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Quick Thoughts and Takeaways: Texas falters again in 2nd half for second straight week

Jameson McCausland
Jameson McCausland

Another week, another heartbreaking loss for Texas

  • Let's start big picture. Steve Sarkisian said something after the game that had not crossed my mind previously. He mentioned Texas has a mental block when it comes to making the plays necessarily to put a team away in the second half, and it is his responsibility to help them get over that block . When the Longhorns jump out to an early lead or are off to a good start, it is like the players are almost waiting for something bad to happen. This program has played in so many nail-biters over the last 3-4 years that it almost seems like an expectation to a lot of players. Let me be clear, this is not an excuse for Texas losing games and there are many more issues that need to be addressed but it is just something additional to think about when looking back on the the last two weeks.
  • In terms of the on-field performance, let's start with the defense. Pete Kwiatkowski came out with a pretty good game plan and Texas played winning football on defense for about 3 and a half quarters. The dam eventually broke the last few possessions after they had been on the field nearly the entire second half, but the overall performance should have been good enough for a win.
  • Kwiatkowski opted to operate out of 3-man front for the majority of the game with Alfred Collins anchoring one of the edge spots. This turned out to be a smart decision. The stats show Texas allowed 220 yards rushing, but about 90 of those yards came on the final two possessions (excluding the possession that ended in a kneel down) when Texas was completely out of gas including the drive when the Longhorns effectively let OSU score because they had to get the ball back.
  • DeMarvion Overshown exited early in the contest with a concussion, and Jaylan Ford saw extended action in Overshown's place and played well. Ford ended up leading Texas in tackles with 12.
  • Offensively, Texas started out by marching right down the field on their opening drive and it slowly went downhill from there. Casey Thompson had by far his worst performance of the year (15/27 179 yards 1 touchdown and 2 INT's). His first INT was a pick-6 as Texas was driving deep into OSU territory to potentially make it a 20-3 or 24-3 game. Instead, OSU got to go into the locker room only down 17-13.
  • The second half performance from the offense was awful. Texas scored on their first drive and then did not record another first down. 6 straight drives that ended in 4 plays or less. That's hard to believe.
  • We will likely never know how much Thompson's thumb injury was bothering him, but if I was Steve Sarkisian I would have made a quarterback change at some point in the 4th quarter. The Longhorns offense needed some sort of spark and Oklahoma State was pinning their ears back knowing Thompson couldn't push the ball down the field.
  • Kyle Flood opted to play musical chairs with the offensive line for much of the afternoon. Tope Imade started at LG but ended up splitting a lot of time with Hayden Conner. Christian Jones started at LT but ended up sharing a lot of snaps with Andrej Karic. I would expect those battles to continue throughout the bye week and into the Baylor game.
  • As a whole, the offensive line spent much of the second half on roller skates for the second straight week. Oklahoma State was more physical up front and it showed. Texas needs to be in the market for at least a tackle and a guard in the portal once the offseason hits. They simply can not afford to waste Bijan Robinson's final year on campus with a below average offensive line.
  • Overall, it was another disappointing performance and now Texas is going to have to sit on it for two weeks with the bye week upcoming. This team has a lot of holes and the coaching staff has to find a way to scheme around their deficiencies better. They are doing it in the first half regularly, but the flood gates have now opened in the second half in back to back weeks. 

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  • 2021 Texas Football Schedule

    W 38-18
    L 21-40
    W 58-0
    Texas Tech
    W 70-35
    W 32-27
    L 48-55
    Oklahoma State
    L 24-32
    L 24-31
    @Iowa State
    L 7-30
    L 56-57 OT
    @West Virginia
    L 23-31
    Kansas State
    W 22-17

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