Oklahoma had their shares of struggles against Baylor but nothing like what Texas experienced against Colorado. The Buffaloes went to Austin giving up over 200 yards per game on the ground and then held the Longhorn rushing to a pathetic 46 yards on 25 carries. Of course the counter argument here is going to be that starter Vondrell McGee went down with an injury subsequently hurting the rushing attack. McGee wasn't necessarily off to a great start though. Before his injury he had carried the ball seven times for 14 yards. Cody Johnson wasn't much better either in relief. He carried the ball nine times for 20 yards and at the end of the Colorado had held the Longhorns to a team average of 1.8 yards per carry.
Its not like Texas didn't try to run the ball, 25 rushing attempts is an effort, they did try and failed. Colorado was boosted all the way up to 10th in the conference in rushing defense after that performance. The Texas offensive performance was so bad Saturday night that had the Longhorns relied solely on their offensive points to they would have won 17-14 at home against one of the worst teams in the Big 12 conference.
As an outsider looking in the problem seems to be a combination of a few things. First, the offensive line doesn't seem to be up to par. For all the threats we've heard from the Longhorns regarding the Texas defense feasting on a struggling Oklahoma offensive line it should be noted that Colt McCoy was sacked twice by Colorado and has been dropped a total of 6 times this season. In comparison, Oklahoma quarterbacks have been sacked 5 times against better competition. Oklahoma also passes a lot more than the Longhorns do and if you average it out McCoy is dropped once every 23 passing attempts while Sooner quarterbacks go down once every 35 passing attempts and they haven't seen anything like Jeremy Beal yet. The Texas offensive line isn't creating holes for the running backs and it isn't doing a great job at protecting McCoy either.
The second issue with the Texas running is that Colt McCoy is not running the ball either. He's trying but like the running backs he just isn't finding success. Last year it was McCoy's ability to tuck and run that should have given him an advantage over Bradford in the Heisman race according to Texas fans. This year he's averaging 1.7 yards per carry after running the ball 34 times.
Finally there's the issue of the Texas running backs. They just don't appear to be that good. The Longhorns haven't had great backs the last couple of seasons but they did have some guys who were role players and did a good job at keeping defenses honest. Now Texas is faced with the possibility of going into the Red River Shootout with their top two rushers on the sideline watching. That certainly doesn't help matters as their number three guy is D.J. Monroe who has only carried the ball 16 times this season.
Currently Texas is 7th in the Big 12 in rushing offense and Oklahoma is 2nd in rushing defense (ironically behind Texas). This is a match-up that could be a game decider on Saturday. If Oklahoma can keep the Texas rushing attack in check it's doubtful that the Longhorns are going to return an punt, an interception and a blocked kick for touchdowns against the Sooners. As I was walking out of the stadium on Saturday I heard fan after fan say that we couldn't drop this many passes against Texas and expect to win. While I completely agree with that I would also add that I don't think that Texas can average less than two yards per carry and expect to win either.