MMQB: Struggling Texas offense in search mode
September, 27, 2010
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com
Reverting back to the Colt McCoy offense and chucking the ball around isn't the answer to what woes the No. 21 Texas Longhorns, coach Mack Brown said Monday.
"We were probably as much like last year on offense Saturday as we've been all year. In fact, [Texas] Tech and last week [a 34-12 loss to UCLA] were like that," Brown said. "We got behind in the second half. We weren't stopping them defensively, so we threw the ball a whole lot. So, that's not it."
So what is it? The Texas offense can't run the football with any consistency. It has gained 194 yards on 66 carries in its last two games. D.J. Monroe became the fourth running back used by Texas this season. The passing game has potential with young talent, and while sophomore quarterback Garrett Gilbert completed 30-of-45 passes for 264 yards, only one got in the end zone and one was picked off.
On two critical fourth downs, the Horns couldn't convert on either, and they coughed up four turnovers, three fumbles, in the first half.
"When you get beat 34-12, you've got a lot of concerns and not just with offensive play-calling. We've got a lot of things we've got to fix. We didn't play well. When you call plays that do not work, that's on the play-caller. He's got a hard job. If you call defenses that don't work, that's on the defensive play-caller and that's a hard job as well. There's not much that we can point to Saturday that was good consistently."
Which is why the Horns plummeted from No. 7 in the country to No. 21.
Particulary disturbing to Brown on the defensive side was UCLA's 264 rushing yards out of the zone-read, an attack the Horns are plenty accustomed to facing. The Bruins needed just 27 passing yards in the blowout for a box score that more resembled an old-school, Wing-T Texas high school powerhouse on a Friday night.
"They lined up and blocked us and we missed about 18 tackles and as many mistakes when we lined up. UCLA was more ready to play than we were," Brown said. "They ran the zone-read option, which we ran around here for a long time and we had a responsibility to take the quarterback and didn't take him. Norm Chow is one of the best offensive coaches in the country and Rick's [Neuheisel] done a tremendous job at UCLA, but I was disappointed that we didn't really give them a fight that was worthy of UCLA coming to Texas."
Brown doesn't have long to get his team up to speed for Saturday's Red River Rivalry against No. 8 Oklahoma