Coach's Look: I Was Wrong (And I Was Right)

As my wife will tell you, it’s not often that I admit that I’m wrong. Last week (in this space), I was undoubtedly wrong. At the same time, I was right. (I had to sneak that in for my wife.) I predicted Texas would probably be on the losing end of the Red River Shootout. However, I would never have imagined that the Texas defense would only give up 12 points… and lose the game.

Pitiful. That’s how I sum up the Longhorns’ offensive efforts. I won’t say the defense was perfect, because they haven’t figured out how to set a hard corner and turn the toss sweep back inside, but at least they had some semblance of a game plan. Having coached both sides of the ball, I’ve been on the giving end and receiving end of Offensive Coordinators who could do no wrong. Sometimes you go through stretches where the play calling is unstoppable it seems. Sometimes you go through games where nothing works. Greg Davis is no exception. Davis will often call a masterful game. However, the ones that stick in our minds are the ones where he seems to have no sense of reality… Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl, Washington State in the Holiday Bowl, OU the last five years in the Red River shootout.

I really want to do more X’s and O’s in this column. It makes it a lot more fun for me (and probably you). However, when you look at the Texas offense against Oklahoma, it wasn’t a problem with X’s and O’s. Actually, there were some good plays: the reverse to Tony Jeffery, the passes to Cedric Benson in the flats, VY keeping the ball on the zone read more. It’s not a problem with imagination; it’s a problem of too much imagination. Greg Davis is not based in reality. Greg Davis, who do you think you are? Who do you think your quarterback is? Who is your running back? Where are you?

Don’t have Vince Young stand in the pocket. Better yet, don’t have him throw unless you have no other alternative. Give the ball to the guy who should win the Heisman. Who do you think your wide receivers are? They aren’t the Big Three anymore! Quit expecting them to make plays… you will be disappointed! Give the ball to your "go-daddy" (coaching term for stud). If you really wanted a conservative game plan, why did you basically give the ball to Oklahoma to start both halves?

Now that I’m off my soapbox, I will get back to talking about the game film. When did I first get the feeling the Longhorns were going to be on the losing end? It was the first series of the second half. In case you don’t remember, I’ll break it down for you…

Down and Distance



1st and 10

Vince Young Rollout for 3

David Thomas falls down on the play, taking him out of the play. He was supposed to be the intermediate drag route. Tough break, but VY should have turned it up and gotten a few more yards. I don’t understand what his infatuation is with the sidelines.

2nd and 7

Incomplete Pass to Nate Jones on Hitch

VY double pumps a five yard route. Jones probably doesn’t turn around in time.

3rd and 7

Incomplete Pass to Nate Jones on ?

I have no idea what this was. I think Jones was running the post, but VY threw to the wrong spot.

Three plays. Three yards. After the punt by Richmond McGee, only 25 seconds ran off the clock. If I told you that Oklahoma would get the ball to start both halves, and they would get it at their 44 yard line to start the second half, you would be calling for Mack Brown’s head. Well, that’s basically what happened. UT needed to run some clock, get some first downs, and win the field position battle. Greg, that’s what a conservative game plan would have been. Instead, we get Fun N’ Gun for three plays, and OU gets the ball at the 44 yard line. Now, the field position battle that UT dominated in the first half has turned against the Horns.

I want to apologize to the defense for thinking that OU would score 38. Though it wasn’t perfect, Greg Robinson did a whale of a job. I was pretty impressed. I want to apologize to the special teams, who fared pretty well. McGee’s average wasn’t too good, but his punting was the main reason Texas was only down by three at halftime.

I want to apologize for saying Vince Young wasn’t much better as a passer than he was last year. In fact, I think he’s worse. You’re young, Vincent, (pardon the pun) and you still have time to change. Greg, I’m afraid you never will.

Mark Kissinger has coached high school football in Texas and Tennessee, coaching OL, TE, WR, DT, DE, and serving as both an offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator. In high school, he was coached by the legendary G.A. Moore. Mark recently retired from coaching and received his M.B.A. from Rice University and is in his third season of writing for IT. His 'Coach's Look' column appears after each game during football season on

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