Hires can only be judged based on the pool of candidates available. On that basis alone, Texas A&M made a good hire for their program. It’s an objectively strong hire anyway. If a 6-6 Longhorn season and a roster hit by early entry isn’t sufficient to catch Tom Herman’s attention that he’d better maximize his staff and processes ASAP, a national title winning coach hell-bent on dominating Texas recruiting 2 hours to his East might just do the trick.
The Longhorn safety and Thorpe Award Finalist stuffed the 2017 stat sheet this year with 63 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 6 interceptions, 9 pass breakups and 3 forced fumbles. He has elected to sit out the bowl game. Like several of his Longhorn defensive peers, he took a significant leap under the tutelage of Todd Orlando and this defensive staff and a player that enticed Longhorn fans as a freshman and sophomore came through with a big third year campaign.
Texas played well enough to win on defense, but the offense didn’t hold up their end of the bargain. Texas Tech predicated their entire offense on trying to isolate the Davis duo and the Texas safeties with Keke Coutee and 6’6″ TJ Vasher while sacrificing Dylan Cantrell at the altar of Kris Boyd. When it worked, they moved the ball in chunks. When it didn’t, they were largely dominated.
The game was a fitting bookend to a season that began with a shocking loss to Maryland where Herman and his staff seemed equally without answers.
Tom Herman’s new postgame press conference slogan: Teary eyes, full heart, can lose.
The 5-6 Red Raiders are 2-6 in Big 12 play and fighting for a bowl bid. Tom Herman and the Texas Longhorns are fighting for a winning regular season and program buy-in.
Neither set of motivations will matter one bit after the first play of the game and the pads start popping.
Appalachian rain couldn’t stop Longhorn reign. Texas finally got a break – of Will Grier’s finger – in a season that had featured precious few. Grier’s middle finger was the best six-Point Break since Patrick Swayze was robbing banks and Johnny Utah wasn’t having it. The Texas-West Virginia Postmortem: Offense and Defense.
The Mountaineers have ridden a high powered offense and a favorable schedule to a 7-3 record with Texas and Oklahoma still remaining. Their season upside rests on getting a win at home against the Longhorns. Once firmly on the hot seat, Dana Holgorsen is 16-5 in his last 21 Big 12 contests.
Numbers Don’t Lie is the companion platitude to the You Are What Your Record Says You Are bunch.
It began promisingly enough on the Longhorns’ first offensive play of the game as Shane Buechele connected on a deep post to Lorenzo Joe for a 49 yard touchdown from max protection. Texas had been running that play without success all season and the result suggested that this might be the game where a somnolent Longhorn offense would finally break out of its lethargy and build some much needed confidence. Kansas is good for what ails you, right?
Weird game, right? By several metrics the Longhorns defense completely dominated and they certainly set the tone for the game early. But the eye test really pissed me off at times, even as I tried to maintain the intellectual understanding that three new faces in the secondary will always mean major cohesion issues. It’s also possible that Big 12 officials not understanding that just because every play could be reviewed doesn’t mean they should be set me on edge.