The Longhorns came up short in their goal to have more wins than losses in the recent 3-game stretch of games against conference opponents. The stretch was supposed to solidify the high expectations held for Manny Diazâ€™s defense, add more evidence that David Ash is ready to lead the offense to places it hasnâ€™t seen for the better part of two years, and define the overall capacity of the team. One out of three ainâ€™t good â€“ and that is with me giving the Ash thing the nod even though he had a rough game against the Sooners.
Texas is 4-2 midway through the season and they still have a chance to better last seasonâ€™s record of 8-5. After two less-than-acceptable seasons by Longhorn football standards, fans are looking for progress. We havenâ€™t seen much of that lately. In all honesty the Longhorns have regressed if anything. The Baylor game this weekend is not simply another game against a conference opponent that Texas once used to whip more times than not… It is a game that most likely will make or break the teamâ€™s season. If Texas were to lose to Baylor it would mark the 3rd consecutive season Mack Brown has lost to the Bears. Atrocious? Unacceptable? Both. It is not about the loss, it is about the trend. The trend of losing conference games year-in and year-out to teams that Texas should beat more times than not . All-time winning records against opponents are great, but the â€œwhat have you done for me latelyâ€ philosophy is king in college football. Mack Brown has lost 3 straight to Oklahoma, 4 straight to Kansas State and ___ (fill in the blank) straight to Baylor? This game is important folks. It is important to this yearâ€™s team, to the program and yes, to Mack Brownâ€™s future at Texas.
Statistically the Bears boast the worst defense amongst FBS schools. The Longhorns are not far behind with a defense that ranks 99th. Offensively, Baylor is the #2 offense while Texas is 38th. Last week TCU with had their way with the Bearsâ€™ defense, while OU did the same with Texas. Similarities? Disgustingly, yes. While I think the Texas defense needs to play BETTER than the Baylor defense to win, the real concern is with the Texas running game. The Bergeron/ Gray tandem, in the absence of injured tailback Malcolm Brown, has struggled lately. They managed only 17 yards combined against Oklahoma and 132 yards combined against West Virginia. Bergeron should be notching 100 yards per game alone in Brownâ€™s absence. Gray is picking up his pace as he sees more playing time but it is apparent that the running game AND the offense relies on Malcolm Brown to be optimal.
A Texas win this weekend would provide hope for a season that looked to be on the brink of destructionâ€¦ and it still might be, looking at the upcoming schedule. A loss to Baylor would be horrific. There is no RG3, no Terrance Gannaway, no Kendall Wrightâ€¦
Time to RISE and fill in the blank. Will it be three, or zero?