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5 Takeaways From a Frustrating Loss to Oklahoma State


Mike Roach
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It happened again.  After showing signs of growth while still committing youthful mistakes, the Longhorns lost a heartbreaker on a special teams gaffe.  It's like a twisted version of the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day.  Following another tough game we bring to you 5 key points to take from this game.

 

 

1. Youth is a blessing and a curse

 

It's true that some of the biggest plays this season have been turned in by the young players on this team, but inexperience has also cost the Longhorns dearly in their last two losses.  As the defense showed signs of improvement led by the freshman trio of Davante Davis, Kris Boyd, and Holton Hill, the Texas offense experienced a frustrating day that was compounded by a bit of regression from Jerrod Heard.  While he was able to remain effective in the first half, Heard experienced problems with the Cowboy pass rush and held onto the ball too long trying to make a play happen.  This is the week in and week out struggles of a young quarterback and Heard will have plenty of coaching points for this week.  Still, the biggest youthful mistake was that of Freshman punter Michael Dickson who literally let the game slip through his hands.  Like Nick Rose last week, the game isn't totally on Dickson but it is what people will remember.

 

2. The Big 12 needs to take a look into the officiating crew that worked this game

 

Blaming officiating is usually reserved for sore losers, but it's a shame for Charlie Strong and this team that a big win was taken away from them by an officiating crew that was at the very least incompetent.  This crew took two touchdowns off the board along with 2 turnovers that would have prevented Oklahoma State scores.  While the double pass was a close call that could have gone either way, the phantom holding call that negated D'Onta Foreman's touchdown run was an egregious error.  The ticky tack "roughing the passer" call that robbed Kris Boyd of his first career interception was laughable and extended a drive after the Texas defense was finding some real footing.  The cherry on top of the whole officiating sideshow was a preposterous series of events starting with a defensive holding call against Poona Ford on a running play.  Ford himself was actually the victim of holding, and I'm not sure I've ever heard of a scenario where that penalty is called on a defensive player.  The calamity then extended to a personal foul call on Charlie Strong for daring to question the officials on a rule that seemed to be made up out of thin air.  After voicing his displeasure he was followed and crowded by the official who seemed to be looking for any excuse to throw a flag.  Like a scene from "Remember The Titans", the official escalated the situation and then punished Strong at the slightest confrontation.  I'm not going so far as to accuse this crew of being on the take, but does the Big 12 want another game decided by this crew of embarrassingly incompetent officials?

 

3. This team isn't quite ready to win games

 

Good teams find ways to win games even when they are faced with the adversity we saw today in Austin.  While Texas was certainly playing at a disadvantage, they inflicted their own wounds that directly led to this loss.  While I can admire Strong for vocally standing up for his team he has to walk that line better and not cost his team yardage.  Even if the flag was completely unreasonable, it doesn't erase the fact that the call extended a drive for OSU which led to the tying field goal.  Heard showed a lack of awareness as well, and none was more damaging than the big sack he took which removed the possibility of a field goal for the Longhorns.  This doesn't even take into account the poor clock management at the end of the game when Oklahoma State looked content to play overtime.  This team's attention to detail is lacking and until that is fixed, Charlie Strong's team will always be playing at a disadvantage.

 

4. The defense has something they can build on

 

After giving up two long drives to start the game, Longhorn fans certainly thought they were in for another rough day.  After Mason Rudolph operated with the surgical ability of Jared Goff early on, Texas began to develop a pass rush and Hassan Ridgeway showed up in a huge way.  The junior defensive tackle showed off his NFL ability all day while racking up a couple of sacks and a fumble return for a touchdown.  It also appears to be the moment where the trio of freshmen corners officially took over as front line players for this unit.  While John Bonney struggled early, Holton Hill showed up with a pick six while Boyd had the aforementioned interception negated by a penalty.  As a side note, we've seen huge plays made this season by Malik Jefferson, John Burt, Kris Boyd, and Holton Hill.  It seems as if the recruits Strong brought in have adjusted very well to the collegiate level.  It stands to reason that if Charlie Strong can bring in a few more classes like the 2015 group, this team will get a lot better.

 

5. The offense needs to go back to the drawing board a bit, but this team is improving

 

So Jerrod Heard isn't superman, but he also wasn't a minus for the game.  Jay Norvell will need to find a way to scheme around the massive blitz packages Heard will see in the coming weeks and find a way to cope with the possible loss of Kent Perkins.  We did see Texas add a new wrinkle to the offense with the Tyrone Swoopes short yardage package.  Naming rights are still a work in progress but the most popular seem to be the "Swoopesdozer" or "Ty Tebow".  This was an important development because it gives Texas more options while keeping Tyrone Swoopes engaged and involved with the offense.  Norvell was at Oklahoma when the Sooners utilized Blake Bell in the same role, so I'm sure he has some ideas of how to make use of Swoopes.  This package also keeps some wear and tear off of Jerrod Heard which will be key for this team down the stretch.  As for the improvement of the Longhorns, I encourage you to read this piece by USA Today writer Dan Wolken.  Texas has something legitimate going on both sides of the ball, and while they still continue to come up short it seems like they are inching closer to turning the corner.

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Yeah are out coaching staff is incompetent because they don't have freshman and redshirt freshman playing like seniors. Also, they're incompetent because they didn't beat the Cowboys and the refs.

What's the record under Charlie? Let me give you a hint. It's piss poor! And I don't give a shit who's on the field. It's time to quit making excuses. Shit or get off the pot!

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What's the record under Charlie? Let me give you a hint. It's piss poor! And I don't give a shit who's on the field. It's time to quit making excuses. Shit or get off the pot!

 

Sorry I can take your shit or get off the pot serious when we were just robbed.

 

Even Mr. I hate Texas Jake Trotter disagrees with the flag on CS.

 

Jake Trotter â€@Jake_Trotter  · 1h1 hour ago 

Jake Trotter retweeted ANTHONY GERONIMO

I was critical of Charlie for getting flagged in a key moment. But the Big 12 needs to explain what happened here:

 

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Sorry I can take your shit or get off the pot serious when we were just robbed.

 

Even Mr. I hate Texas Jake Trotter disagrees with the flag on CS.

 

Jake Trotter â€@Jake_Trotter  · 1h1 hour ago 

Jake Trotter retweeted ANTHONY GERONIMO

I was critical of Charlie for getting flagged in a key moment. But the Big 12 needs to explain what happened here:

You are what you are. And our record under Charlie is dogshit.

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The use of Swoopes was encouraging and intriguing ... reminds me of when Donnie Little was used as a wide receiver his Senior year.  It would be interesting to see Swoopes eased into a role where he would be used as an H-back, flexed out tight end, and in the backfield with Heard.  It may be too much to ask for him to do much effective blocking as a fullback or in-line tight end, but he will have another year after this one and if he wants to play in the NFL, this direction might be worth a look see.  Shoot, I would like to see him in the backfield at the same time with Heard ... hmmmm ... put Heard in motion and let him catch a few passes ... if he can.  ;)  At least it would give our future opponents something more that they would have to scheme for. 

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It's rather obvious that the ref is at a minimum, trying to egg Charlie on. Charlie tries to walk away and the ref follows and even bumps him. The ref was clearly wanting to throw the flag. This should sent to the Big 12 to review. 

 

 

http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/eye-on-college-football/25318082/footage-of-charlie-strongs-late-penalty-adds-to-pain-of-texas-collapse 

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Is there any way we can get an ignore button? This guy is way off base.

LOL! When my daughter was 7 or 8, she would point the TV remote at me and hit the mute button when she did not want to hear what I had to say.

 

But here goes...

 

To all of you who only have negative things to say about the team or the coaches:

 

First of all, we understand your frustration, and maybe even agree with many of the points you make.

 

However, I challenge you to tell me how your negativity can help the team. Tell me one way.

 

You seem to have an overwhelming need to vent and have others agree with you... and in truth, some do.

 

There is no doubt that you love and support the team, but do you ever consider the damage that you do? You do realize that the team and the recruits read your negative crap.

 

This may sound like looking at life through rose colored glasses, but, when the only effect you can have on the team is negative, then consider this, "First, do no harm."

 

Then, go outside and scream, or go to the local bar.

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LOL! When my daughter was 7 or 8, she would point the TV remote at me and hit the mute button when she did not want to hear what I had to say.

 

But here goes...

 

To all of you who only have negative things to say about the team or the coaches:

 

First of all, we understand your frustration, and maybe even agree with many of the points you make.

 

However, I challenge you to tell me how your negativity can help the team. Tell me one way.

 

You seem to have an overwhelming need to vent and have others agree with you... and in truth, some do.

 

There is no doubt that you love and support the team, but do you ever consider the damage that you do? You do realize that the team and the recruits read your negative crap.

 

This may sound like looking at life through rose colored glasses, but, when the only effect you can have on the team is negative, then consider this, "First, do no harm."

 

Then, go outside and scream, or go to the local bar.

 

You are a WISE Fish!  ;)

 

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