not like the Kansas State defensive line was a challenge this group couldn't handle, either. They weren't all that big; they just outhustled and outplayed the Texas line. Grade: D
Offensive Coaching It's pretty difficult to grade out Greg Davis when his entire gameplan had to be chucked after the first series. How did he do with Snead? Not too bad, really. There was a reasonable balance of pass and run, and Davis opened things up enough with Snead, avoiding the trap of playing things too conservatively. Really, without the two fumbles from Jamaal and Selvin, Texas probably wins the football game. Grade: B