Press Box Observations: Texas falls to Kansas State

Austin Laymance

Seniors play well
The senior class didn’t get the results they wanted in their final home game Saturday, but they performed well individually. Cody Johnson rumbled for a 55-yard gain in the fourth quarter, the longest running play for Texas this season. Tight end Blaine Irby caught a 36-yard touchdown pass from Case McCoy on the second drive of the second half to give the Longhorns their first touchdown in more than six quarters. It was Irby’s first score since Sept. 6, 2008 against UTEP, a fitting way to end his home career. Linebacker Emmanuel Acho had a game-high 12 tackles, with one sack and two tackles for loss. Keenan Robinson, playing with an injured right thumb, had eight tackles and one sack.

Brown and Bergeron limited
Texas had both Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron, its two leading rushers, available for the first time in three weeks. But the Longhorns struggled to run the ball consistently for the second time in as many games. Brown started after missing the last two games and carried 11 times for 33 yards. The freshman lacked the explosion and power he displayed before turf toe sidelined him against Texas Tech and Missouri. Bergeron, back from a hamstring injury, rushed nine times for 40 yards. Bergeron also did not look himself. The Longhorns’ training staff will need to do a great job this week if they hope to have these two ready for Texas A&M on Thursday night.

McCoy makes case for start
Case McCoy came off the bench in the third quarter in relief of David Ash and promptly led a six-play, 81-yard scoring drive. McCoy found Irby for a 36-yard strike and went three for three on the drive. He was eight of 16 for 80 yards and had zero turnovers to Ash’s two. Ash also mishandled a snap in the first quarter that stalled a possession. The freshman fell to 2-3 as a starter and has six interceptions and no touchdowns during that span. McCoy, meanwhile, has thrown for each of Texas’ last two touchdowns. The sophomore looked more poised on Saturday night and moved the ball more in the second half than Ash has in his last two starts. It’s time to let McCoy play for an entire game, something he’s never done at UT.