Brown Looks On the Bright Side

Although <B>Mack Brown</B> remains clearly deflated following the Horns third straight loss to the Sooners, no Texas coach has emphasized positive thinking this much at the Forty Acres since <B>Fred Akers</B> led his teams in guided meditations and creative visualization techniques more than 15 years ago.

There were actually more bright spots in Saturday’s 35-24 loss than the casual fan observes, Brown said, after watching the game films "four or five times."

Two years ago, Brown said the team "looked inept at every position" in the 63-14 debacle.

"The last two years have been close games that we didn’t win," Brown said, "but there’s a lot of positive things you can take out of them, as a coach or as a team, that people miss because this game is so important to them. They want to win so badly, they can’t see the good things that came out of it."

For those of you who can’t stand the thought of watching the game again, here are some of the positive aspects that Brown saw:

Despite the loss, the squad has not lost its swagger, Brown said, alluding to the defensive effort even when the outcome was no longer in doubt and the offense driving for a touchdown with two minutes remaining.

And there were some outstanding individual defensive performances, particularly from DE Kalen Thornton who played his best game as he continues to recover from off season knee surgery.

"Kalen Thornton played great," Brown said. "He’s played nine or 10 minutes, and that’s the first time all year he’s done that. We didn’t think he’d be healthy for this game but he really stepped up. DT Marcus Tubbs played great. (DE) Cory Redding played great."

The defense had 15 missed tackles but forced four interceptions, Brown said.

"When you lose, everybody thinks that everything is negative," Brown added. "When you win, you forget all of the negative plays and they think everything is great. They don’t study the films. In the first half, it was a game that was real even. We took the lead into the fourth quarter. What we didn’t do was convert third down situations in the third quarter, and they did. Those were all key plays that you have to convert. On two of those, we made seven yards on first-down and six-yards on first down and failed to move it. Conversions in that quarter killed us and kept our defense on the field.

"And, then, in the fourth quarter, they’ve got a third-and goal, they fumble the ball at the two, and their guy picks it up and walks in. That was a conversion. We had them stopped on third down."

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