Give credit to Texas coach Mack Brown for admitting what many coaches would consider abhorrent: His team became soft last season.
"We depended on Colt (McCoy) so much to throw the ball," Brown said. "That I think we got softer." Brown made his remarks Monday in Dallas at the annual Big 12 media days.
Sure, the Horns ranked 116th in the country in turnover ratio in 2010 and that was a major reason for the 5-7 record and a last place finish in the Big 12 South. But beyond the turnover issues, the inability to run the ball consistently was the single biggest reason for Texas' regression. The Horns must improve their ability to sustain drives with a tough, physical ground game.
"I think so," Brown said. "We gotta get our swagger back and to do that you gotta be tough. This is a tough game. You're going to have to run the ball and you're going to have to stop the run and we didn't do either one of those consistently last year. That's what we have to get back to. We're going to get tough again because Texas should be a tough football team."
The only issue with Brown's hope is that the Horns really have no proven back to lead the running game. Senior Fozzy Whitaker may begin the season as the starter, but Texas is counting on freshman Malcolm Brown (6-0, 220) to become the featured back. Brown will have to become the bruising back who can carry the load if the Horns, indeed, become a running team again.