Seven points against a below average D-1 defense was a huge disappointment. It can be argued where to place the blame and there is plenty of it to be shared. We didn't consistently win the LOS. We didn't break any big runs when we popped to the second level. We missed badly on several passes. We had costly penalities. We couldn't convert third downs (2 out of 9) and proved once again our short yardage package, as it is, can't produce one yard at nut-cutting time. The bottom line is we didn't make plays regardless of the reason.
You always expect a high intensity effort in a regular season closer against a long time rival. The final home game against a bitter enemy, especially with so much on the line, usually inspires some great head-knocking and big plays are created with an emotional value that finds no boundary. The recipe for a game like this is simple---give them some different looks to play the option, stay aggressive with scheme calls, and turn them loose to go make plays.
Well, so much for expectations. We didn't illustrate much of a fire breathing attitude on the sixteen third downs we forced them into---they converted ten of them while maintaining a very low risk play calling attitude. While they only scored twelve points, converting ten of sixteen crucial third downs led to a time of possession advantage of 36 minutes to 24 minutes.
The Coaches Corner is available exclusively to InsideTexas.com subscribers. The forum is a place to ask questions of our resident coaches and talk about Xs and Os, schemes, gameplans, offensive and defensive theories, etc. Basically, it is a teaching and learning forum to make us all more knowledgable football fans, both in general and specifically about the Longhorn football team. Venable spent 30 years as the DC and LB coach at five Texas high schools (Lancaster, Duncanville, Pasadena Sam Rayburn, Carrollton Turner, and The Colony) before retiring in 2000. Four of his former players played at UT (Mike Williams, Steve Massey, Jimmy Johnson, and Doug Livingston) and around twenty are currently coaching in Texas high schools.