Do you feel better now? Because I'm honestly not quite sure.
So just how upset can you be about a 45-0? What about your QB's 16-22, 10 YPA performance left you unfulfilled? Why did a defense that answered every big moment and kept the opposition from even sniffing the end zone draw your ire?
Please tell me, because I'm kind of pissed off too and I can't quite get a handle on why.
It was largely a tale of two halves, and I think that's part of it. The first half had more than its share of ugly moments, and when you come in expecting to straight bludgeon someone those can be particularly hard to take. And that's not to say that those expectations were out of line - while New Mexico is a better program than last year's ass-tastic entry there's no question that only Kansas might challenge them on our schedule for pure putrititude. A first half filled with defensive assignment busts, blown blitz pickups and all-around lethargy is well worthy of censure, and a 17-0 closing number at the half seemed like an absolute whitewash for a distressing performance.
Then, halftime happened.
After two straight slow starts and dominating second halves, I'm ready to suggest that whoever handles the halftime speech be given charge over the pre-game duties as well. Texas seemed to come out with far more purpose in the second stanza, with the run game clicking on nearly every drive and the defense doing a far better job of playing assignment ball and generally looking the way a vastly superior bunch of athletes should.
A few scattershot thoughts before I turn it over to you guys:
- You just do NOT have the luxury of lacking off the way the OL seemed to do in the first half. There's not an athlete in the UNM front seven that should have caused a 1-on-1 issue, and while some lackadaiscal push in the run game can be shrugged off, the poor show on blitz recognition and pickup can't. We're a long way past throwing up our hands and saying 'well, they didn't blitz this much on tape' as a program, and what they showed in the first half on the OL just stunk. You don't get to take the night off on the OL because you're protecting the QB, and the lowest and least walk-on in any D1 program can blow your QB's knee if he gets a free run. That was one of many elements that seemed to clean up in the second half, but if you start slow there you can end your season in a heartbeat. That has got to get straight, and fast.
- Assignment busts by the D were the other horror story of the first half. We won't see an option attack very similar to UNM's for the rest of the year, but we'll damn well be torn up by KSU at the minimum if we can't play assignment ball on the ground. I'd need a second look to tell what was what, but off the bat this seemed like a second game where DeMarco Cobbs could be having a tough time in the film room.
- 2 carries for Malcolm Brown? I'm very confused. Joe B. was our carry leader with 11 so we both ran it less than I'd have guessed and spread the ball around a good bit, but if you'd have told me before the game that Malcolm would have 2 carries I'd have thought the cart was coming out.
- Welcome to the party, Daje. Even against shoddy competition, his zip, burst and lateral quicks jumped out. I liked how DJ Monroe finished his TD run with authority, but Daje will see quite a bit of work in the slot and out of a range of other looks if his play continues to mach his hype.
- Jackson Jeffcoat may be leaving us early - he's putting up two-way tape that's going to remind a hell of a lot of GM's of Von Miller. I thought he'd be off to a bit of a slow start after his shoulder issues curtailed his offseason lifting, but he is looking like a stallion thusfar.
- Special F'ing teams. They will steal at least one game for us this year. With that said, I invite the UT trainers to harvest whatever limbs/organs/mana from my person that are necessary to get Fera on the field post f'ing haste.
- Ask #7 Arkansas how mad you should be about going 2-0.