With Texas' 7-0 Record, Don't Execute Offensive Coordinator Greg Davis Just Yet

Dino NicandrosAnalyst IOctober 25, 2009

Last weekend's 16-13 victory over Oklahoma was a good win for a Texas Longhorns team looking to stay unbeaten, but it was hardly the satisfying win they were looking for.

Both teams combined for eight turnovers in what was a knock-down, drag-out Red River slug fest.

The Texas offense sputtered all day long, picking up just 269 yards of total offense.  Quarterback Colt McCoy had the worst passing outing of the season, throwing for just 127 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Credit the OU defense for clamping down on the Heisman trophy candidate, but isn't it a bit strange that just a year ago this Texas offense mauled this Sooner defense en route to 45 points and 438 yards of offense?

Granted, Sooner linebacker Ryan Reynolds left the game early, leaving the middle of the field wide open, but this year's defense is almost identical to last year's.

The fact that Texas wasn't able to move the ball consistently on the Sooners was troubling to many fans after the game.

That's when the all too familiar chants for offensive coordinator Greg Davis' head began.

Many analysts and fans pointed to the fact that Davis chose to abandon the run until late in the game and held McCoy in check by calling a more conservative game plan.

Davis, a member of Mack Brown's staff since his arrival in Austin 11 years ago, has been the subject of as much scrutiny as any assistant coach in the nation.

He has become a popular scapegoat for the few issues Texas has had over the last decade.

Whether it was the five straight losses to Oklahoma from 2000 to 2004, the QB controversy between Major Applewhite and Chris Simms, or the few shocking upsets pulled by unranked opponents, Davis has taken the brunt of the blame.

It is true that offensive coordinators draw up your game plan.  It's also true that they are the ones who call the plays in the tough situations.  Like any normal human, they make mistakes too.

But let's consider the facts for a moment:

During Davis' tenure as offensive coordinator at Texas, the Longhorns have run off a record of 122-26. 

Davis has coached nine of the top ten offenses in school history.

He has produced record setting quarterbacks in Major Applewhite, Chris Simms, Vince Young, and Colt McCoy.

He has called and won three BCS games, including the 2005 national championship.

After losing five straight games to the Sooners, Davis has sparked the offense and won four out of the last five in the series.

Oh, and Texas is 7-0 in 2009.  It's hard to argue with an undefeated record.

I'm willing to go out on a limb and say Texas has the best offensive coordinator in the Big 12 conference.  The numbers prove it.

As for the stinker last week against Oklahoma, Davis more than made up for it on Saturday against Missouri.

A common criticism of Davis during last week's game was his lack of creativity.  He continually went back to the same 10-12 plays (screens, misdirection's, roll outs).

It's worth pointing out that most offensive coordinators have their set staple plays that they tend to go back to frequently. 

The Longhorn offense had its most complete game of the season (against a real opponent), racking up an even 400 yards of offense en route to a 41-7 victory.

Davis, after being a bit lazy with the run game last week (if you call 142 yards lazy against the second best run defense in the nation) went to the ground right away against the Tigers.

Running backs Fozzy Whittaker and Cody Johnson combined for over 50 yards on the first two drives alone, opening up the passing game for McCoy and Jordan Shipley.  The Longhorns scored touchdowns on their first three drives of the game.

Many of the calls Davis made this week were similar to last week.  He rolled McCoy out often and let him make throws down the field (he implemented deeper throws this week, as well).

Texas has fans are quick to point out flaws in Davis' play-calling, but they are just as quick to praise him after brilliant games ('05 championship game, '08 OU game).

I suppose the same goes for every program and its fan base, but like everything else in the state of Texas, the pressure is enormous.

This is a growing Texas offense that has yet to reach its potential, and that's scary considering they're unbeaten.

You may not agree with Davis' game plans at times, but it can't be denied that he is a significant factor in Texas' success.

He'll call a bad game here and there, but his record shows that more often than not, Texas wins.

So let's not crucify Greg Davis just yet, at least until Texas starts winning less than 10 games a season (knock on wood).