Hey, we have a pretty big game this weekend, you ready? In depth previews are already up (Whetsell dominated the defense, and the offense), I'm not doing those this week, no, instead I just want to talk Texas. All things Texas: players, coaches, fans, steers, weed, everything Texas. I have to admit, it's already been a rough week. On Monday I had my first test as a grad student, and it sucked like Landry Jones trying to roll out of the pocket. Class is called "Corrosive Analysis and Methods", and it's not nearly as entertaining as the title would lead you to believe, unless you love the corrosive effects of different substances on metal.
What it boils down to, after deriving and solving partial differential equations, (don't worry about those big words OU fans, you just worry about beating your wife after football losses, people like me will make sure the lights stay on) is that salt water bad, oil good, and metal weak (be afraid next time you step on a plane). What does any of this crap have to do with Cowboy football? Let me tell you a tale about a little thing called perseverance.
Did I have half a clue how to solve that bastard? Hell no, but what I did was continue to write equations and throw tricks at it until I had so much shit written down the professor grading it will be confused as to what I did, lose my method 4 or 5 times, and give me a B out of pity. I keep on keeping on, and that's what our football team must do this weekend. We came storming back from a terrible loss to Zona, the loss of Wes Lunt, and still kicked the Cajun's in the balls. Perseverance my friends, learn to love it.
More musing after the jump.....
We're going to have situations this weekend where you see a play happen, one that makes you want to rip one of your eyes out and use the optic nerve as a garrote on the nearest animal or small child. For example: the first time Texas has a 3rd and 14 and we play a 16 yard soft coverage and Ash lobs a grenade across the middle to a receiver running a crossing route and we tackle them after a 14 and ½ yard gain. You'll get that feeling, but you've gotta persevere and not rip you eyeballs out (just do what I do, take a triple shot of whatever's near let the alcohol numb your soul). Four hundred words and we haven't started talking Texas yet? Settle in, we've got a ride ahead of us.
Nightmares While Awake
I don't know if there have been any more soul crushing, nut smashing, feel like you just finished getting gang-banged by the entire Insane Clown Posse,loses than the ones we've suffered at the hands of the Longhorns the past few years. Remember 2004, that was perhaps the worst choke job in the history of football. 2005 was the year of Vince Young; fucking Vince Young, I'm so glad that asshole is broke. Hope he has to suck dick to eat. 2007 and 2008, both soul crushing loses that should have been victories. On top of all that, Mack Brown hasn't lost in Stillwater, and we've never beaten Texas 3 years in a row.
If it's one thing I love, it's facts. And the facts say we haven't fared well against the Longhorns historically. But in 2005 things changed. Our athletic facilites grew, our stadium went from the worlds largest bleachers to a stunning brick palace, (a palace that used to contain grillaronis), and the attitude of our players changed. Now, seven long years later, and the benefits of these changes have finally reached the field. Now, when we take the field we walk the walk, so to speak. Our players look huge, and now we have the athlete to match up with anybody. If we lose Saturday, it won't be because our athletes are inferior.
Name a quarterback in Longhorn history that has a more pure, perfect, throwing motion than David Ash. That's right, all of them. And yet, somehow, he's heaved (no other way to describe his "spiral" than a heave) the rock across the field for around 250 yards a game, 7 TD's, and no interceptions. Sure, that's almost 120 yards per game less than what we do, but compared to last year that's progress my friends.
Sadly for us, Mr. Ash is becoming a "game manager" style quarterback, which will limit the gifts I was expecting from the Horns. I think the best way to attack on defense will be to teach our secondary to pretend they're fielding punts every time Ash goes deep. Be careful though, wobbly punts are the hardest to field cleanly. But seriously, the key is to shut the run down and make Ash beat you. And as you all know, we excel at stuffing the run (that kinda made me throw up in my mouth a little bit, fucking Bill Young).
That brings us, conveniently, to the Tejas run game. I tried to think of some smartass remark about the fact both Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron have 37 carries, 200 yards, and 3 TD's, but outside of a completely inappropriate double ended dildo joke, I got nothing. The Longhorns have everything you'd need to run the ball well, large offensive line (average about 3-hund), couple of good ‘backs, young stud behind them (Johnathon Grey), and an offense that is dependent on not throwing the ball a lot.
Sadly they have the dude from Boise calling the shots, meaning that instead of developing a smash mouth power I offense, they'll keep running some bullshit high school offense. You know the type, it's always run by schools that can't really compete with the Jenks and Unions of the world, but run an offense that gives them a marginal chance to win the first time they face an opponent if that opponent doesn't watch film.
The Bryan Harsin "Smurf" offense is based of having a collection of trick plays that can only work if the other team has their heads completely up their ass (I'm looking at you Sooners) and can't recognize a hook and ladder until after they've just blown the game. Now then, what do you need to run this juggernaut? Well the most important thing is that the quarterback be 5'9" tall, 5'10" max. David Ash is 6'3", making him at least 5 inches to tall to run the offense.
¡Sientala furia de la defense de Tejas!
Perhaps I jest about the Horn offense, (and only because they deserve it) but the UT-D is pretty legit. I mean, they're not Texas Tech or anything (that's right, the Herp's have the number one defense in the nation), but they're pretty okay. Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat continue to do their thing, (and by thing, I mean being the best defensive end tandem in the nation), while sophomore Quandre Diggs already has 3 interceptions this year.
Sounds stout doesn't it? We should probably be pretty scared. However, and I really love this part, while Texas is 37th in the nation in total defense (we're 40th), they have trouble tackling, and are basically the same soft Texas D we've all become accustomed to over the past decade. Even my man Quandre was burned about 9 times for huge chunks against Ole Miss before he came up with a couple of interceptions. Now ask yourselves, who do you think has better receivers, Oklahoma State or Ole Miss? (Assuming of course we actually catch the fucking ball when it gets near us)
I expect the UT-D to blitz a lot (see, OSU vs. Texas, 2011) to try and rattle our quarterback. Going further, I expect them to sell out to stop the run, and make us beat them through the air. I think they will be sad if they follow that game plan. Blake Jackson can get amazing separation from cover, (catching the ball is another thing) and Tracey Moore is quickly entering beast mode.
This is all assuming we protect our quarterback, which is iffy at this point. We protected fine against Arizona, and then let Lunt get injured and Walsh get smoked about 4 times against Louisiana. I'm beginning to think the losses on both our lines are catching up with us, but as always, in Wickline I trust. And hell, he's had two weeks to get the line into shape, so hopefully we can hold down the fort.
Thinking My Own Thoughts
Here's the real deal Holyfield; we put up around 700 yards a game, Texas allows about 350 yards a game, something has to give. Can our young quarterbacks (whichever one plays) keep the video game numbers up, can Joe Randle and Jeremy Smith keep on kicking ass and taking names, and can Mike Gundy continue to have perfect hair? I find some humor in the fact we've beaten Texas twice in a row, and both times it was on the road. If we are who we think we are we won't let em off the hook (thank you Dennis Green), and they won't leave here with a W.
On the other hand, if we play defense like we did against ‘Zona, have turnovers, and rack up penalties, we can lose bad on our home turf. We don't need a perfect game, but we need a damn good one. We have to establish ourselves early and make them play catch up. If we can take away their run game by forcing them to play from behind and needing to throw to catch up, (cause God knows we won't actually slow it down otherwise with the Bill Young System®) , I think we can handle the Ash pass attack.
Wrapping this bitch up and getting back to my original point, with the ebbs and flows of a game, the bullshit calls, the amazing catches, how this team handles the ups and downs will determine if we pull it out. Can they persevere, so to speak? Against Arizona the answer was no, they went down like Sasha Grey on a fat 12 incher. Against the mighty Cajuns, the answer was resoundingly yes. This is probably the most important game on the schedule. Win this, and we're set up nice to make about a four game run. Lose this, and we're staring 6-6 right in the face.
I'll leave you with this call to arms; show up early, get drunk, make UT fans uncomfortable, insult their mothers, hell piss on one if you get a chance,
and love the hell out of our new uniforms (oops). But just make the Boone rowdy Saturday, wear Orange (the good kind, the bright kind, not that puke colored shit from Austin) and let's welcome the Horns back to Stillwater for the first time in 3 years.