After reading Scipio's detailed analysis of both sides of the ball, I was inspired to rewatch the Tech game and view it through the prism of his Post-Mortems.
Should I capitalize Post-Mortems? Based on the excellence of the Post-Mortems should I capitalize "Him"? Should I have one of my brood punch "Him" in the junk on general principle? These are the questions I pondered as I hit play on my DVR.
In viewing the game I tried to benchmark our performance on both sides of the ball with terms like intelligence and accountability.
But as the game wore on, I realized the two metrics above had been played out as far as my Longhorn fandom was concerned and at this point were tired ways to view the team (offense). Greg Davis' schematic issues are Barbaro to me at this point.
It also didn't help that I kept hearing the latest Mack Brown-ism echoing in my caffeinated head as I watched both the defense and offense--"Lead the nation in effort." So putting aside X's and O's for a moment and considering Mack's latest Tony Robbins credo, I looked for, well, effort. "Whatever it takes" and "take dead aim" are much more nebulous than Mack's latest and greatest.
I mean there's a solid chance that Britt Mitchell allowing Scott Smith to dry hump him is going above and beyond in Britt's mind, and therefore doing "whatever it takes". Don't get me started on Robert Joseph and Andre Jones "taking dead aim".
Nope. I like the utility and tangibility of leading any type of government or garden variety municipality in effort—if you can lead a bona fide superpower in it, then all the better.
Well after watching a half, one side of the ball seemed worthy of the competition and the other was left wanting.
Here are some examples.
A number of times Christian Scott came on a safety blitz and it was apparent that he knew he wasn't going to get to the skittish Potts who was counting two Mississippi before releasing the rock. Instead of pulling up or running around the tailback to avoid contact, Scott detonated said Red Raider just because. Next time that back would be less inclined to get in Christian's way. Effort.
Trailing a wide receiver who has made the reception and is streaking down the sidelines, Keenan Robinson, with no chance of making a play on the ball carrier, suddenly notices a lagging Tech blocker trailing the play. Robinson peels back and ear holes the wide out. Message sent.
Kenny Vaccaro is late to a Texas Tech wide receiver screen party and instead of watching his teammates bring the ball carrier down, Vaccaro runs head long into another Tech receiver and would-be blocker, sending him ass over elbows. That didn't show up in the stat book but it will show up in film. Physicality.
Jackson Jeffcoat wraps up Potts and then tries to plant him into the Robertson Stadium turf for good measure. Theme warning, imo.
Gideon blows up Adam James on a crossing route drawing a flag on an uncatchable ball. You think Kenny Stills will see that on film? Does Stills sport pink Izod polos? He might after the RRS.
Eddie Jones is double teamed and out of the play, but manages to break free and clean up the pile on a sack. This from a fifth year senior with a history of injuries. Again, disregarding your own well being for the good of the team is effort in its purest form. Leading by example, imo.
After an interception, a Tech offensive lineman takes a swing at Chykie Brown along the sideline. The poor SOB is attacked by the other 10 defensive players on the field before coaches can pull the Techster away from the fray. Don't mess with the hive.
Contrast all of that with the offensive side of the ball and you tell me who's giving effort.
Hell, Texas is lucky if one offensive lineman helps Gilbert up after he takes a sack.
And I've never seen this group of offensive linemen pick off defenders standing around the pile.
Wide receivers set screens more than they block.
I will say that I appreciated 3 offensive linemen run 60 yards down the field on Tech's pick six, but other than that, this unit fell painfully short.
It's obvious to anyone paying attention that one side of the ball is trying to "lead the nation in effort" while the other side of the ball lacks the nasty mentality needed to run the football.
You can X and O the thing to death, but to think Mack Brown is happy with the effort he's getting on the offensive side of the ball is asinine. He can't be. Just as he wasn't happy with the effort immediately following the Aggie game in 2007. We all know what happened after that debacle.
Witty catch phrases aside, what will he do about it this time?