View from the Cheap Seats-KSU
IT's A TRAP
A classic trap game but the Horns survive, by the skin of their teeth. So far the Horns have faced some important tests, they bounced back from an improbable opening game loss, they beat a "name brand" team at home then come back from that emotional win to beat a conference foe who frankly has had TEXAS' number the past 5 seasons. With those tests passed, TEXAS goes on the road to face a well coached team with a YUGE game on the horizon they might be peeking forward in anticipation. In other words, the classic trap game. TEXAS has not won in Manhattan since 2002 when it beat a Wildcat team that would finish in the top 10. Sorry to say this KSU team will struggle to go bowling and the Horns were in another 'Tale of 2 Halves' style game. But the key, TEXAS survived the trap as both the offense and defense stepped up in the 4th quarter to make plays which sealed the victory.
In what might be the biggest "back story" of the game, Tim Beck missed the trip with an illness. Does that indicate anything as TEXAS ran their most creative offense of the season? It was clear someone different was making the calls. More WRs involved in the game plan, though CJ and LHJ still did the bulk of the work. We saw a passing scheme that did not totally avoid the middle of the field and that used some much more creative ways to get pass catchers open. TEXAS would rack up 19 points in the 1st half including a S when Charles Ominehu recorded a 2nd Quarter sack in the end zone for his 2nd sack of the series. Those points would critical to the outcome of the game. We even saw a throw back to the QB pass which was awesome.
Offensive Player of the Game was Keaontay Ingram was very much the straw stirring the drink for TEXAS though glad he was limited to 10 carries in his 1st game back from knee injury. 3 of his 10 rushes were for 1st downs and 2 would put us in 3rd and short. He brings an electricity and elusiveness no other back on the team possesses and is a very real threat catching the ball out of the backfield. Honorable mention: Sam, very effient and some excellent completions.
Defensive player of the Game: Charles Ominehu with 2 sacks in one series including a Safety. HM: Breckyn Hager with a 4th quarter, 3rd down pass block which would close out the game at the 6:27 mark.
TEXAS' defense looked pretty awesome in the 1st half, pitching a 1st half shut out behind forcing 3 punts, a Safety and a turnover on downs. ZERO 3rd down conversions in the 1st half. 2nd half? Well not so much. Coach Orlando's crew gave up a 10 play 82 yard opening drive for a TD, a punt then would allow an 11 play 70 play drive for another TD making the game score 19-14 with KSU's 3rd drive of the 2nd half leaving many fans thinking "oh crap, here we go again". Coach Snyder made a pitching change at half bringing in Sklyer Thompson, the passing QB of the 2 and the difference was marked. TEXAS did not appear ready for a quality passer and failed to pressure Thompson who would go 8-18 and lead KSU on two TD drives to make the game very interesting. The stadium was rocking as KSU got the ball back in the 4th and appeared to be starting yet another drive. But on 3rd down, Breckyn Hager would knocked down a pass forcing a punt at the 6:27 mark and TEXAS would go on a 10 play drive to close out the game. Biggest play of teh game? Maybe so. The camera caught Coach Herman's sigh of relief on TEXAS last 1st down allowing them to go to victory formation for the last 2 snaps of the game.
Make no mistake, would rather win ugly than lose pretty. . . we ain't Aggies. Very pleased to see CTH reading the Cheap Seats, it was clear our WRs spent time this week focused on their blocking and TEXAS' play calling which utilized the middle of the field. Sam seemed to have more passing routes which pushed the ball further up the field and generally he showed very well. There were 2-3 misfires but you cannot expect a QB or any player to be perfect.
5 Key Plays of the Game
#1 D'Shawn's 90 yard punt return for a TD. He would later lose 14 yards on an end around effectively ending a 1st half drive. But the TD was YUGE.
#2 Throw back pass from Watson to Sam. Had KSU not pressured Tre, he likely gets the ball to Sam quicker so Sam scores but it set up a score and was a great play. Now OU will have to watch for it, even if we never run it again.
#3 Charles Omenihu's back to back sacks, the 2nd for a Safety and the ultimate margin of victory in the game
#4 Hagar bats a 3rd down pass forcing KSU to punt at the 6:27 mark of the 4th. KSU would not get the ball back again.
#5 3rd and 11 following a false start, Sam completes the ball to Collin Johnson for a 1st down with just over 4 minutes left in the game.
Honorable Mention: Deep in TEXAS' own end, Sam is stripped of the ball dropping back to pass but recovers his own fumble. Had he not done this, KSU has a very short field.
105 to 0 Penalty differential. TEXAS simply has to play smarter
8-14 on 3rd down, offense did well and sustained drives. If not for stat #1, score might look very different
29-36 and no turnovers, 1 TD. Average yards per completion are not high but Sam with a very efficient game.
4-8/2-2 After pitching a shut out of KSU on third down in the 1st half, KSU would record 4 of 8 3rd down conversions and 2 of 2 on 4th downs. Tale of 2 halves.
105 to 0 Did we mention that? Very disturbing stat.
It's the Red River War and the thieves of land are on deck. Annually the biggest game of the year and very much so this year. They are coming off a track meet vs Baylor and in back to back weeks they have been pushed by inferior teams. To be the champ, you have to beat the champ. Really hope we get Ingram for 15-20 carries and BJ Foster is back. TEXAS needs all hands on deck. After stumbling out of the blocks, CTH has his young charges poised to take the lead in the conference. Need the best game of the season. And this will very much be a battle of the best young coaches in the conference. Lincoln has a leg up, can CTH knock him off that perch?
Ranking the BigXll.
#1 OU They are #1 till someone knocks them off
#2 WVU Winning in Lubbock is not easy
#4 TCU bounces back from TEXAS loss with win over ISU, 3 wins to go bowling. Coin flip if they make it
#5 TT Off a week of being ranked they lost to WVU, needs 3 wins to go bowling, they should get there
#6 OSU Beat the league doormat, 2 wins to go bowling
#7 Baylor track meet with OU for a moral victory loss, need 3 wins to be bowl eligible
#8 KSU Played their hearts out, need 4 wins to go bowling, we bet against it happening
#9 ISU Played TCU close but 5 wins from going bowling
#10 Kansas Is it basketball season yet?
Cheap Seats is typed with a heavy heart today. As we were watching the game in the 4th, received an urgent text from a friend's wife. My friend Matt of over 30 years had been battling cancer and she asked that I get to the hospital. They were taking the breathing tube from Matt (a YUGE Nebraska fan and one of my longest term friends) as the cancer had won.. . .Cancer is a BASTARD. A vibrant man and a great friend. He left a wife, a daughter with a year left in college and a son just starting college who was at a Nebraska tail gate in Matt's honor. Watching him stop breathing was brutal, we lost him WAY too soon.
The PSA? Men get regular check ups. Matt had avoided this the last 2-3 years and they might have caught the cancer sooner. Don't know if it would have saved him but it would have given him more time with family. Keep my friend in your prayers if you would.
Oh yeah, make sure you protect your family with life insurance.