I hate the word "Vanilla."
I haven't always had such strong feelings. As a matter of fact, I used to be quite fond of the word that describes my favorite pudding and the sky in that weird movie with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.
Not since September 4th.
Not since every writer from ages 7-97 has used it to describe UT's offense this year.
You will NOT hear me use this term to describe our offense. No Sir!
I'm going to call our offense (drum roll please)...Butterscotch.
What I would like to do is offer Longhorn Nation a more positive way to look at everything we have witnessed over the past two weeks. I think I've figured out what Ol' Mack has up his sleeve, and it will not be very long before we find out exactly how bogus or valid my hypothesis really is.
Hypothesis: Mack Brown used the the Rice and Wyoming games to set Texas Tech up for disaster in Lubbock.
First let's remember the off-season.
For the first time since birth, Mack Brown bragged. He talked up Garret Gilbert, James Kirkendoll, the commitment to the run, and he said this defense may be the best Texas has ever had! We all saw the Spring Game and heard the reports from training camp. It was easy to believe this team would be great.
The Rice Game.
The season opens up with a mountain of expectations resting squarely on every Longhorn's shoulders. From start to finish the game was anti-climatic. Gilbert was completely hog-tied by the coaches, James Kirkendoll may as well have been in Turkey(the country or the bird -- either one), and worst of all the play calling on behalf of Greg Davis was as ridiculous as it was random.
We ran screens when no one was blitzing, sweeps with our slowest back, had no goal-line offense, and even tried to convert a 3rd and 17 by throwing a 3 yard pass to our TE(the only pass he got all night).
If it wasn't for Kenny Vaccaro hitting every person on the football field at least once, the game would have been a total snoozer.
All in all the Defense was solid but plain as wheat bread, and the Offense was offensive.
It was this that caused me to ponder freaking out or looking for a deeper motive.
After the Rice game Mack pointed out all the mistakes Texas made, but then casually mentioned that they intentionally put the offense in a bad position in order to show them if they executed right they could still have success running the ball, even when the other team was expecting it(my paraphrase). Hmm.
The Wyoming game kicks off and the Longhorns are right back to running random plays, only this time most of it is through the air.
Not much success.
To the casual observer it seems that this offense just can't make anything happen, but then something crazy happens. Wyoming scores and takes the lead.
Interesting to note is the fact that after Wyoming's touchdown the Horns scored twice in less than 6min.
The reigns were removed and the right plays got called.
Then back to random.
This has to drive a certain Red Raider DC and HC crazy, because who knows what the heck the Longhorns will do in any given situation. The only thing we've shown is that you better not score on us or things will get ugly for you in a hurry.
My conclusion is this:
We really won't know how good the Longhorns are until they travel to Lubbock and play a good Texas Tech team in a hostile environment. But, I think everyone will be pleasantly surprised by all the toppings this butterscotch offense actually has when all the randomness is removed from the playbook. Then we will see what all the hype was about...or we will weep.