The major culprit which has caused the sudden skid has been the production (or lack thereof) from the offense. The same spread attack that vaulted former QBs Vince Young and Colt McCoy into college stars and NFL draft picks has shown exactly how one-dimensional their new quarterbacks have been.
David Ash and Case McCoy (younger brother of Colt) have experienced highs and lows as the signal callers for Texas, and their inconsistency has placed a heavy burden on the athletic Longhorn defense, leading to a very unspectacular 13-12 record in the last two seasons.
The great part of the spread offense is that it can be high-tempo and virtually unstoppable if you have the athletes and a quarterback who is a significant threat to both run and throw for big yardage. The weakness of this offensive scheme is that if you have a quarterback who can’t win games with his legs, you’re in big trouble–just ask Florida fans post-Tebow and Auburn post-Cam Newton.
The good news for Texas fans is the Longhorns now appear to be running a more conventional offense, similar to the one that co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite ran when he ran the offense from under center.
Last week’s spring game showed a more traditional running game with the quarterback under center and out of the pistol sets, allowing Texas’ stable of talented running backs to head downhill immediately, instead of waiting for the ball in the slower-developing spread attack. This throw back running game is what put Ricky Williams and Cedric Benson at the pinnacle of college football.
It’s also what allowed the Texas quarterbacks to run a balanced attack, despite their ability to rush the football. Expect to see David Ash, who appears to have the inside track at the starter at QB this fall, to flourish in this offense. A better offense will mean you can expect the ‘Horns to compete for another Big 12 title and get back where Mack Brown is used to being–winning 10 or more games in one season, rather than two.
Photo courtesy of Hoopthoughts.blogspot.com