Golden: Texas football team's struggles shouldn't be placed at quarterback Casey Thompson's feet
Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m.
- Horns have dropped three straight after three-game win streak with Thompson under center.
- Thompson replaced Hudson Card as starter after a 40-21 loss at Arkansas
- Dallas quarterback Cooper Rush became an instant legend.
- Outgoing TCU coach Gary Patterson should be celebrated
Don’t put this all on Casey Thompson.
That would be too easy.
And not smart.
When teams struggle, there is the propensity to place all the blame on the quarterback because he’s the most important player. Likewise, the QB gets more credit than deserved in good times.
Either way, Thompson is the face, and change doesn’t appear to be happening anytime soon since coach Steve Sarkisian announced that he will start Saturday at Iowa State, barring injury.
Sark spoke Monday of the heaviness of the crown that sits upon the head of the most important position in all of team sports.
“We choose to play the position of quarterback,” he said. “Nobody’s forcing us to do it in little league or in high school or in college. You choose to play the position, and by choosing to play the position, you choose to be in that arena and you have to accept the arena that you’re in. It’s no different than being a head coach or any other position that is highly critical when things don’t go well or highly praised when things go really well.”
With Texas at 4-4 overall and 2-3 in conference play, the fan base is far past panicking. Shutdown mode could happen as early as Sunday morning if this thing continues to head south.
Thompson is the same player who led the Longhorns to three consecutive wins after taking over the starting job from Hudson Card, but the competition has gotten better, and now some fans are trying to blame him for this team’s recent slide.
He understands that taking the heat is part of the landscape that goes with the job.
“I’m the quarterback of the offense and ultimately the quarterback of the team,” he said. “I’m blessed to be in this position, and fortunately for me, I’m very positive and a great competitor, so if anybody can handle it, I know that I can handle it better than anyone.”
Thompson has had his ups and his downs, as has the rest of this team, but the numbers say he has had a very good year. If you told Texas fans before the season that the quarterback would be completing 64% of his passes with more than 1,500 passing yards, a QB rating of 163.8 with 17 touchdowns and six interceptions through six games, I’m thinking they would take it.
So to place this team’s struggles entirely at his feet would be irresponsible and just plain silly.
Did he miss a couple of throws he was making routinely earlier in the season? Of course. That second-quarter deep throw to Xavier Worthy should have been a touchdown, but he overcooked it. He also hit Worthy with a perfect bomb in the first quarter for a 63-yard score. Add to that drops by Joshua Moore and Marcus Washington at key points and the defense’s inability to get stops when it matters most and this recent failure seems more of a team thing than a Casey Thompson thing.
The old adage around here is the most popular player on the Texas roster in tough times is the backup quarterback. Some of the natives are now screaming to bench Thompson since the season is a lost cause and go with Card for the rest of the way. Sark said Card is “champing at the bit” for some playing time.
For now, it’s Thompson’s show. If he struggles, we could see Card in Ames.
Let’s see if he and his teammates can get this turned around. The Horns are well past due for a complete game.
Dallas Cowboys QB Cooper Rush, legend
Dexy's Midnight Runners gave us "Come on Eileen."
Sir Mix-a-lot gave us "Baby Got Back."
A-ha produced an audio-video classic in "Take on Me."
And the Dallas Cowboys just gave us quarterback Cooper Rush.
Once cast aside by the organization, Rush became the latest one-hit wonder to enter the annals of Cowboys lore with a money performance in Sunday night's win over the Minnesota Vikings.
“I felt like I belonged out there,” he told reporters after the 20-16 win.
Rush is reportedly the first quarterback in league history to throw for more than 300 yards in his first start and throw for the winning touchdown in the final minute.
In one night, he joined Clint Longley, who replaced an injured Roger Staubach and led a comeback from a 16-3 deficit to beat Washington on Thanksgiving Day in 1974, and Jason Garrett, who, 20 years after Longley’s feat, started as a third stringer with Troy Aikman and Rodney Peete out and engineered a Turkey Day win over the Green Bay Packers.
The shots of his wife and family in the stands were tremendous, almost as tremendous as him guiding the Cowboys to a sixth win while owner Jerry Jones and coach Mike McCarthy made the smart decision to rest starter Dak Prescott’s calf for another week.
The Cowboys are the best feel-good story in the league right now. Everything seems to be coming up Dallas.
Maybe it’s their year. After all, it’s been only a quarter-century since they played in a Super Bowl.
Give former TCU coach Gary Patterson his due
Well, we all knew that Gary Patterson wasn’t going to make changes to keep his job. The TCU boss just isn’t built that way.
So an end came to one of the best program buildings in modern college football history.
The Little General shut it down Sunday, stepping down after the Horned Frogs dropped to 3-5 overall and 1-4 in the Big 12 — one spot ahead of the cellar-dwelling Kansas Jayhawks — with a 31-12 loss to Kansas State.
There’s a reason they erected a statue of Patterson at Amon Carter Stadium. He was the genius behind TCU rising up the ranks to become one of the best success stories in the game, but just as it happened with Mack Brown at Texas, even the biggest winners can suffer some falloff.
It got stale in Fort Worth, and Patterson’s time came to an end. Could he have stayed? Sure, but not with the staff as it is currently constructed. He wasn’t comfortable with parting ways with colleagues such as Jerry Kill and Doug Meacham, so he took his leave.
The 181-79 record over 21 seasons, the six top-10 finishes, the pair of top fives and that Rose Bowl victory to cap a 13-0 finish in 2010 will forever be in the hearts of Froggy fans everywhere.
Patterson, though thin-skinned and the owner of a huge Napoleonic complex, was a winner. Just ask Texas, which went 3-7 against his Frogs in the Big 12.
This can happen, even to the best of coaches.
Mack Brown brought Texas it’s first championship in 45 years but was gone eight seasons later. Ohio State’s Woody Hayes won five national titles but was fired after he punched a Clemson player during a loss in the 1978 Gator Bowl. There are many others.
Patterson won a Rose Bowl and was instrumental in giving the Frogs the winning credibility to get them to the Big 12.
He’s the reason people even talk about TCU football.
He’s no longer part of the program, but he should be celebrated for what he accomplished at that school.