Five Things I Think

Five things I think about the Longhorns' fourth consecutive loss.

1) Much like Groundhog Day, these Longhorns keep waking up to the same realities. Texas kept the turnovers down on Saturday, but were still killed by an inability to score early and a propensity to give up the big play defensively. It's not like Texas is facing a moving target in terms of what the Longhorns need to do better. Every game might be slightly different, but for the most part, the Longhorns continue to be felled by the same issues, over and over again.

2) Some people might blame Aaron Williams for the touchdown pass to Justin Blackmon that broke open the game and changed all the momentum. But that wouldn't be fair. Williams had perfect coverage on the play, but the pass was put in the one spot he couldn't get to it, and Blackmon made a great play. The one thing that Williams could have done was create pass interference, but you don't typically do that when you're right in the guy's chest and you have ideal coverage. Instead, that play was one where you shake the other guy's hand, tell him it was a great play and go back to work.

3) Garrett Gilbert continues to not be the problem. He's plagued by an inconsistent running game, one where he's probably the best rushing option. His receivers are inconsistent in terms of getting open and catching the ball. And he has an offensive line that is inconsistent in terms of its protection. Gilbert again showed some poise and moxie Saturday, though it wasn't enough. At some point, despite the fact that he isn't the problem, it might be worth giving Case McCoy a look. Some quarterbacks are simply better at dealing with mediocre personnel around them, even if they aren't the better overall quarterback.

4) There wasn't any way that the Longhorns would come back on Saturday. When Texas needed a play, be it offensively or defensively, the Longhorns lacked a playmaker to make it happen. The only truly great performance came from Kenny Vaccaro, who notched nine tackles, one tackle for loss, picked off a pass and had two pass deflections. But when the defense needed to tighten up, it didn't. When the offense needed somebody to make a huge play, it didn't. In general this season, the Longhorns haven't made the long touchdown plays, and this game was no exception.

5) As safety Blake Gideon said Saturday, now the Longhorns' backs are against the wall. While most people assume that Florida Atlantic will be an easy win, there isn't much that has come easy for this Texas team. And Texas A&M has shown itself to be one of the Big 12's better teams with Ryan Tannehill at quarterback. That's not to say that Texas can't get there, but there's no margin for error and the Longhorns can't continue to make the same mistakes to get there. The bowl itself isn't the goal, but the 13 extra practices could prove huge in getting younger players extra work.

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