until Texas vs Kansas

Monday, November 7

 

Texas 62 Cubs 0

Baylor was in a pretty unfortunate spot this week. Besides being completely outmatched on both sides of the football, they caught Texas at a time when they were playing for style points. Prior to Miami’s humbling of Virginia Tech, the Longhorns were on a mission to send a clear message to BCS voters that they, and not the Hokies, were the better team. After last week’s first half stumble, Texas and Mack Brown (not one to normally run up the score) wanted to beat Baylor by as many points as possible.

62 points and a shutout sends a pretty strong message. Of course, Virginia Tech got demolished by Miami’s defense later that night, making it a moot point, but the message was clear: Texas is one of the two best teams in the country.

There is simply little to criticize about the performance. Combing the game's box score is like reviewing your victory totals in a PlayStation college football game on Rookie level of difficulty. 54 rushes for 347 yards. 298 yards passing. No turnovers. Two interceptions. 201 yards total offense allowed. 645 yards total offense gained. The only mistake was a botched extra point attempt early in the game.

Ramonce Taylor and Jamaal Charles took on the rushing duties in the first half ably. Charles looked about 85 percent of his old form, which was still impressive. Taylor accumulated over 100 yards rushing, and is a nice compliment to Charles, but the difference in the two is noticeable. Taylor, a great athlete and competent rusher, doesn’t quite have the instincts that Charles does. It’s nice that Texas has Taylor as Charles gets healthy, but come the big games, it’s Charles that the offense needs.

Limas Sweed was his usual self, managing to look great and lousy in the same game. He made two spectacular catches, including a one handed grab of a Vince Young bomb that was Sports Center’s play of the day. Billy Pittman continues to impress, and Quan Cosby has started to make himself useful. All in all, Texas didn’t really need to throw much, but they were successful when they did.

Gene Chizik had to be pleased with his defense. After the lackluster performance against OSU in the first half, he had high expectations for the defensive unit this week, and they dismantled the feeble Baylor attack, while forcing two turnovers (both interceptions).

The play of the day belonged to backup quarterback Matt Nordren when he galloped 15 yards on a misdirection quarterback keeper. With a clear path to the end zone, Nordgren’s eyes got wide and he dropped the football on the five yard line. Matt must have been going to church lately—the ball bounced straight off the ground into his arms and he rumbled into the end zone for the final score of the day.

Next up for Texas is an improving Kansas team, which throttled Nebraska 40-15 last week. I’m certain Mack Brown will remind his players of last year’s game in Lawrence, where Texas needed two touchdowns in the final five minutes to pull out the win. Texas is no longer playing for style points, so they needn’t be perfect, but they’ll need to be sharp and take Kansas seriously to avoid any stumbles. We’ll have a full preview of the game later in the week.
--PB--

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