Four downs: Defense back to the basics

Each week Sean Adams takes a look at some topics around the Texas Longhorns and college football.

First down: We know what we see

During the news conference on Monday, guard Mason Walters talked about the troubles of this Texas team with getting on the same page and playing with consistency. The rest of the 2012 season seems to set up well with two home games and two road games but there is a general air of discontent with the play.

“It’s not just a last-ditch effort. This team can still be really good,” Walters said. “This team can have a great record. This team can do some really good things. We have to start building with urgency because we’ve got to go now especially with how short the season is.”

People born round don’t die square.

Texas is 6-2 and we know a lot about this team. It is a passing team that sets up the run on the back end regardless of what it wants to do. The Longhorns do not tackle very well. They cannot stop the run. While the special teams has been pretty good it is not special. There are a lot of things that describe this Texas football team, but do not kid yourself, they know who they are and where they are vulnerable.

This team knows what its issues are. I'm just not sure it has the time or the resources to fix the problems that it has quickly enough to help in the last four games.

Second Down: Back to basics on defense

On the 15-yard touchdown run by Christian Matthews to tie the score at seven, the Texas defense looked like a fire drill before the play with the front seven moving all over the place. Matthews was not touched until Cedric Reed jumped on his back and rode him into the end zone.

“We just went back to our base stuff, the stuff that worked for us in the past," senior cornerback Quandre Diggs said. "It was time to get back to those things. Coach Diaz made great adjustments we just went out and played those guys and held them to 50 or so yards total in the second half.”

Getting this defense back to playing the style that allows them to keep everything in front of them and play downhill is imperative if the Longhorns are going to have any success down the stretch.

Third Down: What do you expect?

The coaches and players are saying exactly what they need to say. Nobody on the planet has to believe in what Texas is doing but the men on that team and the men on that staff. For everyone that says they are blowing smoke, I ask the question of what would you expect to hear? Even if they don’t really believe in what they are saying, they are at a point of "fake it until you make it."

The only thing they can lean on is each other, their words, their actions and hopefully a strong resolve. When they say, “We could still end up 10-2,” or “We can still have a great season,” they have to say that and they have to mean it. Do we really expect them to say, “I bet we will lose the last four games.”

Don’t expect the unexpected. If the program was going to mail in the season, they should just cancel the games.

Fourth Down: Adams’ Big 12 Power Poll

  1. Kansas State (No. 1 last week): It is an incredible team and it has the Heisman leader in Optimus Klein. The Wildcats don’t make mistakes and punish their opponents for theirs.

  2. Oklahoma (2): Nothing changes even after losing to Notre Dame.