After a horrible reversal of fortunes on a power run by D’Onta Foreman in the second quarter, the Longhorns and interim defensive coordinator Charlie Strong really responded in tough fashion to get back into this game.
They’re in play to get this thing done in the second half.
A few Nuggets from the comfort of home:
The Texas defense stepped up
Led by the resurgent Malik Jefferson, the defense recovered nicely from a shaky first quarter to shut out the Texas Tech offense in the second quarter.
Tech had 212 yards in the first quarter. Texas didn’t have any for Patrick Mahomes in the first half. He completed 22 of 27 passes against a secondary that was willing to give up the short stuff. One thing I noticed early. Vance Bedford played a lot of backups in the seocndary. He knows he will need his best guys fresh in the second half.
That scoop six by Texas Tech was Charlie Strong’s tenure in a microcosm: few lucky breaks and some freakish bad luck. Texas finally throws from the 18-Wheeler package for a TD and it’s nullified by a penalty. Then a 100-yard “scoop six.”
These are the times that test men’s souls. In a span of 10 seconds the Horns went from possibly being up five to being down nine. Did you notice that Douglas Coleman stepped out of bounds on the one-yard line?
What. Just. Happened.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 5, 2016
Shane Buechele growing up
Patrick Mahomes is the nation’s most productive passer but Buechele is more than holding his end up for the Longhorns. He has completed 16 of 30 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns. Those numbers would be even greater if Jerrod Heard had held on a to a first-quarter pass that would have gone for a TD.
All told, Texas receivers dropped at least five passes by my count. That can’t happen if the Horns want to get out of here with a ‘W.’
Freshmen are having a great first half: Buechele, Collin Johnson, and even backup running back Kyle Porter, who ripped off a 30-yard run.
D’Onta Foreman: tough break, tougher back
That fumble doesn’t diminish what D’Onta Foreman has done for this offense with 129 yards on 13 carries and a TD. The Horns are close enough to reel in the Red Raiders as long as they don’t forget their bread and butter. Boo Jr. is a nice young QB but Foreman’s legs will set everything else up.
Jerrod Heard can’t drop the ball there.
It was a choke. Shane Buechele threw a perfect deep ball to Jerrod Heard and he simply dropped it. The Horns have been plagued by road drops all season. That’s simply a matter of not focusing in a hostile environment. It’s much easier to catch a go route when fans are chanting your name at DKR. The Horns can’t afford choke plays if they expect to come out of here with a win.
Collin Johnson, on the other hand?
Johnson is a prime example of bringing the clutch gene on the road. The freshman made a terrific catch under duress in the end zone in the first quarter then pulled a double in the second quarter with another acrobatic TD grab. Johnnie Johnson’s kid is a comer. Note to other receivers on this team: move it or lose it. It’s a deep receiving corps and drops will cost you playing time. There are several capable replacements.
So what happens?
The Horns are a better football team than Tech. They have to bring same intensity from the first half and cut down on the drops. If the defense can continue to get stops, Texas will be 5-4 in a couple of hours. I picked them to win 45-42 in today’s paper. No reason to back off that now.
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