Selfless Horns playing for each other
Through three games, UT's offense is sharing the ball with winning the only goal
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas players, all full of bravado, puffed-out chests and expectations, decreed when the team slogan "Rise" was struck upon that the "S" should stand for swagger.
Three games into the season it might be time to revisit that thought. Oh sure, the Longhorns have plenty of swagger. It was on full display during each one of the 66 points scored against Mississippi. But so too was another quality that has come to symbolize this team: selflessness.
"Well, you know, it's amazing what a team can accomplish when no one cares who gets the credit," quarterback David Ash said.
Through three games, Texas has had 11 different players rush the ball and another 14 catch a pass. Ten different players have scored a touchdown. Last year at this time only five had scored a touchdown.
"We've got quite a few guys," said co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin.
No doubt. But what Texas also has is quite a few guys who were sick of losing, so while winning are willing to play nice and share.
"We have so many guys who are selfless," guard Mason Walters said. "They just want to win, so some of that comes naturally from them. And then also being in the program the past couple of years they just want to get back to winning.''
Texas did that in convincing style against the Rebels.
"We haven't shown that ability in a ball game for probably a year and half, two years," said head coach Mack Brown.
Texas also hasn't shown the ability to play as a complete offense in that time period as well. By Brown's own admission the team had fractured into individuals during Texas' down time. Losing does have a tendency to splinter those who might have, at one time, had the best intentions.
This Texas team has yet to experience a loss. What it has experienced is a game in which arguably its best runner, Malcolm Brown, barely got the chance to run. He touched the ball four times against New Mexico, only twice on handoffs.
That such a paltry number didn't touch off a bit of jealousy and rage in him served as only another indication that this team is, in fact, is more selfless than those that have come before it.
"That wasn't anything where they weren't trying to get me carries or anything," Brown said of the New Mexico game. "I understood what went on the last week."
While Brown's situation is a dramatic representation of the high and lows a player might experience in an offense with so many weapons, there could indeed be some winnowing of ball distribution as the season progresses.
"There's only one ball to go around, so we'll figure out how we'll try to do that," Harsin said. "Who is going to get more touches in the game."
Of course practice habits and other factors will play into those decisions. But the opponent could have a say as well.
"It really comes down to scheme as far as what we're going to see defensively, and how we can utilize these guys in different roles and those type of things," Harsin said. "But we'd like to spread as much around as we can and let all those guys have opportunities because they're all playmakers."
To this point they have all been willing to share the spotlight as well.