Well, we were starting to feel ourselves a bit. One-point loss as a heavy underdog to Bama. “Culture win” last week and then BAM! We got smacked upside down with a tortilla. Following the Horns' OT loss to Texas Tech, where is your level of concern at?
Cameron Parker (@camerondparker) - Around a 4. I think the realistic goal going into OU week was 4-1. Obviously, that didn’t account for the injuries to Ewers and Card. They might come back and fix all the offenses problems but if Tech can win with their back-up, why can’t Sark? I understand there are multiple factors that go into last week’s loss but it was deja vu from last season. I’m more concerned with PK’s refusal to adjust his defensive scheme when there’s an obvious blueprint on how to attack his defense.
Daniel Seahorn (@DanielSeahorn) - About where it was starting the season. I was expecting a game like this at some point, but maybe not this soon I guess you could say. After watching Tech prior to this past weekend I had Donovan Smith as a potential issue for the defense and he ended up proving me right. Still though I still think this team can show considerable improvement from last year’s 5-7 squad. Getting Quinn Ewers back will provide a real shot in the arm and I think this team can bounce back this week against West Virginia at home.
Curry Shoff (@willcurrys) - Not concerned at all. Get Quinn back and don’t lose any more games. Still on schedule.
Cody Daniel (@CodyDanielSBN) - Not at the level of panic or writing the season off, but Texas collapsing and following the theme that derailed the 2021 season is certainly concerning. But this is now back-to-back weeks where Texas hasn’t looked too impressive, so Saturday might be telling for what this team is.
Sark has spoken about playing complementary football since he got here but it’s hard to do that when the offense goes 3-and-out on three straight possessions in the second half and your defense is on the field for 40 more plays than the offense. Who takes the blame here? PK’s defense for not being able to get off the field? Or Sark’s offense?
Cameron - It definitely goes both ways but I don’t understand why PK refuses to adjust. What is he so afraid of to play so conservative? And how can Texas Tech win with a backup QB, but Texas can’t even pick up a first down with theirs? There are still going to be growing pains but there’s no reason to be losing to Texas Tech or West Virginia.
Daniel - The blame probably falls somewhere in the middle rather directly on either side of the football. Sark probably could have called a better game at certain points, but the execution could have also been better by the offense as well. The defense absolutely can’t allow an opposing offense to go 6 of 8 on 4th down attempts and they can’t give them bailouts like they did on 3rd and 26. On the other side of the coin, the offense needs to be able to sustain a drive if the defense gets stranded on the field for a 10+ play series.
I say all of that to say there shouldn’t be any finger-pointing because both sides of the ball could be doing more to help the team win. They need to meet somewhere in the middle going forward if they want to make progress in 2022.
Curry - “Yes.” Texas Tech’s defense isn’t good enough to win scoring only 34 points in regulation. This one falls on the offense for not stepping on the throat when it had a chance up two scores. No excuse for defensive struggles on fourth down this season, but that unit has done its job most of the year. Offense not so much.
Cody - Both. The defense spent extra time on the field because they couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities to get off, but as the game wore on, the offense stalling and forcing the defense right back onto the field forced Texas to fight an uphill battle there.
A week before Oklahoma and it already feels like West Virginia is a “must-win” game this week. Agree or disagree?
Cameron - If Quinn Ewers and Xavier Worthy are playing, it’s a must win. 0-2 in conference play after playing two of the worst teams? Not good, Bob. Plus, you still have Oklahoma next week and Iowa State and Oklahoma State right after. All of a sudden you’re looking at 0-5 straight in the eyes.
Daniel - Doesn’t every game feel like a must-win when year one resulted in 5-7? I’ll say it is because you don’t want to go to Dallas on a two-game losing streak needing to knock off Oklahoma to get back on the positive side of the ledger. The natives are already restless and we know the fan base isn’t exactly patient. Sark needs some positive mojo in a big way this week.
Curry - Meh. Only because the general public will panic if we lose.
Cody - In a sense, yes, because if Texas drops back-to-back games to underwhelming opponents, I’m not sure they have the kind of confidence necessary to go beat Oklahoma. And if that proves true, the losses should add up in a hurry.
Is Quinn Ewers the fix for the offensive problems? Or is it a much larger problem?
Cameron - Ewers won’t fix the growing pains of the offensive line but there’s so much more he can do than Card. Card has played good enough to win every game this season, but Texas is still 2-2. With Ewers, I believe Texas is 4-0.
Daniel - I’m weary of calling him THE fix because we all know growing pains are coming at some point for the young quarterback and that will have to be sorted out when the time comes. I think getting consistency from the interior offensive line is a key issue and you need guys further down the depth chart at receiver to start picking up slack if guys like Xavier Worthy aren’t 100%. On top of that, I’d like to see Sark reassess some things as a play caller situationally, so you don’t have some of the same occurrences that happened this past weekend.
These things are fixable with coaching and time in my opinion. I don’t think the sky is falling by any means with the offense and as I have said previously Hudson Card has shown this team can win with him under center.
Curry - He is a major fix.
Cody - I wouldn’t say he’s “the fix” but I also don’t think the problems are “much larger.” A young offensive line has been having some issues at times, but that’s also negatively impacted by the offense being a bit one-dimensional with Ewers out. So, I’ll say this – Ewers coming back doesn’t fix all problems, but I think Texas is probably 4-0 right now with a healthy Ewers.
Score predictions for this week’s game against West Virginia?
Cameron - If Ewers is at QB, Texas 42, West Virginia 28. If it’s Card without Xavier Worthy, Texas 31, West Virginia 35
Daniel - Texas 31 WVU 24. If Ewers is back in the saddle I think he adds a few more points to the scoreboard.
Curry - Texas 42 WVU 21.
Cody - If Ewers isn’t back, that’s a major factor, and I’m a little worried about this team repeating last season’s collapsing issues. I need to see it to believe it. 31-27 WVU.