I know I know, I deliberately tease the title but, I promise, there is meat. Hear me out. OU was an embarrassment. A superior team donkey punched an inferior team and I hate the fact that my Kegle caused a Norman O-face. The Mack-is-done meme is warranted and this piece is not meant to dispel. This is simply a reality check. It's also harsh but for different reasons. OU is not KU. OU was better. That hurts. KU was clutchier. That happens.
*For all the displeasure that Texas fans have right now, which is completely warranted, I'm one of those sticklers for facts that tries my best to make sure people don't conflate long term agenda with short term speed bumps (please no "John Galt" comments here as I fully respect the irony).
1) David Ash was not the problem in Lawrence. His first half was fine save one INT with 1:01 to go in the half. That was on David. His 3rd quarter was not exceptional but not a problem. KU simply did a couple small things to affect plays. UT did a couple small things to stall drives. We can't wipe INTs from the record (otherwise Landry would be a Heisman candidate) but look at the tape and you'll see a QB that was on time, accurate, and largely unfortunate. His first drive was comprised of all runs that resulted in a TD, similar to McCoy's first drive. The next four drives had 16 total plays and resulted in 4 punts. If anything, Ash was un-clutch on 3rd down. He failed to convert a 3rd and 18 run (by Jeremy Hills) following a Poehlmann penalty. He failed to convert a 3rd and 17 after Bergeron missed a block and then Gray dropped a wide open screen pass. He failed to convert a 3rd and 5 after Jeremy Hills dropped a pass after another penalty set us back 15 yards. In the first half, Ash was 7 for 11 for 33 yards with a scramble for a first down. The only other argument against Ash's first half was a badly missed deep throw to Davis down the sideline that, if completed, would have been called back by a penalty that ultimately derailed the drive anyway and a second INT that was rerouted by the DE on the play when our tackle failed to cut the KU player. I'm still surprised Ash was pulled. He wasn't Case McCoy in Waco in 2011. Which leads to my next point.
2) Case McCoy didn't save the day. He played well. But the idea that Ash was to cause of our woes and McCoy was the solution is asinine. My least favorite argument to make to anybody is that correlation does not imply causality. The reason I hate it is because most people don't grasp it. Whether it's politics, business, or sports, it's infuriating. Bush didn't cause a mortgage collapse. Was he president? Sure. But (see: Fed Chairman easy money policy for 2 decades coupled with Fannie and Freddie mortgage re-purchase mandate legislated by Congress.) I've had plenty a friends get rich for being in the right place at the right time and plenty a friends still not be rich because other friends of mine piggy-backed the work and were in the right place at the right time when it finally worked. Likewise, Case was in the game when we decided to attack the part of the field that Kansas was not trying to defend. Rewatch the game and notice how many easy throws Ash has in the first half to Shipley on a deep out that he hits perfectly. He does it to start the 2nd half again to Mike Davis. However, not until Case takes over in the 4th quarter to we try to exploit that portion of the field almost exclusively with Goodwin and Monroe. I give Case credit for the 4th and 6 throw to Shipley. But he could just as easily be in the Ash doghouse for what should have been an INT to start that drive on a throw I dare say Ash would have never made.
3) KU was clutchy. Texas was unclutchy. They dominated time of possession at key moments - a game we're supposed to win. 19-11 in the first half. 9.5 - 5.5 in the fourth quarter. They converted when they needed to. They got 3.5 when they needed 3 on 4th down in the first half. They got 2.5 when they need 2 on third down on 3 occasions. They had 3 completions in the game. 3!!!! One was on 3rd and 8 in the 4th quarter to set up their late field goal. They have a DE get his hands up on a bubble screen that forces Ash to throw slightly behind Davis which causes Davis to flail and deflect a ball to a KU player for an INT. We didn't convert when we needed (until 1:00 to go in the 4th). We were 4 of 12 on 3rd down. We failed to convert a 4th and goal from the 1 yard line. We interfered on a pass in the fourth quarter that was a third down prayer. We force 4 fumbles but only recover 1. Mike Davis has a DB toasted but Ash underthrows for an INT. For all the frustration with the game plan, KU's players were clutch.
4) KU game planned well. They knew they were outmatched. So they resorted to coaching. Try to take away our base concept on offense (inside run) and try to exploit our base flaw on defense (inside run). It worked for too long but it was the only chance they had. And sure enough, as another meme goes, let an inferior opponent hang around long enough, and they just might start to believe they can win.
I know Texas missed most people's expectations on Saturday. And I hate to sound Mack-ish, but a road win does count, especially when they have more coaching and clutchtitude. Thankfully, Texas had a higher class and caliber of athlete. Don't be surprised if show well in Lubbock. Don't be surprised if we show well against ISU. We out-athlete both and clutchology will come into play yet again.
You can resume the bashing of the coaches but if we recover 2 of the fumbles, convert on 4th and goal, stop a couple 3rd and prayers, and misplace the Gutenberg bible, I'm $900 richer. I will not disclose how much of that sum is from bets being won versus my sale price of a Gutenberg bible but I will disclose that most of the pawn shops I go to do not pay well for bibles.