Horns Look to Repair and Re-Focus

Kansas State is dead to Texas. Now, Longhorn coaches are determined that the Wildcats stay buried. In other words, Texas' bye-week emphasis is to not allow Saturday's crushing loss beat them twice, and try to repair -- within ten days -- the problems that contributed to the 45-42 upset.

"Today was about forgetting about Saturday and getting re-focused on who you are," head coach Mack Brown said Tuesday. "This will be a fundamentals week where you work some on (Texas) A&M, but we'll work as much this week on our stuff and who we are to get things fixed."

Texas is probably a legitimate Top Ten program and the top team in the Big 12 Conference. Yet K-State exposed and exploited each of Texas' problem areas that have been so evident this season: a pass defense that gives up big plays, a rushing game that struggles in short-yardage situations, ball protection, erratic special teams play and a backup QB that had yet to take a meaningful snap against a D-I opponent.

"We were very direct with the guys," Brown said. "It was a game where we either made good plays or bad plays. It was the weirdest game I've been in as a coach in years. There were so many great plays and so many great things you can build on, but then you look at (the bad plays) and you'd think it was a different team. During that 3:06 (when Texas fumbled twice and had a punt blocked), we left the building for a while. I was proud they kept playing. Most teams in the country would not have."

Added Brown: "We've talked about moving forward and getting better as a team and playing up to our best. We still think our best game is out there."

The Horns have not lost consecutive games this decade, dating back to the three-game tailspin at the end of the 1999 season.

"When a guy gets knocked down, the good ones get back up and go to work. That's what this team has done. We've taken a tremendous amount of pride in going back to work."

Yet, there's no denying the severity of a loss that knocked Texas out of contention for the BCS title game; just like there's no denying the Horns can still become the first program ever to win back-to-back Big 12 Conference titles and advance to their third consecutive BCS Bowl game.

"We don't have as much to play for as two (teams) in the country," Brown said, "but we've got more to play for than 112."

Brown also spoke to specific aspects the K-State that were particularly costly to the Horns.

Even before reporters popped the question, Brown made it clear that he was not going to discuss Colt McCoy's injury situation. The RS-freshman, of course, suffered a stinger while scoring on a quarterback sneak at the end of Texas' first series. McCoy released a statement earlier this week indicating he was "going to be fine", but Brown limited his comments to backup QB Jevan Snead's performance.

"If Jevan plays in the game in two weeks he'll be much more ready. It's a home game. He had a game of changes and full-speed stuff that he was shoved into without being loose. It was like, all of sudden, 'Hey, Jevan. You're in.' We didn't know at that time if Colt would come back or not. I do think that one of the good things that came out of Saturday night is that Jevan will be much more ready if it's his turn to play again. His 84-yard drive at the end of the game that brought us back to within seven is really hard to do for a freshman in a no-huddle offense. He had a good look on his face the entire night. He didn't get frustrated and he didn't turn the ball over. He made some big plays down the field...He got better and better as the game progressed. He started to settle down and see things better."

RBs Jamaal Charles and Selvin Young suffered back-to-back fumbles during that game-turning 3:06 stretch in the third quarter.

"We're not fumbling any more than we have the past three years. I think we fumbled more last year. We fumbled 33 times and won the national championship. We've done a better job with it this year. (Note: For the record, Texas fumbled 35 times last year but recovered 26 of them. This season, Texas has fumbled 23 times and lost 13 of them). You're not going to play perfect. You'd rather not fumble but, if you do. you have an opportunity to stop them. You can't go back and blame Selvin and Jamaal."

"When you're an aggressive defense like ours, you've got to use your eyes and feet. You've got to try to recognize those things, and sometimes they executive them really well. We had one wide-open that we didn't execute so well Saturday night. A couple of times we were there and saw it. We were in good position and they just made the play over us. That's the way Saturday night went."

Blocked Punt: "We had two guys who weren't in sequence up front. It was the first time that happened all year, in fact, the first time in three years. It was just that kind of night. Everybody decided to mess up on the same play."

Punt Return: "The (51-yard) punt return and the blocked punt were game-changing plays. We blocked two punts, so that evened that part out."

"We had some tight ends drop a couple of passes but, by and large, the kids played hard. They dropped some passes, we dropped some passes. Things are over-emphasized after a loss which aren't emphasized when you win. It's 100 percent predictable."

Brown deferred to Co-Defensive Coordinators Gene Chizik and Duane Akina, who are slated to meet with media Wednesday evening.

Texas will practice Wednesday and Thursday and will be off Friday and Saturday.

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