Damn. That's basically all that needs to be said, from a UT fan's perspective. Before I get to the actual Weekly Roundup, I'm going to be candid with you guys and admit that I honestly feel guilty about Saturday.
I am, in this case at least, fortunate to have two teams to root for on a yearly basis (Texas followed by Missouri). While sometimes that just equals augmented stress, especially during the more frequent games in basketball season, it generally allows some measure of catharsis if one of the teams does especially poorly (read: Texas football this entire season other than against Nebraska). I obviously haven't had to worry about that the past two seasons very much, as UT only lost two games combined.
Most of you were not nearly that lucky, and I want to express my condolences and hopes that you were able to find your own solace in some other way, be it watching OU lose, thinking about the NFL the next day, or consuming copious amounts of alcohol.
Bottom line, being a sports fan is really freaking taxing and those of you still pulling for the Horns and cheering your hearts out should be damn proud of yourselves, because a lot of people are already jumping off the bandwagon. Cedric Golden openly admitted he wouldn't pay to see Texas play. Luckily he gets free tickets so he can analyze the team in person and then report that they aren't worth watching. Glad to know we have some truly loyal fans in the press.
Finally, a shoutout to all the authors around the Web who are still writing about UT. It was hard enough for me to sit down and write this, knowing that I'd have to at least mention Texas, so it's difficult to imagine finding the motivation to write an entire article or post about the embarrassing state the team is in right now. If you're reading, I commend you and thanks.
On to the games, after the jump.
Texas-21 (4-3, 2-2)
Iowa State-28 (4-4, 2-2)
The Skinny: This game has been analyzed over and over again ad nauseum, and I still don't think we've found a single silver lining for the good guys. Texas got beaten up and outplayed on both sides of the ball and made just enough mistakes on special teams to warrant a mention as a legitimate reason we lost the game.
I know a lot of people are blaming Greg Davis, and I don't want to get into that again here, but I think you have to properly apportion a good deal of the culpability to Gilbert and the wide receivers. Yes, I know, BrooklynHorn, the coaches are responsible for getting the players ready to play in the offseason and the week leading up to the game. But some times, the players just need to fucking come to play and, other than John Chiles, who played his ass off and ONLY had one drop, and DeSean Hales, who finally got to participate in football-based activities, these guys just did not decide to show up. The handling of D.J. Monroe is comical and the anticipation I feel waiting for Davis' next excuse of why he couldn't play after getting one carry for 11 yards every week is close to the excitement of picking up the seventh Harry Potter book. When we get behind IS WHEN HE NEEDS TO PLAY. You see, Greg, the sub 4.3, explosive, shifty, 11-YPC-averaging players are the ones that can. Get. You. Back. In. The. Game. For what it's worth, Cody and Tre' played their hearts out and the offensive line was solid until we went into air-it-out mode, when they started getting toasted by the Iowa State pass rush. We have possibly the worst red zone offense in the entire country.
The defense seems to have the mentality that they can show up for a while and play well or play well every now and then because, hey, "At least we ain't as bad as the offense, right?" Yes, I know, injuries, the offense sucks, yada, yada, yada. I'm sick of the excuses. These guys are too good and they're playing freakin' Iowa State, not Oregon. Defensive accountability and scheming was just not there. We do nothing to help our defensive line that is getting blown off the ball by the mighty Cyclone OL play after play? We continually have Dustin Earnest as the lone guy to clean up the middle, despite his poor play the entire game? No blitzing? No changing numbers in the box? I noticed half the game Keenan Robinson would start in the secondary and walk up right before the play, only to be quickly taken out of it because he was never in the right spot pre-snap. WTF was that? Muschamp was way too stubborn with his scheme and should have eventually A) started blitzing B) PUT HICKS IN or C) played a 4-4 with Christian Scott as the fourth linebacker. Not Blake Gideon, who can't tackle. Christian Scott, who can't cover. For what it's worth, Muschamp's post-game reaction was pretty depressing to watch. He looked like he had just lost his dog or failed a final exam or something. Completely sapped, confused, and generally shocked.
Enough about this game. How sad are the state of things when I get to say, "Texas vs. Baylor next week should be one of the most interesting game the Horns have had in the last three years..."
Big Man On Campus: Iowa State tailback Alexander Robinson is no super-talent, but he ran hard all day long and harder as it went on. Dustin Earnest and Blake Gideon are still trying to tackle him in their dreams. Robinson went for five YPC on 24 carries to accumulate 120 yards and two touchdowns.
Colorado-24 (3-4, 0-3)
Texas Tech-27 (4-3, 2-3)
The Skinny: This was a mildly surprisingly close contest, as Colorado is a pretty bad team. Tech won on a field goal late after a 13-0 fourth quarter on the road in Boulder. It's weird seeing Tech routinely below 300 yards passing now, as they were in this game. Tyler Hansen got injured in the first half, so nepotism again reigned as Cody Hawkins came in and threw 43 passes. Dan Hawkins' tenure at Colorado is the only thing precluding Chris Peterson getting a $5 million salary offer.
Big Man On Campus: Tech WR Alex Torres was Taylor Potts' top receiver on the day, racking up 133 yards and a score on only six catches.
Oklahoma State-41 (6-1, 2-1)
Nebraska-51 (6-1, 2-1)
The Skinny: What a sweet game. A seesaw offensive battle throughout resulted in an impressive Nebraska victory. The Huskers led 31 to 27 at the half, snapping an incredible string of 14 games that the Blackshirts had held opponents to 21 or less. Justin Blackmon made Prince Amukamara look like a middle school CB in the first half before the Huskers adjusted in the second half. He had 157 yards receiving on five catches with a couple of TDs. Kendall Hunter ran wild up a surprisingly soft Nebraska middle all day long, finishing with 201 yards and a couple scores. But the real story of the day of the day was the Nebraska O. After a pretty miserable performance against UT last week, the Children of the Corn had a field day against a bad Okie State offense, rolling up 540 very balanced offensive yards (323 passing and 217 rushing). Great game between two very good teams.
Big Man On Campus: Tayler Martinez may have gotten yanked last week, but he really matured against OSU with his passing (all 323 passing yards of Nebraska, not to mention five TDs). He was phenomenal on the ground, as usual, with 19 carries for 112 yards. If T-Magic keeps having games like this and Nebraska keeps on winning (especially in a highly-showcased game against Mizzou next weekend), Martinez should slip back into the Heisman conversation for next year, if not earlier.
Baylor-47 (6-2, 3-1)
Kansas State-42 (5-2, 2-2)
The Skinny: Is it any possible for me to feel less secure about our next two games? The fireworks in this showdown certainly didn't help. If you for some reason thought Iowa State had decent skill position talent, check these numbers out:
- Robert Griffin III; 404 passing yards, four TDs to one interception
- Jay Finley; 26 carries for 250 yards (9.6 YPC), two TDs
- Josh Gordon; seven catches for 141 yards, two TDs
- Kendall Wright; six catches for 113 yards, two TDs
If any of your are frantically typing in "cfbstats.com" to see if we have any players that fit those stats for the entire season, all I can say is I don't blame you. So that's what we get to look forward to this weekend against Baylor. Kansas State got outgained by nearly 300 yards of offense and still only lost by five. And that game's in Manhattan. Against K-State. Yeah I'm not overly optimistic...
On the flip side, let's give it up for Baylor being bowl-eligible two game before Texas (or, uh, more) and ranked in the top 25. Hopefully they won't be after next weekend.
Big Man On Campus: 683 yards of total offense from Baylor. Six hundred and eighty-three. Right now, I think I'd trade my spleen for 683 yards of offense against Baylor. And Kansas State. Like, combined.
Kansas-10 (2-5, 0-3)
Texas A&M-45 (4-3, 1-2)
The Skinny: Jerrod Johnson went into KU's house and broke Reggie McNeal's career mark (8,876 yards) for total offense at A&M. I didn't get to see the game, but supposedly he was replaced by Tannehill in the second quarter. Beergut or miketag or somebody can comment on why, if you please, but it didn't really matter because North Dakota State QB Jose Mohler could have led the Ags to a victory against the faltering Jayhawks. Oh...right. He already did that. Not to take anything away from such an impressive Agricultural and Mechanical victory, but Kansas is utterly horrible. I guess that is kind of taking away from it. Sorry Ags. Kansas is so bad the Texas offense might score 30 points on them. Burn.
One negative for A&M: 12 penalties for 130 yards? Ouch. What, do you have like eight Blake Gideon's on your defense and five offensive linemen all named Kyle Hix?
Big Man On Campus: Aggie WR Jeff Fuller is a great talent and almost unstoppable when he wants to be (which is most of the time). The result? Five catches for a buck-21 and two touchdowns.
Missouri-36 (7-0, 3-0)
Oklahoma-27 (6-1, 2-1)
The Skinny: What an electric game. People were amped for the game all week and Gameday coming to Columbia for the first time was pretty much the sole talk of the entire town. The Tigers didn't disappoint on the field, as the number one team in the nation fell for the third straight week. Boasting the best redzone defense in the country, the Mizzou D gave up yards to OU's offense up and down the field, but kept everything in front of them and repeatedly made huge plays to keep the Sooners out of the endzone.
Blaine Gabbert was spectacular from start to finish behind a veteran Tiger offensive line that has historically been the difference between Mizzou being good instead of great. Saturday night, not only did they completely stymie OU's vaunted pass rush all game long, but they also opened up key holes in the running game that allowed the Tiger offense to stay balanced.
A program defining win if I've ever seen one. Who would have thought that after eight weeks, Mizzou would be the only undefeated team left in the conference? Not this writer.
Big Man On Campus: With the OU defense successfully focusing on star wideout T.J. Moe, WR Jerrell Jackson took full advantage of single coverage all night long to the tune of nine catches for 139 yards, including a 38-yarder over the middle where he broke away from two Sooner missed tackles and jogged to the promised land. His statline may look good on its own, but it's impossible to quantify the importance of some of his third-down catches and his ability to take advantage of Oklahoma's weak spots in the middle of the field, something Greg Davis didn't even think of doing. Huge game, JJ.
At least for this week, Mizzou has to be into the number one slot, being the only undefeated team in the league and having proven they can beat a top team. That may change after this week in Lincoln, but I have to give the Tigers credit where credit is due. For now.
Nebraska and OU are a nice tossup and that'll be determined by how Nebraska does against Mizzou and, eventually, how OU does against OSU. For now, I'll take OU.
Baylor gets a nice little bump from the dregs of the conference. Hahaha, I have Baylor as the fifth best team in the conference. That's freaking nuts!
Other than that, I really don't know what to do. I don't know where to put Texas. I don't really know what to do with A&M and KSU. Tech beat Baylor, but I don't think they're as good of a team. It's like, hard, dude! The top of the conference is relatively easy and can be defended. The bottom two teams are obvious. The middle is just an absolute mess, especially with stuff like UT winning in Lubbock and Iowa State winning in Austin.
1. Missouri Tigers
2. Oklahoma Sooners
3. Nebraska Cornhuskers
4. Oklahoma State Cowboys
5. Baylor Bears (0_0)
6. Kansas State Wildcats
7. Iowa State Cyclones (0_0)
8. Texas Longhorns (0_0)
9. Texas Tech Red Raiders
10. Texas A&M Aggies
11. Colorado Buffaloes
12. Kansas Jayhawks