Texas Football: 10 Things We Learned from the Longhorns' Win over TCU
It took six hours, but Texas was able to triumph in Fort Worth, exacting some revenge against a TCU team that beat the Longhorns in Austin nearly a year ago.
A three-hour weather delay chopped up the game pretty nicely, but it was the Longhorns who overcame the adversity more effectively.
The Longhorns are now 4-0 in conference and looking every bit like a Big 12 title contender.
That claim is still months away, but for now, here are 10 things we learned from Texas' win on Saturday night.
Daje Johnson Is Always a Weapon
Daje Johnson is hardly the feature back, but he is probably the most potent weapon that Texas can roll out on to the field.
The Longhorns have been looking to use Johnson is multiple ways as a legitimate ball-carrier and as a setup man.
Teams will have to respect Johnson's speed in all directions, so as long as Texas continues to run its reverse look with good success, Johnson can be used consistently to open up holes at the second level for guys like Johnathan Gray and Malcolm Brown.
This is a luxury that Texas cannot be wasting.
Case McCoy Will Be Case McCoy
Case McCoy gets plenty of flak for his limited skill set, but the hate is somewhat reasonable.
He doesn't have a plus arm, he doesn't have the best touch, and he isn't consistent. That is something Texas will have to live with as long as he is under center.
It should surprise no one that McCoy will hit his receiver on a dime down the field then miss a wide open receiver in space to convert a third down.
This is the real McCoy, but Texas has been having some success. If he can be less erratic in his throws, then maybe this Texas offense will really take off.
But He Is Actually Improving
However much McCoy has been McCoy, his performances are getting better. His deep ball is improving; his poise in the pocket looks more solid.
His attitude is perfect, and that might be what has helped loosen some things up around the 40 Acres.
McCoy is playing loose. He claims he feels little pressure, and the results are showing.
How wild would it be if one Case McCoy led Texas to an undefeated season in the Big 12?
Greg Robinson May Be Saving Texas' Season
As well as Case McCoy has been playing, the high points, defensive coordinator Greg Robinson may be the biggest reason why Texas is in the position that it is in.
It was a process, but after a few weeks to acclimate to the environment, Robinson has wrestled down the Texas defense to something simple and effective.
Texas has always had the athletes on defense, but now it seems truer than ever that Manny Diaz's schemes just could not cut it with the types of players the Longhorns are fielding.
Robinson's brand of defense is slowly seeping in between the tackles, and we are seeing a better product overall.
Texas' Defense Looks Faster
It might just be an optical illusion, but the Longhorns appear to be playing at a faster pace under Robinson.
Maybe it's the simpler schemes that keep players in better position or maybe the concepts being taught are finally getting through.
Either way, Texas is starting to show signs of something bigger on defense, and it could not have come at a more opportune time.
Welcome to the Show, Marcus Johnson
Kendall Sanders had his moments early on, but now it is all Marcus Johnson, as the sophomore is really taking off this season.
While Sanders has proven a more effective receiver underneath, Johnson has scored on deep wheel routes in consecutive games.
Credit to McCoy for hitting his receiver in stride on multiple occasions, but the emergence of Johnson as a weekly contributor is a very welcomed arrival for the Texas offense.
Keep giving him the ball, Major.
Texas Is Very Aware of Its Identity
The Longhorns know exactly who they are on offense, and that will help them improve as the season progresses.
Texas can run the ball, and it has two tailbacks very capable of carrying the load.
Texas has power on the inside, but it has to come at a constant mean streak, and though that is something we have yet to see from the front five, we have seen it enough to know that it is there.
Co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite helped target Texas' identity as a ground-to-air offense, and it is all catered towards Case McCoy's demeanor and ability as a quarterback.
Expect Texas to fall under the same offensive play-calling progressions to finish the year.
When Healthy, Jackson Jeffcoat Is Texas' Best Defensive Player
Senior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat has battled injuries throughout his career at Texas, but there is little doubt that when fully healthy he has lived up to expectations as a playmaker.
Jeffcoat's presence also brings along the development of Cedric Reed, and the duo has become one of the most disruptive combinations in the Big 12.
NFL consideration was never in question, now it might just be a question of how high Jeffcoat could go in the 2014 draft?
There is plenty of football to be played, but Jeffcoat is performing at an All-Big 12 level.
Texas Is Currently Behind Baylor as the Favorite to Win the Big 12
At this point, Texas is playing well enough on both sides of the ball to put itself in serious conversation to win the Big 12.
Realistically, that wasn't the case after Texas started 1-2, despite the mathematical possibilities. But now with four straight wins under its belt, it has the kind of confidence and momentum that it needs to bury the bad start.
The season finale against Baylor was a game that was circled well before the season began and nothing has changed since.
For now, that looks to be the deciding matchup for the conference title.
Texas Passed One of Its Bigger Tests of the Season
What a strange game to have been a part of for the Longhorns.
The 10-point lead before the delay ballooned into 23 as TCU failed to respond to the adversity.
Texas, however, reacted about as well as one could have hoped. It stayed physical and true to its identity despite a three-hour reprieve from play.
Forget the win over Oklahoma (just kidding). This was a big mental test for both the coaches and the players, and Texas passed with flying colors.
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