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echeese

View from the Cheap Seats-Texas Tech

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View from the Cheap Seats-Texas Tech

Happy Marine Corps Birthday   Happy Veterans Day

 

              This is getting out a bit late as we were called upon to narrate the Marine Corps Ball in Collin County.   It was an amazing evening as our guest of honor was Medal of Honor recipient Hershel "Woody" Williams, the last Marine Medal of Honor survivor from World War II.  An incredible man with an incredible story.    It was an amazing evening though not quite as dramatic as TEXAS' trip to Lubbock.    And our own Eugene, TEXPIMP, tied the knot with the lovely Ms Heather that afternoon.  Congrats kids.. . 

 

              At the end of the night, TEXAS won despite our defense giving up 17 points to squander (last week's word too) yet another 4th quarter lead.   Sam and Lil Jordan saved the day as Sam completed a 29 yard pass for a TD to close out the scoring and deliver the win.   Pre-season most considered TEXAS' schedule heavily front loaded with TCU/USC/KSU and OU early.    Come to find out, the season since OU actually featured better teams and a much tougher path.   Though WVU was always the "one tough game" in the 2nd half.    Sadly, since 2017, TEXAS now has a 2 game lead among teams who have blown 4th quarter leads with 7.   This is a dubious record at best and casts serious concerns about the "growth" of the team.

 

              We will come back to "growth" and open focusing on the positives.    To their credit, the defense came up with 3 turnovers and an excellent stop on a 4th and very short which were critical to TEXAS' win.   More explanation of each in the 5 Key plays of the game below.    Our offense?   Wow,  203 yards rushing and 312 passing.  Zero turnovers while putting up 41 points for the 2nd week in  a row.   We have now moved up to #36 in scoring which is our best standing since the days of Greg Davis of being in the Top 20 every year but 1.  The development of Sam Ehlinger into one of the Top BigXII QBs might be the highlight of the season.   And he was hardly the only offensive highlight, Lil Jordan Humphrey simply went beast mode with an 8 catch, 159 yard, 2 TD night.  Devin Duvernay wasn't far behind with a 4 catch, 66 yard 2 TD evening while Jerod Heard with his best evening of the year, 6 grabs for 54 yards.    Couple with the WRs,our RBs were balling out too.  They made tough runs, ground out extra yardage and helped TEXAS towards a season best 28 1st downs.  TEXAS' strategy of controlling the clock and keeping the ball away from TT almost worked as they took a 17 point lead into the 4th quarter.

 

              After losing a fumble to close out the 3rd quarter, TT would open the 4th quarter with a 3 play 64 yard TD drive.   Then with nothing to lose at this point, their onside kick attempt bounced of PJ Locke on the hands team right to TT.   TT would kick a FG on that drive then follow up with 2 more TD drives of 77 and 61 yards as TEXAS saw their 3 score lead evaporate into a tied game with 1:24 on the clock.   The Cheap Seats has irked many by questioning the 4th quarter game management of Coach Herman.    With 3 Time outs in his pocket and TT driving for their last score, CTH ignored trying to save time for Sam & company and let the clock run.  Sam should have had over 2 minutes to work with though he would still bail TEXAS out with a TD at the 21 second mark.     TEXAS' D would be gashed for almost 600 yards (595 for those counting at home) and continue to show a lack of ability to tackle and to play assignment football.   Sam would also be sacked 4 times.   If we knew how to fix it, we'd likely be coaching football right now.

 

              OK, positives and negatives out of the way.   Barring losing out, we have improved upon last year.   Now the flip side, we win out and WVU beats OU, which isn't far fetched given OU's last two games, we get a re-match with WVU in Dallas for the CCG.   For all the negative, the Cheap Seats will take TEXAS in the upset.  Frankly between some really oddly timed calls and some really odd late game management, TEXAS should have beat WVU.   Even in a mid-point outcome, lose to an ISU (better team than OSU and TT) that might be playing the best ball in the conference, beat Kansas and play a UDub or Utah team in the Alamo Bowl, CTH/TEXAS has clearly improved on the year.  The question is how much?   Even if TEXAS wins the BigXII (again, not farfetched though we hate needing help), there is real questions about some of the play.   Biggest of those is Coach Orlando and the D which went from team strength through 3 quarters of the OU game to major liability since then.   And to be clear, we do not see this as Manny Diaz' Part Duex.  We are worried about the future as TEXAS will lose it's top 2 CBs, it's entire defensive line and starting LBs.   But let us save that discussion for the offseason.   We wonder how our D matches up against a very well coached Iowa State team coming to town looking to make some noise.

 

              Make no mistake, the Iowa State game will go a long way between determining if TEXAS can make that next step.   Is Coach Tom going to take TEXAS to the level of Mack Brown or are we simply an improvement on CFS which puts us in the world of limbo with more in common with the John McKovic, Freddy Akers and David McWilliams teams than the "standard/expectation" at TEXAS (standard being Mack).    Gotta pass Mack or no reason to even mention the man the stadium is named after.

 

 

Top 5 Plays that made the game:

 

#1 Caden Stephens picks off a very poorly thrown ball stopping TT on the TEXAS 3 yard line.  TEXAS would drive to score a FG

 

#2   TT goes for it on 4th and very short but on their side of the field.  Chris Nelson submarines to play and Charles Ominehu goes over the top to stuff Duffy for no gain.  TEXAS' ball, result of the drive TD

 

#3  Devonte Davis forces a fumble on Duffy scrambling on the TEXAS 31 to blunt another drive in TEXAS territory, TEXAS would drive for a FG

 

#4  Kris Boyd tracks down a scrambling (hey,the kid can run) Duffy, strips the ball away  like a kid stealing candy and blunts another TT drive at the TEXAS 25

 

In a game decided by 1 score, each drive killing turnover was critical.

 

#5   Sam to Lil Jordan, 29 yards, TD with :21 seconds left in the game.   Doesn't get any better than that.

 

Players of the Game:
 

Offense:   Sam the Man with Lil Jordan in a close 2nd.  Props to Tre Watson, Keaontay Ingram, Devin Duvernay and Jerrod Heard for balling out all night.

 

Defense:  Charles Ominehu though we'll be honest, not sure there was a defender who was not up and down all night.

 

 

 

Ranking the BigXII


#1 Land Thieves. 2nd week in a row the Sooners have escaped  by the skin of their teeth.   But we think they are out of the playoff mix and now it's a fight for best bowl berth.    Still in the driver's seat for a Conference Championship game berth


#2 WVU  Would not dispute a claim they are #1 in the league but any hope of a playoff berth on life support.   They are cheering TEXAS to beat ISU which would put them onto one side of the CCG regardless of the outcome of their game with OU assuming they win this week vs Okie Lite. 

 

#3  ISU   Sorry not sorry fans, ISU playing better football than TEXAS.   This week is YUGE as they say.   TEXAS has to beat ISU for any hope of a CCG berth.   Given the way both teams are playing, can only imagine ISU and their true freshman QB Purdy licking their chops to face our D.   Win and ISU is cheering OU to beat WVU which would put ISU in the CCG (again, assuming they win out) since they would then hold the tie breaker with WVU.

#4  TEXAS.  Like #1 & #2, you can put 3 & 4 in either order.  TEXAS has to win to have any hope of getting to the CCG with a WVU upset of OU.   Will get ISU without the top RB in the BigXII for the 1st half.


#5  Baylor    Again, #5 #6 & #7 can be listed in any order, all at 5-5 but Baylor beat OSU so, Baylor gets the higher nod.  And like OSU, Baylor needs to beat one of their last 2, TCU or TT to go bowling.   Think they wrap up a bowl bid this week vs TCU. 

#6  Texas Tech   Needs to beat KSU to go bowling or that sets up a big last week match up with Baylor.

#7 Okie Lite   Coulda/shoulda/woulda   We like Gundy going for 2 and potentially the win (2:30 left in the game) but his QB threw the ball in the dirt to an open WR.   What a weird year for Gundy.

#8 TCU  #8 and #9 in the same boat.  Either must win out to go bowling.   It appears TCU has packed it in already.. 

#9 KSU. Beat Kansas but fear they lose out as they face TT & ISU.   We wish Coach Snyder the best

#10 Kansas    Basketball season is here, Beatty has been canned.  Kansas continues to be a mess.


PLAYOFF HUNT



#1 Bama


#2 Clemson


#3 ND


#4 Michigan. 


Potential 1 loss teams with a shot if either ND is upset or tOSU pulls the upset of Michigan.

#5 Georgia, they face Bama in the SEC title game.   The lose, they have no shot, they win and chaos reigns as don't see anyway Bama isn't invited too.

#6 Burglars of dirt   playing to poorly and not sure they can survive WVU

#7 The Pirate and Wazzu

#8 WVU, win out and they are in the mix barely though as stated above, think TEXAS beats them in a re-match.  Did we mention re-matches suck.

#9 tOSU, beat Michigan they might jump to #6 but a date with Northwestern would do them no real favors.

 

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15 hours ago, echeese said:

#1 Caden Stephens picks off a very poorly thrown ball stopping TT on the TEXAS 3 yard line.  TEXAS would drive to score a FG

That was Davis who picked that ball off.

 

15 hours ago, echeese said:

Then with nothing to lose at this point, their onside kick attempt bounced of PJ Locke on the hands team right to TT. 

It looked like he batted at the ball and didn't even try to catch it! If nothing else, he should have ducked and the ball would have been recovered by Texas down field. That play changed the game.

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Don't disagree with much of what you said.  But I do remember the Mack years.  His first year was 9-3 with Ricky coming back for his senior season to win the Heisman.  If Deontay came back we might have been 9-3 last year.  Year 2 Mack was 9-5.  Year 3 he was 9-3...  Only then did Mack become the Mack you are talking about.  9 straight years of at least 10 wins.  

I'm not sure if Herman can get to that level but we have to have patience.  Depth is what you have to have to make sure your offense or defense lasts for an entire year.  Right now our depth (and some of our strength) is built on freshmen.  Until we reach a point where our two deep has many fewer freshmen (except for the redshirt variety), we are susceptible to either side of the ball being dependent on health.  Last year it was the offensive line; this year the defense.  If Herman is the man and he gets another class like the last one, next year should be a bit better..  and potentially a lot better if Sam takes another step up.

I just don't want to lose sight of where we have been since 2009 and expect to have the 10 win seasons by birthright.  There is no birthright in football.  Birthright in college football is a great coach and great players.  And you don't know if you got either one until you have both.     

  

 

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2 hours ago, Wayne said:

Don't disagree with much of what you said.  But I do remember the Mack years.  His first year was 9-3 with Ricky coming back for his senior season to win the Heisman.  If Deontay came back we might have been 9-3 last year.  Year 2 Mack was 9-5.  Year 3 he was 9-3...  Only then did Mack become the Mack you are talking about.  9 straight years of at least 10 wins.  

I'm not sure if Herman can get to that level but we have to have patience.  Depth is what you have to have to make sure your offense or defense lasts for an entire year.  Right now our depth (and some of our strength) is built on freshmen.  Until we reach a point where our two deep has many fewer freshmen (except for the redshirt variety), we are susceptible to either side of the ball being dependent on health.  Last year it was the offensive line; this year the defense.  If Herman is the man and he gets another class like the last one, next year should be a bit better..  and potentially a lot better if Sam takes another step up.

I just don't want to lose sight of where we have been since 2009 and expect to have the 10 win seasons by birthright.  There is no birthright in football.  Birthright in college football is a great coach and great players.  And you don't know if you got either one until you have both.     

  

 

I want it all and I want it now.

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7 hours ago, Wayne said:

Don't disagree with much of what you said.  But I do remember the Mack years.  His first year was 9-3 with Ricky coming back for his senior season to win the Heisman.  If Deontay came back we might have been 9-3 last year.  Year 2 Mack was 9-5.  Year 3 he was 9-3...  Only then did Mack become the Mack you are talking about.  9 straight years of at least 10 wins.  

I'm not sure if Herman can get to that level but we have to have patience.  Depth is what you have to have to make sure your offense or defense lasts for an entire year.  Right now our depth (and some of our strength) is built on freshmen.  Until we reach a point where our two deep has many fewer freshmen (except for the redshirt variety), we are susceptible to either side of the ball being dependent on health.  Last year it was the offensive line; this year the defense.  If Herman is the man and he gets another class like the last one, next year should be a bit better..  and potentially a lot better if Sam takes another step up.

I just don't want to lose sight of where we have been since 2009 and expect to have the 10 win seasons by birthright.  There is no birthright in football.  Birthright in college football is a great coach and great players.  And you don't know if you got either one until you have both.     

  

 

There was a really good write up, I'll try to find it that new coaches who are going to amount to something, have done so by year 2 generally.

 

Are we improved from last year/the last 4 years?   Sure, that bar represents the WORST 4 years in TEXAS football history. . . which is damn sure not our birth right either.

 

We continue to lose games due to coaching mistakes (not ready vs Maryland or OSU, poor clock management vs WVU).   The questions about CTH stand until they don't.   Would you argue he's doing a better job than Matt Campbell?  This week's opponent.

 

Full disclosure, 

 

1998 Mack wins the south if Major doesn't get hurt in Lubbock

 

1999 Mack does win the south

 

2000 Trip to Lubbock where we can't force a punt again costs us the South

 

2001  Mack wins the South

 

Now CTH has a chance with a win this weekend and a WVU win over OU to earn a CCG berth but he wouldn't need any help if we were ready of OSU or had we managed the clock just a shade better vs WVU.

 

 

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How many times over the Mack years did the Texas fans rave about Mack's game/time management?  How many times were we ready to get rid of Greg Davis?  And Greg Davis for all his faults always had us a top offense.  College football fans expect perfection and don't get it.  Unless you are Alabama fan and you have Nick Saban and then you expect perfection... and maybe don't really appreciate it.  

The ifs in the 1998-2001 years are the same as the ifs for Herman. 

What if there was not a 2 hour weather delay during the Maryland game?  We had just taken the lead and the OL was pushing a tired d-line around.

What if Kris Boyd and Davante Davis hadn't violated team rules before the OK State game?  

What if Holgorsen went for 1 instead of two?  

Every game and season has a what if.  When we finally have the players and coach the proof will be on the field.  And we won't know until that season (whenever it is) is over.  

In 1965, 1966 and 1967, between the national title years 1963 and 1969 under DKR Texas went 6-4, 7-4, and 6-4 with 1 bowl game.  I'm glad we didn't fire him.  You got to have the players and enough of them.  

  

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Please don’t forget that Mack always has terrible offensive lines, until he didn’t. He also had terrible special teams play that cost a game or two, until he didn’t. (Could it have been because he had enough depth to play the 2 deep?)

On and on and on...

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13 hours ago, java said:

Please don’t forget that Mack always has terrible offensive lines, until he didn’t. He also had terrible special teams play that cost a game or two, until he didn’t. (Could it have been because he had enough depth to play the 2 deep?)

On and on and on...

 

At the end of the day, Mack took TEXAS to heights it had not dreamed about in 2 decades.

 

Now if you want to point out the real achilles heel for Mack, it was not getting a championship D until he hired Greg Robinson.

 

The difference between Mack and stooper. . . . .Mack goes D from Day 1, the stories reverse.

 

 

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5 hours ago, echeese said:

 

At the end of the day, Mack took TEXAS to heights it had not dreamed about in 2 decades.

 

Now if you want to point out the real achilles heel for Mack, it was not getting a championship D until he hired Greg Robinson.

 

The difference between Mack and stooper. . . . .Mack goes D from Day 1, the stories reverse.

 

 

And I happen to agree with you that he had a very good OC. 

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