I’m not sure there is any other way to describe the 2010 Longhorns. I think most knew that this team did not have the supporting cast afforded Colt McCoy in his first year at QB. 2, 3 or even 4 losses certainly seemed possible. But no one could have envisioned this.
Prior to the season Mack Brown thought this defense could be his best since coming to Austin. How could he have been so wrong? Sam Acho is still playing like an NFL caliber player, but not many others are. The interior of the line can’t anchor their position, linebackers routinely fill the wrong hole, take poor angles and get themselves caught up in the wash when they need to be scraping outside for support. The defensive backs, particularly safeties, take poor angles and are terrible tacklers. All this adds up to a team that is under .500 and would appear to have little chance at making a bowl game just one season removed from the National Championship Game.
Not that the defense is the only unit to blame. The offense is every bit as bad. 5 interceptions in a game is a new UT record. The wide receivers have very little ability to separate from a defender and not a single running back on this roster would crack the 2 deep on most of the teams Texas has played this year. The offensive line has taken a lot of heat the last several years, but against Kansas St., on a night when Garret Gilbert threw 59 passes, he stayed clean for the most part and a majority of the interceptions had nothing to do with the offensive line. Kansas St. came in as one of the worst statistical defenses in the country, yet it was the Texas offense that resorted to 2 fakes in the game and no real ability to put pressure on their defense.
We can talk about players all we want…special teams errors, turnovers, missed tackles, but at this point, the major failure is coaching. Central Florida had 252 yards rushing on 51 carries against this K State team. Yet what has long been a conservative offensive staff to the point of being boring at times, decides to put the ball in the air early and often. 3 interceptions later Kansas St. had a 24 -0 lead with scoring drives of 38, -1, 54 and 10 in the first half. Add a 14 yard touchdown drive early in the 3rd quarter and the route is on.
Insanity is the repeating the same mistakes over and over and expecting different results. That is what this Texas coaching staff has done most of this year. Curtis Brown was finally replaced as a punt returner by Adrian Phillips, and at least we made through a game with no fumbled punts.
The QB issue is a much larger problem. Transfers and position switches has left the position with a sophomore starter and 2 true freshman backups. Garret Gilbert continues to make poor decisions and errant throws, yet Brown and Davis seem unwilling to give Case McCoy any meaningful snaps.
The problems at this point are widespread and deep. Confidence is shot. Oklahoma St. comes to Austin next week in the Big 12 South drivers seat with a high powered, balanced offense. Their defense has given up points, but considering Texas hasn’t scored 24 points since the Tech game, that shouldn’t be much of a worry. A&M comes off an upset of OU and despite Ryan Tannehill’s bumpy effort against the Sooners, they are full of confidence and will likely be favored on Thanksgiving Day. For this staff, it time to start earning their paychecks, or face the unemployment line.