Is This Rock Bottom for Texas?

Hello, Gentle Readers! Let’s talk about football, or maybe my recent root canal, because that’s less painful.

There is no way to adequately describe the loss to Notre Dame with English words fit for publication on a family-oriented blog. Therefore, I will use some smelling salts, call it a “shellacking,” and move on.

Clearly, clearly, crystal clearly, the largest of all large problems for the Longhorns is the offense. If you can’t score any points, it’s immaterial how well the defense does. Malik Jefferson is the real deal, folks. A monster who will only continue improving. Unfortunately, he does not play offense. To Coach Strong’s credit, he is taking action. I know this is a new thing for most of us. We are more used to some downcast eyes and shuffling feet during pressers, with a few nebulous excuses floated around. Nope, not Coach Strong. He is Not Having It. Also, not making excuses about it.

That brings us to a shift in the Texas coaching staff, announced just yesterday. When Coach Strong came on over to Texas, he brought Shawn Watson with him to work with the offense. This move makes total sense—Coach Watson had worked with Coach Strong for many years and had produced a successful offensive scheme. By the second game of 2014, it was clear something was going terribly wrong with the offense. Coach Strong gave his long-time OC a chance to turn things around. We saw the results of all the hard work in the off-season last Saturday:

The offense is ridiculously, garbage-level bad. A burning dumpster that got nuked from space.

Someone wiser than myself—a well-known former Oregon Duck and former Dallas Cowboy—gave me his take on the Texas offense, and particularly the Tyrone Swoopes situation. He said it felt like there was an assistant coach in there somewhere who thought of himself as a quarterback whisperer. No one else can coach this kid up, but I can! Sadly, I believe he is right, and the culprit was Coach Watson. After last week’s game, he will no longer be calling plays on offense. That responsibility has gone to Jay Norvell.

Let’s talk a little about him. Coach Norvell was previously the wide receivers coach. He himself had successful careers in college and professional football. He also coached in the pros and at the collegiate level, most recently at Oklahoma. We will not hold that against him. While Coach Watson will continue working with the quarterbacks, he was relieved of his play-calling duties.

According to ESPN, Joe Wickline was also demoted. That could spell a payout to Okie State. Click here to read about that legal battle.

This weekend should provide a small bit of respite for the beleaguered ‘Horns. Maybe. How many of you remember those years when the Rice game was supposed to be a big old cakewalk, and Texas lost? Sometimes in a big way? OK, raise your hands…got it…I’ll keep counting…leave those hands up…well, I can’t count that high. It’s a lot of you. Don’t take for granted that Texas will walk away with the win this weekend, but we can hope for it. Looking at the stats from the one game each team has played, it’s a little surprising that Texas is favored by 14. Check this out:

Total Yards: Rice, 543. Texas, 163.

Yards Allowed: Rice, 285. Texas, 527.

FIVE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SEVEN YARDS ALLOWED. ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-THREE YARDS GAINED. I feel faint.

This is the ‘Horns’ first home game. Game time is 7:00 p.m. central. The team needs support—get out to the stadium and cheer them on! Everyone is deflated after last week’s game (that’s a Tom Brady reference joke, do you see what I did there? I’ll see myself out). If there was ever a need for a “Kumbaya” moment, this is it! Hold hands and sing “The Eyes of Texas” and shout and wear burnt orange and keep having hope!

I’m a believer in Coach Strong. Hook ‘em!

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