News Column

Coaches Warn Players of Social Media Criticisms

October 19, 2012

Mark Rosner

Mack Brown has told his Longhorns this week that if they can't take the heat, then avoid social media after getting blown out by Oklahoma for the second straight season.

"If you can't handle criticism, don't look for it on Facebook at Twitter," Brown said. "It's going to be negative this week. That's part of the deal. Don't get on your Facebook, your Internet."

Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, who has been under siege much of the season, said the Longhorns had best keep their own company.

"The way we played this past weekend, everything that's been said to us is fair," Diaz said. "You can't argue with it. We have to sort of be in our little submarine together."

Where, presumably, they can tackle better in those tight quarters.

Diaz said coaches told the defensive players on Sunday the same thing they told them back in August, when that unit was being widely praised by the media.

"We told them during two-a-days that the story of this defense will not be written in the preseason magazines," Diaz said. "What we told them (Sunday) was that the story of this defense will be written in the postseason. It's halftime."

Horns halfway home

At the halfway point, this is where Texas stands nationally in various statistical categories, out of 120 teams:

Offensively, the Longhorns rank 43rd in rushing offense, 40th in passing offense, 38th in total offense and 10th in scoring. Texas is 13th in passing efficiency and 16th in sacks allowed.

Defensively, they're 103rd in rushing defense, 89th in pass-efficiency defense, 99th in total defense and 94th in scoring defense. Texas is tied for 38th in sacks and sixth in tackles for loss.

Texas, at 4-2 overall and 1-2 in the Big 12, has wins over Wyoming, New Mexico, Mississippi and Oklahoma State and back-to-back losses to West Virginia and Oklahoma. The Longhorns' six remaining games are against Baylor, at Kansas, at Texas Tech, Iowa State, TCU and at Kansas State.

Not buying into stats

Baylor, meanwhile, has statistical issues of its own. While the offense ranks second nationally, the defense has had problems.

The Bears rank 88th in rushing defense, 117th in passing-efficiency defense, 120th in total defense and 118th in scoring defense.

Texas co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin's not buying into it.

"I think stats really are for losers," Harsin said. "We're not gonna get what any of those numbers say. I don't believe that. We're playing the Green Bay Packers every week, in our mind. If somebody's mind's not right or you didn't expect that or didn't prepare for that mentally, you get beat."

Switching positions

Baylor's Gary Mason, a fifth-year senior, was moved from defensive end to defensive tackle for last week's TCU game, and he'll stay at tackle. He finished with seven tackles and a pass-breakup for the Bears, who relied heavily on a four-man front after experimenting with a three-man front for much of the season.

"They got me inside and I didn't have time to think about it, and just made plays," Mason told the Waco Tribune-Herald. "Things happened much quicker and I've got to be conscious of keeping my feet moving and driving. I've got to gain weight and I'm trying to pack it on."

Mason, who weighs 266 pounds for his 6-4 frame, said he's trying to reach 275 pounds.

Etc.

Texas players and coaches will sport colored ribbons on Saturday to raise awareness for cancer, including pink ribbon helmet decals for breast cancer and yellow ones for testicular cancer. ... Three Baylor receivers are in the school's all-time top 11 in both catches and yards -- Terrance Williams, Tevin Reese and Lanear Sampson. ... In the Mack Brown era, Texas is 7-1 in games immediately following a loss to Oklahoma.



Source: (c)2012 Austin American-Statesman, Texas. Distributed by MCT Information Services


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