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October 16, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Max Olson

Max Olson
  (4:00 PM)

Welcome to the weekly HornsNation Tuesday chat. Texas is coming off the perfect storm of awfulness that was its 63-21 loss to Oklahoma and getting set to take on Baylor. Sink or swim time for the Longhorns. Ask me anything and let's get this started.

C. V. Dickson, White Oak, Texas [via mobile]

Shouldn't Case McCoy start against Baylor?

Max Olson
  (4:03 PM)

That is a loaded question. David Ash says he's good to go and has been practicing but we'll see how that non-throwing left wrist looks. McCoy did a heck of a job in desperation mop-up time vs. OU, but Ash is still the superior quarterback. If he's good enough to go, Texas should start him but still pay close attention to that wrist.

Mark (Dallas)

If the horns lose 2 more games this season how much will Mack be on the hot seat?

Max Olson
  (4:04 PM)

Right now I'd predict Texas finishes 9-4 after its bowl game, though that can change. If that's the case, Mack will survive but he has to give people proof that this 2013 team can compete for a Big 12 title. If they lose 4, they still need a strong finish to demonstrate he's got enough pieces in place to win a lot next year.

jared (austin)

i know im going to be the 10000th person to say this but last weekend's game was the most embarrassing game i've ever watched as a UT fan, if we run the table (big if) we would finish up with 2 losses which is what most people unexpected before the season but its going to seem like such a dissappointment from what we could have been. thought?

Max Olson
  (4:07 PM)

My thoughts are it's time to see who is going to step up. You saw vs. OU that really nobody did when the chips were down. Okafor and Diggs said a lot of good things on Monday, but the guys around them have to start raising their game. There's so many games left that could come down to just a few plays. Right now Texas isn't making those key plays.

Anthony (Bastrop)

I think the most dissapointing thing ive watched this season is the o-line. sure they dominated against the weak non conference teams but it seems like they've gotten completely dominated in conference play especially when trying to run. why do you think this is?

Max Olson
  (4:10 PM)

First of all, there's no depth behind those starters so they're probably not getting as much rest as they need. I mean no depth, whatsoever. Texas has 6 and maybe 7 linemen it trusts to play in a game. Not good enough, especially when you're recruiting this state. Second, I think the run game got a bit too predictable and the OL has played a little too finesse. They need to come out with some fire this week.

J.Gray (Austin, TX)

If I don't start seeing more time of the field, would I consider not returning to the 40 mile next season?

Max Olson
  (4:11 PM)

I don't think so. Gray's as good a character guy as there is in this freshman class. He came into the program expecting to share the load and wasn't promised anything in year one. But then again, if you're the real Johnathan Gray, you tell me.

Eddie (San Antonio)

Direct quote from ESPN's scouting report of Adrian Phillips in high school:"Phillips is the total package in terms of offensive skills."Direct quote from ESPN's scouting report of Mykkele Thompson in high school:" Thompson is a really good athlete that is utilized in many roles in the offense including QB out of the wildcat shotgun, but will be a wide receiver at the next level."

Max Olson
  (4:12 PM)

Those guys both have more than enough athleticism to hold up as safeties. But there's still a ton of fine-tuning that needs to take place in their game. Thompson was far too hesitant as a tackler, and Phillips continues to make mistakes. They're young but they're being asked to do a lot.

ron king (home)

i am i diehard horns fan but somethings gotta give obviously we have overrated talent on defense........i dont see us winning another game all year because the coaches dont know how to motivate or coach i guess.....i was totally embarassed on saturday

Max Olson
  (4:13 PM)

Have you seen Kansas play? Texas will at least beat Kansas.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What Texas Longhorns College Football Players are Out For the Season Due to Major Injuries?

Max Olson
  (4:14 PM)

Just defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat. Torn pectoral muscle. That's a huge loss for this Texas defense and one that shouldn't be underestimated.

andy (frisco,tx)

Was the running game last gam more gray fault or the o-line?

Max Olson
  (4:16 PM)

Gray only got 8 carries. Not his fault. The offensive line play was not very good, but Texas kept trying to get that run game going even as the deficit grew and grew. Credit the OU defensive line, too. They played crazy good in that game.

Chris (San Antonio)

Do you think Jordan Hicks will apply for a medical redshirt?

Max Olson
  (4:16 PM)

No. He'll be back in the next few weeks. Texas isn't even considering that at this point.

Joey (Houston )

How is the loss to Oklahoma impacting the perception/decision of recruits? I am thinking mostly of Caleb Benenoch, Andrew Billings and Cole Luke.

Max Olson
  (4:17 PM)

Only guy it might affect is Cole Luke, who's seriously considering OU and Texas. This won't change things for Billings, and Benenoch has always been a Texas fan so it's not like he enjoyed watching that. In the big picture, I don't think it really hurts UT's chances a whole lot with those three.

Chris (San Antonio)

If Texas loses to Baylor, will Diaz be fired on the spot?

Max Olson
  (4:18 PM)

No, I don't think so. What could Baylor do to Texas that would be any worse than what Oklahoma achieved? The Sooners pitched an absolute perfect game.

Bob (Fort Worth)

if you were a recruit choosing between UT and OU, why on earth would you want to choose Ut after last weekend? besides austin obviously kicking normans butt as a better city

Max Olson
  (4:19 PM)

Austin is pretty kick-butt, that's true. One game won't change a recruit's mind about Texas. The Longhorns lost five in a row from 2000 to 2004 and still signed some really good classes. They've done it before and they'll do it again.

Sam (Rosebud)

Before the season some people joked that hopefully the defense wouldn't be as good so that we would be able to keep diaz from taking another head coaching job, irony? and do you see him being with the team next year?

Max Olson
  (4:22 PM)

I wasn't on that bandwagon of people assuming Diaz was gone after this year. He's a smart enough guy to know that he should hold out for a really good HC job. And really, what are the good openings this year? Arkansas and Tennessee? Maybe Auburn? I do think Diaz will be back next year barring just an absolutely catastrophic ending to this season.

Gary (The Woodlands, TX)

Whats your most educated guess on the status of M. Brown and J. Hicks for this weeks game?

Max Olson
  (4:23 PM)

Educated guesses: I think Brown is still a week away and doubtful and I think Hicks will be upgraded to questionable.

Eddie (San Antonio)

Is Texas 100% out of the race for Laquon Treadwell?

Max Olson
  (4:24 PM)

I wouldn't say 100 percent. If they can get him to take a visit to Austin they will be very much in it. But there are a lot of schools right now that have been recruiting Laquon longer so UT is definitely behind.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Is signing Keith Frazier even more crucial to Rick Barnes program now that Kaviar Shepherd has committed to TCU They need to land one of the top kids in the state, right?

Max Olson
  (4:26 PM)

Either Randle or Frazier would obviously be a big gets for Texas, especially considering the powerhouses that are going hard after them. Seven of the state's top 10 prospects have already made commitments elsewhere so these guys are becoming even bigger priorities.

Gary (The Woodlands, TX)

We miss Malcolm Brown at RB...will he play this week?

Max Olson
  (4:27 PM)

Still think he's doubtful, at best questionable. I know he might be off his crutches but that's still a ways away from being game-ready.

Sam (Washington, DC)

Hey Max. I agree that the Texas D played horribly the last two weeks, but what explains that Offense being completely shut down by OU? The much-improved O-line couldn't block, and it went downhill from there.

Max Olson
  (4:29 PM)

The fact Texas went 3-and-out 7 times, including on each of the first four offensive possessions, was just brutal. You can't punt eight times in a game and beat anybody in this conference. OU's defensive line controlled this game and set the tone.

Clay (Destin, Florida)

Do you think Jackson Jeffcoat is more likey, less likely, or the same about coming back for his senior season now that he's done for '12?

Max Olson
  (4:31 PM)

More likely to return. Can't imagine a guy as competitive as Jeffcoat is will want to end his college career with the bad taste of that loss.

Rick (Austin)

Hey Max. Kind of off subject here, but who should I pull for in the game at College Station next week. As a lifelong Horns fan, seeing A&M have success this season (at least compared to us) has really been hard to watch. But I also don't want to hear about the next "Game of the Century" between Bama and LSU which won't happen if the Aggies get the Tigers. I'm really not going to like the result either way, but as a Horns and CFB fan, who should I pull for?

Max Olson
  (4:35 PM)

That is an excellent question. I find that I have a hard time rooting against Manziel. That kid is a phenom. I definitely get your point about Alabama-LSU. Considering LSU already has a loss and will probably lose to Bama, though, I think you can safety root for the Tigers in this one if you're no fan of the Aggies.

Jeff (Tampa, FL)

Are you serious? Do you really think the Longhorn powers that be we'll tolerate less than 9 wins entering the bowl season? Especially, if they lose at home this week to Baylor.

Max Olson
  (4:38 PM)

Depends on the trajectory. If Texas loses to Baylor and another team (Tech?) now but knocks off both TCU and a highly ranked Kansas State, I think the powers at be in a tough spot to dismantle. Plus, Mack has lots of allies.

Gary (The Woodlands, TX)

Any word on what Texas is doing this week at practice to fix their tackling problems? More scrimmaging perhaps? Keep the players in full pads longer?

Max Olson
  (4:39 PM)

Something we asked about quite a bit yesterday. They seemingly tackle - or "thud up," as players like to say - as much as most teams do, but Diaz did mention that drills can be adjusted according. To me, you've got to start finding backups who are flashing in these practices. Divy up the reps and see what gems you can find. Texas needs a few.

Steve (Boston, MA)

Do you think that Byndom has regressed this year or is his lowered production due to the fact that he has to give a bigger cushion with KV playing closer to the line to help out the inexperienced LBs?

Max Olson
  (4:41 PM)

I like the way you put that. I do think Byndom has regressed some and that at times in games this year he's seemed to be lacking for confidence. But part of the issue is Diggs is just playing so, so well right now that QBs have to throw at Byndom. He's in a little bit of a slump right now. A few more picks like the easy one against OU should help.

Collin (Lake Jackson, Texas)

Max love your Twitter, you and Carter keep it real! So what is up with DJ Monroe not getting any touches two consecutive games? Harsain better be glad he doesn't play poker because that straight face he tries to keep when he says we were on the wrong hash is BS! Also he always says he hopes to get people on the field? Breaking News...he's the OC...just do it!

Max Olson
  (4:43 PM)

Always appreciate the Twitter love, you guys can follow along at @max_olson if you aren't already. The truth with Monroe is they just don't have a lot of ways to get him the ball in that playbook and at times they get way too situational when trying to figure out when and how to give it to him. Same goes for Daje. Better utilizing those weapons takes a little more pressure off Ash's shoulders.

ben (wichita falls)

who do you see stepping up their game between reed/wilson/davis in trying to replace jeffcoat, or does it just become a rotation / DE by committee ?

Max Olson
  (4:44 PM)

Reggie Wilson is the starter and Alex Okafor believes he's one of the best backup DEs in the nation. We'll see. I do think there's a lot of rotating (there was even when Jeffcoat was healthy) and I think Shiro Davis makes his debut this week as a speed rusher on passing situations.

Jeff (Sooner Country)

Everyone is bashing Mack Brown for another blowout...but is it a poor reflection on OU that they can only get up for one game? Why can't they beat everyone by forty if Stoops is such a great coach?

Max Olson
  (4:45 PM)

Ha, that is one way to look at it. If Oklahoma plays the way they did Saturday against the rest of the teams on their slate, they're going to be very tough to beat. I can't wait to see what they do vs. Notre Dame and West Virginia.

Collin (Lake Jackson, Texas)

You really like Manziel? I mean he just got done recently with La offense to them but there not blowing anyones skirt up, and the team that Texas dominated in Ole Miss he didn't exactly have his "A" game. I heard an ESPN analyst compare him to Vince...thats nonsense!

Max Olson
  (4:47 PM)

That Louisiana Tech game was ridiculous. Tech was a top-25 team though and one of the best mid-majors in the country this year, and they made that A&M D look awful. Manziel is no Vince. He freelances so much against these lesser foes and gets away with it, but the raw tools are impressive. Florida shut him down really well in the 2nd half, and I think LSU is well-equipped to slow him down.

jeff (Houston)

Whose draft stock has changed since the beginning of the season, and how much?

Max Olson
  (4:49 PM)

Quandre Diggs is a big stock up. Okafor has been as good as expected. I know Vaccaro will be a stud at the Combine but right now he's not a surefire 1st rounder in my mind. Stock down on Byndom, don't think there's a chance he comes out early at this point.

Rett (Oregon)

Manziel = SEC-Denard-Robinson. (Not a compliment). He will put up great numbers against terrible defenses. Against LSU, Bama, Florida, and Maybe MSU. He will get shut down.

Max Olson
  (4:52 PM)

The real test for A&M will be how they tweak the offense against those good teams. I think Mike Evans is a stud and Ben Malena has been a pleasant surprise when I've watched A

Rett (Oregon)

After the loss to Alabama in 2009, Mack decided to make the switch from spread option to a power pro-style offense. How committed are they to maintaining that direction?

Max Olson
  (4:53 PM)

They're staying the course. Onward and upward. The problem is they need much better offensive line play and a healthy Malcolm Brown to really make that work as planned. They're not going to switch to a high-tempo spread any time soon.

John Harris (Man Cave)

Why am I not getting any playing time? I make huge mismatches because I'm so big!

Max Olson
  (4:54 PM)

Gotta practice better, I guess. You're seeing M.J. McFarland finally earn some snaps thanks to better play during the week. The fact that another tall guy, Cayleb Jones, is now seeing the field a decent amount tells me you've got some work to do, John.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Was the country's best kept secret, Trey Millard, unleashed on the Horns last Saturday?

Max Olson
  (4:55 PM)

Yes. Oklahoma did a heck of a job of hiding Millard these first few games and keeping his tricks up their sleeve for this one. I know Sooner fans were unhappy that he wasn't getting carries to start the year. That game was the reason why.

Ryan Miller (Dallas, TX)

Hey Max, question about what you think about Mack's position of power? Now i'm not comparing him to Paterno in any way, shape or form other than the fact that he's starting to become the program instead of just the coach (ie. MackBrown-TexasFootball). Is this a problem?

Max Olson
  (5:01 PM)

He's right there with Saban and Stoops, if not above them, in terms of the reverence he gets, no question. Mack is the epitome of the CEO head coach and he's done a tremendous job of branding himself and this program since taking over. I don't think you just can a guy like that if things get worse. That will play a factor if the seat gets hotter this year.

Collin (Lake Jackson, Texas)

Max saw your comment earlier about the Horns only trusting 6 or 7 guys on the O-line? Is that because the guys there recruiting are busts or is Searels not as good as Mack thought? Garrett Porter? Kennedy Estelle? I know Kennedy is a true freshman but both were supposed to be studs.

Max Olson
  (5:02 PM)

Well, look at some of the losses. Paden Kelley would've helped them this year but he quit football. You definitely had some recruiting busts in the past and right now the backups should be challenging for time better than they have. Estelle was a guy who probably should've redshirted, but perhaps Camrhon Hughes could've helped this year.

Collin (Lake Jackson, Texas)

Max I know Texas has had some studs at DB which include Cedic and Mike Griffin, Aaron Ross, Nathan Vasher, Quentin Jammer, Chykie Brown, Tarell Brown...but I live 10 minutes down the road from where Quandre played in High School and with the natural blood lines he has from being Quentin's brother could he be the best in recent memory?

Max Olson
  (5:03 PM)

He's such a tough customer. He's a fighter and really skilled cover guy, plus a talented returner. If he stays all four years and is a four-year starter, he'll be another one of those guys Akina talks about all the time, no doubt.

Lincoln (Austin)

What was your favorite food at the State Fair?

Max Olson
  (5:05 PM)

My favorite food was probably the corn dog I had for breakfast. I really wanted to try that fried jambalaya but the lines were just too long. I should've got a fried Snickers before I left. Regrets. At least there's always next year.

Max Olson
  (5:05 PM)

Any last questions, guys?

Guy (Houston)

I think Mack needs to be gone if Texas goes 4-5 in conference this season. Thoughts?

Max Olson
  (5:08 PM)

If Texas goes 4-5 in conference play this year, Mack shouldn't be feeling too comfortable. Then again, 5 losses in Big 12 play would probably require a ton of injuries. So there's always that excuse.

paul (pgh pa)

who are some candidates that would replace brown if he steps down? my bet is saban

Max Olson
  (5:09 PM)

Way too early to speculate on that, but it's Texas. If the Texas job opens up it's the best job on the market. They'll get whoever they want. Not that I think it's going to happen this offseason.

Max Olson
  (5:10 PM)

That's all I've got for today guys. Thanks for joining me and be sure to keep reading HornsNation. We've got a lot of good stories up today. Have a great night.