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Texas Longhorns Report Card: Offense vs UCF

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Onward with the offense...


The good? Colt hit 32 of 47 passes. That ain't half bad.

The bad? He only had 259 yards. That's about 8 yards a completion, which is... not good. And gets at the crux of the problem right now. We've got no vertical passing game because teams are sitting two safeties deep. And why are they sitting two safeties deep? Because there's no need to bring anyone up for run support.

We've hit a crossroads of sorts with McCoy. Greg Davis and Colt McCoy were able to surprise people a little bit last season as teams dared the redshirt freshman to beat them. Now? Teams have figured out that our running game is manageable without safety help, that there's no penalty for dropping two safeties into coverage, and that giving the Longhorns the underneath stuff isn't terribly painful. Certainly not when we can't execute in the red zone.

So where do we go from here? It's a tough question, really. Either McCoy has to be asked to provide a credible running threat or we need to consider moving McCoy under center and revamping the offensive system altogether. This hybrid, which worked pretty well last year when teams weren't keyed on taking away our vertical passing game, has run its course. Something has to give.

McCoy himself is trapped a little bit here. The system itself will need to evolve or McCoy's going to be facing an uphill battle most of the season. If Greg Davis' biggest critics ever had a year to point and yell, "SEE!", so far- this is it. Davis will have to make some fundamental adjustments (and soon) to successfully quell those concerns.

How to grade McCoy, then? He was merely solid. Neither great nor bad. That, of course, won't win any championships. Let's just hope, for now, that Davis gives McCoy a better opportunity to succeed.


Running Back

My goodness Jamaal Charles is good. He's running with an intensity and purpose that's simply blown my mind this year. Unfortunately, he put the ball on the ground twice on Saturday. For now, let's just note that he picked up 7 yards per carry because he's breaking 3-4 big runs a game this year. To this point, he's the team MVP.

Those who want to see Ogbonnaya carry the ball more, let me just note that he's got to be used situationally. Chris is a good bit bigger than I remember him being a year ago (could just be bad memory on my part) and is useful more in a blocking, H-back type role.

There's simply nothing to dislike about this unit right now, especially if those fumbles were an aberration. They catch passes, they run well, they block well. This ain't the problem.


Wide Receivers

Somehow, Quan Cosby caught 10 footballs for 67 yards. That's pretty tough to do, boys and girls, and is a reflection of just how silly our offensive scheming has become. Anyone who's read this site since the beginning knows that I hate to be excessively negative, but there's just not much good stuff to pin up on the bulletin board right now.

This receiving corps - even short-manned - is outstanding. But we're just dinking and dunking our way down the field, scaring nobody (except our own fans). The passing game can't get vertical because the safeties don't have to help with the run. The run can't get going because we're running out of the shotgun with a quarterback who doesn't count as a threat to keep the ball. What's left? Bubble screens. Quick throws to the wide receivers. It is a poor man's version of the Texas Tech spread attack.

Once again, this ain't a personnel or performance problem.


Offensive Line

Let's face it: we knew this was a huge question mark heading into the year, and we've not seen anything yet to make us feel better. Central Florida's best unit was its mammoth defensive line, and it showed. Dallas Griffin was swallowed whole on more than a couple plays. Charlie Tanner is not an answer at guard. Tony Hills does well with pass protection, but has never blocked well in the running game. Chris Hall at tackle is a band aid. Only Cedric Dockery represents the burnt orange and white in a way that we're used to seeing from our linemen.

So... now what?

I have no idea. True freshmen are very rarely the answer on the offensive line. It's looking like a patchwork unit from here on out. And it may not be fair to call this a quesiton mark any more. I think filing it as a team weakness is more appropriate. The only real question is: when Texas loses, will the coaches just start developing the real horses?


Offensive Coaching

Honestly, I think I've covered most of this already. Davis has some real work to do, and though the offense is a far cry from "broken," we're not yet at a point where we can expect this unit to win us games against elite competition. And that, of course, is the only goal.

So let's just leave it at that and hope, pray, and beg for Davis to use the final out of conference scrimmage as a chance to rethink how he wants to score points with these players.