NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — All night, the lowlight reel raced through Chris Hall’s mind. In the Texas center’s twisted memories, giants in red jerseys blasted through Texas offensive linemen and crushed quarterback Colt McCoy in a continuous loop. The Longhorns gave up nine sacks in the Big 12 Championship Game, but by the time Hall watched the video on Dec. 6, it felt as if they’d allowed 90. But as strange as it may sound, watching video of Cornhuskers tackle Ndamukong Suh tossing McCoy like a rag doll made Hall feel better.
“To be honest, it was kind of a relief,” Hall said. “I just kind of had it running through my head that night, so I just got in there and watched it the next day. Obviously, it was hard to watch, but I think it was profitable to say, ‘I messed up here’ and ‘I can fix that.'”
When Texas faces Alabama on Thursday, the Longhorns will have had 33 days to fix the issues that left McCoy lying in a heap on the Cowboys Stadium turf. They’ll face another dominant defense, but this one will attack them in an entirely new way. McCoy knows that, but he also knows another lesson learned from the Nebraska game: In spite of the protection problems, Texas still emerged victorious. “Coming out of the Nebraska game, I really think that was a moment for our team that really brought us together,” McCoy said. “Because not very many things went our way, and ultimately in the end we found a way to win.”