Post-mortem is an accurate title for this George Romero Halloween-inspired edition; the script for this game, as with every OSU game, played out like the classic zombie tale. OSU starts out fast and then we wake up: 28 Plays Later. We're the frustrating, slow-starting, tireless zombies that eventually wear you down irrespective of the abuse you heap on us in a world of bleak post-apocalyptic devastation (aka Oklahoma). Once again, Oklahoma State - garbed in their customary Trick Or Treat Orange - shot us twice in the mandible, stabbed us in the heart, smothered us with a 350 thread count pillow, garrotted us, hit us on the clavicle with a halberd, set us on fire with a Purple Drank napalm cocktail, slammed us in the head with an obsidian Aztec war club, kicked us off of several high objects while saying something witty, and then hit us glancingly with a tactical nuclear strike. Then we had halftime.
We took it all, shrugged, and then we kept shuffling forward, singlemindedly, arms extended, knowing that soon we would feast on their delicious US News & World Report Tier Fourteen brains. Arrrrrr.
Not filling. Schedule Stanford
OSU vs. Zombie gametracker: 0-7. Don't even notice you. Did something just happen? 0-14. Shuffle, shuffle. La la la. I'm a Zommmmbiiiiie. 0-21. Graaa? Brains! 14-35. Must kill. 21-35. Closer. 28-35. Closer. 35-35. Rotting hands grasp OSU pharynx. 38-35. Feast.
Great effort, gutty win, amazing win, laudable win. Arguably our first win of the year over a real football team. I'm not being uncharitable there - I'm not sure Ohio State has beaten a real football team yet and they're going to play for the damn national title. Such is the state of college football in this year of lunacy.
Colt McCoy is more plucky than Tanner Boyle in The Bad News Bears. Yeah, put me in the trashcan, asswipe. Once I extricate myself, I'm after you again. Ah, Colt. He ran the ball like a dreidel crossed with a 14 year old Vince Young, he threw two ridiculous picks (you can't blame the hit pick on him), he drilled a five yard slant into Nate Jones' big toe, he threw a gorgeous ball to Shipley down the sideline, he made a dozen plays of infinite clutchness, he spilled his guts on the field and jammed them back into his belly, and he generally led the team like a combination of Joel Osteen, George Custer, and Genghis Khan. I like Colt McCoy. It's easy to love Vince or Earl. I prefer my heroes to be imperfect. And he is that. 16 TDs/16 INT. Yikes. Not that imperfect maybe. But dude keeps it interesting.
I will cut out your beating heart. Right after this interception
It's now Colt's modus operandi to pretend that he is being pressured even when he's not. I recognize this because I used to do this for hours in my front yard as a kid and I know what it looks like. He has happier feet than that insipid penguin movie, but it's tough to argue with the fact that the vast majority of our big plays are made with Colt's feet moving and a wide receiver freelancing off of their route. The Shipley toss was a refreshing counterpoint to that, but most of our big plays tend to happen a bit more, errr, organically. I know it's frustrating. Just live with it.
For the second straight game, Jamaal Charles dominated the 4th quarter and pulled the game out for us. Put him in West Virginia's run-oriented spread and he'd score an invite to the Downtown Athletic Club. The economy with which the guy makes people look like absolute fools is easy to overlook. It's so simple for him so as a viewer you naturally assume it was nothing. You don't really appreciate what he just did. On one of his TD runs he turned a squared up Cowboy safety into a mannequin with a lazy hip shift where he never broke stride and on his 75 yarder he showed acceleration so profound that the Cowboy DBs body language suggested that they hadn't even seen him. He has the kind of speed that can actually cause paralysis.
I wish I was Jamaal Charles
Ryan Bailey has become a great, not good kicker. He is 8 of 10 from 40+ on the year with a long of 52. NFL numbers, amigos. Given our recent run of scholarship kicker identification and the glorious history of standout walk-on kickers at Texas, I suggest we eat those scholarships to fund MacDuff's severance package.
Human Swiss Army Knife Chris Hall deserves props for stepping in at center and doing a solid job. Playing center is nothing like playing tackle which is nothing like playing guard so it's impressive to see a guy who will cheerfully do anything to help his team win. Props. The whole OL showed once again that they can look pretty good when schemes are sane.
Could Jordan Shipley become our deep threat blitz buster? Hope so. Because Quan and Nate can't. Jermicheal Finley is now back to eligible receiver status. Oh, goody! It seems every team in the Big 12 has a monster threat at TE: there's Gresham, Pettigrew, Rucker, Coffman, Finley, Bennett...and Peter Ullman!
I said Ullman, not Allman
I know we won. But it needs to be said: defensively, we're kind of shit. It's Mackovic bad and Carl Reese inspired and personnel aren't necessarily the problem (when we have the right LBs in). To date, Akina has proven to be a disappointing comfort hire and our current defensive numbers are indisputably Mackovician (21.4 ppg, 340.8 ypg. opponents convert 37% of 3rd downs). OSU played games all day with their line splits and various exotics and we reacted like it was mystifying for them to get an angle by simple alignment. Remember their unbalanced line in '05? We still blitz like gluttons and there is no amount of punishment that you can deliver to our LBs in the flat that will make us stop. We're as stubborn as the living dead. Whatever his skills are in developing individual DBs - which are considerable - has little translation to coordinating a major college defense. There's a reason he was kept on training wheels with all of his other DCs and we should restore that status immediately with a shitcanning of MacDuff right after our bowl game. Hiring someone without an AARP membership would suit me. Look, we're Texas. We can have any DC we want short of Bill Belichik. Think young, lean, and hungry. Someone like a young Mickey Rooney.
We may be the easiest team to screen in NCAA Football and there's little reason to even go through all of that coordinated effort - simply isolating a back on one of our starting linebackers with a simple flip to the flat is worth 10-30 yards guaranteed. Thank God that play isn't in Tech's offense. Ahem. The secondary fell apart with the exception of Beasley. Zac Robinson threw for 430 yards and 240 of those yards occurred without a defender on my television screen. Oklahoma State finished just shy of 600 yards on the day. That's not good and a win doesn't erase measuring yourself rigorously against a standard of play.
That all written, Deon Beasley and Derek Lokey deserve special mention as having played outstanding games in what was an otherwise moribund effort. Beasley made a number of plays that singlehandedly ended two Cowboy drives. Nice to see him developing. Lokey is a consistent force - too bad teams won't run between the tackles against us.
I'm not writing about Bobino and Killebrew except to say that it was brutal and that they possess the lateral quickness of Mark Mangino. In zombie form. Marcus Griffin had his worst game as a Longhorn and Ishie Didgeridoo struggled as well. We need them to step up. We can't have the 2nd and 3rd levels missing tackles at the same time.
Still, to end a on any remotely negative note would be a disservice to this team's effort. Yeah, we're flawed and frustrating, but it's hard not to respect a team that is trying it's hardest to get it done almost every week. Tech will be a massive challenge, but there's no reason we can't outscore them in Austin.
That's Colt McCoy. He's 14. And he's a man.