Quarterback: There wasn’t much positive in regards to the play of Tyrone Swoopes. While he did have a short TD run, there were several missed passes to open receivers, poor reads on running plays, and the obvious misplaced handoff that resulted in an Arkansas TD. After a month of practice and a season of experience, the performance in the Texas Bowl was inexcusable.
Running backs: I’m tempted to give an incomplete grade here, but that’s not how it works. The bottom line is that Texas’ RBs ran for 41 yards all game (not including sack yardage) on 13 carries and never seemed to gain any traction. It was a bad game for every aspect of the offense, RB’s included.
Wide Recievers: I expected much more from a group that featured a 1,000 yard WR along with a Shipley. Unfortunately, neither seemed to get going or get open. The WR’s and QB were rarely on the same page and there were also a few drops that could have moved the chains and extended drives. It wasn’t their best performance.
Offensive Line: The performance of an offense starts here. Arkansas had some good players, but they weren’t All-Americans. The Longhorn OLine, however, made the Razorback front seven look like an NFL Defense. We all saw the product on the field, so I won’t rehash it. What I will say is that if there aren’t changes up front next year, Texas will be in bad shape.
Defensive Line: Texas’ defense started off having a difficult time stopping the rushing attack of Arkansas. Through the first half, it seemed like the Razorbacks were getting 5-10 yards every carry. As the game went on, however, the DLine did a good job stopping the run and forcing more punts. Unfortunately it was too late to make a difference.
Linebackers: Like the defensive line, the LB’s took too long to put a stop to the Hogs’ run game. The final stats indicate that Arkansas was held to less than 4 ypc, but it took too long to manage that. The game isn’t on the defense, but any momentum that Texas gained after their 2nd quarter touchdown was lost after the Razorbacks pounded the ball down the field for another score with less than 30 seconds left.
Secondary: The biggest disappointment on defense was the fact that Texas allowed several big plays, including some big 3rd down conversions and a long touchdown pass that put the game out of reach early in the first half. Too often, receivers were left open and the Razorback QB took advantage.
Special Teams: There were good and bad performances from this unit. The kick return team actually showed some life and was a large reason for the lone TD that was scored for the Horns. But they also gave up a few long returns and the punt game never really helped turn the field over. Special Teams weren’t the reason for the loss, but they didn’t make many game-changing performances.