Texas Longhorns fall to Oklahoma State
So much for rejuvenation after the bye week. Charlie Strong talked about how he would use his defensive expertise to fix the defensive catastrophe that is the Texas Longhorns this season. As much as the hopes of the Texas faithful were that Strong would be able to make good on his commitment to change things around, that change was short lived as the Longhorns fell to Oklahoma State 49-31 on Saturday.
What went wrong?
What didn’t go wrong? In all of the dynamics of the game of football, it’s pretty unusual to see a blocked extra point. Even one can be seen as a weakness for the blocked team. Texas had three. This in itself is definitive of the implosion of the Longhorns in Stillwater on Saturday. Oklahoma State defensive tackle Vincent Taylor ran through the guard and center and deflected Texas’ second extra-point attempt straight to the ground with both of his hands. On the ball’s third bounce, Taylor grabbed the ball and began storm-trooping the other way. As he was about to be dragged down from behind, he flipped the ball to teammate Tre Flowers, who ran all the way to their endzone for an almost unheard of defensive two-point conversion. Just. Wow.
So what does this mean? Let’s discuss some of the results of just this aspect of the game. Oklahoma State now ties the record for most blocked extra points by an FBS team. Nothing went right for the Longhorns on Saturday. They couldn’t convert a kick. The extra-point offense for the Longhorns was outscored by the extra-point defense of the Cowboys 2-1. They fumbled on field goals. They fumbled on two-point conversions. They fumbled overall.
What we’ve learned
Here are some things that were learned from that game:
- The Longhorn defense has left the building. Is it under a rock? Is it on a plane? Did it go out for dinner? Wherever the Longhorns defense went, someone needs to bring it back – and pronto. The Longhorns gave up a total of 55 yards, opening up big plays for the Cowboys in the process. Texas made Oklahoma State’s senior quarterback Mason Rudolph look like a Heisman winner, completing 28 passes for 392 yards. To add insult to injury, freshman running back Justice Hill decimated Texas’ defense for 115 yards and a score. No forced turnovers. No interceptions. The Texas Longhorn defense is one continuous nightmare with no real end in sight.
- Wherever the defense went, the special teams were with them. Everything you could say about the special teams in this game was already stated above. Senior kicker Trent Domingue missed four field goals. He also had three blocked extra points. On one of those blocks, the Cowboys ran 98 yards for a defensive two-point conversion. To try to make up for the menagerie, senior quarterback Tyrone Swoopes attempted a two-point conversion in the third quarter and failed, taking the situation from pretty bad to disastrous. This is one of those games during which you can only lower your head and weep.
- Charlie Strong better shape up or start packing. The bulls-eye on Charlie Strong’s back is about the size of an asteroid. And the hornets buzzing behind it are ready to usher him right out of Austin if he doesn’t make substantial improvements to this Longhorn team. The stakes are high – with the upcoming contest being against powerhouse and rival Oklahoma, the Longhorns cannot take an embarrassing loss to OU the way they took this loss to Oklahoma State. The Sooners are primed and ready, with their latest game being a win over TCU. Their current record is 2-2, but their expectation is to exploit the Longhorns’ shortcomings and convert into a winning record.
If this happens and Texas take another loss to a rival team, the Texas faithful will be calling for his head, and there won’t be too many who will put up a defense against it. Hopefully, Charlie Strong will take this recent loss to the Cowboys as a moment to pause, regroup and do whatever is necessary to fix the catastrophe that is the Longhorn defense and their new issue with special teams. His future at the University of Texas is riding on him fixing this, and the country will be watching.
So, all roads lead to the Cotton Bowl for the Sooners against the Longhorns. Start praying now for the Longhorns to rebound. It could be a long, long, long game.