Former Longhorn All-American cornerback and NFL player Rod Babers will be providing his insight and thoughts during tonight's game against TCU. Check out his blogs on game day at MackBrown-TexasFootball.com.
10:11 p.m. CT
Special props to some players who really had some above average performances; Jamaal Charles had 134 yards on 22 carries and Nate Jones had 91 yards receiving on 8 catches, averaging almost 12 yards a catch. The young phenom Colt McCoy threw for 239 yards and 1 touchdown, he was 25 of 38. And last but never least, hats off to the defense who held the TCU offense to 5 of 16 on third down conversions and 1of 3 on fourth down conversions.
Congratulation Longhorns. I'll will be back next week giving all of my opinions and "expert insight". Thanks to all the Longhorn fans who check out the site. Until next week Mack Brown for Governor and Hook Em'.
The Longhorns motto of the week has been finishing the race, and they did just that tonight. Down by ten going into halftime; you have to give Coach Brown's group credit for finishing the job. No one gets a team ready to face a challenge better than Coach Mack Brown, he is 12-1 vs. in their last 13 games vs. ranked opponents. That's why I'm starting up the MACK BROWN FOR GOVERNOR campaign, would you disagree.
Defensive Backs love this time of the game, up by more than two touchdowns late, everyone knows that they are passing, it's time to beef up the stats.
The Horns are averaging 4.3 yards per carry, that's good news, up by seventeen; the Longhorns will be looking to run out the clock.
There is no price that can be placed on the value of special teams; the value of a special teams touchdown late in the 4th quarter is absolutely priceless. Brandon Foster with a big play.
The offense can put the dagger in the hearts of the Horned Frogs right now, with a successful drive. The Horned Frogs are determined not to let that dagger be Limas Sweed, they have had him double covered most of the game. This double coverage has forced McCoy to look to other wideouts to step up and they have, Nate Jones, Quan Cosby and Finley have a combined 18 catches for 196 yards.
There is always an opportunity for role players to become playmakers in big games, for example James Henry with the big fumble recovery on the kickoff. Special Teams has played a big role in tonight's contest. These are the kinds of game situations defensive players dream about; up by one touchdown, late in the game and the chance to make a play that can completely take the air out of a team.
What a difference special teams can make in a football game!
Colt McCoy seems to be finding his rhythm, he is making some very sound decisions and with Charles hitting stride the Horns are looking to their playmakers to carry the heavy load in the 4th quarter.
The most important thing for the Longhorns will be executing consistently. For the most part they have outgained the Horned Frogs on the ground and thru the air, but we haven't done it on third downs. The Longhorns defense looks like they have accepted the challenge and their third down stand right before the half is an example of the type of play that it's going to take to win this game. When the Longhorns look back on their season they will remember these last quarters of football as some of the most important of their season.
There is nothing that kills the morale of a defense like a long scoring drive. If the Longhorns can put one together right before the half it would be like a dagger to the heart. Lamarr Houston has made two big third down plays, the defense seems to have found their swagger. The defense will have to continue to make plays until the offense finds it's rhythm.
The secondary is flying around and making plays, they are playing fast; that's a good sign. I know from personal experience that Coach Akina's group will be prepared and ready to set the tone. In big games like this the team's offense feeds off the defense and vice versa. A big play on defense like Lamarr Houston's forced fumble resulted in some offensive momentum, if the offense can sustain the momentum with some points it can snowball into a landslide
Special Teams will play a huge role in today's longhorn victory. In recent years the horns special teams has become one of it's many claims to fame, over the last seven seasons they have blocked more overall kicks than any program in the nation. In big games like this field position plays a huge role, the field position battle is won with defense and special teams.
Marcus Griffin is all around the football, putting himself and his defense in the best position to make plays. Ryan Palmer is looking like a ball hawk, this is the type of ball game where playmakers are born. For all of those Longhorn fans itching to see the McCoy to Sweed connection, don't be surprised if you see the Longhorns put Sweed into some different formations to get him open. TCU is double covering him every down.
Today a threat has entered into Longhorn country, an adversary that most consider worthy. So we have to be ready, so in a sense there is no tomorrow, not right now any way. But there are questions that must be answered and there is not a better time to answer them. An opportunity in a big game is at hand on both ends, so it is absolutely essential to make plays. This is an opportunity for role players to become playmakers and that is the way you win the big games; by the playmakers leading by example and everyone else following suit. As a team leader you have to be willing to take on the responsibility of leadership, there will be many points during the game when the team will be looking to certain guys to step up and make plays and those guys have to know it. Texas is one of the best in the country at defending the home turf, Longhorn fans have made it almost impossible for opposing teams to have success in Longhorn country. Texas Fight indeed.