Texas was afforded every opportunity to beat Oklahoma State yesterday, but fell short 30-27 after another special teams blunder and some garbage officiating essentially handed the game to Mike Gundy and the Cowboys. Texas is now 1-3 for the first time since 1956. I'll speak to officiating in a moment, but here are some other thoughts:
Optimistic - Tyrone Swoopes' new role
When Jay Norvell was at Oklahoma, he helped turn former OU QB Blake Bell into the "Bell-dozer." Swoopes' new wildcat role is basically the same thing. Yesterday, Swoopes came in and converted multiple third-and-shorts, including one touchdown. He finished the day with three carries for 35 yards and six points. Props to Jay Norvell for finding a way to keep Swoopes engaged in this offense.
We need to come up with a name for the Swoopes package. Most creative name in the comments will win 1000 BON Bucks and a two-year subscription to BON Premium™ -- where I text you about all the rumors I hear/make up regarding Texas athletics.
Sobered -- Jerrod Heard
Jerrod Heard is going to have many good games at Texas. I felt like this wasn't one of them. He finished 9/17 for 119 yards and one INT.
I said this last week, but I'll say it again: Heard needs to try and make plays with his arm as much as he does with his feet. I know he set a total yardage record last week, but there were opportunities to throw the ball yesterday that JH didn't take. He committed to running the ball too early and it proved costly at the end of the game -- when he tried to run it three times in a row, gained zero yards and forced Texas to punt with under a minute to play in a tie ball game.
He is a freshman and will learn, but this was the Heard I expected to see this year. If he sprinkles in more performances like the Cal game, great. But I don't expect to see that every single week -- especially against good defenses.
JH is doing a good job taking care of the football. I think the Texas offense has only turned it over twice this season. Yesterday, it was on a tipped ball INT. Last week, it was the INT before the half. UT is winning the turnover battles.
I don't know how to feel -- Texas defense
Texas needs to find a way to get off the field on third down. Oklahoma State converted on over half of its third downs which allowed them to capitalize on drives the Longhorns should've stopped. It felt like anything short of third-and-nine was a guaranteed first down for OSU. Texas needs to put more pressure on opposing teams quarterbacks and tighten up its coverage if it wants a chance at going to a bowl game this season.
The defense still played better last night than it did against Cal. The Horns had two defensive touchdowns -- including a pick six by true freshman Holton Hill. It also had one big Dylan Haines interception return and two phantom turnovers that were called back by an inept officiating crew. Takeaways make or break a football team, and Texas was on the right side of the line yesterday.
Very pessimistic -- Closing out football games
Christ. It happened again. It was one of those moments we all thought "God, could you imagine?" right before it happened. Texas special teams dropped the ball, literally, on a punt with under a minute to play to give OSU the football game.
It's almost comical now. I'm excited to see the new, innovative way the Longhorns lose to TCU. My money is on a Texas fumble in victory formation that TCU returns for the winning touchdown -- but don't limit your imagination with this one. Anything and everything is possible when Texas has the ball at the end of a football game.
Very, oh so, incredibly pessimistic and filled with secondhand embarrassment -- The officiating
My god. Inept is the only word that comes to mind. Inept, embarrassing and egregious. I rarely complain about officiating because it always feels like a BS excuse for fans who don't understand football, but holy shit. The officials calling yesterday's game were nothing short of complete and utter dogshit.
Here are the two late calls that gave OSU 30 yards and the game:
Finally saw TV perspective of "holding" penalty on Poona Ford. Exactly how is this holding? Horrible call. pic.twitter.com/55Xznl2Nah— Taylor Gaspar (@Taylor_Gaspar) September 27, 2015
This ball was intercepted and returned into OSU territory by true freshman Kris Boyd:
Hahaha. Roughing the passer on Texas. Wow. pic.twitter.com/YyK7wbGk0k— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguy) September 26, 2015
They called holding on this. Anybody have a clue here? No official call "mic was out." https://t.co/4ibaDrp3on— EricInsideTexas (@EricNahlin) September 27, 2015
Honorable mention questionable calls: The phantom OSU fumble recovery, the questionable lateral touchdown pass, the Patrick Vahe holding penalty and the Davante Davis interception.
Barking Carnival has already come out and said it looked like corruption (A few Texas fans did some digging and found that the head linesman was an A&M football player). At this point, for the sake of these officials, you kind of have to hope it was corruption. There shouldn't be any other explanation for such blatant ineptitude. These officials compromised their integrity, the integrity of the Big 12 and the integrity of college football. They affected the outcome of a football game by 14 to 21 points.
Officials should have to stand in front of the media and explain themselves after games like that. If you can stick 10 mics in front of an 18-year-old kid who isn't getting paid, then damn it, you can do so for an employed official who completely shit the bed. The Big 12 needs to issue a public reprimand on this crew. Hopefully we won't see them at a Texas game again.
Texas outplayed Oklahoma State in every facet of the game. It's unfortunate that officiating so blatantly affected the outcome.