Sunday, October 15, 2006

+4, They Win

The bottom line is that you can't give the #6 team in the nation 5 turnovers, including two for touchdowns, and expect to be competitive in the game.

Baylor handed Texas 21 points on a silver platter, and gave them plenty of other scoring chances with turnovers, and that was the difference in the game.

Yes, we gave up 437 yards, but we put up over 340 yards ourselves, and only averaged .4 yards per play fewer than Texas. Without those turnovers, we are much more in this game than we were.

Our defense played well, but not great. They couldn't come up with the big game-changing plays when we really needed them. CJ Wilson drops an interception, Corey Ford gets a penalty that takes away an interception, and that's not counting the TEN 3rd down conversions we allowed (10/15 on the night).

We held Texas to 4.4 yards per carry, the fewest since 2002 (the Mack Brown sympathy game for Steele). We had 6 TFL on a team with the best OL in the nation. But we didn't do enough, not by half.

The offense.

Let me just say that I know Bell is a nice guy. I also know that he just threw for 303 yards and 2 TDs, but being the QB he's going to get the blame, and I think he deserves his fair share.

2 interceptions (1 returned for a touchdown) and 2 fumbles (1 returned for a touchdown) were some of the biggest plays in the game, and they centered on Bell.

I thought Bell showed some very poor signs out there tonight. Ducking out of the way of pressure, not stepping up into the pocket, throwing blind passes, short-hopping passes to the flat. There's a reason that his completion percentage was the lowest in a LONG time (53%). He couldn't complete those short passes to the flats. He was not very accurate at all today.

But I think we are seeing what happens when you do open this offense up a bit. While I don't want to trigger the cries of "MORAL VICTORY!", I do think we need to keep in mind that Texas led the conference in scoring defense, only allowing 10.8 points per game. Baylor tripled that tonight, scoring more points than any other team Texas has played. Take away that last touchdown that was questionable, and we are still tying Ohio State (the #1 team in the nation) for the most points scored on Texas all year. We scored as many points as UTs last three opponents COMBINED.

So we were doing something right.

But we did a lot wrong tonight, too, and when you are looking for an upset and fail, that's what you are going to dwell on. If we'd pulled this one out, then we'd all be talking about the great things, and we wouldn't be worrying so much about the 10 or 12 little things that changed the outcome of the game.

Bottom line: We were picked to get blown out in this game and we fought hard and the only reason we lost this game the way we did was because we did it to ourselves. I'm not saying we wouldn't have lost if we could have those turnovers back, but it sure would have been a heck of a lot closer. A 31-42 game is a lot easier to swallow than what we got, but it EASILY could have been that score.

Let's let this one roll off our backs, take the offensive improvement we saw tonight, and move onto Kansas. THAT is a must-win. As is every other game on our schedule. And after Tech and OUs performance today, every single game on our schedule is a winnable game. This year is FAR from over.

Let's get our three.

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