The outcome was: Amusing. What a freaking rollercoaster, right? Texas was unwatchable for three quarters, and then, suddenly, buried Nebraska with 200+ yards of rushing in one quarter. We'll certainly get into why it took so long to do what everyone but Greg Davis realized you do to beat Nebraska: run the football.
The Offensive MVP was: Jamaal Charles. Like I gotta tell you.
The Defensive MVP was: Brian Orakpo. He was hell on wheels today, making all sorts of disruptive plays. A great performance from a great player.
The offensive Offensive Player Of The Week was: Greg Davis. Right up until John Chiles was forced into the game and Davis realized that - surprise, surprise - running the football against Nebraska was there for the taking, the 'Horns were mired in one of the most embarassing offensive performances of the Greg Davis era. And that's saying something.
I know it's hard to hate on Colt McCoy, and believe me, I admire the kid for his toughness, his fight, and his willingness to do anything and everything he can to help this team win. But this offense is dysfunctional when it's centered around McCoy the passer as a primary threat. And though he's an effective enough scrambler, and a gutty enough rusher, he's having a hell of a tough season. The offensive line hasn't helped. Greg Davis definitely hasn't helped. And McCoy himself has just not thrown the ball effectively.
Colt will have his good games. Even some great games. But I think that we're seeing there's a ceiling for this offense with him as the quarterback. I guess we can leave him in there, start running more zone read, and see how far he can go, but it's sure starting to seem like we might want to consider just going with what we know this offense can do well - zone read offense with a real athlete at quarterback.
[Also, the very fact that we're having the same conversation every other week should be a sign of the limitations in question. Whether it's Colt's fault, Greg Davis' fault, the offensive line's fault, the lack of a legitimate vertical passing threat, or some combination therein (ding ding ding), the one thing that's been consistent is that this offense isn't taking any meaningful steps forward.]
The offensive Defensive Player Of The Week was: Ishie Oduegwu. Ishie struggled today with his assignments, but I'm not gonna lose even a wink of sleep over it. As has been noted, we need to be playing for 2008 here. Ishie won't learn from mistakes when he's not playing. Like Deon Beasley, growing pains are expected, acceptable, and - given the stakes right now - preferable to playing a senior veteran who might get us a Holiday Bowl (instead of Alamo Bowl) berth.
John Chiles Watch: 1 play. Which changed everyhing. Frankly, I'm not sure why we didn't stick with him. Hey - if Texas finds itself playing a team which can shut down the zone read, then maybe going with Colt is the best option. Today? It was all about moving the ball on the ground. Which didn't happen until Chiles' sparked a change in our philosophy. You can credit him, or Davis, or Charles, or an act of God. Doesn't really matter; we all saw the same thing.
Vondrell McGee Watch: 3 carries, 22 yards. Last week's discussion takes a twist this week with the fourth quarter explosion. If Texas shifts towards a zone-read attack, Jamaal Charles is going to see sustained success (remember his 7.4 yards per carry alongside Vince?). If not, we got some sense today of what McGee can do when he's the feature back in our Colt-based attack.
No simple answers here, but I think we saw today that the answer is probably not to try to pass 35 times a game. And if we do go to a spread rush attack? Charles is your starter. Without question.
Oklahoma State Fear Factor: 10 out of 10 (5) is the baseline. (+5) for I have no freaking idea with this Texas team. None.
Heading into next week I feel: Disoriented. It's hard to say with this team, isn't it? Colt's a better passer, but continues to struggle. Chiles can't pass, but Greg Davis seems to thrive with one offense only - the zone read package (which Chiles is better suited for). What to do?
I honestly don't know. At least we have something to talk about?