Former Longhorn defender Drew Kelson breaks down the Baylor game and gives IT subscribers a player’s perspective on the main factors that led to the Texas win.
Saturday, we saw the Horns come out and do what every team who loses a big game hopes to do…not let a tough loss beat them twice. We saw them come out with a sense of urgency and get up quickly with a 14-0 lead. You always fear when a team gets ahead or behind too early in a game. The fear is that the teams may believe things will continue to go that way the entire game. Coach Brown used to call a quick lead or deficit an ‘impostor’ because no team is simply going to lay down. Baylor, showing signs of being a different team over the last couple years, didn’t seem to blink an eye. It gave the Horns some much needed adversity, which helped them find their lost identity and finish out the game with the win. But there were a few major points in the game where we were able to see what will help this team finish the season with wins. Let me share them with you…
Protect your heart – It’s pretty obvious who the driving force of this team is. Yes, you guessed it…Colt McCoy. Baylor came out and found several ways to not only put pressure on Colt, but to punish him a bit. One costly hit led to an interception and put the Bears in position to score their first touchdown. After a three and out and a nice throw by Griffin, Baylor found themselves in a tie game with the Horns. Although there are several ways in which the Horns have to find ways to help Colt be productive, protecting him should be a number one priority the rest of this season. Oh yea, by the way…Colt needs to protect himself as well. Could someone please tell him he’s proven himself. We know he’s a tough guy. Now all we need is for him to be careful about the physical battles he decides to venture into. If the Horns protect their heart, there’s no reason they shouldn’t finish strong.
Defensive response – After a three and out and a drive that lead to a missed field goal, the defense flipped a switch. Ryan Palmer seized the opportunity to score on a pass that was deflected in the air by Baylor receiver Kendall Wright. After his touchdown score you saw the defense come out with a lot of fire. Roy Miller opened up the next drive with a sack, which ignited the entire team. The Horns came out and scored again before the half and the defense showed signs of what was to come in the second half. What you saw at this point was a team, ailing from a loss on the road, beginning to enjoy again the feeling of being dominant. After a loss, a good team may forget how to will themselves into going out and performing well. This is typically how teams lose two in a row. As soon as the Longhorn defense had a taste of a feeling they haven’t felt since a fourth down play against Ok State, they turned it on and never looked back.
Just a thought – Was it refreshing to see the young defensive backs come out with a solid performance? These youngsters had performances as good as to any you’ve seen throughout the year. It’s always good to see how young players respond after a rough week of film review and tough practices. I don’t think there’s anything to be concerned about with these young players. They’ve learned how to move forward and will only continue to grow throughout the rest of the season and off-season.
What we have to look forward to at this point is a strong finish by the Longhorns. With Penn State losing and Texas Tech and OU having tough games ahead, there’s no telling what fate college football is going to give the Horns. I know Coach Brown will do everything to have the guys primed to finish the season strong. After a strong finish, there’s no doubt we will see coach Brown do what he’s done before…work as hard as he can to make sure this talented Longhorn team gets to play in a bowl game they deserve.
And with that, I’m sure all of Longhorn nation will see an exciting end to this season.