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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Manhandled in Austin

It's been a rough week for football fans in Texas. The Texans and Cokeboys laid eggs (one of which I couldn't be happier with...the inevitable explosion in Dallas is imminent), and the state's flagship university lost for the first time in twenty-two (22) games. Scott did an excellent job breaking down the Texans' performance, leaving it up to me to analyze the disaster in Austin. And away we go...

1. I was one of those guys who thought the suspension of Tarell Brown would hurt the squad, but I didn't think it would prove to be a game-changer. I was dead wrong. From the outset, the Buckeyes took advantage of his absence. Everyone thought Ted Ginn, Jr. would be the guy to thrive (and he did have 5 catches for 97 yards with a TD), but who in the world knew that Anthony Gonzalez (8 catches, 142 yards, 1 TD) would wreak such havoc? Ohio State and Troy Smith (17-26, 292 yards, 3TD) did a superb job picking apart the Horns' depleted secondary. I can't tell you how many times it seemed like Aaron Ross, Brandon Foster, and Ryan Palmer were caught out of position or just flat out burned.

2. Michael Griffin was all over the field; it seemed like he was in on every tackle. He finished with 14 (10 solo), but I could have sworn he had about fifty, although I was admittedly seeing double by the second half. For that matter, Marcus Griffin did his best Michael Griffin impression with 12 tackles as well. Those guys may have gotten beat a time or two, but at least they wrapped up.

3. Brian Robison=Disruptive Stud. Had Scott been there, I'm confident he would have contemplated marrying him in much the same way he considered taking vows with a bratwurst and tortilla burger in Corpus.

4. EXCELLENT job containing the run by the Texas defense. Only 99 total rushing yards given up. For all the talk about Troy Smith being Lil' VY, he sure didn't run like him.

5. Great work running the ball by Selvin Young and Jamaal Charles. Frankly, I wonder why Greg Davis didn't ride them even more. He realized that he's got a redshirt freshman QB playing only his second game against the #1 team in the country, right? Right? To paraphrase Scott's idol Rick Pitino, Vince Young ain't coming through that door, Greg Davis.

6. That Ginn TD right before halftime sucked the life out of everyone in Austin. I had to really focus, keep my eye on the prize, and consume unhealthy amounts of toxins to counteract that punch to the gut.

7. Colt McCoy could have played better, sure, but everyone needs to realize that this was only his second start. He made some ill-advised throws; such is life with an inexperienced QB. It pains me to say it, but even Vince made a bad throw in his day. McCoy will get it, and the schedule provides him an opportunity to learn over the next few weeks before the Red River Shootout. That said, it is absolutely vital that Jevan Snead gets some reps in the upcoming Rice, Iowa State, and Sam Houston State games. I'm not advocating a return to the horrible days of the Simms-Applewhite hydra that haunted my collegiate life, but I would think Mack would want to get his back-up QB as much experience as possible so as to avoid having to throw another completely green freshman under center in the event of an injury to McCoy.

8. A word about the Ohio State fans...after the awful stories I heard about how Texas fans were treated last year in Columbus, I was eager to see how Buckeye supporters would be treated in Austin. From what I've heard and read, Texas fans did it right and showed extreme class. And that's completely deserved, because all the Buckeyes I ran into throughout the course of the weekend couldn't have been more courteous. I didn't encounter a single ill-mannered one throughout the weekend, and that includes after the game when gloating could have been grounds for fisticuffs.

9. Don't get me wrong--the Horns were completely dominated. But Ohio State is a helluva team. There's a reason they are ranked #1 in the country. No need to start wringing hands yet, Burnt Orange Nation. We'll still win the conference.


Blogger Scott said...

Nice effort Tim, which is more than I can say for the Longhorn coaching staff. Gene Chizik picked his poison, I guess, which was to make Troy Smith sit back in the pocket and beat them downfield. I just figured that half way through the game, after Ricky Dudley had seventeen catches in space, maybe the Horns would adjust.

Offensively, I consider this one of Greg Davis' finer performances. By finer, I mean unimaginative and illogical. Lob screens and stretch runs on third and short were astoundingly stupid and provided me flashbacks of the pre-VY era. If the Horns learn from last week and start pounding the ball again as a lesson learned, then it's not so big of a deal, but here's betting they will not do so. And agreed about Snead (pun intended) - if you want to run the option, then take out Chance Mock and put in your VY imitator. Refusing to play your backup (future) QB last season is one reason that Colt is so green this season. Don't make that mistake again.

Brian Robison is one of my favorite all-time Longhorns. I bet he can crush a softball.

Basing your opinion of Ohio State fans on those who made the trip to Austin is not too accurate. REAL, genuine Buckeye fans do not have cars and/or are not permitted to cross state lines without court permission, so I imagine those you met this weekend were the country club variety Buckeyes.

Tue Sep 12, 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger Bert said...

Scott, you bring up a fine point. I almost forgot how bad of a player caller Greg Davis is. VY seemed to keep him dormant but the sleeping dog has awoken...

Tue Sep 12, 02:26:00 PM  

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