The Texas Silver Linings Playbook

Baylor rolled into town and prevailed over a young and growing Texas team, 28-7. Don’t be sad, Longhorn fans. We have good company on the Crying Bench this week. Have a seat, Oregon Ducks. There’s plenty of room. Have a green hanky. Scoot on over and make room for the Stanford Cardinal. Don’t forget the Alabama Crimson Tide. They can sit by the Aggies, way at the other end. And last but not least, we have a tiny spot left for the OU Sooners. Cry it out, folks.

Welp, the game sort of went how I expected. Check that—let’s start over. The first half was beyond my wildest hopes. The second half was a fever dream on bad shellfish. The Texas defense looked as good as I’ve ever seen it, for the first forty-five minutes of football. That included an impossible stop in Q2 on 4th-and-a sliver, to keep the touted Baylor offense out of the end zone for the first half of the game. Bravo! And well done. Texas managed to expose some delicious weaknesses in the Baylor offense. I’m sure other Big XII coaches will be poring over the game film in the weeks to come. You’re welcome.

The second half was not so great. Did the Bears just wear down the Texas defense? Did they make halftime adjustments? Could be a little of both. Honestly, it was the last part of Q4 that sent the game into unwinnable territory for Texas. Especially considering the lack of scoring by the Texas offense.

Tyrone Swoopes struggled during the game. There’s really no other way to talk about his performance. Keeping in mind he’s full of raw talent: He missed easy throws. He didn’t see the field well. Remember those running plays when the receiver had to put on the brakes, turn around, and catch the ball? Yeah, that’s not how it’s supposed to work. More than once a Texas receiver with acres of green in front of him had to stop his momentum just to catch the ball, negating any possibility of yards after catch. Broken record time: Swoopes is a very young and inexperienced QB. Texas coaches did vary up the play-calling more than we’ve seen, and the O-line opened actual, live running lanes. Alex De La Torre, the monster tailback and one of my personal favorites, had a terrific run in the first half. There are definitely some bright spots shining through. Is there more work to be done? Oh, goodness. Without a doubt.

Special teams. I can’t even. Discussion tabled for now, or until my nerve pills get refilled.

Five things that made me happy:

  1. Bryce Petty got sacked for the first time this season. Yeah!
  2. The Texas defense held the Baylor offense to ZERO POINTS in the first half.
  3. The Texas running game finally found its footing (hahaha, I see what you did there). Johnathan Gray, well-known spirit animal, had a particularly good showing.
  4. The neonatal offensive line has another game under its belt.
  5. Oklahoma lost to TCU. (HAHA)

You all know that Part 2 of The October That Tried To Kill My Spirit is staring us down. Next weekend, Texas travels to the Cotton Bowl to face its perennial nemesis, Oklahoma. Both teams are coming off a loss. OU does have the intangible of Katy Perry’s support. So there’s that.

OU has vulnerabilities. Can Texas exploit them? Can they overcome the Katy Perry mojo? We’ll explore that later this week.

Until then, Hook ‘em!

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