A few hardy souls were talking about UT being in the national championship race. The more sane ones were content to stick with being favored in the Big 12 championship race.
After Saturday night, all bets are off.
The Horns pulled out a pathetic 21-13 win over what should have been a pushover, Arkansas State. But had this been any other team on their schedule, Texas would have lost easily. They even had to hold on against the Indians - they were a blown call away from giving Arkansas State a last-minute chance to tie up a game they were favored to win by 39.
The offense has become tired and predictable - not that offensive coordinator Greg Davis was ever anything else. Let's make one thing clear - the only reason the Horns won in 2005 is because of Vince Young, not because of anything Greg Davis brought to the table. Now we have a team that either can't or won't run in the middle, and that can't or won't pass down the field. I don't know how many times they ran that stupid counter play to Jamal Charles - they're still running the same plays they used with Vince Young, and McCoy ain't Vince. He isn't going to run the ball like Vince, and so Charles got pounded every time. Suffice it to say, third and goal from the one against Arkansas State should be a touchdown 99 times out of 100 - tonight it was a turnover on downs. And they never even tried to go up the middle.
McCoy had a pretty poor game. He looked great in the first quarter, and lost after that. He had two interceptions on the night, but should have had at least two more. He threw to the wrong side of Sweed on multiple times. He didn't or couldn't find his tight ends. He will need to turn things around in a hurry.
Defensively, there are many, many problems, but as the Joker almost once said, "I have given a name to my pain, and it is Brandon Foster." He was toasted on a number of occasions, and it was he who blew the onside kick recovery at the end that would have given Arkansas State a shot. Our secondary has problems, but this guy is going to lose us games this year, and that is a fact.
Our defensive line got a little pressure early, but Arkansas State adjusted quickly by basically abandoning the run and switching to quick slant passes. After that, the D-line never got close. Oh - except for the times they were called for roughing the quarterback, or sacking him by the facemask.
Basically, it's a damn good thing Arkansas State isn't very good. (They missed two short field-goals, had an interception in the endzone, and had six - six - false start penalties, so it could have been even closer if they had any real game.) Before this game, I thought Texas had a good shot of finishing anywhere between 12-0 and 10-2. Now, I don't see how they could beat OU or Nebraska, will have problems next week with TCU, and could lose two more to the group of usual suspects (Missou, Tech, K-State, A&M). This team could now be anywhere from 10-2 to 7-5, and if it heads towards the latter, things are going to be very ugly around Austin this fall.
Listening to: Anthrax - Belly of the Beast