The Bellmont marketing engine revved up early in the week to incite the Longhorn fans, who justifiably are in show me mode, to come early, wear orange, be loud, and stay late and #TurnUpDKR.
Well, we saw a lot of orange and then we saw a lot of red as Oklahoma State bled that #TurnUpDKR dry.
Yesterday afternoon's 38-13 drubbing was Mack Brown's worst home field scoreboard result in his 16 seasons as head coach of the Texas Longhorns. The worst. That includes Route 66 II. And the 25 point difference could have been more had Mike Gundy not taken his foot off the accelerator late in the third quarter.
To make matters worse, the Longhorns continue to rack up home loss after loss to top ranked teams since the halcyon days of Young and McCoy I (Saturday made it eight straight). This in spite of highly ranked recruiting classes and coaching staff overhauls since the now quite apparent program changing devastating loss at the hands of Alabama in the Rose Bowl fog.
Expectations were off the chart for the Longhorns as they entered the contest leading the Big 12 conference standings. Were those expectations justified? Yes and no. During the six game win streak before the matchup with OSU the team needed, arguably, a game breaking play here or there to rally for victory. In that vein we all were looking at a null set as the Cowboys exposed the real weaknesses of a seemingly resurgent Texas team.
One of the glaring trending weaknesses was Texas' lack of ability to score touchdowns in the red zone as BON's Micheal Pelech presciently described. And it was only last week the offense sputtered against a West Virginia defense in which they were gifted two turnovers inside the Mountaineer 10 yard line only to squander those opportunities with Lou Groza star of the week Anthony Fera field goals.
The game against the Cowboys did nothing to quash the trend as Texas was only able to muster a single touchdown in three red zone tries while their opponent scored touchdowns on three of four trips into the Texas red zone.
Simple math shows those disappointing scoring possessions, which can be shouldered by first year offensive coordinator Major Applewhite for play call strategy as much as the players, accounted for a third of the twenty five point final score delta.
But the key sequence in the game happened right before half where a potential interception, at the very least a PBU, by senior strong safety Adrian Phillips sailed through his grasp into the waiting sure hands of the Cowboys wide out Tracy Moore for a touchdown. That play followed up by the dagger in the heart of the Longhorns when Case McCoy picked on the wrong Cowboy cornerback in one Justin Gilbert who sat on the route in an All-Pro manner, picked the pass, and raced into the end zone for the fourteen point flipper. Game. Set. Match.
Credit Mike Gundy for showing his team how to expose the Texas defense: Use the triple threat of a superior quarterback. Field open in the middle? Run it to daylight. Cover two? Throw over the top to one of your 6-foot something receivers. Neither of those working? Mix in zone read against an unproven defensive edge prone to lose gap integrity.
Don't get me wrong, the defense played about as well as expected given the short / flipped fields but they were not able to get off the gridiron soon enough against an evidently superior Cowboys squad.
Throw in the continued sophomoric trending bone headed play of Daje Johnson whose uncanny ability to flip the field, both positively and negatively, and lack of a multiple offensive threat and it's no wonder the team was ripe for TurnUp bleeding.
Yes, the table was set for the Longhorns to show the millions watching they had turned the proverbially program corner only to futilely show there is still much, much work left to turn it around and turn it up.
And it is good thing the team has more football in which to do so. It's now back to the drawing board for the coaching staff to put together a plan to keep the team focused on winning and not the abysmal setback.
Congratulations to the Oklahoma State Cowboys on the decisive win at DKR to continue their run toward a conference title.