Texas Survives Own Defense, Outlasts Baylor In Shootout, 56-50

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By Bill Frisbie, Inside Texas Lead Writer
Posted Oct 21, 2012
Copyright © 2014 InsideTexas.com


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Joe Bergeron

For a limited time only, or hopefully for no more than the rest of this season, the worst defense in the history of Texas football will be on display at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium.  There will be just two more viewings at home following Saturday’s 56-50 win against Baylor.

Game Photos

 

The product was essentially basketball-on-grass.  Texas’ defense was torched for 607 yards as Baylor scored on all seven trips inside the Red Zone.  It was the most points Texas has ever allowed in a win, and it came darn close to becoming the most points Texas ever scored in a loss.  (The 45 points scored in the West Virginia loss still bears that dubious distinction)

“We’re not going to look at stats anymore,” coach Mack Brown said after his team snapped a two-game losing streak to improve to 5-2.  “The only stat we’re going to look at is wins.”

It may be a wise move considering this defense isn’t going to get any better any time soon and given how far the Longhorn program has fallen.  Brown notched just his third Big 12 home win since 2010 and is 8-and-13 in league play since Colt McCoy hung up his cleats.

The defensive dysfunction is such that Texas will have try to outscore everyone left on its slate and play as error-free as its offense did Saturday

Sure, a mis-snap on what was supposed to be a fake punt led to Baylor’s first touchdownafter it took over on downs at the Longhorn eight.  Running back Joe Bergeron nearly coughed it up twice but, otherwise, ran with power and patience to the tune of 117 yards and a career-best five rushing touchdowns (just one score shy of Ricky Williams’ school record).  Freshman running back Jonathan Gray tallied his first touchdown run with a 25-yard scamper that regained the Longhorn lead, 35-28, with little more than one minute remaining in the first half.  Quarterback David Ash shook off a left wrist injury to finish 19-of-31 for 274 for no interceptions.

It’s hard to know where to begin with this defense and, frankly, there isn’t much left to be said.  By now, it’s deficiencies are well-documented.  We can talk about youth and injuries all day, but you can start with the fact that there are too many guys on this unit who are playing out of position.  Safety Mykkele Thompson and linebacker DeMarco Cobbs are offensive players still trying to learn their position.  The safeties play 15-to-20 yards off the line, and that leaves open chunks of real estate in the middle of the field.  Players continue to run to the wrong gaps.  We have yet to see an across-the-board effort from all 11 in any one game this season. 

It took the OU debacle before coaches instilled some down-to-the-ground tackling this week, but the bigger picture is this:  Brown is once again trying to infuse at midstream some toughness and physicality into a program where it has typically been missing. Unless there is a team leader or coordinator who can create that blue collar culture, it has typically been missing from this program during Brown’s tenure.

To be fair, Texas loses to Baylor for the third straight year if the defense did not come away with two critical turnovers.  Josh Turner’s interception late in the second quarter set up Gray’s touchdown run. which gave Texas the lead for good.  Thompson’s fumble recovery just before the end of the third quarter set up Ash’s only touchdown of the night.  It was a 15-yard toss to receiver Mike Davis who, despite a couple of drops, finished with 148 yards on six grabs. 

But the fact that Texas still had to recover an onside kick with 56 points on the scoreboard reveals what kind of night it was for the defense.  In short: it was typical. 

 

 

 

 

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