IN Search of Fight, Pride After Texas Bowl

Monday night's performance in a 31-7 loss to Arkansas in the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl was ugly - 59 yards of total offense - ugly. But the Longhorns' post-game comments - for better or worse - were can't-miss.

Texas' school record low for total offense was 50 yards against Southwestern in 1943, and UT didn't surpass that until Swoopes completed two, 5-yard passes to Jacorey Warrick on two of the Horns' final three offensive plays of the game. 

If you want to relive all the gory details (like UT scoring just two 3Q TDs all season - way back on Aug. 30 vs UNT and on Sept. 6 vs BYU), simply go through my postings on the 11-page, Live Gameday Thread still posted at HornsDigest.com.

 

But there were some post-game quotes worth noting:

 

#1 ... Charlie Strong wants another QB in the 2015 recruiting class (in addition to Zach Gentry).

"We gotta get better at that position. We have a young man committed, and you'd like to get another. But there will be competition. There will be competition at all positions."

 

#2 ... Texas QB coach Shawn Watson echoed Charlie Strong’s post-game comments that UT is looking for a second QB recruit in the 2015 class (in addition to 4-star QB Zach Gentry).

When asked if that QB would be a JUCO, a graduate transfer or high school graduate, Watson said, “We’ll see what the market is like. It’s got to be a good fit for what we need. We need experience. We need competition in the room. We need someone who’s been out on the field, who understands it.

“We’ll just have to wait and see. That stuff starts transpiring in January and early February and ends at spring ball.”

 

#3 ... Strong was pissed after the game.

Heck, that might have even come out during the handshake with Bret Bielema after the game. The handshake was terse, and something was said by Strong that caused Bielema to seek clarification from Strong as the two separated. But Strong didn't respond to Bielema's attempt at further conversation.

Strong seemed pissed mostly about the fight and pride (or lack thereof) on display in Monday night’s 31-7 loss to Arkansas, dropping UT to 6-7, UT’s second losing season since 1997:

“At some point, we’ve got to develop and get the pride back in this program. Texas has got to mean something. Right now, it doesn’t mean much.”

On having a losing season:

“We have a long ways to go. You can’t have a losing season. That’s not what this program is about. We didn’t do a great job of coaching. And I told the coaches that. A losing season should never happen here.”

 

 

#4 ... Players went unplugged, too, about the lack of fight in some of their teammates.

When asked if there were still players in the locker room who didn’t have the pride and fight worthy of wearing a Texas uniform, Quandre Diggs said:

“Honestly, in my eyes, there’s guys in the locker room that doesn’t deserve to be there. Coach Strong does a tremendous job of trying to get guys going. But you’re a grown man. It’s time to motivate yourself. It’s crazy to me.”

 

Senior RB Malcolm Brown said of Diggs' comments:

"He's exactly right. There's a few guys here now who just give off the energy that they don't care. I can't go against what Quandre said. And Coach Strong is saying the exact same thing.

"It has to come from the player. I don't know what can be said to get that out of a player. But I feel certain Coach Strong will get it fixed. He's going to get the pride back into this program. I'm pretty sure this off-season will be hell on some guys."

 

#5 ... Texas QB coach Shawn Watson on the current state of the QB position ...

“We haven’t had a chance to put our mark on the QB position in recruiting, and we’ve got to do that,” Watson said.

On the development of redshirt freshman QB Jerrod Heard: “Jerrod wasn’t ready this year or he would have played. He’s got to develop, too.” 

Swoopes finished 13-of-25 passing for 57 yards with 1 INT and carried 5 times for minus-32 yards. Arkansas had 3 sacks for minus-37 yards and that yardage is included in Swoopes' rushing totals, which included a 9-yard rushing TD.

A fumbled handoff between Swoopes and RB Johnathan Gray at the goal line that Arkansas recovered for a TD was charged to Gray on the stat sheet.

In UT's three-game win streak to become bowl eligible (at Texas Tech, WVU, at Oklahoma State), Swoopes had 4 TD passes, 1 INT. In UT's last two games, a 48-10 loss to TCU and 31-7 loss to Arkansas, Swoopes had 1 TD pass, 5 INTs and a lost fumble returned for a TD.

On Swoopes, Watson said: “You have to see how he matures and how he grows up and what he ends up becoming.

“The thing I’ve enjoyed about Ty is his honesty. He knows he has a lot of work to do. He understands he’s far from a finished product. He’s got tons of work to do, and he’s willing to go out and do it.”

When asked what characteristics in attitude Watson is looking for in the QB position, he said: “You’ve got to have a winner. Not that Ty isn’t. Ty’s going through a lot of transition. You’ve got to have a guy with experience, with a little moxie, a winner’s edge. And that comes from experience.”

 

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Longhorns 2015 QB commitment Zach Gentry's junior highlights

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