On offense, I didn’t think we’d win, so after TCU opened up their seemingly eternal 10 point lead, I watched it with Fan Brain turned off and tried to understand what we’re doing out there.
The Longhorns were dominated by the league’s best defense (7 points, 263 total yards, a sickly 3.8 yards per play) for over three quarters of play, after seemingly exhausting all of our idea(s) in the second quarter (throw downfield to 6-5 guys against 5-10 guys when they’re thinking screen game support). In my TCU scout, I pointed to the wide gap in seniority and program continuity between the two teams and tried to gently remind everyone that there’s still a headset disparity. Not a Charlie Strong era disparity, but even if we think Patterson and Orlando cancel each other out as defensive architects, Sonny Cumbie compared to whatever arrangement is calling our plays is a decided mismatch.
On defense, Texas held TCU to 343 yards of total offense on 4.7 yards per play and dominated for long stretches of the contest. Unfortunately, Texas wasn’t winning this game unless we held TCU to single digits.
I warned that our defense could ill afford to give up early points on “feel out” drives and TCU turned their first four possessions into 17 points on drives of 9-75 (TD), 16-84 (FG) and 5-70 (TD). Credit Longhorn penalties (30 yards on PIs on TCU’s 1st drive). Credit great TCU play calling and use of tempo: the Turpin throwback pass on 4th and 2 was money and they punished us adeptly a few times when we couldn’t get our call or subs in. Credit Kenny Hill’s scramble to convert a 3rd and 17 against a 3 man rush when Orlando probably wishes he’d assigned Gary Johnson as a spy.