September 10, 2006

Down and out

What happened with the offense?

The Longhorns rushed the ball well, but the bottom line is that the team scored a measly seven points against an Ohio State defense that is nowhere near its usual standards.

Texas was unable to get the ball downfield in the passing game, and Greg Davis didn't try to force the issue against a youthful Buckeye secondary. Most of Colt McCoy's passes, just like in week one against North Texas, were simple dumps to the backs or quick hitches to the wide receivers behind the line of scrimmage. Texas is loaded with wide receiver talent, but the leading receivers in this game were Selvin Young (6 catches) and Jamaal Charles (4 catches) … that's not saying much for the performance of the passing game.

Ohio State played much of the game in the nickel, and Davis said postgame that the Buckeye defense schemed to keep the Texas passing attack in front of the defensive backs. Well, Ohio State did a good job of that, and Texas made it pretty simple.

It's somewhat understandable for Davis to play things close to the vest with an inexperienced quarterback, but at some point you have to roll the dice at least a little bit. If the offense isn't able to mount some sort of downfield passing attack in a hurry - and with the Horns' wide receiver talent, they should be able to throw the ball vertically - it could really hurt them in games down the road.

Davis on Saturday looked like the much-maligned coach that struggled in big games before Vince Young came along, and that can't make Texas fans too happy. The ground game looked good on Saturday, but overall it was a tough night for the offense. Obviously, it didn't help matters to have guys like Young drop a simple swing pass on third down, Tony Hills get called for a drive-killing holding penalty or Billy Pittman fumble to essentially take seven points off the board. But the scoreboard is the only thing that matters, and seven points is never going to get it done.

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