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Texas/CU Football Post-Mortem

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Hawk Kwan Do is No Can Do. I predicted a 31-13 Longhorn victory and certainly thought we'd cover, but I didn't expect our scrubs to be in the game with 10:00 left in the 4th quarter.


Beautiful Boulder

Note to Colorado opponents: please never schedule Colorado on Free Cast Iron Paperweight Night. Or Free Shuriken Night. Or Free Hunk Of Uranium Night.

Fortunately for us, it was Free T-Shirt Night. Colorado's notoriously raucous, fickle and football ignorant student section rained soft yellow (oh, I mean gold) cotton casual flags of surrender on our team every time we scored; creating a nice metaphor for their football team. Soft, pliant, breathable - Buffalo Football Fever -catch it! Sadly, several co-eds exhibited better arm strength than Cody Hawkins. When we went up 21-0, the CU fans started making their friends into shirt monsters, texting, and cutting hashish deals. Colorado fans, dude. Too funny. How are you not in the Pac 10?

Come to think of it, why aren't we?

They're the only team we play that makes us feel like Pinochet.

Our first battle of the year happens in Dallas. And then our next. Then our next. Then our next.

It's time to strap it on because it's real football from here on out.

Defense

Could a rich alum please give Will Muschamp an oil well or a New Guinean copper mine interest? Before the game, Muschamp said he wanted his defense to experience adversity. We did. Briefly. This year, offenses inside our 20 have a weird habit of tracing their footsteps backwards like Nicholson's kid in The Shining. I'm getting used to being pleasantly surprised by the improvements I see every Saturday on defense. Will Muschamp is the guns and religion I cling to.

We've fully committed to man under, two deep. Palmer on the occasional island isn't my favorite prospect, but that's football. Chykie Brown's island remind me of Kauai and Palmer is more Easter. Bobino is his moai.


Stout against the run!

Abercrombie and Fitch modeling scouts, avoid the Colorado football complex. When they flashed up pics of Colorado's offensive starters, I have to admit to shaking my head. I haven't seen an offense that homely since the '85 Celtics were running pick and rolls. I mouthed a quiet prayer of thanks for this being a helmeted sport. I'm not implying George Clooney is on our depth chart, but a shower might be nice.

Cody Hawkins is bad enough to start in the SEC West. Chykie Brown and the rest of our DBs were dominant. Last week, I wrote that the light was turning on for Earl Thomas. It's getting brighter. Blake Gideon continues to play like a 5th year senior. In watching the replay he laid some serious wood - on one sideline tackle knocking Scotty McKnight sillier than a Berkeley tree-sitter. Did you know that Gideon is a coach's son? Gutty and knowledgeable, those coach's sons. He is the Ed McCaffrey of safety play. We now rank 39th in the nation in passing efficiency defense - about 20 spots higher than could have be reasonably expected coming in.

Our DL is the best in the league and in the top 3 or 4 in college football. Houston, Lewis and Miller completely dominated inside and our edge players passed Cody Hawkins through their stool post-game like he was Wolf brand chili mixed with corn. Muckelroy played a really nice game - a very violent one in fact - and Jared Norton rallied to put forth his best effort of the year. Muckelroy is quickly becoming one of my favorite Longhorn players ever. Every snap was a jailbreak. Roy Miller was the defensive player of the game. The Colorado center - Rimington Award candidate senior Daniel Sanders - just lost any chance of getting on Barking Carnival's post-season All-Big 12 team. He owes his team a teary Tim Tebow moment.

Offense

I fear 3rd and 1 like it was Chuck Norris. It's now a passing down for us. Texas Tech is more physical in the running game than we are. Boo!

Colt was very good again and his two interceptions bothered me not at all. His first was a typical learning opportunity every QB needs to be reminded of from time to time. Belief that you can will the ball through the defender? Check! Throwing willfully into coverage? Check! Across your body? Check! Receiver at poor angle? Check! It happens. Post-throw, I was most pleased to see Colt immediately assume the demeanor of a personal injury attorney - yeah, I just threw out some bullshit, go fuck yourself, OK? Here comes some more if I feel like it. QBs can't be plagued with conscience. Even the ones in FCA. The sooner a QB grinds Jiminny Cricket under his heel like a Kafka protagonist, the better he'll be. The second pick was a volleyball set from Ullman and that's not on Mr. McCoy. Back to run blocking for you, Peter. New rule: white tight ends with Grizzly Adams beards don't get issued a receiver eligible number. Colt is playing at a high level and his play over the back half of the season and his senior year will determine whether he's the third greatest QB to ever take snaps on the 40 Acres. (If you can't name #1 and #2, turn in your fan card now; no, not Mark Murdock)

Chris Ogbonnaya had his best game as a Longhorn. Not in his typical "Oh, nice little catch for 9 yards there, Chris!" sort of way either. He was game-altering. Although he's unlikely to be the every down solution at HB, he made things happen. Amazing how losing 15 pounds can help a player locate his dynamism. I'm looking at you, Cody Johnson. Chris combined with Colt for a 65 yard play of supreme clutchness, he converted two key third downs with YAC, he had a nifty TD run which resulted in him being brutally buffeted with 14 ounce yellow casual wear, he saved a sure pick 6 off of an errant throw, and then he gouged Colorado for a 51 yard run to set up Cody Johnson's rugby scrum touchdown. Game ball to you, Chris O. Couldn't happen to a better dude.

The OL struggled a bit, particularly at OT. Kyle Hix had his worst game as a Longhorn. Allowing 1.5 sacks to CU DE Maurice Lucas - a pass rushing non-entity - is not encouraging. Schematically our running game is a travesty, but that's just how it is. I will say this though: the zone read was actually blocked well. Colt was under strict orders not to run it, but it opened up for him twice. If we have a significant running play against OU, it will come there. Or on some counter misdirection thingy we may be holding back. Our straight zone play will lead to an immediate 2nd and 11.

John Chiles. Whoa. If we don't see value as an athlete jack of all trades, why are we using the lure of QB snaps to make him happy if it comes at the price of compromising development for Sherrod Harris? I guess what I'm saying is: stay healthy, Colt.

Special Teams

Colorado's kicker obviously bet on the game. Good stuff from him. Josh Smith's I'm-too-cool-to-kneel act was met with an Aaron Williams WWF bodyslam that reconfirms why he will be a great one. The very best DBs in Texas history weren't just superior athletes - they were also slightly evil. I saw what you did Aaron and I dig it. Hunter Lawrence is now 4 for 4 on the year and his field goal would have been good from 55. Punts and kickoffs were quite solid overall. Our special teams has been shored up considerably and I have great confidence in our kicking game. Our return game still drives me bonkers as I think we're risking injury to key guys and a dynamo like Curtis Brown is the type of guy that could grow in that role. Oh, well. We'll just assume I write that in all of these to save myself the future space.

Parting thoughts

Intramurals are over, brother. It's time for Oklahoma.