E-mail Rich Cirminiello
Follow me … @RichCirminiello
Things are not going to get better at Texas until the Longhorns are able to consistently develop quarterbacks.
The quarterback position vexed Mack Brown toward the end of his tenure, and it’s going to haunt Charlie Strong if Tyrone Swoopes, Jerrord Heard or some yet-to-be-named high school prep star is slow to develop. Now, tonight’s second straight blowout loss to BYU does not fall squarely on the shoulders of Swoopes, who’s inexperienced. The defense played poorly in the second half, once again getting bulled over by Cougar QB Taysom Hill. But wouldn’t it have been nice if the Horns had some kind of a threat through the air to complement Johnathan Gray and Malcolm Brown, who were running behind a makeshift line? They didn’t, totally negating the backs, and essentially wasting a solid UT defensive effort over the first 30 minutes.
The new staff in Austin must do a better job of mentoring passers than the previous did. Swoopes was a four-star gem out of Whitewright (Tex.) High School two years ago, and it’s not as if Texas didn’t know starter David Ash could wind up on the shelf at a moment’s notice. It’s not at all unreasonable to suggest that Swoopes should have been ready to play a more prominent role in tonight’s embarrassing blowout at the hands of BYU.
E-mail Pete Fiutak
Follow me … @PeteFiutak
The Texas gameplan seemed simple enough: don’t put your young quarterback in a bad position, rely on the running game, and lean on a ferocious defense that’s going to lock in on Taysom Hill.
One problem: Taysom Hill.
The depleted Longhorn offensive line was a big problem for a UT running game that went nowhere, running for 82 yards on 35 carries. Tyrone Swoopes didn’t make anything happen down the field, but he wasn’t miserable completing 20-of-31 passes for 176 yards and a score with a pick. The defense just couldn’t stop Hill – again.
It wasn’t as bad as the 550 rushing yards BYU hung on the Longhorns last season, but the 41-7 thumping was coldly methodical at times, and opportunistic at others. Always, though, it was Hill who made the big moments happen, running for 99 yards and three scores and throwing for 181 with just the one pick.
Texas is in a bit of a rebuilding/reloading process, so Charlie Strong gets a bit of a free pass, but not a big one. No, his offense wasn’t up to snuff, but there wasn’t an excuse for the veteran defense with such a great linebacking corps to get ripped apart for the second year in a row by the same team and the same guy.
If last year’s loss to BYU was a watershed moment for Texas and Mack Brown, then let this be the measuring stick for the Longhorn program showing just how far there is to go.
And for Hill and BYU, let this be the announcement to watch out: there might be some really, really big things coming.
E-mail Rich Cirminiello