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Daniel Seahorn

5 Thoughts: Sugar Bowl Edition

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Georgia is a playoff team and one of top four teams in the country they said. Georgia is going to run all over Texas and it won’t be close they said. Georgia is too physical and defense is nonexistent in the Big 12 they said.  THEY were dead wrong.

Texas entered this contest a two touchdown dog to the Bulldogs from Athens, Georgia, and if you listened to the talking heads this game was over before the teams ever took the field.  Just about everyone seemingly had written off the Longhorns having a chance in this matchup. That is just about everyone except the team itself.

While Bevo certainly set the tone before the game, it was evident from early on in the game that Texas had come in confident and prepared to slug it out with Georgia. They were playing fast and flying around and looked like the Tom Herman coached teams that we’ve become accustomed to seeing in big games. It was refreshing and fun to watch this team play the role of giant killer, as they proved to those around the country that they are heading in the right direction.  Herman and his staff have certainly righted the ship and they have a chance to really make some noise in 2019.

With that all said here are my takeaways from the Texas sized takedown of the Bulldogs.

  •     Sam Ehlinger’s Rise To Stardom Continues

I’ve written about Ehlinger’s progression as a player this year several times over now. Ehlinger went from a reckless freshman trying to make every play in year one to an All- Big 12 caliber quarterback who will certainly be in the Heisman conversation going into the 2019 season.

 Last night wasn’t Ehlinger’s best performance, but as usual he provided a steady hand for the offense, played turnover free football, and put together a gritty performance against one of the nation’s best defenses. Ehlinger went on to tie the Sugar Bowl record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback on the way to earning MVP honors for the game and on top of that almost brought the house down with his now famous quote during the trophy presentation. Have a night, young man.

Ehlinger has never lacked confidence or swagger, but walking into house that Drew Brees built rocking a Brees Westlake throwback was a total boss move and on top of that he delivered the win. On the year, Ehlinger tallied just over 3800 yards of total offense and accounted for 41 touchdowns. Texas fans get to enjoy him for two more years.

  •      Big 12 Defense > SEC Defense

Remember all that talk about how the Big 12 didn’t play defense? Well the Texas defense showed up to the Superdome like they were sick of all that talk, because they brought the hard hats to the yard and went to work. Todd Orlando’s bunch came out flying around the yard and laying the wood to anything in red and white and it was a lot of fun to watch. Georgia has a ground and pound offensive identity that they like to use to wear down defenses, but their vaunted rushing attack only produced 72 yards on 30 carries, which was good for a meager 2.4 YPC.

On top of that, the Texas defense forced two turnovers and almost got a third on another fumble, which left the Longhorns at +2 in the turnover margin for the evening. Texas was able to generate pressure on Jake Fromm for most of the night and BJ Foster laid a hit on him that most certainly landed Fromm in an ice bath after the game. This entire group deserves a game ball for showing up with their big boy britches on and winning a scrap that many people didn’t give them  chance to win.

  •     Tre Watson Will Be Missed In 2019

Convincing Watson to come to Austin over Lubbock and Baton Rouge ended up being one of the most underrated recruiting victories for the Longhorn staff. In a game where running room was at a premium, Watson came out as the leading rusher at 91 yards on 18 carries (5.1 YPC) and despite being a smaller back he was consistently finishing his runs and dishing out some punishment on the back end. Finding a back with his skillset that could provide a veteran presence this year was very important given that Keaontay Ingram was banged up for a good portion of the year and couldn’t shoulder a full load of carries.

Watson made the most of his touches last night in NOLA and his success brought some balance to the Texas offense and kept the Georgia defense from omitting the Texas run game and making life harder on Ehlinger on his drop backs. The issue of Texas being thin at running back has already been discussed in length here, so it will be interesting to see how the staff goes about replacing Watson’s production.

  •      Quiet Night For Texas’ Dynamic Duo At WR

Collin Johnson and Lil’Jordan Humphrey absolutely terrorized defenses all year long, but last night was one of the quieter nights for the duo that I can remember. While they both made some key plays that prolonged drives or eventually led to points, they were held in check for most of the evening. Johnson in particular seemed invisible early on in the matchup before he finally made a nice catch up the sideline for a 35 yard gain. Johnson ended the night with 3 catches for 40 yards, but he did convert Texas’ lone two point conversion on a back shoulder fade late in the game. Humphrey on the other hand was the Longhorns’ leading receiver in the contest (7 catches, 67 yards) and he also completed his only pass attempt for 8 yards.

I figured with Deandre Baker out that these two would have been a little more busy last night, but the Georgia defense fared pretty well against them all things considered. With this game in the books, now we wait and see if Johnson will opt to return to school or decide to take their talents to the NFL.

  •       No Sterns, No Problem

With Caden Sterns hobbled coming into this game, Texas was down one freshman All-American and forced to do some juggling on the back end of the defense. Even with The Wolf on the sidelines, Texas was more than fine due to the performances of guys like BJ Foster and PJ Locke, who ended up playing bigger roles in Sterns’ absence. It was refreshing to see Locke play well and come up with a big turnover given his well-documented struggles over the past two seasons and Foster absolutely looked the part of the five star recruit the networks pegged him as. Foster’s hit on Fromm late in the contest was one of the plays of the night, as he got a free run off the edge on a blitz and laid a hard, clean hit on the quarterback.

While Texas will have to replace both starting corners in Kris Boyd and Devante Davis, the Longhorns are absolutely stacked at safety with Brandon Jones likely returning and the Foster/Sterns combo being underclassmen. The future is bright on the back end of the defense and I know the staff has to be giddy about how this group is shaping up going into 2019.  

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6 minutes ago, Daniel Seahorn said:

Sorry for the delay, folks! Was finally able to get back to Houston after a lengthy trip back. 

Thank you guys for following along with us this season and making this site what it is! 

Thank you for the great coverage all year and from the Sugar Bowl last night.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Daniel is as good any moderator/reporter as there is on any Texas site. Keeps it real and there is absolutely no BS. Straight shooter that brings integrity and class to the job. 

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54 minutes ago, 605Longhorn said:

Daniel maybe you posted it someplace else but since you were there in the press box, I was wondering what was the mood before the game what were the other reporters saying. Also what did they say after the game?  

I didn’t get to speak with any guys on the UGA side, but there was a feeling among some of Texas guys that the staff was quietly confident it could take advantage of some things against UGA. 

Afterwards everyone was buzzing about upset. People think Ehlinger will be in the Heisman conversation and that the team will be have a real chance next year. 

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20 minutes ago, Daniel Seahorn said:

I didn’t get to speak with any guys on the UGA side, but there was a feeling among some of Texas guys that the staff was quietly confident it could take advantage of some things against UGA. 

Afterwards everyone was buzzing about upset. People think Ehlinger will be in the Heisman conversation and that the team will be have a real chance next year. 

Ok thanks for the press box info

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Excellent writeup Seahorn. 

In addition to those GA rushing stats-- 72 yards on 30 carries  -- T.O.P. was Horns 35:00 to GA 25:00. 
How's that for exact minutes. Seldom see that. 

Horns passing yardage was 177 to GA's 224, but try this: Comp-Att for Horns was 20-28. And 2-2 on 4th down efficiency, with 9-19 3rd down. That's a lot of 3rd downs for the night. 

Not counting punts (guess this is how it works on the Team Stats sheet)
Horns show 77 plays -- 28 passing, 49!! rushing!
GA shows 65 plays -- 35 passing, just 30 rushing. 

This performance out of Texas, who hasn't had 10 wins in almost 10 years, against recent upstart powerhouse Georgia throws a huge wrench in the SEC-SEC hype, and/or says a lot about Herman and his coaching style. 

Get this also: The mighty SEC was 6-5 in their bowl games. About what it was last year. Either they have no umph for bowl games, or they really are not that strong overall playing outside their conference. Take Alabama's win out, and it's .500, which what I recall it was last year. 

As I showed in a previous thread, the top 5 finishers in each SEC division played 40 Non-conf. games.
9 of the 40 games were against Power 5 conference.
Only 4 of the 40 were played on the road. 
6 of these top finishers (again, top 5 in each div) played 8 home games. The other 4 of those programs played 7, with Aggie playing Ark at Arlington. 

Regular season ranking placed 8 SEC teams in the Top 25. Based on what? They mostly play each other and, on average, play 8 home games. They also play a cup cake one of the last two weeks of the season, thereby avoiding a late season loss (how can they.. when nearly all 14 SEC teams play outside the conference, and I think all are indeed cupcakes). So they end the regular season with lofty rankings overall -- 2/3 of the conf in Top 25. 

But then come the bowls. 

Bowl losses to: Virginia, Iowa, Okla-State, Texas, Baylor. 
Beating: NC-State, Purdue, with quality wins over OU, Penn State, UCF, Michigan (if that's a quality win).  Factor in, of course, one team and one of those wins, is en route to the title game. However, Texas pushed Georgia around much more than did Bama (going aggie there). 

For Texas to even come close to this game performance... I mean it was over at 28-7 (true representation of the beat down);  Georgia looking no better than Iowa State as a product on the field. If that. Thing I noticed about Georgia, they did not look athletic. Okay, going full-on aggie there. 

How did BigXII do in their bowl games against the SEC?  3-1, including besting a 14-pt underdog spread in NO. 

Overall BigXII was 5-3 in bowls. 

 

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Epic,

Really good stuff there. Especially regarding the schedules. Of course, the SEC will tell you they have to play the OOC schedule they do because of how tough it is to play in SEC week in and week out. Even heard Tebow say that on the pre-game show the other night on the LHN. Pardon my french Tim, but that's a crock of shit.

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i do like the fact that the refs, for the most part, let the players play and there weren't that many penalties called.  i saw several holding calls against the Horns that weren't called and georgia got some good running yardage behind it.  luckily, it didn't affect the game.

 

there was a targetting call against LJH that wasn't called too.

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11 hours ago, Epictetus said:

Overall BigXII was 5-3 in bowls. 

I believe it was 4-3

 

9 minutes ago, Rotty22 said:

i do like the fact that the refs, for the most part, let the players play and there weren't that many penalties called.

Only 9 for the whole game so I agree, they did let them play. The targeting on Cook in my opinion wasn't targeting but that's one of those judgement calls.

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15 hours ago, Daniel Seahorn said:

Sorry for the delay, folks! Was finally able to get back to Houston after a lengthy trip back. 

Thank you guys for following along with us this season and making this site what it is! 

Thank you and the rest of the staff for all yall do for us! Now don't you have a honeymoon to go on?  ;)

BTW, totally agree about Foster's hit on Fromm. BJ may have been the Defensive Player of the game!

Edit note: Thanks for the ticker update!

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Thanks for the good write up.

It was a great game to be at. A lot of confident bulldog fan ended up with their tails between their legs. Kind of like Uga their mascot. They kept showing him in his carrier on the big screen. They only showed Bevo at the end. Uga didn't want no rematch with Bevo.

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1 hour ago, Big Daddy Cane said:

Nice write up Daniel. Thanks. Found this rant from a Georgia fan that puts an exclamation point on your write up. Pretty funny!

 

 

That is hilarious! "Slobbering at the mouth", funny stuff right there!

 

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1 hour ago, tejasrulz said:

Thank you and the rest of the staff for all yall do for us! Now don't you have a honeymoon to go on?  ;)

BTW, totally agree about Foster's hit on Fromm. BJ may have been the Defensive Player of the game!

Edit note: Thanks for the ticker update!

Lol don't ask him about his honeymoon. Lol I've been pestering him for months lol about his honeymoon lol.

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Quote

Georgia is a playoff team and one of top four teams in the country they said. Georgia is going to run all over Texas and it won’t be close they said. Georgia is too physical and defense is nonexistent in the Big 12 they said.  THEY were dead wrong.

 
 

The ESPN narrative is so tiresome and inaccurate. I'd surmise that SEC defenses are "better" only because most of their offenses are vanilla and unimaginative. Take UGA for example. Fromm is strictly a pocket passer in a boring, pro-style offense. SEC defenses aren't tested damn near every week like we are in the Big 12.

How UGA's staff didn't watch film and say, "We've gotta go up tempo against UT and keep 'em off balance" is beyond me. Who'd we struggle against? OU, OSU, and WVU.

Duh

 

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45 minutes ago, Epictetus said:

For your afternoon entertainment, try The Paul Finebaum Show.

I missed the first hour, but it's still rolling.
The calls from Georgia fans are reviting! :)

 

OMG! Sporting News' Bill Bender just made the excuse that Georgia lost because their best corner sat out.

No mention at all that Caden Sterns also didn't play.

 

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3 hours ago, Epictetus said:

For your afternoon entertainment, try The Paul Finebaum Show.

I missed the first hour, but it's still rolling.
The calls from Georgia fans are reviting! :)

I checked the Georgia message board when it was announced that it would be UT-GA in the Sugar Bowl. Everyone on that board thought it would be cakewalk.. They were disappointed that they blew the Alabama game, but at least they could enjoy beating Texas and Tom Herman. Herman was not popular.. Nothing about Bevo. There was no one who thought UT had a chance against the great SEC since we were in the Big 12.

Every since we won the game, I have been thinking of those Georgia fans and it puts a smile on my face besides Texas winning a New Years Bowl.:)

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3 hours ago, Sirhornsalot said:

 

OMG! Sporting News' Bill Bender just made the excuse that Georgia lost because their best corner sat out.

No mention at all that Caden Sterns also didn't play.

 

That's too bad for them. A bigger hit was the DC Mel Tucker went to Colorado as the HC. They said during the game that if GA had made the playoffs then he would had stayed.

That sends a message to the rest of the team that this wasn't an important Bowl game.

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