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View from the Cheap Seats-SJSU

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View from the Cheap Seats-San Jose State U


Controlled scrimmage


Make no mistake, coming off a 4 game losing streak, Longhorn fans were treated to an outstanding performance on both sides of the ball.   Longhorn Nation needed this game badly.  But before the fan base starts chanting “playoffs.  . .playoffs”, keep in mind, this was one of the worst teams in FBS football.    While generally the Cheap Seats are pretty positive, have to confess, the hangover from the Maryland game still clouding the Cheap Seats vision so if you sense more than a bit of skepticism and concern, you are reading correctly between the lines.   Props to SJSU for their “We are Houston Strong” T-shirts, very nice touch.   SJSU’s 1st year OC, Andrew Sowder walked the TEXAS sideline last year as a quality control coach for our WRs.  

So glass half full, TEXAS did just about everything it needed to do to put up the most complete game we’ve seen since UTEP last year.  56-0 pretty much says it all.   SJSU was almost completely shut down by the D.   With the exception of a single 2nd quarter drive by SJSU, which the D snuffed out with a 4th down stop at the 10, the D played exceptional, recording 7 drives of 4 and out or less.   Offense struggled to open the game.  After a pair of 6 play and punt drives, the offense would score 3 TDs to close out the 1st half.  Second half was even more impressive though it was clear by then that SJSU was ready to get on the plane to head home.   6 drives in the 2nd half, 5 TDs and a concern which could have serious consequences over the next 10-11 games.   Chris Warren showed why he should be the unquestioned starter at RB.   Have to say, him only getting 16 carries was wise given his history of injuries.   The man is VERY HARD to bring down and is neither arm tackled or tackled by one opponent.

A half full/half empty observation:   Great gameplan, played to our strengths, didn’t put the game on Sam’s young shoulders.   Half Empty:   WTF was this last week.  This game plan likely leads to a win vs Maryland.   Our run game flat wore out SJSU.  Again, it’s SJSU, it’s a controlled scrimmage so let’s not start thinking we’re the Bama power run team.   But this is our strength and it creates a balance that helps open up the passing game.

Half empty observation:   Kyle Porter rushed for less than 3 ypc in the 1st half on half his carries.   The Cheap Seats fears that like two years ago when the staff rewarded Gray’s off the field leadership with too many carries, taking said carries away from more talented and younger RBs.  In limited duty, again vs a worn out and over matched D, both Carter and Thomas showed flashes.   Hate to throw a good kid under the bus . . .but Porter is a liability in our eyes.

Half Full observation:   Holton Hill off to one heck of a start to the season, returned another INT for a TD.  With 3 career INTs, he has 3 pick 6’s to go with his FG block return for a TD last week.

Half Empty observation:  Our lack of a competent FG kicker is going to cost us a game this year.

Half Full observation:  Gary Johnson makes his D1 debut with a great scrape to the ball carrier for a short gain/tfl.    Kid looks like and plays like a LB

Half Full observation:  Heard looks good in the Wildcat.  ..but so did Chris Warren who took a Wildcat 41 yards for a TD.    Wild cat is a wrinkle USC is going to spend a great deal of time preparing for.

Half Full observation:   Lorenzo Joe with the catch of the early season, snagging an overthrown ball but having the body control to drag the toe for a long completion.  QBs like it when their WRs make great/tough catches.

Half Full observation:   Sam E’s best throw of the game was crossing route to Armani Forman setting up a Heard Wild cat TD.

Half Full/Half Empty:   6 1st half drives, 3 TDs 3 punts

Half Full observation:  Pass pro was excellent.  

Half Empty observation:  As good as the D was, the secondary was beaten deep on several occasions but the SJSU QB could not connect.

Half Full/half empty observation:  Run D was stout. .  .pass D and pass rush was shaky at points.  Only 1 sack


What does it all mean?

After the crap fest of the Maryland game, you could not have scripted a better story for the SJSU game.  56-0 and both sides of the ball were dominating.  The problem is, this was against SJSU, one of the worst teams in FBS football.   Watching USC take Stanford apart both with their passing and running games, this is going to be a huge test for Todd Orlando’s D.   Speaking of “tests”, over the next 6 weeks (we have a bye after USC) TEXAS and Orlando will face the #22 ranked passer, the #41 ranked passer, the #4 ranked passer, the #2 ranked passer and the #10 ranked passer in the nation.   We have our work cut out for us.

Perhaps the crap fest that was Maryland is leaving too much of a hangover but like UTEP last year, the Cheap Seats is not sure this isn’t a case of fool’s gold.   How good is this team really?   Is 2-3 over the next 5 our ceiling or our floor?  Go 3-2 and we’re back sipping the kool aid.

Coach Herman on the hot seat?    Hardly, anyone making that claim is simply stirring the pot.  There is no question his takes were way too optimistic coming out of fall drills and this team a far bigger mess than he realized.  The talent is there, can it be “coached up” to play to their ability?   Cheap Seats would have heavily bet on the over for wins and losses at 7.5 before Maryland.    Really glad no bets were made and today 7 looks to be a challenge.  

Next up-USC

This game will be far different than the last time the Horns rolled into LA.   USC is coming off a complete dismantling of a quality Stanford team.   600+ yards, 28-7 half time lead 10-12 on 3rd downs, very  balanced 300+ on the ground and through the air.   Make no mistake, this could be the best team TEXAS faces this season. . .  .yes, despite the land thieves visit to the shoe, USC could be better.   The bad news, both are VERY GOOD (oh how that sucks to type).  Bigtime test for Coach Tom & Company. 

And if you have not noticed, Cheap Seats is staying away from the QB controversy.  Make no mistake, Sam showed some flashes and showed some talent that Shane simply does not have.   He also showed he is a true freshman and made several true freshmen like mistakes.  The Cheap Seats could certainly see why he is compared to gunslingers like Brett Farve in terms of his style.  Assuming Shane is 100% healthy, he should start v USC.   Of course we need the SJSU game plan vs the Maryland/put the game on Shane’s  shoulders game plan.    To beat USC, we need to have a very balanced offense, we need to be able to run and to pass.   Sam’s threat of the run is a strong weapon but (and cue the screams of outrage from some circles) he just isn’t as good a passer and will not enjoy as clean a pocket as we saw vs SJSU.  

Stacking up the BigXII

#1 and lord is this hard to type, OU. . . .in the biggest game of the weekend, the dirt burgers put their stamp on a potential playoff spot

#2  OSU.  . .Cowboys faced a 2nd tier opponent but looked good on both sides of the ball.  Bedlam will be VERY interesting this year.   If the Cowboy’s D is for real, watch out.

#3  TCU ….Moving up a couple spots, TCU beat an SEC opponent for the 2nd best BigXII win of the weekend and looking good on both sides of the ball.   Always good to see the Pigs get taken down.

#4   KSU     Behind the #4 ranked passer in the nation, KSU destroyed a Tier 3 opponent

#5  WVU    Coming off a tough loss to Va Tech, WVU bounces back with a big win over East Carolina

#6  TT      Off

#7  TEXAS    Looked great beating a bad FBS team

#8  ISU     Overtime loss to Iowa, they will give us a game in Ames but still thinking we win

#9    Props to my UTSA Roadrunners for beating Baylor

#10  Kansas. . . .destroyed by a good MAC Central Michigan team which gave the Dallas Cowboys a new backup QB this year.



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Do not get overly excited about any player who played a good game against San Jose State. 

Be really concerned about any player who did not play good against San Jose State. They should not see the field again.

It was San Jose State. 

We will know who really is a good player and who is not after this coming Saturday night.

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Very nice analysis echeese.  

Regarding the Shane/Sam 'controversy', it has already been reported that Shane is likely out a possible three weeks.  Assuming like you have that Shane is the better passer and recognizing the fact that he has the experience advantage (5-8 in 13 starts I believe), if Shane was 90%+ healthy I do believe he would start.  However, assuming there is some validity to the three week prognosis I think starting Sam this week is the play.

If Sam loses, he was supposed to lose against a stout USC squad.  If Sam loses it validates the theory that, if healthy, Shane might have done better.  And lastly, if Sam wins you will have yourself a full-blown QB controversy but you will have just beaten USC in LA.  

There are just some guys that win.  They may not have prototypical size, arm, etc but there is something intangible that factors into the way they play and, more importantly, the way others play when they are on the field.  This is my impression of Sam.  I am not predicting a Texas win at USC (I think that would be more a function of the defense if that occurs) but a good showing by Sam will be only beneficial to the Longhorns.  In fact, assuming that Shane assumes QB1 upon his return to fitness, I always believe that healthy competition will ultimately reveal who the starter should be.

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