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What Is Texas' Biggest Flaw This Season?

The Longhorns are a top 10 team in college football for 30 minutes every week.

Harry Houdini's disappearing act shocked people of all ages in the early 1900s. Now, some kid on the internet likely would be able to point out how he was able to pull off every trick. 

It's the same thing with Texas Football. We all know what the problem is under the direction of Steve Sarkisian in his first year on the Forty Acres. The term "All Gas No Brakes" is working to a T. 

For the first half. 

Then, the Longhorns (4-3, 2-2 Big 12) run out of fuel and are stranded on the sideline, watching opponents walk on by. It happened last week against No. 4 Oklahoma. 

It happened again against No. 12 Oklahoma State. 

Maybe Texas is a year away from making its comeback, but that's wasn't the problem Saturday in a 32-24 loss to the Cowboys. They had the game won. 

Heck, just like last week, even in a close fourth quarter, Sarkisian still could find a way to get enough plays off and leave with a victory. 

Except he didn't. For the second straight week, the final 30 minutes of offensive execution was pitiful at best. 

Texas had seven drives to score a touchdown and put the game away. They gained 14 total yards and didn't pick up a first down. 

“They made the plays and we didn’t,” quarterback Casey Thompson said. “We’ll go back to the drawing board.”

Sarkisian can't take all the blame. Neither should offensive coordinator Kyle Flood for the play designs. It was a collective effort of bad calls and even worse execution. 

Thompson threw an easy pick-six right into the hands of OSU's Jason Taylor in the third quarter. The offensive line allowed three sacks, a dozen pressures and seven tackles for losses. Running back Bijan Robinson rushed for a 38-yard touchdown to begin the third quarter. 

He had 14 for the remainder of the game. 

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“We had a lot of miscommunication,” Robinson said. “They brought full-out blitzes, and we were trying to open the passing game a little bit, but they came up with some different twists and pressures and it was just hard for us to pick ’em up.” 

Things must always get worse before they get better. How much worse though can things get? A complete implosion internally and a mutiny from the Texas players? 

Since the first quarter of last week, the Horns have outscored both the Sooners and Cowboys (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) 55-33 in the first 30 minutes. They've outgained both teams in passing and on the ground. 

So, what happens in the second half? Did midnight come early and Sarkeralla was forced to leave the ball (game) early? Texas is minus-37 in points for the second half and has allowed a whopping 612 yards during that same span. 

Offensively, the Longhorns are just as terrible as their defense. They've scored 14 total points during that same span and can barely pick up first downs. 

So, what gives? Is it Sarkisian's play design? Is it Thompson's miscues with his targets? Poor protection from the offensive line?

Pick one. Pick them all for that matter. Depending on the drive, you could blame each area for failing to meet the standards. 

A bye week is coming for the players. Sarkisian has work to do. Something offensively must be changed, whether it be a firing of a coach or the benching of a veteran for a young player with upside. 

Fans will remain positive entering Halloween's weekend showdown at Baylor. After all, this is a coach that thrived for two seasons at Alabama, helping the Tide win a national title in 2020. 

“For us to go as a team where we want to go, we can’t just hold on,” Sarkisian said. "We have to think something good is going to happen around the corner.”

In the first half of games, Texas is a train that can take down just about anyone. In the second, they're the ones getting hit by the train at full speed without an answer or a chance to grab the brakes. 


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