Game Observations

Record setting performances, Melton gets another shot at running back and more. Inside Texas' Ross Lucksinger gives his observations from the Longhorns' blowout win over Oklahoma State.

-The Longhorns attacked early and attacked often. Talent-wise, this was a much better Oklahoma State team than the Horns have faced in years past, but, due to the previous two meetings between these two teams, there was absolutely zero chance that Texas would suffer a lapse in focus. After the nail-biter at Texas Tech, Mack Brown talked about the early-game "surge" Texas has to deal with from every opponent because of the national championship. On Saturday, it was the Horns who had the "surge."

-With his 27-yard touchdown pass to Jermichael Finley, Colt McCoy set the Texas record for passing touchdowns in a season at 27. Before the season, if you had told me that McCoy was going to throw more TDs in a season than anyone in the history of Texas football, I would have laughed in your face. Who's laughing now? In fact, McCoy's 27 touchdowns puts him at 6th all-time for passing touchdowns in a career at Texas, passing Bobby Layne and Shea Morenz, who were tied for 6th with 25. He's still a long ways from Major Applewhite's 60, but with three more years of eligibility remaining, it's well within the range of possibility.

-Finley, the recipient of the record-setting TD, put up 67 yards on the night, his best total to date. Finley had some unrealistic expectations placed on him and has had a few drops and missteps this season, but the potential in undeniable. Saturday night he showed how good he's going to be for the Longhorns in the very near future.

-It appears Henry Melton may have seen his last snaps at running back. Near the endzone, Melton received his first carry in almost a month, and got three yards while fighting his way through tacklers. Promising, but he was then stuffed on consecutive plays, the final resulting in a fumble that ended the scoring opportunity. Yes, there wasn't much push on the line, and yes, he could have been helped by the presence of Derek Lokey, but with his position not yet completely set (Melton has been playing on both sides of the ball in practice), he has to make the most of each opportunity he gets. Right now, it's just not the case. In addition, Chris Ogbonnaya's tough 26-yard run at the end of the game will add to keeping Melton lower on the running back depth chart. By the way, when I say having Lokey could have helped, this is not to say that Luke Tiemann hasn't done a fine job at fullback. He has, but it sure helps when you've got the one of the strongest players on the team (if not the strongest) lining up in the backfield. When the big defensive tackle is in at fullback and he hits a defender, all I can think is: "LOKEY SMASH!"

-Cowboy quarterback Bobby Reid has shown himself to be a very capable and accurate QB this season, but he had accuracy problems the whole night against the Horns, thanks to pressure from the pass rush provided by the Texas defense. Reid finished 11 for 28 with 128 yards, no TDs and 2 picks, as well as only 18 yards rushing. The pass defense for the Longhorns had one of their best games this season, shutting down highly touted wide receivers Adarius Bowman and D'Juan Woods. It's not surprising, though, because this defense was build for stopping Oklahoma State. Their primary attack is on the ground and, as we all know, Texas is pretty good at stopping that aspect of the game, but OSU is also fairly effective through the air. However, their passing game is based around getting the ball to their top two play-makers, which is not a problem for the Longhorns, considering that depth in the defensive backfield is the issue. It's not that one killer wideout has beaten Texas this year, it's that fourth and fifth wide receiver that beats the Longhorns' fourth and fifth DB. With few weapons in the passing game outside of Bowman and Woods, Oklahoma State could do little against Aaron Ross and Tarell Brown.

-The run defense definitely did their part as well, giving up only 80 yards on the ground. That's quite impressive, especially considering that Oklahoma State averages over 200 yards on the ground per game. On the season, the Longhorns' defense is only giving up 43.9 per game, which is on pace to break the Texas record for run defense, which has stood for 64 years (1942: 57.5 per game).

-Wide receiver Jordan Shipley continued to be a weapon for Texas on both the ground and through the air, finishing with two rushes for 23 yards and three receptions for 29 yards. Now that the reverse has become effective, faking the reverse has helped open up running lanes for the Texas backs. Plus, got to give it up to Ship for getting absolutely obliterated on an out-route and still holding on to the football. With his solid speed, hands and route-running ability, the biggest knock against Shipley coming into college was his size. At only 6-foot, 180-pounds, there was concern about whether or not he would be able to go up against the bigger players in college and take a hit. Against Oklahoma State, he showed he can.

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