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View from the Cheap Seats-Cal


echeese
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View from the Cheap Seats-Cal

 

Turnovers

 

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

 

Another week, another "game that has something for everyone". . .The glass half full side is going to point to Jerrod Heard's coming out party.  He was nothing short of spectacular.   The glass half empty side is going to point to a problem the Cheap Seats has harped on since the ND game.  ..our defense is not good.  No cartoonish excuses about their lack of success being the O's fault. . . the O and some unforced errors kept us in the game.  

 

One word to sum up the game (and we could have used several) . . . . turnovers.. . .

 

Pre-game I stated that one of the planks of the "path to victory" platform was winning the turnover battle.  Thanks to some very timely turnovers, the Horns looked poised to take a 10 point lead into the half.   In the span of 3 minutes on either side of the half, that 10 point lead would change to a 7 point deficit.   The turnover gods givith. . the turnover gods taketh away.  We did not win the turnover battle and did not win the game.

 

Starting around the 1:30 mark of the 2nd quarter through the 4th quarter, Cal would go on a 31-0 run.   

 

We will throw the D under the bus later, let's talk about Mr Electric, Jerrod Heard.   He showed us why he was rated the #2 QB in the nation his senior year.  He put this team on his back and did everything in his power to pull out the win.   He even overcame his 2 mistakes, an INT and a fumble on back to back series.   His use of his legs to keep drives alive reminded us of Vince but what was the most impressive to me was his arm.   He was REALLY GOOD in the passing game.  Not as good as his counter part who is an outstanding QB but not far off either.   And the #1 advantage Goff had was better WRs.  Well until the "game clinching" drive when Goff hit his TE in the hands only to see him drop the ball.   That drop opened the door for Heard to once again, put the Horns on his shoulders and do everything he could to carry the team to victory.

 

Heard finished 20-31  367 yards and an 84 QB rating (ESPN)  This to go with 168 yards rushing and 3 TDs on the ground.   He showed nice touch when he needed it, he looked off DBs at times.  Now granted, he stared down Burt on his INT but you expect some mistakes, keep in mind, he's a red shirt freshmen. 

What is also interesting is that Heard has outplayed JT Barnett as well this year.   JT is the player many wanted either instead of Swoopes or in addition to Swoopes.   He was playing at a Heisman level last year for tOSU prior to going down with injury.   Horn Fans, we got us a good'un.

 

Daje Johnson. . . come on down.   We've been waiting for 3 years for Daje's coming out party as well.  He hinted at it last week on special teams but he was huge in the passing game last night. 5 catches, 145 yards.  Armanti Forman and John Burt also had very nice nights.  Only glaring flaw in our passing game came when Forman dropped a TD pass in the end zone on a 2nd quarter drive (ball hit him in the hands and contrary to the booth's claim, the DB didn't bat the pass) forcing TEXAS to kick a FG.  4 points left on the field in a 1 point game.   Have to say, still not a big fan of Gray in running game, he just seems to go down to easily but as a backfield threat in the passing game, he's a STUD.   4 catches 71 yards and ran smart on each one.

 

 

 

Offensive Line

 

Missed in the excitement of Heard's efforts was the best night our OL has enjoyed under CFS.  I really am not sure why Heard is being used as a pro-style passer but the OL generally provided a great pocket for him.  And Heard's wheels help them greatly in the running game.  If these guys can continue to build on this performance, then we have a chance to win games Texas Tech style. . .by winning shoot outs.  Who would have expected CFS to come to TEXAS and win games with shoot outs.  Take a bow big uglies, you did your part.

 

Props to Wick and his young charges, they came to play.

 

Not going to throw Nick Rose under the bus.   Game NEVER should have come down to that PAT.  Kid has been very good so far this year.

 

 

I will throw the D under the bus.   First the facts, Cal's drives:

3 plays punt

11 plays TD

Fumble (nice stick by Vacarro at the goal line)

8 plays 74 yards TD

6 plays miss FG.  . .

Fumble. . .best defensive play of the night.  .pressure on Goff

4 plays 75 yards. . . .gashed right up the middle inexcusable to me

FG .  .. actually a very good series for the D, this was the 3rd quarter Heard fumble.

8 plays TD

8 plays 71 yards TD

2 plays 92 yards TD (WTFart???????? .. . . you had them pinned inside their 5)

Punt

Punt

Punt-this the play where Cal's TE drops an easy pass to end the game.  Our best defensive play was an unforced error.

 

Stop me if you have seen this posted before, our D plays dumb.  They lack fundamentals, they cannot tackle, they cannot control gaps, they cannot play assignment football, our secondary is a joke.   ND, Rice and now Cal have all controlled the LOS against our D, pushed us around.   Cal rushed for 280 yards, Rice 232 and ND 313. . . . . and we thought our front 7 to be a strength.

 

Was Malcom Brown & Quandre Diggs really that good they were able to cover for some glaring shortcomings?    I continue to mock those who claimed I was "cartoonish" for pointing out the very real football problems of our D vs ND.   They wanted to blame the O. . .of course, the XBox crowd always blames the O. . . .expect we had PLENTY of O and our O sustained drives last night.   No other way to spin it, our D is our weakest link

 

Yes, I realize we have young players. . . frankly our best defender is one of those young players.   

 

Couple of other "points of disturbance". . ...ZERO 3rd quarter points.   In fact we came out after the half and appeared to revert back to our old stumble and bumble offense.   This team does not seem to do a good job with adjustments. . . .

 

31-0 run. . . what's that about?   From the 1:30 mark of the 2nd quarter until the 4th, not only did we not score, we barely registered any 1st downs.   UGH.

 

I worry this team (see the UCLA game last year, OU game, last night) just does not know how to win a close game vs a good team.

 

In summary, loved the O. . . . said pre-season that Heard has some James Brown in him. . .guess what, he's got some Vince Young too.   Thought the D would be a strength, blew that call badly.

 

On Deck

 

 

Okie Lite is up next.  They hit up my UTSA Roadrunners for 69 points and frankly looked good doing it.  No rest for our D which everyone on our schedule has to be looking at as their own personal slump buster.   We're going to need our new found, high flying offense to win this shoot out.  CFS has his work cut out, we're 1-2 and going 1-3 in our next 4 or even 0-4 isn't far fetched today.   Season is on the brink and we've got to find some D.

 

Props to Sorority Lothario Kliff Kingsbury for publicly trashing Belimia after whipping his azz on the field.   Think Brett let TEXAS occupy a bit too much space in his brain housing group. . .

 

Play off field (today):
 

Complete shake up of my top 4, not one team still there from last week

 

Michigan State

 

Georgia (their schedule shapes up really well so they have a one game "playoff" for a play off spot)

 

ND   Still has to beat Clemson but impressive win over a good GT team and very favorable schedule

 

Baylor     TCU looks beatable but it's a different football game playing from the front. . . . think of it as playing golf from the blue tees and in front of a crowd rather than from the reds with no one else on the course in the company scramble.

 

 

Next 4

 

TCU   They beat Baylor, they are in the playoffs even with 1 loss

 

tOSU  

 

Ole Miss/LSU   Winner of this game likely wins the SEC West.  Could a 1 loss SEC team that does not win the SEC title leap frog a 2 loss Pac 12 champ?

 

Pac 12/ACC champ    Frankly no one looks good in the ACC right now while the Pac 12 looks very good which is their problem.   Could they have a champ with 2 losses?  Lots of balance there

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let's talk about Mr Electric, Jerrod Heard.   He showed us why he was rated the #2 QB in the nation his senior year.

 

 

I told people last year the best QB at Texas was sitting the bench but rightfully so. Heard needed that redshirt year. Really has to make one wonder about Watson's ability to judge talent. Thankfully Strong & Norvell saw better. Heard is the real deal.

 

The OL played well, very well. Heard had a lot of time in the pocket last night and to have 2 true freshman on the line is something.

 

I will respectfully disagree regarding the defense. It's not fundamentals they're lacking but just talent upfront and youthful mistakes. We have a lot of young players on the field and it shows. I've seen this before with other teams who had to play a lot of youth. They will take their lumps but they will get better.

 

Strong's recruiting priority has to be linemen on both sides of the ball. We need some nasty mean players in those spots.

 

So far, I'm liking what I see of Norvell. He keeps it up and he has a good chance of staying the OC for next year.

 

 

 

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Charlie's first priority is finding a DC who can stop teams...or he better find DL who can overcome poor defensive schemes and coaching. Otherwise we are in for the SOS we have seen the last two years.

How or why do you line up with only two DBs covering THREE WRs with a FS too darn far back to help, and a LB who will never ever get to the flat in time to do anything but tackle a guy 10 yards down field if he is lucky ? 

 

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Did not like the option call that resulted in a turnover. The option was a bad call and the option to the left made it a horrible call. If you are going to run a high risk play at least have the QB use his preferred hand to pitch the ball.

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You play from the red tees? Hmmm

Good synopsis. Our D is stunningly bad.

 

 

Where did I say our D was good? They need help but it's not lack of fundamentals, more like mistakes but again just my opinion.

 

How or why do you line up with only two DBs covering THREE WRs

 

 

I too saw that last night and saw it many times over the years when CS wasn't at Texas. It bugged me last night and when it happened in the past (think tOSU at Texas).

 

I said weeks ago this will be a tough year for Texas but I'm also seeing progress with the young players. Not perfect process but still moving forward.

 

 

 

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Where did I say our D was good? They need help but it's not lack of fundamentals, more like mistakes but again just my opinion.

 

 

I too saw that last night and saw it many times over the years when CS wasn't at Texas. It bugged me last night and when it happened in the past (think tOSU at Texas).

 

I said weeks ago this will be a tough year for Texas but I'm also seeing progress with the young players. Not perfect process but still moving forward.

I didn't say you said our D was good. What are you talking about?
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Pretty much agree with you again, Chuck. Heard was very good to our offensive line. Turned lemons into lemonade a few times. Given some of the hits Heard took, it scares me that we clearly have no capable back up at QB.

 

The problem on defense is not scheme, but execution. I am really disappointed in the defensive line. They can make some plays, then just get manhandled.

 

A disappointing loss, but something we can build on. We will find out pretty quick what the character of the team is.

 

We desperately need to recruit some linemen that can come in and play.....on both sides of the ball.

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I will respectfully disagree regarding the defense. It's not fundamentals they're lacking but just talent upfront and youthful mistakes. We have a lot of young players on the field and it shows. I've seen this before with other teams who had to play a lot of youth. They will take their lumps but they will get better.

 

 

 

 

Tank is a senior, Ridgeway a Jr. . . Shiro Davis a Sr   Jinkins a Sr  Cottrell a Jr and Hughes a Soph.

 

In the secondary and LB corps, yes, youth being served but some of our worst offenders are supposed to be upperclassmen leaders.

 

So no matter which excuse you want to use (youth, O leaving'em on the field too long). . . this is not a fundamentally sound football team. . . when you cannot tackle or execute your assignment. . .when you are a DL and getting pushed off the ball. . . you are unsound.

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Good stuff Cheese.

 

I think tonight showed some promise for the future. I also think that patience would be a good thing for most folks to try and exhibit. Having personally been through the 80s & 90s train wreck that was Texas Football, I have come to understand that a coaching change takes 3-5 years to fully see the impact. If you fire a new coach prior to that time, unless you happen to catch lightning in a bottle, you back back to square one and what was a 3-5 yr process becomes a 6-8 year process.

I like what Strong is putting together here, and I think he just needs to get experience for his players, and some more depth. This takes time.

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