The top priority on head coach Mack Brown’s to-do list this week is to reinforce the importance of turnovers. Against Iowa State, Texas gave up four and only forced one.
Last year, Texas had 37 takeaways and gave up 28 in 14 games, which was the best margin in the Big 12. This year, the Longhorns have only caused eight and have lost 12, the third worst in the conference.
“Last year, they came in baskets,” Brown said. “This year, we haven’t had any.”
The lack of turnovers hurt Texas on Saturday, as the defense did not give the offense extra scoring chances.
“Turnovers stop the other team’s momentum and puts the ball back in your offense’s hands,” junior linebacker Keenan Robinson said. “If turnovers aren’t being made then the offense doesn’t have as many times to score as they would. Last year we did that a lot and the offense was able to feed off our turnovers and defensive energy.”
<strong>Mack Brown tell ‘em</strong>
Brown has done everything he can possibly think of to get his players motivated this season. He’s given countless uplifting speeches during practices and has even decked out the locker room with so many inspirational sayings and posters that you can’t see the walls. But nothing is working.
Maybe he should do what he did in 2007 — crank that Soulja Boy.
Brown said that the 2007 team played with the same sense of arrogance and entitlement as this year’s team, and in an attempt to snap the players out of it, he took a lighthearted and uncharacteristic approach.
“Before [the Kansas State game] I got a coach’s shirt torn down the middle with a camouflage shirt and pants underneath. I ripped the shirt off in pre-game, pulled the pants off [and did the Soulja boy dance],” Brown said. “I had worked hard for about a week because I can’t dance worth a lick, and I made a total fool of myself. [The team] laughed so hard that they were crying and I was so embarrassed, but I thought, ‘Wow, we’re getting some emotion, let’s go to work!’”
But as it turned out, the dance didn’t do the trick and Texas lost the game 41-21.
“We stunk,” Brown recalled. “I made a fool of myself trying to get somebody to play with passion.”
Brown feels the same way this year. Nothing he’s doing is getting through to his players, and he’s desperately searching for innovative ideas to change his team’s attitude.
<strong>Need more Monroe</strong>
Offensive coordinator Greg Davis confessed that he strayed away from the running game and rushed into the passing attack too early on Saturday. He also admitted and took complete blame for not playing sophomore tailback D.J. Monroe for more than one snap.
Monroe led the team with 65 yards on four carries against Oklahoma a few weeks ago, and how was he rewarded? With no playing time against Nebraska and only one appearance on Saturday against Iowa State. He was put in on a first down and hustled for 10 yards to move the chains, but Davis pulled him immediately and Monroe didn’t see the field for the rest of the game.
“It was my fault we didn’t use D.J. more,” Davis said. “Against Nebraska, I didn’t feel that way, but I don’t know what else to tell you. It was my fault. We’ve got to get him the ball more. I did wrong. I don’t know what else I can say. We gotta be more aware of it. There are things we can when he enters the ball game.”
Brown didn’t answer a question regarding Davis not giving Monroe more playing time, saying, “Greg can answer that.” But he did admit that he thought Monroe played well and gave the offense a spark.