No fight seems to be left in Texas

Columnist Jenni Carlson had to double-check and make sure that perennial Big 12 power Texas really is 4-5 this season.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: November 8, 2010 at 8:30 pm •  Published: November 8, 2010

Those haven't been the coaches' only shortcomings. The offense has no identity. Is it a passing offense? A running offense? A power offense? A finesse offense?

Nine games into the season, no one knows.

Last week against K-State and the nation's worst rushing defense, Texas threw the ball 59 times but ran it only 26 times. At one point in the first half, the Longhorns attempted 22 consecutive passes. Granted, part of that was because the Wildcats built a big lead and the Longhorns were playing catch-up, but throwing the ball twice as much as you run it against K-State isn't good strategy.

Of course, the coaches don't shoulder all of the offensive blame.

Garrett Gilbert has been an interception machine, and the times when the sophomore quarterback has been decent, he hasn't gotten much help. He was solid against Baylor, but Texas dropped five passes, one of which resulted in an interception.

Texas offensive coordinator Greg Davis seems to have no answers.

Then again, neither does defensive coordinator and head-coach-in-waiting Will Muschamp. He's the golden boy in Austin, the favored son in Longhorn Land. And yet his defense couldn't slow down an Iowa State offense that OU shutout only a week earlier, couldn't hold a fourth-quarter lead against a Baylor bunch that would be held scoreless in the first half by OSU the following week, then couldn't find an answer for K-State backup quarterback Collin Klein.

Did we mention that Klein was a surprise starter for the Wildcats? That he entered the game with all of 95 yards rushing this season? That he torched the Longhorns for 127 yards on the ground?

The Longhorn defense has better talent than the Wildcats, the Cyclones and the Bears, but they sure didn't play that way against those teams last three opponents. They didn't tackle well. They didn't adjust. They didn't fight.

Truth be told, the scrap has gone out of this entire team.

Maybe the Longhorns were playing above their heads when they won their first three games, then went to Nebraska and won. Maybe they are just as bad as these past few weeks would indicate. Whatever the case, this team is playing like it doesn't believe it can win.

Texas fight?

Not hardly.


by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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