Yes, yes. I know we are supposed to be happy with a Horns victory, regardless of circumstance. We’re certainly all happy that Mack Brown finds a way to do just that 83% of the time. But damn if I, along with about 50,000 other orangeblood faithful, approve of the way the go about those victories sometimes.
Toting my three kids to Reliant Stadium on Saturday, I was giddy about how exiting the offense would look and how many of these new weapons would deliver as hyped. Unfortunately, we all seemed more impressed with the variety of food choices on the third level concourse than the stable of offensive weapons Greg Davis had at his disposal.
So was it just me, or did you too feel as if we were watching a continuation of the 2nd quarter of last year’s BCS championship game? Was this painfully conservative play calling designed to protect the ego of a young quarterback or to truly disguise our hand to later opponents? I’m beginning to wonder if Davis has a clause in his contract providing a bonus for each game without an offensive turnover.
Now I realize I’m an old defensive guy, and far below the pay grade of the likes of Coach Davis, but how about this for a try:
Marquise Goodwin with the fly route, followed by
D.J. Monroe on the out and up,
John Chiles deep slant,
Mike Davis to the flag,
Cody Johnson on the draw (just to keep those DB’s off their heels),
Darius White on the fly,
And the talent assault continues….
Now, even if not one of those passes is completed, I’m willing to bet we have at least one defensive holding penalty, one pass interference call and certainly at least one cornerback on the sidelines sucking oxygen. Keep that up for a half, and then you call your favorite off tackle run play with heightened success.
Offensive line play was solid, but will still need to improve on holding those blocks a full count longer and avoid injuries to the key personnel. I know it’s harsh, but I think you must also go back to Tre Newton as starting tailback. Cody Johnson makes for a fantastic 4th and one weapon (when he’s not running laterally around the right side, Greg), but it needs to be in the contrast to the quicker attack and cutback threat that Newton or Whittaker give you to start the game.
Defensive play was encouraging, barring the extended warm up period that included the opening Rice drive. Fluke reception at the end of the half and muffed punt equate to 14 of 17 Rice points. Two dropped pick 6’s negate another two UT scores. I’m far less concerned with Coach Muschamp correcting these issues that I am with Coach Davis seeing the light. Helmet sticker to Keenan Robinson for being all over the field, creating opportunities for interceptions and the fumble return for TD. We have to get Kenny Vacarro on the field as a starter, probably at the expense of Chykie Brown.
1-0 is always the primary objective coming off Week 1, and we can check that one off the long list of things needed to return to the BCS dance in January. Ole Miss and Kansas sure wish they could say the same. Look for much improved execution and higher level of enthusiasm from the players as the ‘Horns return to DKR next Saturday evening. Improved performance on the offensive strategies? Let’s all cross our fingers.