Football

A harsh truth to face

John Harris. (Will Gallagher/IT)
John Harris. (Will Gallagher/IT)

During the waning moments of the Texas loss to Baylor, the Bears fans were chanting, “We’re still Baylor!”

That was obviously in response to Texas WR John Harris saying last week, ‘They’re still Baylor … we’re still Texas’ regardless of what he meant by it.

The Longhorns are averaging 13.5 points per game with Tyrone Swoopes under center, this offensive line, this set of running backs, and this group of tight ends and wide receivers.

Harris said in the post game, “We’ve had a chance in every one of these home games. The offense is hurting themselves. We are hurting this team. If we can’t score then we are not going to be able to compete in the Big 12. That’s just the fact of the matter.”

In the movie Shawshank Redemption, Red (Morgan Freeman) remarked near the end of the movie, “There’s a harsh truth to face!” It certainly applies.

This offense is challenged (I’m being kind) and that is not going to change in 2014.

The Texas Longhorns offense finished 64th in the country last year in total offense. I would think that is average. Based on what was coming back to this average offense, Texas lost its QB, center, two starting tackles, and a starting wide receiver.

While everyone wants to think of football as a team game, this team game is still played by individuals, positions groups, and two sides of the ball.

I am a believer in the Texas defense.

Texas ended 2013 ranked 68th in the country in total defense. That is in the last half of Division I overall.

After playing five games and two top-rated offenses including the top offensive unit in the country (Baylor), the Texas defense is ranked 29th in the country. That is a big jump.

Ironically, the team Charlie Strong left in 2013 and the players he left in 2014 were and are ranked the top defense in the nation (Louisville).

Everyone wants to blame someone or something.

There are rumors of rifts on the coaching staff. People are blaming Shawn Watson. Another group of people are blaming Swoopes. Some folks are even blaming Charlie Strong’s core values. Yet a different set of people are blaming the players who won’t step up and play great.

Don’t try to get Quandre Diggs to place blame on the offensive side of the ball. He was asked about the struggles of the offense and snapped right back to a media member, “Don’t think you can bait me into saying anything bad about this team.”

Those things stated above might be the reasons that things are tough right now for UT but the blame is easy to see. The blame lies squarely on the shoulders of a small group of young men that broke the law, standards of conduct, and the openly stated core values of the Texas football program. The blame lies on a group of young men that cared about themselves more than the University of Texas.

That truth will not help these seniors that were planning on leaving Austin in a strong way. They will have to lean on the fact that they are changing the culture and expectations under Strong.

As for Texas putting points on the board against Oklahoma next week, you can only hope that Texas grew some against Baylor and will continue to grow every week.

As a television show that I watch – Burn Notice – ended a season, “When you find yourself out in the cold, all you can do is put your stuff down and try to survive.”

The Texas defense has to keep pitching and hope that the Texas offense can start hitting.