clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The mark of the beast is upon the 2014 Texas Longhorns


Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Up 20-13 midway through the third quarter against the Texas Tech Raiders in Lubbock last weekend, the Texas Longhorns got the ball at the Texas 38-yard line after Texas Tech quarterback Vincent Testaverde missed an open Tyler Scalzi on a 4th and 2 that was critical to the game's outcome.

Instead of a big gain, the Longhorns got the ball and in the immediate aftermath, Red Raiders head coach Kliff KIngsbury took some criticism for calling a flag route that wasn't easy to complete for a true freshman walk-on quarterback.

Yet, the play was still there and a completion could have led to a touchdown that could have changed the outcome in front of a raucous late-night crowd in Lubbock.

But that's way down a rabbit hole. What really matters for these purposes is what happened next.

After Texas gained only a yard on a running play, Swoopes found little-used tight end MJ McFarland for 13 yards on a check down. It was McFarland's only gain of more than 10 yards on the season.

Then senior wide receiver Jaxon Shipley made the ill-fated attempt to turn a first down on 2nd and 10 into something more, just as Texas started to move into scoring range.

jaxon shipley airborne

Michael C. Johnson -- USA TODAY Sports

There's little upside here in the leap -- Shipley could just as easily dive forward and pick up a similar amount of yardage. At the least, the difference is trivial.

And the Texas Tech defender could just as easily rip at the ball and get nothing. Or just go for a hit on Shipley. The ball security isn't that terrible and the Red Raiders aren't especially adept at forcing fumbles, having caused only seven heading into the game.

So let's just have Scipio Tex take this away:

Jaxon Shipley fumbled for no reason when Texas was driving for a TD, leaping in the air like a bottle-nosed dolphin through an imaginary hoop and losing the ball on the other end.  There was something so emblematic of this team in that moment - the absolutely unnecessary leaping gesture borne more of unneeded hustle than showboating, somehow managing to pull a bad outcome from a good throw, catch and appropriate play call.  We do stuff like this all game and it defines us.  Pinning it on some neat whipping boy - coaching, Strong, Watson, player mentality, Mack Brown's penumbric tentacles - just doesn't ring true for me.  If anyone has a theory, I'm all ears.

It's just. It's just. Um.

It's just something about this football team that does truly defy explanation. Like there's some collective need to make up for the other defective pieces that causes otherwise smart football players to make poor decisions.

Or maybe this screen grab provides a better explanation.

mark of the beast

I mean, there it is in the characters used to describe the situation -- the answer is the mark of the beast itself. As good of a description as anyone can provide and a concession from the smartest writer in the Longhorns interwebs that basically goes ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ all equals that.

6. 6. 6.

At the risk of treading on the type of religious grounds that are normally out of bounds, what other explanation could there be for this?

It's all just too perfect -- the Horns are fighting a greater force with sharper horns in 2014.