'What We Needed'

STILLWATER, Okla. -- Almost to a man, the Texas coaches and players said in post-game interviews after their 47-28 win over Oklahoma State some version of, We needed a game like this.

"You've gotta win some tough ones on the road, some trap games," Mack Brown said, "because you need to play from behind some and we haven't had to do that this year except for Ohio State and I think that this is really, really good for our football team."

Despite the first half doldrums, Brown, Greg Davis, Gene Chizik, Vince Young and Michael Griffin all described a sideline and halftime locker room devoid of panic, discouragement or finger pointing. Stay focused, stay poised, play our game, is how Young described the attitude. The head coach attributed that to the fact that this team has won so many games, and, of course, his QB's proven unflappableness in leading the team to multiple come-from-behind victories.

"The thing you've got to feel like is that for you to be a championship team you're going to have to go through one of these," Gene Chizik said.

But why the early struggles?

On defense, Chizik laid it out bluntly.

"It just seemed like they were out-executing us," the Co-Defensive Coordinator said. "We had problems with the no-huddle, we were aligned wrong a couple of times, it was just things certainly uncalled for.

"They were running outside, they were running inside, they were running the ball well and we weren't defending the run well."

"We just didn't play good, there's no excuse," Chizik added. "We just didn't play good at all, then we got things calmed down in the second half."

Free safety Griffin said that too many players simply got outside the team concept, missing assignments by trying to do too much.

"Don't try to do more than needs to be done," Griffin said. "It's everybody just doing his job."

On offense, turnovers, dropped passes and, like on defense, a simple lack of execution hurt the Horns' efforts. And, as both coordinators pointed out, Oklahoma State deserves credit for both its execution and its game planning.

But perhaps the BCS also did the Horns no favors early last week when it ranked Texas No. 1.

"This is pretty much what we needed, for a team to jump on us like that," said Ramonce Taylor, who caught one ball for 13 yards and gained 74 yards with two TDs on five carries in a fourth quarter relief role at tailback after the Horns' top three 'backs were sidelined. "I'm not saying we're big-headed, but to calm us down a little bit since we were ranked No. 1 in the BCS last week."

With so many eyes on Texas' performance (and because the human polls are a glorified beauty contest), that No. 1 ranking should no longer be a problem Monday when Week Three of the BCS rankings is released. It's quite probable that UT will lose some ground in both the human polls released Sunday and in the computer polls that make up a third of the BCS rankings, pushing the Horns back to No. 2 in those rankings. And watch for Virginia Tech, which earned both style points and a strength of schedule boost from its Thursday night win over Boston College...

But worrying about those things might be what got Texas in trouble in the first place. So Michael Griffin put the win in Stillwater into perspective for the team.

"A win is a win," he said. "We're 8-0 going into next week against Baylor, so we just have to watch film, correct our errors and prepare for next week."

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