Posted September 11th, 2006 by Matt
Filed under: Football

Texas Loss

The hype surrounding this game was unreal. The atmosphere in Austin before the game was incredible. The tailgating was off the charts (more pictures and details of that to come later). Too bad the game let us down. Texas looked like they came out with the same lack of effort as they did against North Texas. The only guy on the team that looked like he was working hard was Selvin Young.

And I still don’t understand why we stopped running the ball? We were absolutely killing them on the run, yet I don’t know how many times we threw a pass on first down or some little weak screen. Why not run the ball until they prove they can stop it? All in all, we definitely got outplayed and had poor execution of game plan (if there was one). [tag]Ohio State[/tag] doesn’t look unbeatable, but they were the far better team this past Saturday.

Now for the breakdown of I how I graded the positions:

Quarterback – Overall Grade: C

[tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] came back down to reality this week in the first big game of his career. You shouldn’t expect too much from a freshman quarterback playing his second game in college against the #1 team in the nation, and he proved why. Colt never really made a big mistake (except for that interception), but he never did anything good either. And I know this isn’t really his fault, but the amount of screens and 5 yard passes he threw just got ridiculous. Can we please see a 30 yard pass? The one positive thing I have to say about Colt though, is that everytime he was hit (and he got hit hard) he bounced right back up and didn’t let it affect him.

Running Backs – Overall Grade: A-

You definitely can’t blame the running backs for this loss. Texas rushed for 172 yards and averaged 6 yards per carry. [tag]Selvin Young[/tag] continues to show that he worked hard over the summer and ran for 94 yards for an impressive 8.5 yards per carry. Jamaal had a pretty good night as well, going for 70 yards. The only problem was out of their control, they simply did not get the ball enough. When you are averaging 6 yards per carry, you don’t throw the ball 32 times. Make Ohio State stop the running attack, then throw the ball down-field.

Wide Receivers – Overall Grade: C-

I think the receivers saw a lot more action than they were expecting. Most of the time you would think they would like that. However I doubt they really enjoyed catching a screen or 5 yard pass and then getting nailed by the defense. Ohio State really concentrated their efforts on Sweed and had some extra coverage on him most of the night, although when he was actually able to break away he did make some good plays. But with a play-maker like that you need to figure out a way to get him the ball.

Pittman’s fumble came about as bad a time as possible. Texas was pounding the ball down the Buckeyes throat, about to score, and Pittman fumbles the ball at the 2. Imagine how pumped the crowd would be scoring first, instead Ohio State is scoring 5 plays later. And where is Jermichael Finley? He needs to figure out a way to get the ball more and make the catch when it finally does come to him.

Defense – Overall Grade: B-

I truly hope the only reason our secondary looked as poor as they did was because of the loss of Tarell Brown. Texas got lit up in the passing game, allowing 269 yards passing, with 142 of that coming from Gonzalez. In my mind the touchdown Ross got burned on by Ginn right before the first half was the backbreaker that changed the game. Texas simply couldn’t recover in the second half.

The one bright note on defense was the ability to stop the run, only allowing 79 yards. They never let Troy Smith run for any big plays and kept Antonio Pittman under wraps. I was suprised though about their inability to put pressure on Troy Smith. He had way too much time to throw the ball, and that killed us.

Special Teams – Overall Grade: C

Man did we get outplayed on special teams. Greg Johnson’s 42.2 yards per punt isn’t that bad on the surface, but he shanked quite a few of them and got some good bounces to pad his stats. Also, his field goal attempt missed about as bad as you can miss one, and that would have made it only a one score ball game with almost 12 minutes to play. The only reason I didn’t drop the special teams below a C was the fact that we locked Ginn down on the punt returns, which is usually a weaker part of our game.

Overall Grade: C+

If we play too many more games like this we will end up with three or four losses. Greg Davis needs to come up with a better game plan on offense and we need to sure up the secondary. Although the loss was tough to take, our aspirations for a great season should not go away. If we run the table with the rest of our games we should be the front runner for getting a spot in the Fiesta Bowl and will have an outside shot of making it back to the BCS National Championship Game.


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