Head Coach Mack Brown
The Longhorns have had a slow start this season, but it seems as if the thought of them being an intimidating contender has come to an end.
There’s no finger pointing here, it’s not just an individual player that is holding the team back—it’s the entire team that has been seen struggling on the field.
As we head into week five, five mistakes need to be revealed as to why the spotlight is no longer on the Longhorns.
After a major upset against UCLA, the Longhorns lost 12-34 and gave the university their first home loss at Darryl K. Royal Stadium since 2007.
UCLA was not a ranked school before the weekend, but their defense played a major part in taking down Texas who was ranked seventh, at the time.
It can now be confirmed that the team just is not ready for such a big honor of being in the top ten.
Texas’ Defense went into the UCLA game as one of the best rushing defenses — and granted, the defensive line played a major role in carrying the team to its first two victories, they may have been asleep during the game against UCLA.
Out of 65 offensive plays, the Bruins only threw the ball nine times for a total of 27 yards, but were able to get an additional 264 yard, thanks to the Longhorns. Putting up over 150 rushing yards against the Longhorns would have been impressive, but the 264 yards composed by UCLA was well beyond even the most optimistic expectations of Bruins fans and players.
Regardless, of how great Texas’ defense was proclaimed to be, the defense just could not seem to keep the Bruins out of the end zone. However, if it were not for the O-lines mistakes, the defense would not have been in the predicament.
Texas QB Garrett Gilbert
The offensive line seems to be dazed and confused on the field.
After no turnovers in the first two games, they went on to have a total of nine turnovers in the last two games. Along with that, they had a total of only 85 rushing yards against UCLA.
In the first week of the season against Rice, the Longhorns ran the ball 46 times compared to 24 passes. In the game against UCLA in week four, Texas went for 23 rushes and 45 passes.
The tables have turned in the Texas playbook, and it has not been for the better, as seen on the field. The point of a season is to improve each week, not the other way around.
The team has very talented players, so these are inexcusable mishaps; however, two things can hinder the team and their chances of a championship.
All the previous factors of how the Longhorns are failing in performance build up to this point. But in addition, the team seems to lack a level of confidence that last year’s Longhorn championship contending team possessed. It takes much more than talent to be good.
Quarterback Garret Gilbert needs to have confidence in his offensive line and get the ball to them in a quickly manner —without overthrowing the ball like he did on Saturday. Once the O-line finds their niche, it should be impossible to keep them away from the end zone.
QB Garrett Gilbert
More importantly, the Longhorns really need to stop thinking about how far they got last year and think about what could be salvaged from this year.
It is not too late to make a come back and save their reputation on the field, but they can’t do it by trying to compare themselves to last year’s team. What happened in 2009, stays in 2009…there’s no going back.
The Longhorns have much work to do in gaining back some respect and staying ranked in the top ten.
They have to impress against the next two teams on their schedule—long time rival Oklahoma and the team they beat in the Big 12 Championship last year, Nebraska. Rough weeks lie ahead for Texas, but let’s see if they can bounce back and defeat the odds.