In the conclusion of the Texas Longhorns 34-24 victory over division rival Texas Tech, a couple of things stood out in my mind.
1) Texas is not a top 5 team right now.
We have the potential to be, but it's almost as if we are trying to win the national championship on every play. I was really pleased with our defensive effort, the 24 points including zero TD's in the first half we're the fewest points the Longhorns had yielded to the Red Raiders since 2005; the national championship season.
Our offense failed to find a rhythm for more than periods at a time which has become a recurrent theme the past couple of weeks for Texas.
2) Colt hasn't been himself this year. He has been uncharacteristically inaccurate on some of his throws, this coming from a guy that set an NCAA record for completion percentage a year ago. He also seems to be pressing more than usual and you can see the frustration building up on his face.
Having said all that, there are a plethora of positives to take notice of if you’re a Horn fan:
3) We may have found our feature back in redshirt freshman Tre' Newton (20 carries, 88 yds). The son of Cowboy great OL Nate Newton, Tre' is a tough kid who runs between the tackles well, has good hands and can catch out of the backfield, and is excellent and blitz pickup. The kid's got tremendous upside.
4) The defense is firing on all cylinders. The secondary is as deep and talented as any unit in the country, the linebacking corps; led by senior Rod Muckleroy is swarming to the ball and collectively is the most athletic unit in the Mack Brown era.
What's most exciting is the play of the DL. Coming into the season, line play was our team's biggest question mark as we had to replace three of four starters including All American DE Brian Orakpo.
The way this group has been flying to the ball, stuffing the fun, and getting pressure on the QB has many Horns fans drooling at the prospects of this defensive unit. With the looks Muschamp can throw out there, this group has a chance to be special.
5) The offensive struggles are reason to be optimistic? Colt McCoy WILL eventually have the offensive rolling for a couple of reasons.
A) Right now, I get the feeling that Colt is feeling the pressure of the monumental expectations and is trying to win the Heisman on every throw. Once he settle's in and lets the game come to him, he'll be fine. He's one of the best and the guy's a proven winner, no reason to suspect otherwise.
B) The talent on offense. Jordan Shipley, Malcolm Williams, Brandon Collins, James Kirkendoll, Dan Buckner, John Chiles, if there is a better receiving corps in the nation PLEASE let me know.
And C) Time. Texas has two more tune ups (UTEP, Colorado) before our annual smack down on Oklahoma in Dallas to get in synch. Expect Colt McCoy to put up gaudy numbers and have the offense firing on all cylinders by the time the RRR rolls around.