Longhorns narrowing down answers

Texas did a whole lot wrong in Saturday's 39-14 loss to Kansas State, but Mack Brown says his team didn't quit.

So that's something. It's also discouraging.

"The team played really hard on Saturday night, that’s the sad thing," Brown said.

Kansas State needed two plays to score its first touchdown of the game, and led 39-0 heading into the fourth quarter, all while needing to throw just four passes.

"We gave ourselves no chance," Brown said.

It was a bad time to turn in the Longhorns' worst performance of the season, with Big 12 South leader, No. 10 Oklahoma State, headed to Austin on Saturday. Brown pinpointed a few areas that, if the Longhorns do well in against the Cowboys, could produce the chances that weren't there on Saturday.

"We’re not doing the fundamentally sound things that you have to do to win games," Brown said.

Texas lost the turnover battle 5-0 against Kansas State. They committed a combined nine turnovers against Iowa State and UCLA, while producing just three defensively.

"Usually if you turn it over three times, you’re going to lose the game," said Brown, who was also displeased with his team's kicking game, which gave up a 62-yard return that set up Kansas State's opening score. "We’ve given up big plays on defense and we’re not forcing turnovers. That’s enough things that if you just do those things, you have chances."

They'll be tested stiffly on Saturday against one of the nation's top offenses in Oklahoma State. The Cowboys rank No. 3 nationally in scoring and total offense, and lead the nation in total number of plays longer than 10 yards, with 186. The 4-5 Longhorns need a win against the Cowboys or No. 25 Texas A&M to close the season, along with a win over Florida Atlantic just to qualify for a bowl.

Texas has never lost six games under Brown, and no Mack Brown-coached team has lost more than five since Brown's second year at North Carolina in 1989.

"They’re still trying and as long as you try and as long as you stay upbeat and coaching, we’ve got to help them and figure out ways to get their confidence back," Brown said. "We’ve got to figure out ways to win the game and what better opportunity to be pressed into trying to find ways to win than against Oklahoma State, who’s playing so well right now."