November 24, 2006
Why the tailspin?
What happened to the Texas defense?
This is a tough one to break down because on one hand, the natural inclination is to pick the defense apart for its inability to get the job done. But on the other hand, when you look at the game as a whole, the defense actually played pretty well for most of the game.
Therein lies the problem
"most of the game."
For the second straight game, Texas was unable to get a stop when it needed one to win the game and for that, Gene Chizik and the Longhorn defenders must face the music.
Texas A&M simply manhandled Texas up front on its game winning drive, a back-breaker that chewed up nearly nine minutes of game clock and covered 88 yards. On that possession, the Aggies converted all five of their third down attempts, and Texas had absolutely no answer for A&M's running game. Stephen McGee killed Texas on option keepers (does that sound familiar?), three straight on third downs (including the touchdown) to close out the drive.
"As [the last] series went on, we kept getting them to third down, and then we couldn't close the door," Chizik said. "They would get to third-and-three or third-and-two, and then they would convert. So I think we got a little worn out and tired in there, and [Texas A&M] did a great job of being physical and keeping the drive alive."
True, the Texas was likely winded and that certainly didn't help things. But the bottom line is that the Longhorns were flat out whipped by A&M's offense in terms of scheme and execution. As the architect of a defense that has seen as many bad days as good this year, Chizik will receive the blunt of the blame, and it's hard to deflect the criticism after this one.
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