13 Texas points (one TD, two field goals) were scored on drives of 15 yards, 5 yards, and -3 yards, respectively. Drives that began on the OSU 15, 8, and 20 yard lines. Without those short fields afforded by the defense plus a special teams touchdown from D'Shawn Jamison, there's no chance Texas wins this game, much less keeps the loss under double digits.
Texas plays its best opponent of the season on All Hallows Eve. Undefeated Oklahoma State is getting better on offense with a healthy Spencer Sanders returning and their depleted offensive line learning to cope, but they're currently undefeated and sitting in the driver's seat of the conference race due to the play of their defense. If Texas wants to get out of Stillwater with a win, Sam Ehlinger better put on a Superman cape for four quarters, or the Texas offensive coaches need to come up with a better offensive game plan against blitzing press-man coverage than the lazy efforts they've rolled out against the Cowboys' slack jawed cousins in Norman for the last two years.
The Texas offense decided to match their white throwback uniforms to a little throwback offense paired with an opportunistic downfield passing game. 12 personnel ruled the day and the Longhorn spent most of the game with two tight ends on the field ex-stablishing the run and then hitting Baylor over the top when they busted coverages. The early part of the contest featured what I can only term "Hurry Up Inside Zone" (including an outside zone run for 3 yards on 3rd and 6) which led to a couple of Longhorn punts. Texas diversified with Sam's legs and hit some downfield shots and then things opened up a bit.
Baylor's offense was as bad as I promised they would be and the Longhorn D got a confidence boost after some tough spots against the last few opponents. The Bears were missing two starting offensive linemen and Charlie Brewer looks like he's permanently depleted from the beatings he's taken over the last few years, but encouragingly, Texas didn't make many mental mistakes and Chris Ash honed in on the handful of competencies that the Baylor offense has.
The Baylor Bear program has been racked by COVID issues - 42 players have tested positive so far - and that fact paired with (overly) aggressive contract tracing protocols, has forced them to cancel 3 of their 5 games this season. Those players appear to all be fine now and it looks like it's starting to come together in Waco.
This is not a historical reprise of the intricacies of every hire in Texas football history. Let's keep this manageable. What I will illustrate is how often Texas, a clear Top 10 national football program, has thought small and/or hired unproven more often than not in its program history. History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme and our rhymes owe more to MC Hammer than Eric B and Rakim, if you catch my drift.
It's only Game 4 and the Texas offense is broken. Again. Right on schedule. Four years after starting as a true freshman, Sam Ehlinger is back in a familiar place, relying on improvisation, running for his life, trying to win games bearing the weight of the program. Doing his best to carry a struggling offense over the goal line, Herman's heels dug in so deep that you can plant tobacco in the furrows.