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Friday, September 08, 2006

Texas Coach Mack Brown Blogs about the 3 Things that will Determine a Longhorns Win against the Buckeyes: exclusive to Every Game Counts

By: Mack Brown

It’s deja vu. Last year at this time we faced number one ranked Ohio State but in their territory. The Buckeyes had won 39 straight non-conference games and we were going into the horse shoe which without a doubt is one of the most daunting places ever to play the college game. We played hard but not well. We had three explosive plays but when it was over the game became an instant classic.

By the end of the season they were playing so well that many fans thought they could’ve and would’ve won the national championship if it wasn’t for the game against the Longhorns. Now we’re ranked number 1 and 2 again facing each other in our own Darrell Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium and it’s conceivable that if both teams play their best on Saturday, the game will immediately become an “instant classic” literally overnight.

There’s a tremendous risk/reward ratio in playing such a difficult non-conference game like this great match-up. When it was scheduled twelve or thirteen years ago there was no way to have known just how challenging an opponent Ohio State would be. But people ask me all the time if I knew what I know now would I schedule them again. Honestly I don’t know for sure. What I do know is that winning that game last year gave us the confidence to make the run for the national championship. I know games like this are good for college football and if other schools would schedule them I would too. The risk, it’s real tough for the team that loses!

When you open your season with a softer opponent there’s risk too. Your team hasn’t been tested and sometimes that can lead to tensions and uncharacteristic on field mistakes. A few years back Auburn had an easier schedule and it just happened that there were three undefeated teams that season and it worked against them. Today strength of schedule isn’t as important in the rankings. So would I schedule a match-up like this? If the teams were rewarded for tough non-conference games like this one- yea I’d do it because it’s really good for NCAA Football.

I was trying to figure out how I will feel Saturday compared to last year at this time but it’s hard to know because the circumstances are so different. Last year we really hung in and overcame adversity. Toughness has become the trademark of this team. But this season we have a very different team personality.

So you’re probably wondering how you’ll know if the Longhorns will win? There’s a formula that’s foolproof for me. I look at three things: 1) are we out rushing our opponent? 2) are we making more explosive plays? (Explosive plays for Texas are runs of 12 or more yards and passes of 16 or more.) 3) are we making fewer turnovers- protecting the ball? When you’re watching me on the field you might see me looking at a little card in my hand. I’m keeping score – how many big plays? Turnovers? At half time I’ll ask for our rushing stats. When we’ve won explosive plays and turnovers our record is 50 and 0. When we’ve lost both against an opponent in a single game we’ve lost every time.

The game planning is over and I don’t need to motivate this team. My job now is to settle them down so they can relax, have fun and focus when we need to focus. They can laugh and dance in the locker room but to win we need to balance being confident and focused.

16 Comments:

Blogger Rob Pennington said...

I'm so impressed everytime I hear you speak, or read what you've written. You bring such a balance of maturity and wisdom and dedication all the while keeping the perspective that it is all about having fun. What a powerful life lesson. Thanks for being the teacher and the man you are.

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the time to write that, Coach Brown. I'll be keeping score of those explosive plays. In the stadium or following on TV or radio, we support you and the team and the great things you do for the University and your fans.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:00 AM  
Blogger jrichard said...

Of course, turnovers were the killer. You pegged it. Both UT turnovers led to Buckeye points and that was the real difference in the game.

The players look good, just a little frazzled. Hopefully this was just a bump on the road of another successful season.

Thank you for bringing UT to this point. It's been a while since the Longhorns have been taken seriously on the national stage, and you deserve most of the credit for that.

Chin up, coach! There's plenty of good football to be played. As the team matures, the explosive plays will come.

7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't pay any attention to the nay sayers. Of course your not going to have the success with the explosive plays without Vince. Don't look past Colt McCoy though. He will be on a Vince Young level this time next year. And if not...that's okay too. We got the National Championship and without a veteran quarterback, that is an exceptionally hard thing to repeat. We're all proud of Texas Longhorns Football.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why were we running high schol plays, and to Davis, take that little dump play to the sideline out of the playbook....it doesn't work in pop warner , it doesn't work in jr. high, it doesn't work in high school, it doesn't work in college, it doesn't work in the pros.... why don't you get it!!!

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish we played Texas every year. I have enjoyed the two games and it is fitting that each team won one. Your team has class and should not let off field problems tarnish the reputation of a world-class program. I was so happy to not hear Maurice Clarett mentioned in the broadcast. Keep your chins up and buckle up your helmets, you can look to the 2005 Buckeyes on how to perform after not one, but two losses last season. I know that I am one Buckeye fan that will be rooting for Texas for many years to come. (Unless they play Ohio State!)

-Scott

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What was on Mack's upper lip after halftime?

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Texas football players need to tuck their jerseys in. They look like slobs and will soon start playing like them if the coach doesn't begin with high standards of the players.

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, theres a short list on your "explosive" plays there Mack. Once again, your O-cord, played a "not to lose" game and the longest play of the day for your Longhorns went for 18 yards...against a team with four brand new defensive backs. Yep, you lost that one, and its sickening. Where did Limas Sweed go? Out for coffee? Davis stinks again this year and there is NO Vince Young to pull him out of the fire. Sad indeed.

8:17 AM  
Blogger NCAA Football said...

Thanks for all the comments over the weekend but out of respect for the game, let's keep the comments clean and focus on our love for NCAA Football!

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

our team is so great, with a freshman QB and numerous mistakes(dropped passes,blown coverages,missed field goals,injured and suspended players) we still can play and keep up with the #1 ranked team in the country. no doubt without the mistakes or even just half of them we would have won that ballgame. colt mccoy was impressive. i think he is a better passer than people know. his second biggest mistake of the game was not keeping it on that third and one zone read play(bad play call). we need to get kelson and kindle in for muckelroy and killabrew they are good but not as good. im not so sure palmer and foster are good enough to play. i liked what i saw from robert joseph except when he hesitated to put the smack down on troy smith. plase please please find a kicker. its unacceptable to never have a reliable kicker. when is nate jones ever going to catch a pass? why did we only use one timeout in each half? on the ginn jr. td drive just before the half our defense was confused and late to get lined up and also on the final td by #25pittman? why not use a timeout? sorry to go from positive to negative so i'll end on a positive note. we have a great team. this should be the only loss on our record when all is said and done.

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear anonymous,

the bubble screen isn't my favorite play either but we only got positive yards on it every time except the one incompletion on the first play of offense. we only used it on first and second downs. and why would anyone give a crap about their jersey being tucked in, they're in the middle of a battle. and our longest play of the game was thirty yards to selvin their 46 yard play to ginn was the longest(actually the fumble return was like 48yds).

4:42 PM  
Blogger zarasthrsa said...

The suspensions really killed us. THey forced way to much zone coverage for individuals not learned in it. How else do you explain Anthony Gonzalez torching the team? All of his stuff was slant in the middle, lined up as a slot or alone on the weak side. Without the suspensions it could've been man all around and safey's over the top for protection against Ginn. Also the Zone read play cannot be used indiscriminately when Vince Young is not the QB. Run some more plays out from pro-form and I form. Partciularly in 3rd and short situations. The inability to not convert on 3rd down was inexcusable.

Could go on but am looking forward to the game against Rice.

THanks.

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you serious? Mack Brown doesnt stand a chance against national championship type teams... He hardly plays any of his most talented players half of his bench is full of all-americans... Linebacker #2 is better than all those linebackers put together but now we see why they couldnt beat Texas A&M

8:45 AM  

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