The Baylor Bears clinched their first-ever appearance in the Big 12 Championship Game with an exclamation point victory, beating the Texas Longhorns 24-10. The win over the Longhorns comes one week after an epic collapse and loss to Oklahoma.
Baylor’s ability to rebound after such a loss is particularly poignant for Texas because it is precisely what the Horns have failed to do since losing to Oklahoma in early October. In UT’s downward spiral there was a last-second win over Kansas and a come-from-behind win over KSU, but even in those games Texas struggled.
The fact that the Bears rebounded from their loss isn’t as significant to the way they did it…..by standing aside and letting Texas beat itself. Over 100 penalty yards, a costly turnover, inept offense, 5 sacks allowed – at no point in the game did the Longhorns appear coordinated.
Beyond the lack of cohesion, Texas never even appeared capable of winning the game. Without a superlative effort from running back Keontay Ingram just before halftime, Texas was shutout by Baylor other than a garbage-time touchdown.
After being collared with a defense that was ineffective at best and incapable at worst, the Longhorn offense has seemingly gone all-in on the defense’s ineptitude. In their last two games, the Horns have punted sixteen times. FOX (FS1) displayed a graphic during the game showing that Texas had only scored 15 points in the previous 20 possessions.
When it comes to the offensive drought, there is plenty of blame to share between coaches and players. Anyone watching the last two Texas games who believes there is only one source for the lack of success is drowning in misconception.
When all offensive positional units are regressing at this point in the season, most fans default to blaming coaches. While the Texas coaches surely are responsible for some portion of the offensive decline, there are plenty of mistakes and attitude problems from players.
While the Texas coaches surely are responsible for some portion of the offensive decline, there are plenty of mistakes and attitude problems from players.
Confidence and emotion are impossible to quantify in sports, but it’s obvious when a player lacks either. When Texas was on offense on Saturday, the only confidence being displayed was from Baylor defenders who were more confident in what plays were being run than the Texas offense.
With the loss to Baylor, Texas is teetering at 6-5. Head Coach Tom Herman must find a way to build some momentum heading into the first signing day and the offseason. Current trends provide easy fodder for opposing teams to recruit against Texas.
One final regular season game against Texas Tech and a minor bowl game should be winnable games for the Longhorns. If Texas remains mired in its current trajectory, it’s easily foreseeable that the team could finish with a losing record.
To think that Texas could plummet from 4-1 with their only defeat being a hard-fought loss to the current No. 1 team in the nation all the way to 6-7 is unthinkable. Spiraling to a 2-6 finish should keep players and coaches awake at night. The thought is certainly causing fans to lose sleep.
Each week Matt Cotcher will continue to build “The Story of the Season” as it unfolds.
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