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5 Thoughts Following the Loss to Oklahoma State


Daniel Seahorn
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This was a tough one to watch unfold because it was one that Texas could have won, even though they played one of their worst games of the season. Just like with Maryland earlier this year, the Longhorns spotted the Cowboys a lead and tried to erase it late, but came up just short. This is the second year in a row that the Longhorns came up just short of knocking off the Cowboys, but this time around the Longhorns were ranked and they were playing a long way from the friendly confines of DKR.

While tonight’s game was certainly a frustrating one, I’m going to try to mix some good with the bad and the ugly in my thoughts from this evening’s loss in Stillwater.

Slow, Sluggish Start Doomed Texas Tonight

Say what you want about suspensions and Ehlinger coming off of an injury, but this team once again came out of the game sluggish and looking shell shocked. It has become somewhat of a tradition for the Texas defense to concede yardage and points on the opening drive before rallying and getting their feet under them, but that never happened tonight. The Cowboy offense put up over 250 yards of offense in the first quarter alone and the carnage didn’t stop there, as they were able to clear 500 yards of offense on the night.

Taylor Cornelius led an Oklahoma State offense that moved the ball by air and ground, finding leading wide receiver Tylan Wallace early and often, as Texas never really found a way to slow him down. This performance is particularly alarming when you take into account that Texas had two weeks to prep for the matchup, and were able to get healthy before making the trip north. Things weren’t clicking at all either offensively and defensively in the first half, and it was teetering on being a blowout. Not sure what transpired over the last week or so, but it’s really hard to win ball games when you come out as flat as Texas did tonight.

Speaking of Wallace, though…

Tylan Wallace Goes Scorched Earth on the Texas Secondary

Texas knew coming into the matchup that Wallace was Oklahoma State’s go-to playmaker. To say that they weren’t successful in stopping him would drastically understate the results from this evening. Wallace torched the Texas defense to the tune of 222 yards on 10 catches and ended the night with two touchdowns. One of those touchdowns came on a fourth and one under-thrown ball from Cornelius that was misplayed by Kris Boyd. That should have been an interception and instead it was a touchdown for Oklahoma State. Wallace got going from the very first series against the freshmen reserves that filled in during the suspensions of Boyd and Davante Davis, but majority of the damage was done with the seniors in coverage.

Don’t get me wrong — Wallace is a baller, who was one of the state’s top prospects a couple of years ago. But tonight the Texas secondary made him look like he was Antonio Brown. He was able to do whatever he wanted for most of the night, and while his production slowed down in the second half, the damage was already done.

The Little Things, Mental Errors, and Bad Breaks

Texas had a mixture of all of the above tonight in Stillwater, and when you are playing in a tough road environment you can’t give the other team extra opportunities to beat you. Procedure penalties, missed tackles, bad angles, and concentration drops by wide receivers are all little things and mental errors that gave Oklahoma State extra opportunities or extra yardage tonight that extended drives, resulted in points, or derailed Texas offensive drives. Another mental error that was a back breaker was when Brandon Jones fielded a punt running towards his own end zone and pinned the offense inside the 5. Texas went three-and-out after a hold negated a first down to Lil’Jordan Humphrey, and the Cowboys turned the short field into a touchdown. Then there is the offsides call on Texas on the punt where the Oklahoma State punt team simulated a snap count and wasn’t flagged for it. That was a bad break that was a result of poor officiating, in my opinion. That one play didn’t cost Texas the game, but it kept the drive going and turned into points for the Cowboys.

When you dig the kind of hole that Texas did to itself tonight, you almost have to play flawlessly to get yourself out of it as the game progresses. This team found out that they are not good enough to spot a team 31 points in a half and still win the game. They almost pulled it off with a furious comeback effort, but almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

I Hate Moral Victories, but...

A loss is a loss and they hurt the same no matter how you slice them, but if you are looking for a silver lining I have a couple. You just read about a lot of bad things that transpired tonight in Stillwater, but here is something I admired about this team despite the loss: Texas allowed 31 points in one half and was on the brink of getting run out of the stadium, but instead of laying down and allowing that to happen, they got off the deck and started punching back.

Ehlinger and the offense finally started rolling in the second half and the Texas defense was pitching a shutout in the second half right up until Cornelius made a play with his feet in the red zone to put the Cowboys back up by 10 in the final minutes. This team almost completely erased a 17-point deficit and pulled their hind parts out of the fire, but in the end the Cowboys made one more play that prevented the Longhorns from getting a chance to tie or win the game.

Speaking of Ehlinger, while tonight wasn’t his most efficient performance as a passer, he tallied four total touchdowns and he once again played a turnover-free game. On top of that, Ehlinger looked plenty healthy after the shoulder scare that occurred against Baylor. As long as Ehlinger continues to stay healthy, the Texas offense continues show it can put up some crooked numbers and continues to show drastic improvement from last year.

One thing you can say about Ehlinger is that he never seems to shy away from the moment, and keeps on coming no matter what the scoreboard reads. He dropped some absolute dimes tonight (the touchdown pass to Ingram might be his best toss as a Longhorn) and if he got one more bite at the apple tonight, Texas probably wins the game.

Can Texas Conquer Adversity and Win the Big 12?

If I’m being completely transparent, I wasn’t buying the playoff talk for this team and felt their ranking was a tad bit inflated, which is something they can’t exactly control. I couldn’t shake the feeling that a clunker of a game was on the horizon, but I honestly thought it would come a little further down the line. In my prediction, I thought that with Ehlinger in the saddle they would be able to get by Oklahoma State and setup a big showdown with the Mountaineers in Austin next week, but the Cowboys clearly had other plans for me and my predictions.

I used my last bullet point talking about silver linings, but I will end this write up with one more. Even though Texas lost a tough one in Stillwater tonight, this team is still in a position to compete for the Big 12 title — now they just have less wiggle room than they had before tonight. This latest bit of adversity could be good for this team in the long run if they are able to grow and learn from what transpired. Do they get back to Austin, watch the tape, and get their minds right for West Virginia, or do they start to spiral and let this loss turn into two or three? We will find out the answer that question a week from today.

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5 minutes ago, Daniel Seahorn said:

Another mental error that was a back breaker was when an upperclassman in Brandon Jones fielded a punt running towards his own end zone and pinned the offense inside the 5.

Texas has done this under Mack, Strong and now Herman. The punt returner should stand on the 10 yard line and NEVER go backwards. If anything, they should go forward and fake like they are going to catch it.

I admit, I missed most the game due to a personal commitment but why did Herman get a penalty at the end when Gundy was clearly on the field first. Did Picken$ $trike again?

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7 minutes ago, tejasrulz said:

Texas has done this under Mack, Strong and now Herman. The punt returner should stand on the 10 yard line and NEVER go backwards. If anything, they should go forward and fake like they are going to catch it.

I admit, I missed most the game due to a personal commitment but why did Herman get a penalty at the end when Gundy was clearly on the field first. Did Picken$ $trike again?

Not sure, but at that point the penalty didn’t really matter. 

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This Longhorn team has shown that they will regulate their play to the level of their opponent multiple times this season. Enough times, in my opinion, to say that it’s the norm, not merely an exception.  The team does not exhibit the killer instinct across the board to dominate opponents, especially when they play poorly.  There are still several games on the schedule that could prove to be challenging, if not every one of them. 

A few thoughts on game specifics:

*Too many missed tackles

*Often there were defenders out of position to make plays 

*Dropped passes

*Offensive scheme by OSU seemed to continually confuse the Texas defense. 

*Zero urgency was exhibited until late 3rd quarter

*OSU QB played very well, and made timely and smart decisions. 

I’m sure I’ve got more, but it’s late and I’m tired of thinking about this game. Bottom line, Texas and the staff still have work to do, and this program is in no way, shape or form “back.”

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Todd Orlando's defense, crapped in their pants and the bed..they put the DB's on an island and yet they failed to get to the QB and he had a field day picking apart their scheme..Face it these DB's aren't good enough consistently to play one on one lock down coverage...Boyd owes his teammates an apology, maybe the meeting he was late in attending was about how to defend the OSU receivers..call it like it was, he got torched and exposed, the remaining teams on the schedule just got a blue print on how to beat Orlando's defense..

I guess what makes me really mad is that they almost came back to win the game and that hurts, if they had just got blown out I probably would have just shrugged my shoulders...

As for Hager's loss of composure, he showed his immaturity and probably needs to sit out a half, he made Texas look like poor sports and lacking class..I would like to think WE are above that type of behavior

 

I so want to pull for Herman and the program but tonight they broke my heart and Im sure many other Horn fans hearts too

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I’m off my prediction.. we have the talent to make it too the playoffs which hasn’t been the case in the last 9 years.

Sam is a warrior.. that’s all I have to say about the offense. Kris Boyd got takin advantage of all game and really all season. B Jones is one of my favorite players but he didn’t show up.

we are headed in the right direction for the first time in a long time and I’m happy. I’m starting to think that this was the butt kicking that we needed to take to light a fire and win the conference. I haven’t seen the players care so much about a loss in awhile. 

Hookem 

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2 hours ago, Hiwood said:

Todd Orlando's defense, crapped in their pants and the bed..they put the DB's on an island and yet they failed to get to the QB and he had a field day picking apart their scheme..Face it these DB's aren't good enough consistently to play one on one lock down coverage...Boyd owes his teammates an apology, maybe the meeting he was late in attending was about how to defend the OSU receivers..call it like it was, he got torched and exposed, the remaining teams on the schedule just got a blue print on how to beat Orlando's defense..

I guess what makes me really mad is that they almost came back to win the game and that hurts, if they had just got blown out I probably would have just shrugged my shoulders...

As for Hager's loss of composure, he showed his immaturity and probably needs to sit out a half, he made Texas look like poor sports and lacking class..I would like to think WE are above that type of behavior

 

I so want to pull for Herman and the program but tonight they broke my heart and Im sure many other Horn fans hearts too

The three man front is killin Texas.  Has been all season.  They can’t establish the LOS and that creates problems for everybody.  The OL is allowed to get upfield too far and too often.  

 

Punish the players, not the team.  Make an example.  Run their guts out for being late.  Enough sprints and stadium stairs will get their attention.  That will tell them not to be late again.  

 

I missed the the extracurricular activities.  Can’t comment on tgem

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20 minutes ago, texasdalton said:

I’m off my prediction.. we have the talent to make it too the playoffs which hasn’t been the case in the last 9 years.

Sam is a warrior.. that’s all I have to say about the offense. Kris Boyd got takin advantage of all game and really all season. B Jones is one of my favorite players but he didn’t show up.

we are headed in the right direction for the first time in a long time and I’m happy. I’m starting to think that this was the butt kicking that we needed to take to light a fire and win the conference. I haven’t seen the players care so much about a loss in awhile. 

Hookem 

Good post.  We agree that Texas is headed in the right direction.  We part ways slightly about the current talent level.  We were over-rated plain and simple.  We can be really good, but this isn’t a team who is ready for the playoffs.  And I’ll tell you something else, there could easily be two more losses if Texas continues to approach games like “they’re back.”

Love Herman and Orlando, but as the talent increases, they need to grow too.  The readiness from game to game is drastically different. This team didn’t get the memo that OSU posed a real threat (see 3 suspensions for showing up late to meetings).   

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All the above, especially what Daniel said.  Plus, those quarterback runs were great calls executed perfectly.

Once again, we had game changing penalties in crucial situations.

And what happened with our run game? 

Bottom line is, they executed their plays better than we did, especially in the first quarter.

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7 hours ago, joeywa said:

This Longhorn team has shown that they will regulate their play to the level of their opponent multiple times this season. Enough times, in my opinion, to say that it’s the norm, not merely an exception.  The team does not exhibit the killer instinct across the board to dominate opponents, especially when they play poorly.  There are still several games on the schedule that could prove to be challenging, if not every one of them. 

A few thoughts on game specifics:

*Too many missed tackles

*Often there were defenders out of position to make plays 

*Dropped passes

*Offensive scheme by OSU seemed to continually confuse the Texas defense. 

*Zero urgency was exhibited until late 3rd quarter

*OSU QB played very well, and made timely and smart decisions. 

I’m sure I’ve got more, but it’s late and I’m tired of thinking about this game. Bottom line, Texas and the staff still have work to do, and this program is in no way, shape or form “back.”

This said everything going through mind as the game went from start to finish.

The phrase I missed on my late night write up -- *killer instinct*

This team has to be on a mission with all BigXII opponents. Take it personally to own these teams because their mission is to ruin Texas' season. Every season. Their place or ours.

I hope this game sticks in their craw. At least the coaches, so they get it and stay buttoned up for ever game. K-State at night on the road are haunting memories. And that catch on the mis-timed defender's leap, with another defender in position to knock the receiver out-of-bounds... shades of Texas Tech ruining a #1 ranked Horns night game.

This program has to develop a different mindset for every BigXII opponent. Every season.

Royal said football is a game won by angry men. This team was not mad enough until it was too late to fuss about getting punked the whole damn night.

This game summary I'm quoting belongs in the Daily Texan and Austin Statesman. Good job.

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I'm really embarrassed by many of the upperclassmen on this team.

Boyd, Davis, and LJH all got suspended for something that shouldn't be an issue for any players at any level, much less 2 seniors and a junior. Boyd and Davis looked pretty bad again tonight, as Boyd continued his "Jekyll and Hyde" impression. Boyd misplayed several balls, including one that should've been an INT but went through his fingertips for a TD. I couldn't help but laugh when Herbstreit (or maybe Fowler) said he's a late 1st to early 2nd round guy.

When LJH came in, he dropped what should've been a ~70-yard TD on a great throw by Sam. Seeing him flagged for a false start because he was loafing back to the line at the end of the first half had my blood boiling. If that's the kind of attitude he's going to have after being suspended, then maybe they should have left him in Austin for this game.

Beyond the 3 stragglers, Hager's showing at the end of the game was embarrassing. Where was that fire earlier in the game? Maybe instead of getting pissed off about it, you should try wrapping up in the backfield. He should lose his captain designation, in my opinion. PJ Locke looked totally lost and overmatched, as always. Brandon Jones continued his struggles with basic geometry, as he takes some of the worst angles of anyone on the team. Jones also had an absolutely terrible punt return decision that very much contributed to OSU being able to put the game away.

Out of those 6 guys I mentioned, 4 are seniors, and 2 are juniors. That just can't happen.

On the subject of special teams, I seriously have to wonder if Tom Herman just doesn't care about special teams. This stuff is a problem week after week and doesn't get fixed. Punt blocking has been atrocious all year. D'Shawn Jamison has muffed several punts and somehow doesn't have the football IQ to know when to return the ball or when not to. Multiple players have fair caught the ball inside their own 5 on punts. And now Brandon Jones gets in on the action with his Daje Johnson/D'Shawn Jamison impression by running a punt backwards into his own endzone with his team down by 3 and needing a score.

Anyway, this game was just another example of how undisciplined Texas is. This is an extremely unfocused, undisciplined football team that isn't ready for a top 10 ranking. Oklahoma State was clearly the better team tonight.

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Pretty much agree with all said. We are quite a ways from being "back"..........a playoff contender. Hopefully we can win another couple of games and that would be improvement from last year. Keep recruiting well and progress next year. I watched WV the other night against Baylor and man that looked good. I expect to have major trouble against Iowa St. We have to go to Lubbock, so  you know how that can be and then Kansas. Kansas will be jacked to play and try to beat Texas again.

I just don't understand why we ALWAYS start so slow. It dates back to Mack Brown. Mack's team always started terrible and try to chase at the end. Charlie Strong's teams acted like it they had no clue and then got so far down they didn't have the hosses to come back and win. Now Tom Herman's teams just do the same thing. Opening kickoff they get a good return and then the kicker hits the guy 5 yards out of bounds and tack on 15 more. I don't know what causes it (not that smart...not a mensa) but we are one of the most penalized teams in the country every year. Discipline, effort, lack of effort, coaching...............for the life of me, I just don't get it.

Hopefully better times are ahead. Been saying that for a decade, but a coyote has to have hope or he has nothing.

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30 minutes ago, tejasrulz said:

Whether it mattered or not doesn't answer why Gundy wasn't flagged for doing what Herman did before Herman did it. 

The only people who know the answer to that are on that crew. From the broadcast it just looked like Herman’s temper may have drawn the flag more than anything. 

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23 minutes ago, drgilbert said:

I woke up this morning still reeling from yesterday’s debacle, then I realized it is my 29th wedding anniversary.  Since I want to see a 30th Anniversary I decided to put yesterday behind me and enjoy today. Hope y’all can all do the same. HookEm!!  We’ll get em next week. 

Happy Anniversary!!! HOOK EM!!! \\m//

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1 hour ago, utb040713 said:

I'm really embarrassed by many of the upperclassmen on this team.

Boyd, Davis, and LJH all got suspended for something that shouldn't be an issue for any players at any level, much less 2 seniors and a junior. Boyd and Davis looked pretty bad again tonight, as Boyd continued his "Jekyll and Hyde" impression. Boyd misplayed several balls, including one that should've been an INT but went through his fingertips for a TD. I couldn't help but laugh when Herbstreit (or maybe Fowler) said he's a late 1st to early 2nd round guy.

When LJH came in, he dropped what should've been a ~70-yard TD on a great throw by Sam. Seeing him flagged for a false start because he was loafing back to the line at the end of the first half had my blood boiling. If that's the kind of attitude he's going to have after being suspended, then maybe they should have left him in Austin for this game.

Beyond the 3 stragglers, Hager's showing at the end of the game was embarrassing. Where was that fire earlier in the game? Maybe instead of getting pissed off about it, you should try wrapping up in the backfield. He should lose his captain designation, in my opinion. PJ Locke looked totally lost and overmatched, as always. Brandon Jones continued his struggles with basic geometry, as he takes some of the worst angles of anyone on the team. Jones also had an absolutely terrible punt return decision that very much contributed to OSU being able to put the game away.

Out of those 6 guys I mentioned, 4 are seniors, and 2 are juniors. That just can't happen.

On the subject of special teams, I seriously have to wonder if Tom Herman just doesn't care about special teams. This stuff is a problem week after week and doesn't get fixed. Punt blocking has been atrocious all year. D'Shawn Jamison has muffed several punts and somehow doesn't have the football IQ to know when to return the ball or when not to. Multiple players have fair caught the ball inside their own 5 on punts. And now Brandon Jones gets in on the action with his Daje Johnson/D'Shawn Jamison impression by running a punt backwards into his own endzone with his team down by 3 and needing a score.

Anyway, this game was just another example of how undisciplined Texas is. This is an extremely unfocused, undisciplined football team that isn't ready for a top 10 ranking. Oklahoma State was clearly the better team tonight.

Well said, agree on all points.  The Jones lack of geometry made me both cringe and laugh, but on point.  He slowed down and watched that late first half TD catch happen.  Boyd should have defended that as well, but watching Jones half ass that play makes me sick.

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52 minutes ago, drgilbert said:

I woke up this morning still reeling from yesterday’s debacle, then I realized it is my 29th wedding anniversary.  Since I want to see a 30th Anniversary I decided to put yesterday behind me and enjoy today. Hope y’all can all do the same. HookEm!!  We’ll get em next week. 

Happy Anniversary, man. I’m trying to get where you are one day!

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