In 2010, the Longhorns had just beaten No. 5 Nebraska and then they came home and lost to Iowa State, 28-21.
It solidified what Texas fans had feared. It was going to be a long season. The Longhorns lost four of their next five games and didn’t qualify for a bowl game for the first time since 1997.
Iowa State had just come off a loss to Oklahoma before winning in Austin. This past Saturday, the Cyclones fell to the Sooners 35-20. With the inconsistency of this Texas team, the stage is set for a potential repeat of 2010.
Head coach Mack Brown told his team that will not happen this year.
“What I told them it’s time for us to grow up and if you’re playing in a parking lot you should still win,” Brown said.
Brown compares this team’s inconsistency to that of Texas in 2006 and 2007. Both teams finished the season with a 10-3 record. Brown said unpredictability is more common with young teams.
Texas’ past four games have had their fair share of ups and downs. The Longhorns were dominated by Oklahoma, but then they defeated Baylor, who had beaten them the last two seasons. They again struggled and narrowly defeated Kansas, a team with no FBS wins this season. And most recently, they upset Texas Tech in Lubbock.
“I think that it’s a team that really wants to do well and it’s a team that’s trying to grow up and injuries mount up each week and that’s why we just quit talking about them,” Brown said. “The curve is such that this is a huge week to see if we can maintain the intensity, the confidence and the toughness we played with Saturday.”
During a team meeting, Brown asked the team who was on that 2010 squad, and the juniors and seniors raised their hands. He told them after a win like they had against Texas Tech, they cannot suffer another letdown against Iowa State.
“He [Brown] said that was one of the worst games that he’s been a part of and he doesn’t want to have another game like that and that we really need to bounce back, especially from that year and just come out there and play hard and have a lot of respect for Iowa State because they’re a really good football team,” said sophomore wide receiver Jaxon Shipley.
Brown said how well the team practices during the week usually indicates how well they will play the following game. But he didn’t expect the meltdown that occurred against Oklahoma even though practices were not great at times. He was also shocked at how the offense performed against Kansas’ No. 97 defense.
But, maybe the Longhorns just aren’t morning people.
During Texas’ games against Oklahoma and Kansas, both were at 11 a.m. Saturday’s game is also at 11 a.m.
“We talked over there about sleeping a little more and just being really focused,” offensive tackle Luke Poehlmann said. “We’ve played good in games, we’ve played bad in games ... But it comes down to us preparing and being focused and ready to play. Doesn’t matter what time of day it is. It’s just that we’re ready to go at kickoff.”
Shipley agrees that the time of the game is not important; it’s how they prepare.
“We’ve asked them to do a better job, obviously, and we’ll keep looking at it,” Brown said. “We text them all week at every moment to try to make them better. But we totally stunk at Dallas. We were a little better at Kansas. So maybe the third time is a charm here. Maybe they’ll play better on Saturday.”
Printed on Friday, November 9, 2012 as: Brown wants to avoid hangover