Texas wins 41-36 over Oklahoma State. You can take a moment to let that sink in, because it sure didn't much feel like a win.
So let's look at the bright side first. Stillwater, Oklahoma is a tough place to play. The Longhorns deserve credit for coming out of there with a win. The team showed character and toughness and on the game-winning drive, quarterback David Ash played like a veteran. The offense showed a determination that will serve them well when West Virginia comes to town.
And make no mistake, the West Virginia Mountaineers can't wait to get to Austin. The team that put 70 points on Baylor Saturday certainly believes it can do the same to Texas after watching a Longhorn defense that shows no ability to tackle, defend the pass, or frankly play even close to competent defensive football.
Yeah, I know, they played well enough to win, and yes, they stiffened when their backs were against the wall. But really, how long until those justifications don't hold up anymore?
This is a team that will be on the edge of disaster every game. It will make for some intense, stressful game-watching for fans.
This defense is giving up huge plays. It took only 15 seconds for Oklahoma State to make their first big play, a 69-yard run for a touchdown.
Somehow the Longhorn defense got worse on the off week, not better. Touted as perhaps one of the best defenses ever when the season started, it is now a liability, at times looking completely overmatched and disoriented.
The Longhorns defense gave up 146 yards rushing — in the first half — to one player, Joseph Randall. By the time the game ended, he had gashed Texas for 208 yards. The defense gave up over 580 total yards to the Pokes offense. That's too many, and you won't win games with numbers like that.
To make matters worse, Texas went braindead on the kick-off team. A kick game that was one of the best in the nation somehow forgot how to get the ball in the air and gave OSU great field position when they could least afford it. At least D.J. Monroe brought special teams some redemption, ripping off a 100-yard kick return: The third of his career.
Offense wins games
Let's say this though, David Ash got it done. Again and again he converted on 3rd and 4th down — none bigger than 4th and 10 with less than two minutes left in the game — except for maybe the 50-yard throw he made to Mike Davis setting up Texas game winning touchdown. It was Davis' best catch of his career. Ash finished 30-37 for 308 yards, and yes, he finally threw his first interception; you knew it was coming.
Ash is showing improvement every week. He threw the deep ball with authority, making the best throws of his career, and he made good decisions.
And what a game for Johnathan Gray. Malcolm Brown started at running back, but left the game with an ankle injury. Gray stepped into the running back rotation with Joe Bergeron, and what a night he had. The freshman ran for 68 yards and showed flashes of the amazing talent he brings to the field.
The theme this season is simple: Texas has a lot of work to do. They come back home with a 4-0 record after two consecutive road wins, but this is a team that will be on the edge of disaster every game. It will make for some intense, stressful game-watching for fans.
Next week, the West Virginia Mountaineers at 6:00 p.m. at DKR - Texas Memorial Stadium. It'll be a barn burner.