Here are six quick-hit observations from Texas’ unimpressive 13-12 win over Nebraska in Saturday’s Big 12 Championship.
1. What was that?
Unless you’re a Texas fan, this was a freaking dud of a championship game. Both teams combined for 308 yards of total offense, which is the lowest combined total in Big 12 history. It was almost maddening at times watching these two teams try to move the ball forward. In fact, this game turned out to be the “B Channel” of the night, because the ACC title match was 10-times the game that the Big 12 championship was. What an unimpressive win for Texas.
2. That said, nice kick.
On a day when there were multiple extra points missed, you have to stand back and appreciate the 46-yard game-winning boot that Hunter Lawrence made as time expired. With so much on the line, Lawrence could have folded like your favorite futon in college. But instead, he rose to the challenge and converted the biggest kick of his collegiate career.
3. What a performance by Nebraska’s D.
If Nebraska had anything resembling an offense, then they win this game walking away because their defense was outstanding. For the defense to overcome three turnovers and an absolutely putrid effort by their offense and only give up 12 points was amazing. Coming into this game, the Longhorns were averaging 43 points a game and had the 11th best offense in the nation. Yet, Nebraska made Texas look like a team that had never played a down of organized football. They whipped their ass in the trenches and at times, McCoy’s only option was to take a sack or throw the ball away because he had limited opportunities to make plays. This had to be the single best defensive effort by a team this season that wound up losing.
4. Suh is ridiculous.
How good is Ndamukong Suh? He produced 4.5 sacks, which set a Big 12 championship game record, and also chipped in five tackles for losses. Every time Nebraska’s defense made a big play tonight, Suh had something to do with it. He almost single-handily beat Texas tonight and if there were one defensive player that deserved the Heisman this season, Suh would be it. He’s incredible and has a bright future ahead of him playing on Sundays.
5. Where’s Tommy Frazier when you need him?
I’m hesitant to give Texas’ defense much credit, because Nebraska’s offense was horrible from start to finish. They mustered only 39 passing yards, 67 rushing yards and five first downs (five!). They also turned the ball over three times, converted just 2-of-16 third down attempts and managed just 106 yards of total offense. It’s amazing to think that if they had only scored two touchdowns, they would have won.
6. Uh, maybe Texas-Alabama won’t be a great title game.
If tonight was any indication of how the BCS title game will play out, then Alabama is going to be national champions. Nebraska’s defense is good – very good. But if Colt McCoy and the “high-powered” Texas offense can only muster 202 total yards against Nebraska, what do you think Alabama is going to do to them? McCoy spent more time on his back than on his feet and one could only imagine that the same situation will play out again once Nick Saban reviews the film from this game about two thousand times between now and the national title match.
Photo from fOTOGLIF