Biggest Surprises for Texas Through Week 3
At a critically uneasy 1-2 heading into Big 12 play, the Texas Longhorns are about as unsteady—if not more—as they were at any point last season.
Three games into the 2013 campaign and already the 'Horns have been torched on the ground twice, while providing the springboard for two opposing players to set career highs. Texas has also suffered an alarming number of injuries to its offensive unit, leaving the able-bodied remainder very limited compared to a fully healthy squad.
Just a week ago, the Longhorns let go of their defensive coordinator, putting action to the long-awaited call for a change.
Not all surprises are good, and the latest string of them has the Longhorns reeling.
Seemingly Worse Performance vs. the Run
Let's be honest.
Texas was bad against the run in 2012.
So far in 2013, it has been worse.
The Longhorns have given up more than 800 rushing yards over their last two games, red-flagging them as susceptible against the run. And if you are a Big 12 team and you have a mobile quarterback, the read-option is a must-have against Texas.
Texas ousted defensive coordinator Manny Diaz following the loss to BYU, and it has made the defense look a little bit shakier with Greg Robinson taking up the DC post.
The quick fix against the run was never in the cards, but to have this kind of ineptitude in defending the ground game is ludicrous.
Critical Injuries on Offense
Texas returned every starter to its offense in 2013, and it even added some depth with two junior-college transfers in OL Desmond Harrison, who has yet to immerse himself fully as a top option, and TE Geoff Swaim.
The skinny on the Texas offense was that it would challenge as one of the best in the Big 12, and after a 56-7 thrashing of New Mexico State, where those 56 points came in a 32-minute span, many were entertaining that notion.
But following injuries to RB Daje Johnson, QB David Ash, WR Mike Davis, OT Josh Cochran and OG Mason Walters, the Longhorns are hobbled, to say the least.
Johnson is expected to miss extended time, which is already a huge hit as he was one of the team's best weapons. And if others suffer that same fate, the Texas offense is in deep trouble.
Next to Nothing from the Offensive Line
Nevermind that Cochran and Walters suffered a couple of injuries against Ole Miss.
It became brutally obvious against a good BYU defense that the Texas offensive line had some issues creating space and time for the plays to develop successfully.
The return of starters up front was supposed to be the telling sign of good things to come. And with the addition of Harrison out of the junior-college ranks, Texas was grinning at its potential.
Instead, the physicality isn't where it needs to be, and the execution is far from ideal.
If Texas has any chance of digging out of this deep rut, it will have to start up front.
Experience Playing Little Role
Texas played its youth card in 2011 and 2012, and it was believable and warranted.
But in 2013, it is a long-expired excuse.
The 19 returning starters and the talk of experience was supposed to create a spawning pool of success that would carry the Longhorns to glory in 2013.
Instead, that veteran presence is severely lacking, and Texas is getting punked by teams which are not exactly the cream of the crop in college football.
If Texas is really better than its 1-2 record and the numbers indicate, we have yet to see it.