Archive | September, 2015

In Queso Emergency

25 Sep

Cal 45, Texas 44 

Sept. 19, 2015 • DKR
 

I don’t want to talk about it.

That was my Facebook post after this gut-punch of a game. With barely more than a minute to go, we were just 1-point away from closing a 21-point gap. Thanks to the legs and arms of Jerrod Heard, our Horns had come storming back, scoring 20 points that promised comeuppance to those lame fans who left DKR early. The loyal ones of us who remained were ecstatic but still anxious. When Heard scored that third TD in the fourth quarter, my mind was already fast-forwarding to how many yards Cal could gain on us in a minute. Could our D hold ’em? Others were trying to forecast how we’d do in OT.

And then that ball veered right.

Ugh.

As a superstitious, ritual-obsessed fan, I have to shoulder my part of the blame. Even though I had planned ahead for this week’s TEXAS spelling and bought the Golden (gummy) Bears a full six days before the game, I managed to leave them in my car way too many blocks away from the tailgate. Enter the “golden” queso. It was messy and not at all pretty, but it got the job done.

That could’ve been the story of this game. The defense once again gave up far too many yards, but when it mattered, our offense came to life. For the comeback to end with a missed XP left us all with an extreme case of lactose intolerance.

Double ugh.

In spite of the bitter disappointment, I’m encouraged. Here’s what I know:

  • Heard was a beast, racking up 527 yards in total offense, the most in school history, overtaking Colt and VY.
  • If his numbers didn’t do it, his off-field behavior certainly showed me he’s our guy. After the game he told reporters that he stands behind Nick Rose (our kicker), and he knows he’ll make the big ones down the road. How’s that for a leader? Gotta admire a kid (he’s just a redshirt freshman, after all) who’s got your back when the whole world wants to kick you off the team.
  • Strong may lack the charisma of a Mack Brown, but that doesn’t mean he’s a heartless robot. He stayed in the locker room until 1 a.m. with Nick to make sure he’d be all right. Not only is that the compassionate thing to do, it’s smart, too. Nick needs every bit of confidence he can muster for the rest of the season.
  • Cal fans are not the nicest. They’re not battery-throwing, cuss-in-your-face nasty like some fans, but their chanting and theatrics after the game left a bad impression on the Texas fans who had welcomed them to our tailgates and campus. Maybe they’re still bitter about that 2004 BCS Rose Bowl bid.
  • Alumni Band day is still my favorite halftime.
  • I’ll never leave my TEXAS spelling medium in the car again.

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Owl Be Hooked

19 Sep

Texas 42, Rice 28 

Sept. 12, 2015 • DKR
 

It’s an old question. JFK even asked it.

“Why does Rice play Texas?”

The answer is money, of course (along with tradition, history, blah, blah, blah), but you’ve got to think that a secondary reason is the Owls’ status as a respectable but not-so-formidable opponent.

And yet, as our 21-0 lead dwindled to 7, the underdogs looked more formidable than ever.

Of course, the guys in burnt orange came through. Heard really stated his case to be The Guy, providing the “juice” our offense needed. Malik Jefferson continues to be a beast, and I can’t help but hope his toughness and spirit are contagious.

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Cereal Killers

7 Sep

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Notre Dame 38, Texas 3

Sept. 5, 2015 • Notre Dame Stadium • South Bend, Indiana
 

Yes, we were 12.5-point underdogs. Yes, we have two true freshmen starting on our O-line, and the Irish D is stout. And yes, we still haven’t had a quarterback definitively rise to the top. But hey, how bad could it be?

Answer: Very, very bad.

Coming into this game, I was cautiously optimistic. I’d seen the practice reports. I’d heard about the scheme changes. I was anxious to see Strong’s first real recruits. I wasn’t completely blinded by my burnt-orange glasses, but I had hope.

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Apparently, David Thomas had the same idea, coming up with this “Sunday Headline” on LHN: 

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Alas, our Lucky Charms didn’t work, nor did our defense or offense. Questions abound (Where was J. Gray? What happened to Heard? What the heck are we DOING????), and it’s going to be a long season if we can’t find some answers.

How ’bout we get these guys back to DKR and turn this thing around?