until Texas vs Kansas

Monday, September 12


Peter's Take: Texas Emerges More Dangerous

Andrew’s done a nice job of pointing out the winners and losers from Saturday night’s game, so I’ll do my best to avoid overlapping his already good work. Still, it’s tough to talk too much about a game of this magnitude, so I’ll jump in with some of my thoughts on the win.

A funny thing happened while I was watching pregame analysis on ESPN. When asked for the key to the game, Lou Holtz said, “It’s going to be critical for the coaches to make in-game adjustments.” I scoffed at that statement, as I thought he was just saying the obvious. It was, however, the key to the game. After a great start to the game by Vince Young and the Texas offense, Jim Tressel tweaked his defense and got his linebackers keyed in on the Texas running game. They “triangulated” Vince Young and deflated the Texas running game, as Young tried to force big plays and Selvin Young effectively ended his Texas’ playing career.

Thankfully, Gene Chizik and the Texas defense kept the Horns in the game, holding Ohio State to field goal after field goal as the offense sputtered. During my live blogging, I wrote that Greg Davis was blowing another big game. He kept running plays that involved having to beat Ohio State linebackers, which was a nearly fatal blow. It’s not just that Davis was being conservative. Those plays are normally Vince Young’s bread and butter; it usually makes a lot of sense. But their linebackers were too tough and there was absolutely nothing to be had on plays around the line of scrimmage.

And then, just in time, Davis figured it out. He started to let Vince throw the ball down the field. He trusted Young and the Texas receivers, and it worked. The weakness in Ohio State’s defense was its secondary, not its front seven, and it was this weakness that Young finally exploited to get the winning score. And with one arching pass to the front corner of the end zone, all of Vince Young’s (and Limas Sweed’s) critics were hushed. It was a great pass and catch, at the most crucial moment of the game.

The beautiful thing about this game is that the Texas offense is now more dangerous than it was before we traveled to Columbus. We came in hoping that we could do what we did to Michigan. That didn’t quite work. We left knowing that Vince Young can beat you Michigan style, or he can beat you Ohio State style. On the ground, or through the air. All of Vince’s passing critics, please quietly go to the back of the classroom. Thank you.

And so ended the biggest win for Texas football in a long time. Texas leaves Ohio Stadium doing what no team had ever done before, winning at night under the big lights, in front of 100,000+ fans. The Horns are the consensus #2 team in the country, rightfully so, and have the table set for a run to the Rose Bowl if they can keep winning. While that’s the toughest test we’ll face during the regular season, it’s not the only tough one. Oklahoma is down this year, but rivalry games are never easy. Texas A&M will be tough on the road as they get better throughout the year. Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Missouri will not roll over for us. But if we do what Mack Brown has been asking for, by taking dead aim, we can accomplish something we’ve all been waiting for for a long, long time.

Hook ‘Em Horns.


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