Hello gentle readers. I just regained consciousness after witnessing the absolute waxing that the Longhorns dealt to the Ole Miss Rebels. What a barn-burner! 66-31. I know I complained, kind of a lot, about missing the first two games. Well, the ‘Horns saved it all up for their ESPN debut. Was totally worth it.
There were some tense moments. Like, before kickoff. Game time was getting close, I tuned over to ESPN, getting ready to see some Longhorn action. ESPN had other plans. It said, “O hai! Nice to see you. Have the last SEVEN MINUTES of the Florida and Tennessee game!”
This caused an issue at my house. I can’t go into details because the records are sealed.
Since I raised my daughter right, she was trolling channels for the game and sent me a life-saving text. Thank goodness for the ESPN news channel, which thoughtfully broadcasted the game so my eyeballs didn’t have to look any longer at Will Muschamp and the wrong orange team playing each other.
When the game started, I was all, “Where my ‘Horns at?” Because the stadium was a sea of red and blue, with the occasional orange dot thrown in. The crowd was fired up and ended up being a factor for Texas. The offense had several false start penalties called, likely due to crowd noise and plain old jitters. And Foghorn Leghorn. I’m pretty sure I saw him in the stands. By the end of the game, I was all, “Oh! There are my ‘Horns!” Because they were the only people left in the stadium.
From the beginning, despite the hometown fans cheering their brains out, the Longhorns brought it HARD into Oxford. We didn’t have to wait too long for the excitement to start–#33, linebacker Steve Edmond, made an interception and ran it back for a touchdown early in the first quarter. That’s what the commenters referred to as a “pick-6.” The defensive player intercepted the ball, or “picked it off,” then ran back for a touchdown (six points). Pick-6! Throw that out at a party.
What the cuss was up with that Moncrief person? It’s like he was coated with Teflon. He appeared to be the only person on the Ole Miss team who could catch a ball, and Texas couldn’t stop him. The Texas defense was punishing throughout the game, and rung Bo Wallace’s bell a couple of times. He looked dazed and confused for most of the game, and not in a good way. I had my Manny Diaz voodoo doll out just in case. The defense frustrated and impressed me, sometimes all on the same play. Look, I never played football, but it’s my firm belief that if you can touch someone you can tackle him. The missed tackles hurt throughout the game. Diaz made some adjustments and the defense was able to shut down the offense…except for the big plays! When you let someone like Moncrief blow past you, when you miss your blocking assignment, when you fail to cover your zone on the field, then the other team scores points. Ole Miss had some success with big plays. The safeties and corners must, must, MUST do a better job on pass protection. Tackling has to improve, especially in the open field. These adjustments need to happen before we get into the meat of the season, or the marquee teams will eat our lunch. However, overall, the defense put on a show, and voodoo Manny Diaz escaped unscathed.
OK! Let’s talk about the offense! Oh, that Ash. I might say that in every blog post. I think every sports outlet referred to him “growing up before our eyes.” Now we all sound like creepy uncles or something. But Ash is showing new leadership and improved skills week after week. He’s my player of the game, and apparently the Big 12 and I are on the same page, because they named him offensive player of the week. Yay, Ash! He was utterly impressive, thanks in no small part to the incredible offensive line. Ash looked like he had all day in the pocket to make a pass. The line did an amazing job of keeping the Ole Miss defense rocked back on their heels for the entire game. And someone at UT must read my blog, because they absolutely took my advice and threw the kitchen sink at Ole Miss. Trick plays, fake outs, spinning and juking down the field…the ‘Horns strutted their stuff. Ash was faster making decisions and getting plays off. He trusted his teammates to make plays, and put them in a position to do great stuff. Did you see that pass to Mike Davis in the third quarter? 45 yards of perfection! His long ball is improving. He’s reading plays and receivers better. And he didn’t throw a single interception. As much as I love me some baby McCoy, Ash is emerging as the real leader of this team. On Saturday, Ash made 19 completions on 23 attempts and threw for four touchdowns. He racked up 326 total yards—a career high for him.
The rest of the offense was just as stellar. The Ole Miss defense didn’t know whether to poop or go blind. Texas ran at will, threw when they wanted, made yards, picked up first downs, scored. That consistent grinding away by the offense effectively took the crowd out of the game by the third quarter. My dog had also exhausted all of her caring-bones by then and she just lay in the floor and stared helplessly at me while I jumped and hooted and whistled. No one will watch a game with me and I don’t know why.
This Texas offense is gearing up to be an enormous threat to everyone on the schedule. Do THEY have any Olympians? I didn’t think so. Marquise Goodwin was a stand-out on Saturday. Malcolm Brown carried defenders down the field like a human sled and racked up a total of 128 yards. Joe Bergeron went out with a shoulder injury, but he will be healthy for Oklahoma State. That’s a good thing, because I already told y’all I’m out of leeches. I don’t think my constitution could withstand the shock. I do declare.
Did you watch until the end? Because there was a treat in store for us! James Meredith was there! I must admit, I got a little verklempt when I saw him. Just a few days before, I was all up in his history, and there he was in the flesh. He looked pretty sad, but that’s what you get for rooting for the wrong team. I’m also looking at you, Archie Manning.
Well children, this week is a bye for the ‘Horns. Wait, what? The heck does that mean? In sports, a “bye” just means a team passes on to the next level without having a competitor. For our purposes, it means the ‘Horns have a week off. Fun fact: the term originally comes from cricket, meaning “a run scored on a ball that is missed by the wicket-keeper.” That dates all the way from 1746.
In two weeks, the ‘Horns travel to the middle of God-forsaken nowhere to meet the Oklahoma State Cowboys! Until then, stay tuned for more fun facts and educational tidbits. You are not getting rid of me that easily.