I made my predictions on this game with a blog earlier in the week, http://www.fannation.com/blogs/post/58679 and as you can clearly see I was way off.
Not only did Texas completely not show up for this game, they could have just as easily lost it as well.
I predicted that Texas would play for full quarters, firing on all cylinders and would walk away with a 40 point win. In reality, Texas played pretty well in the first half, and then fought tooth and nail to squeak out a win against conference USA power (sarcasm) UCF. As the game went on the Knights seemed to get stronger while the #6 ranked Longhorns got lethargic. How a team manages a 3 point win when: 1. the defense held UCF to 3-15 on third downs. 2. Texas has possession for 13 more minutes. And 3. UCF Qb Kyle Israel stat line is 9/26 133 yards 1 td 1 int? Poor execution.
In the first half Texas had 267 yards on offense, put up 13 points, and the defense contributed with a pick six. The defense also held the UCF offense in check for the most part giving up 105 yards and 7 points in the 1st quarter and a stingy 20 yards and 3 points in the second. The Longhorns defense even held UCF's only real threat on offense, RB Kevin Smith, to 11 car 39 yds 1td and 1 rec for 24 yards. All in all, Texas was looking pretty good after a rough first quarter and led 20-10 at the half.
Texas started out the second half picking up where they left off. The Longhorns took their opening possession 50 yards on 9 plays before the drive stalled, and they were forced to settle for a field goal and a 23-10 lead. That was the highlight of the third quarter as the Texas offense ran 9 more plays for 25 yards with 2 punts and an interception. Meanwhile, the Knights not scared at all, runs 24 plays for 148 yards and 7 points, to bring the game to 23-17 at the end of the 3rd with the ball at the Longhorn 2 yard line. This included Kevin Smith rushing 8 times for 101 yards and a touchdown.
Four plays into the 4th quarter it was made clear UCF was playing to win, not to keep from getting blown out, as on fourth and goal from the Texas 2, O'Leary went for the touchdown and the lead and succeeded, taking a 24-23 lead after the extra point. Texas responds on their next 2 possessions with 2 field goals while holding UCF to 2 punts on theirs, and take a 29-23 lead when they get the ball back with 3:37 left in the game. On first and ten on the Kinghts' 46 yard line, Jamaal Charles rushed for 46 yards and a td in what looked like the nail in the coffin. Then it gets funny. Mack Brown in his infinite wisdom decides to go for 2 with a 35-24 lead. The 2-pt conversion fails and instead of a 12 point 2 touchdowns needed to win lead, Texas leads by a td/2-pt conversion and a field goal. Not a big deal right? Wrong. The Longhorns defense did their job and knocked UCF back 12 yards to their 10 yard line and forces them to punt. Two plays later, Jamaal Charles, the hero from 2 minutes prior, fumbles, for his second time, at the UCF 43 with with 50 seconds left. On top of the fumble Texas is flagged for a late hit which gives UCF the ball at the UT 38 yard line. UCF moves the 38 yards in 15 seconds, scores a touchdown, gets a 2-pt conversion, and gives life back the fans. 35-32 Texas with 35 seconds to go.
Now, it is time for the kickoff, and the only thought on Longhorns fans minds is Arkansas State actually recovered that ball legally..........UCF did not even come close and Texas holds on.
Terrible game, terrible coaching, and terrible execution. Look for Ohio State, California, and Wisconsin to pass, or at the very least gain significant ground on Texas in the polls, as once again, Texas does not play like a top-10 team should. I hate to say this because it is almost sac religious, but I almost wish they would lose to Rice, that way if OU wins in Dallas, Longhorn fans can at least say: big deal we lost to Rice also.