Time to Buck Up

A familiar defense, a clean jersey, a weird band, a lonely defensive coordinator, face "raking" and more. Inside Texas' Ross Lucksinger gives his observations from Texas' blowout victory over Iowa State.

Alright, Texas. It's time to buck up and admit it. It's time to start calling the offense what it is.

Mack Brown and Greg Davis have trumpeted Texas' ability to adjust offensive scheme based on personnel. As Brown put it on Saturday, "We've decided we're going to do whatever gets points," prompting Texas to throw the ball on almost every down in the first half.

Texas threw the ball so much because that's really the only thing that's worked this season, due to the offensive line's struggle with opening holes and Jamaal Charles' fumble issues, among other things. True, Iowa State is quite terrible against the pass, but it became apparent that Texas' depth in the wide receivers does need to be utilized.

But that inconsistent offensive line has had trouble in pass blocking on occasion this season, leading the Texas offense to be more effective when the Horns spread out into four and five-wide sets to move defenders out of the box and get the ball out of quarterback Colt McCoy's hands more quickly.

Admit it. You're Texas Tech.

Oh, you can call it something else. Optimizing personnel. West coast. Quick strike. Spread offense. You can put whatever title on it you wish, but it's the same thing.

Keep in mind this isn't a bad thing, it's simply what's most appropriate based on the personnel. With Limas Sweed out, Texas lost its tall, go-to-in-a-pinch receiver. What Texas does have is a deep group of very fast, very reliable, clean route running receivers. That's what Tech has and that's what Tech uses (excluding this past weekend's game, naturally, in which the Raiders showed a surprising propensity for running the football).

The Longhorns turned into Texas Tech against Iowa State. They need to stay that way if they want to keep putting points on the board like they did on Saturday.

Game Observations

-This terrible Iowa State pass defense is familiar. I remember seeing out there for Texas last season.

-The weather was mucky, but it sure didn't slow down either passing offense. It was cold and wet and miserable (the Midwest in October, basically), but both teams were throwing the ball and throwing it a lot. It was good to see that Texas can not only go a whole game without a turnover, but go a whole game in bad weather without one.

-Also, despite the muddy field, Colt McCoy's white jersey stayed white thanks to a notably improved performance by the offensive line. After the contest had ended, myself and the other reporters covering the game stood outside the Texas locker room, waiting to talk with the players and coaches. McCoy was the last player to arrive at the locker room because FSN need him for an on-the-field post game interview. When he passed by us to go into the locker room, one reporter commented on how clean McCoy's jersey was and McCoy smiled and rolled his eyes.

"Yeah, that's nice for a change," he laughed.

-When we were talking with coaches and players after the game, I looked across the room and saw that nobody had gone over to talk to Duane Akina, who was by himself. I went over to Akina and he smiled when I approached.

"Oh good. Someone wants to talk to me," said Akina, jokingly.

"See the problem, Duane, is you did too good of a job today. We don't have anything to complain about," I said too him.

"Hey, nobody's hurting my feelings. I like the low profile," said Akina.

-Speaking of Akina's defense, the Horns only gave up three points to the Cyclones, but this is still not a great tackling team. I've never been huge fan of Erick Jackson starting at safety over Drew Kelson because of Jackson's issues in pass defense, but I'll take an occasional coverage miscue -- the face-guarding in the end zone comes to mind -- if he keeps being the best tackler on the team (at least the best tackler in the starting line-up, anyway).

-Curtis Brown is now wearing No. 1. He was able to make the change because, interestingly enough, the number is now available. Hmm, I wonder why that is.

-That's the goofiest freaking band I've ever seen. Not MOB goofy. Just weird. The Iowa State band had a curious wiggle step at the end of pregame, lots of scatter drills and a strange, almost vaudeville-esque fake rivalry/fight between the drum majors over the twirler. Odd.

-I was in the press box during most of the game, so I didn't hear David Lapham's supposed gaff on the Fox Sports Net broadcast when it occurred, but bloggers had posted the video well before the game ended, so I did get to listen to it. You know, I really think he was trying to say "face raked." You wouldn't think that he'd be so dumb as to make a comment as uncouth as what it sounded like he said...but man, it really, really sounds that's what he said.

-Every Friday night before a home game, the Texas football team stays at a hotel away from campus to keep the team away from any negative influences, keep everyone in check, make sure they go to bed at a reasonable hour, etc., etc., etc. Under Gene Chizik, the Cyclone have the same policy and when I checked into my hotel in Johnston, Iowa on Friday night (small town, just northwest of Des Moines), I checked in along with the entire Iowa State football team. Seems I had booked the same hotel as them and I not only stayed on the same floor as most of them, but my room was located next to rooms occupied by Iowa State players. Trust me, I gave consideration to making a phone call to the front desk: "Hello, front desk?...Yes, this is room 502. I'd like to request a 3:15 a.m. wake-up call for every single room except this one...Thank you." Guess that would be violating my journalistic objectivity just a bit.

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