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DAN NEIL: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

After each game this season, former Longhorns’ All-American OL DAN NEIL, who won three conference titles at Texas and two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos, will provide a breakdown of what he saw. Here's his analysis of Texas' 24-21 loss at Kansas State:

 

I really don't know what to say this week.  

 

The only thing I know to say is that this is the same team we have seen all season, and there has not been any real change.

 

  • Bad cornerback play.

    • This is a position that has me baffled.  Holton Hill and Davante Davis are nowhere to be seen for whatever reason.  I give latitude to the coaches to decide who should play and for whatever reason.   I put character over talent, and if the talented guys are not playing you must question the character.  The problem is Kris Boyd and John Bonney are not getting the job done, and this position is killing this team.   I am as confused as you are.  I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY! 

  • Linebackers that fail to understand gap assignment and attack their gaps.

    • This position requires the players to be aggressive and attack their gaps. What I see is guys getting blocked and not attacking their gaps.  Malik Jefferson was substituted for by Jeffrey McCulloch.  Jefferson may be the most talented player on this team and could be an All-American.  He is not there yet and needs to decide that he wants to be great.  Until he decides that,  he will be subbed for other players.  

    • Anthony Wheeler is only a sophomore, but he has not been the dominant player in the middle he can be.  Tim Cole has not been a dominant player.  They tried Ed Freeman, and he had a productive day against K-State. But he does not attack his gap with physicality.  When you play a running QB, this position needs to step up, and they did not Saturday.

  • Good safety play

    • Jason Hall has played well.  Dylan Haines is a guy who gives great effort and I personally have no problem with him playing.  These guys try to make up for the cornerback play, and they can't.  They are trying to do too much. Until the cornerbacks get better, we will continue to see these two men try to do too much.

  • Good defensive lineman 

    • Chris Nelson may be one of the best players on this team.   Paul Boyette and Poona Ford have played well and with effort.  D'Andre Christmas looks like he will become a player. But this team needs players now.  This team was averaging 3.8 sacks per game going into Saturday and have been a good group.  They struggled against OU, but have been good the rest of the season.

  • Good O-line play

    • LT Connor Williams is on his way to being a great player.  He plays with effort and gets the job done

    • LG Patrick Vahe is one of the best drive blockers in college football.  Needs to improve on his pass protection, vision and footwork.

    • Jake McMillon has done a rock solid job when asked to fill in at C or guard.

    • RG Kent Perkins can be inconsistent and has trouble with quick guys.

    • I am not sure about the right tackle.  Tristan Nickelson and Brandon Hodges seem to be splitting time here. And I would give Hodges the edge.  I can only assume that Hodges is not 100% healthy.

  • Great running from D'Onta Foreman

    • Foreman may be the best running back in college football.  This is the best player on this team.  Not even close.

  • Good play at QB

    • For a true freshman, Shane Buechele has been exceptional and has done everything asked.  The only thing I want to see is a better job of using his inside receivers.  For the first time in years, the QB  position is not the problem for Texas.

  • Lack of a consistent playmaker at the WR position

    • Who is the playmaker at this position?  This may be the most talented group on this team, and they are trying to get everyone playing time.  I want to see one of them step up and be the MAN.  On fourth-and-3, they throw a slant to Dorian Leonard, and it is dropped.  Armanti Foreman has the ball in his hands and does not make the play in the end zone on fourth-and-long.  Someone step up and be the man who makes those plays.

  • Special teams are abysmal

    • Can't hit key field goals.  Blocked PATs.  No return game.  I really don’t know what to say here.  This is a privilege to be a part of, and I’m not sure if the players understand this. 

 

I would love to give you an answer on how to fix everything.  All I know is to say is that this team needs to play with reckless abandon.  

 

This is a violent game and each player needs to want to knock out their opponent on every play.  

 

You have to be a violent player and always deliver the blow and never accept it.  

 

There are violent players on this team.  Jason Hall, Connor Williams, Patrick Vahe, D'Onta Foreman and Caleb Bluiett to name a few.  They need 22 starters that play this way.

 

All 11 players on the unit need to do their job.  Right now, there is a breakdown on every play.  All 11 guys have to decide to play with the same effort.

 

No one hurts from a loss more than the players.  

 

I feel for these guys, because they are a talented team.  It is the players' team, and they need to decide what kind of season they want.  

 

They better do it soon, because they are running out of time. This season is only going to get harder with Baylor, Texas Tech, West Virginia and TCU still to come.  The time was Saturday. So I hope they decide to play with reckless abandon soon - or things could get ugly around here!

 

I am a true Texas fan and want these guys to experience winning a championship. 

 

I also understand no one is going to give it to you, and you have to decide to go take it.  Life lesson!  Go take what you want and do not wait for someone to give it to you.

 

One other note.  When someone keeps kicking your ass, I hope you decide to stop getting your ass kicked and do whatever it takes to change the outcome!  This change starts in the offseason.  When I was at Texas, A&M had not lost to Texas since 1987.  

 

In 1995, we decided that was enough and went into College Station and won the last SWC Championship.

 

Enough was enough. NO MORE! 

 

This year's Texas team needs to stand up and say, "Enough is enough. NO MORE!"

 


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