New week, same collapse from the Longhorns.
Well, that was not fun.
Texas led by double digits, and then they lost. Here are a few initial thoughts from Texas’ latest collapse.
Texas imploded… again. Different week, same story. And coming off of a bye week, no less. The only logical explanation is that there’s something fundamentally wrong with this team and/or the culture under Steve Sarkisian. When Texas took its 21-10 lead, you almost knew what was coming — another collapse — and then it did. Baylor scored 21 unanswered points — and did so pretty easily — and Texas’ response was a late field goal, and after one of the defense’s few good drives of the game, a three-and-out with a chance to tie the game at stake. To be sure, Sarkisian largely did his job as a play-caller with relatively little help from his players in execution — Joshua Moore’s fumble and drops directly eliminated at least 10 potential points from the board, Casey Thompson couldn’t hit a wide open Xavier Worthy for a first-half TD, and Marcus Washington dropped a huge chunk play pass on the final drive that could have altered the outcome. But, that fact remains that as soon as momentum swings and things aren’t going well, Texas becomes a borderline incompetent team. In my mind, at least, that’s a culture issue. Sark and his staff can’t make the plays for their players, but something has to be adjusted so Texas doesn’t become a shell of itself every time adversity strikes.
Texas’ defense is soft. There will be glimpses of Pete Kwiatkowski’s defense making opportunistic plays, but all in all, it’s usually a unit that’s relatively easy to have your way with if you don’t try to get too cute with your scheme and game plan. As a perfect example of the PK era thus far, Texas had two opportunistic interceptions from BJ Foster and Luke Brockermeyer, along with a couple first half stops, but per usual, they were a punching bag in the second half. After Texas grabbed its 21-10 lead, Baylor did whatever it wanted offensively, cruising to three straight touchdown drives. BU’s running backs enjoyed wide running lanes against a front that was mostly outright bullied, and the secondary almost always gives receivers incredible cushions and is basically just reacting after easy catches, rather than making plays on the ball. In short, there’s very little about this Texas defense that should strike fear in any offensive coordinator.
75-27. That’s the scoring deficit Texas has suffered through in the second half of its three losses to OU, OSU, and BU. In three one-score losses, the Longhorns have been outscored by 48 points in the second half, That’s on both Sark’s offense for failing to produce much of anything after halftime and PK’s defense for failing to stop much of anything after the break. Sark said there was an emphasis on finishing a full 60 minutes of football heading into the Baylor game and well, he didn’t quite get what he wanted on Saturday as the Bears ended on a 21-3 run.
The season is, for all intents and purposes, over. I said it after the Oklahoma State loss when Texas cost itself control of its own destiny within the conference, but particularly because the way in which Texas was collapsing would be incredibly difficult to recover from. Now, add to that a third straight loss in the exact same fashion — after leading by double digits in the second half. So now, Texas is entering free fall mode with a road trip against No. 22 Iowa State looming, which will quite likely end with a fourth straight loss. Unless you’re stoked about Texas fighting for bowl eligibility down the stretch, there’s next to nothing left to play for aside from developmental playing time.
Where is Keilan Robinson? Sark said he wanted to get the explosive backup more involved in the offense, but on Saturday, the speedster got just one touch on a jet sweep in the first half. For an offense that’s in desperate need of playmakers to complement Bijan Robinson and Worthy, it’s difficult to comprehend how Keilan Robinson is hardly much more than a bystander.
Texas’ offensive line is awful. Anyone with eyes knew that already, but it needed to be said again. That is all.