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View from the Cheap Seats-Baylor


echeese
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View from the Cheap Seats-Baylor

 

 

Wacko-N-Waco

 

The old adage is that I'd rather win ugle than lose pretty.    Yep, props to the guys for a win, an ugly win but a win none the less.  You could not have scripted a better path to victory starting with 4 turnovers and jumping out to an early 17-0 lead and a 17-3 lead at halftime.    Then let's knock out Baylor's #3  QB to which Art Briles responds. . screw it, I'll beat TEXAS running the ball.  .. . and he damn near did it.  Gotta say, our best offensive weapon is the power rush, Art abandoned the pass, lined up in shotgun and ran wild cat with a WR and a RB and WHIPPED our front 7 repeatedly.   Perhaps we need to look to Baylor for an OL coach. . . .watching plays over and over in slow motion showed our guys getting whipped one-on-one  play after play.

 

Cheap Seats would love to gloat that we called the win over Baylor in our preseason issue but that was when I thought TEXAS would be better at the end of the year vs the beginning and that is CLEARLY not the case.

 

Our star of the game, true freshman Chris Warren with a workhorse 28 carries.  When he wasn't being hit in the backfield.  . .when he had any kind of a hole, he gained yardage and always was falling forward for an extra yard or 2 when he wasn't breaking tackles.   And finally, after 11 and a half games, we found a 3rd and short play when teams put 9 in the box to stop the 18 wheeler package. . . .a play action variation of the pop pass to Beck in the flat. . . . of course that has been there all year but hey, better late than never.

 

Seems CFS' counter to Briles saying he'd play with one arm tied behind his back was to play prevent offense. . . .a football version of 4 corners to milk the clock.  But hey, in a statistical anomaly that would have cost most a ton in a bar bet, TEXAS almost doubled Baylor's passing yardage . . .over a third of TEXAS coming on a great play to Caleb Bluitt for a TD.   Of course it would also be his only reception and to the best the cheap seats noticed. 

 

TEXAS would scored 3 points in the 2nd half, which was important as it forced Baylor to play for a TD at the end of the game.   And in the end, TEXAS needed every break because Baylor just kept running and running and running. . . .while TEXAS continued to do on defense what we have seen all year, venerable to the run and a dual threat QB, inability to hold contain on the edge, arm tackling and a pathological refusal to spy a running QB/wild cat player.   Which does not mean the D didn't have it's moments . .both Poona Ford and Paul Boyette made big stops to put Baylor in holes. .  . .again, each one of those plays were needed as Baylor finished the game only needing to make one play to head to the Sugar Bowl.

 

As an aside .. . . .  cuz Briles' actions trying to bring a rapist onto his team tells me all I need to know about the character of the man, I do find it odd that his #2 QB this year was a true freshman.   One would think QBs are lining up to play for Baylor but that is just not the case.   OTOH, very much in the "give the DEVIL his due". . . . .Briles runs the ball better than we do and frankly his front 4 is better than ours . .. they play fundamentally sound defense and they actually know how to tackle.  Here are Baylor's last 7 drives:

 

·       9 plays missed FG

·       11 plays missed FG

·       8 plays TD

·       18 plays FG

·       9 TD

·       4 plays fumble (and they were driving again)

·       10 plays-end of the game

 

TEXAS countered with a 2nd half of:

 

·       3 plays-Punt

·       5 plays -Punt

·       4 plays-Downs (that play action pass would have worked well on 4th)

·       12 plays-FG   TEXAS would convert 2 of the 3 3rd downs in the game on this drive, both using the play action to Beck play

·       3 plays-punt

 

 

This pretty much highlights the offensive ineptitude we saw from the Longhorns not just this game, but this season.   And segues into a review of the season.  #1 item that stood out to me. . . Our QBs are no better today than they were at the start of the year.   In fact you can argue the staff has lost faith in Jerrod Heard since once he left the game, he never returned.   Swoopes is not a passer.  Yes he can complete the occasional pass, the one to Bluitt was great.   But when you need him to complete a pass, he simply cannot do it.  Love him in the limited 18 Wheeler package.  

 

Now this is a view from the Cheap Seats with no "insider" information at all. . . but I see an offensive staff that spends too much time playing "king of the hill" and not enough time working together to build a better team. . . .our passing game "scheme" is a freaking joke.  .our QBs have regressed and there is no creativity to our play calling at all.   Why would you not run a single jet sweep?   Why have we abandoned the counter or trap plays which worked so well?   Not sure why we burned the red shirt of players like Ryan Newsome. . . . we never used him.   Skill position players should be devoloped not squandered on special teams. . . . .

 

And honestly, our defense isn't any better.  Without a QB, Baylor still put up almost 500 yards on us and if not for a couple drive killing turnovers, they likely win the game.   But how do you not stop the wildcat?   Jefferson rushed for almost 7 yards a carry while Coleman over 11.  Unreal.   Can one of you so called "insiders" pass along Greg Robinson's number to CFS . .. .

 

So the season is over, good one to bury.    CFS is the 1st coach at TEXAS in over half a century to finish with back to back losing seasons.   But he'll can most of his offensive staff to buy another year.   Hopefully the next OC will be able to coach-up our QB and install a passing game to work off what appears to be an outstanding running game.   Hard not to be excited about Warren and Foreman, Johnson too.   Our OL is growing up and will only get better and Bluitt as a TE has a future.   Now to me the wild card is McNeil as a slot back/slot WR/HBack type. . . . but who knows what is up with him.  Outside of Burt.  .we have no clue what we have at WR . . .one because they don't have a QB who can get the ball to them and two because the passing game scheme would embarrass a high school team.

 

So let's see who we get as a new OC, Sonny Cumbie seems to be the favorite though he loves the 3-4 WR look of the air raid which doesn't really fit our talent. . . . PS, you hear lots of people claiming teams run "air raid". . . which is a fairly specific sub-set of the "spread".   Key air raid features are:

 

·       4 WR 1 RB sets

·       Smart QB who makes decisions at the line

·       Seams. . . . a very uptempo offense, wear out the D use confusion to help create seams in the D

·       pass heavy (though you see air raid teams like TCU and Baylor run well. . .)

·       very wide splits along the OL to create better passing lanes

 

 

Not sure what the "official" name for it is but coaches like Meyer, Holgerson, Herman, Fedora/Brewster and Guz all run spread offenses that are more 'run first' offense.   They tend to use 3 WRs (though Holgerson ran a bunch of 2 WR this year) with a traditional TE or 2nd RB.  The running spread uses more counters and misdirection to open up the running game.   This fits TEXAS. . . this is what tOSU, OU, UNC, Auburn etc do.    Now both TCU and Baylor approach running the ball out of the spread very differently.   TCU clearly has a dual threat QB so that helps, Baylor's QB can both run but would notbe considered real "run dual QB threats" and they use their air raid scheme (4 WRs) to eliminate 4 defenders. . .they line their WR up very wide which forces the opponent to match them.    So even if you cover each WR man to man. . . you are still left with 7 on 7 in the box.  Baylor now uses a couple very good RBs and counts on winning man on man matchups with the idea that the ball carrier can make one guy miss to gain 4-5-6 yards a carry.  But the real key is if that man misses, you have an "explosive play".   And since Baylor's passing game is so good, generally you have forced at least one DB to play "over the top".  .. now you are 7 v 6 in the box.  Advantage offense

 

Now all football is based on "seams".   The famous video clip of Vince Lombari describing his "sweep" play.   Air raid uses the 4 WRs spread to create vertical seams. . .and it works whether they run or pass but at the end of the day, it's the pass that everyone is afraid of. . .

 

Just the Cheap Seats opinion but we do not have the QB to run such an offense and our personnel has more in common (style wise not talent wise) with the offenses run by tOSU, UNC, OU and Auburn.  Thus Cumbie's background is a concern.    The biggest plus he brings is a rep for being a QB whisperer . . .if that is the only thing he brings. . .he's a plus hire. . . . though i suspect he can build a better passing O than what we have seen.  Doesn't need to be overly complicated but we are JV simplistic.

 

My stance on CFS

 

I was a BIG BIG supporter of the hire, thought CFS would bring the toughness and mental attitude to win games.   Sadly, I have seen someone who appears lost.   He played not to loss yesterday with NOTHING on the line.  . .play to win the game CFS. . . one 2nd half TD and there was no question, instead TEXAS finished the game quaking in their boots, one play from defeat.

 

But CFS is back, hopefully with a complete new offensive staff, sadly with the same DC.   If the new guy wants Traylor, he's shown to be a great recruiter, it certainly does not appear Norvell understand he might have an idea or two on offense. . .or he's a HS coach over his head too. . .don't know.

 

I am a TEXAS fan 1st so I'm behind CFS and these young men to succeed.  Maybe 2016 we "shock the world" but to me, it is going to take 8-9 wins to be on an upward trajectory.   I would love for CFS to prove me wrong, to show me he understands motivation and game management and instilling a winning attitude in the team.   I would LOVE to be wrong. . . . .it starts by closing out recruiting with a couple of gems including a bad azzed S (we don't have one) and a couple of future DLs. . .another OL or 2 wouldn't hurt my feelings.

 

Playoffs

 

Clemson

Bama

Mich St

OU

 

Next 4 doesn't matter . ..other than does the B1G send tOSU or Iowa to the Rose bowl though I have to admit, kinda nice knocking Baylor out of the Sugar Bowl. . .. . .there is no #5 team that can make a coherent argument for inclusion.  Sorry Stanford. . .though Stanford v tOSU would be a pretty legit "consolation bracket". . . oh man I was pulling for Iowa and UNC though UNC would not have made the playoffs.

 

Props to Larry Fedora. . . a much better coach than some claimed.   He will be the 1st coach since Mack left to lead UNC to a final poll ranking and he could finish Top 10 with a  win.

 

 

BigXII standings:

 

OU

OSU

TCU

Baylor

WVU

TT

KSU-ISU-TEXAS (the mutts beat each other up)

Kansas

 

 

Coaching moves so far

 

smart to Georgia?   Don't see it but good luck

 

Muschamp to USCeast?  I like Will and hope he learned from his time at Fla

 

Dino Babers to Syracuse?   Excellent coach goes to a football waste land

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My thoughts/opinion after reading this and watching the replay.

 

It was 20-0 at half.

 

In regards to the coaches losing confidence in Heard, I hope not cause I still believe he's the best QB we have and has the potential to be special. His play yesterday wasn't great but I think he was playing gingerly due to his concussion. The UIL in Texas makes HS players sit out 10 days due to these for a reason and I have seen the effects of one on my child, it's not good. The sack he gave up was on the O-line, not him. IMHO, the coaches were hoping not to play him but they had to due to Swoopes getting injured.

 

Speaking of Swoopes, the young man stepped up big when needed. He was never the same after getting hurt on that one play (I think it was his knee) but he knew Heard was not 100% so he sucked it up. Yes, a bad leg can effect your throwing, ask any QB. Major kuddos to him, he should get the game ball for the offense. 

 

Ponna Ford had a huge game. Made several big plays, took down that 400lb Baylor player 1 on 1 and made the play that probably saved the game for Texas. He should get the game ball for the defense.

 

Speaking of defense, they held Baylor to their lowest point total and total yardage for a home game. Was it perfect? No but there were a lot of freshman and 2nd stringers on the field and at one point all 5 DBs were freshman. It was frustrating to watch Baylor march up and down the field in the 2nd half but they only got 17 pts out of it while chewing up a lot of clock.

 

Vaccaro did not step on that Baylor player on purpose. You watch the replay and it was a Texas coach who bumped into him that cause him to lose his balance. I can see the refs throwing the flag but Baylor should have received one too for their bench being clear across the field.

 

Back to offense, we did play a little conservative in the 2nd half but how much of that was due to both our QBs being banged up and the staff not wanting to be in the position Baylor was in.

 

I liked the decision to go for it on 4th down but wasn't crazy about the call. That little play action pass would have been nice.

 

I think Jay did a pretty good job overall but he's a better WR coach. I really hope we get an OC that can take the talent we have on that side of the ball and kick some butt.

 

In what must be one of the biggest mysteries of the year, what the heck did McNeal do to not play much this year?

 

This team/year was a strange one. Beats ou & Baylor, should have won against OSU, tough break against Cal and loses very badly against TCU and Iowa St (shut out which should have never happened!).

 

I like Strong and the toughness he brings but I too think he looks lost at times. Is he really lost or am I mistaken? Maybe he's deep in thought? I don't know since I don't know him. I do believe one more year like this and he wont be given another chance.

 

 

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Cheese, excellent job, maybe your best of the season....

 

I too am happy we won and only want the best for CFS going forward. I have thought he should get one more season, no matter how this game turned out.

 

One of my main concerns is that over the last 2 seasons, in at least 80-90 pct of the games, when the other team adjusts we have no answer (that is O or D). The wildcat yesterday was simply another dangerous example of just that....I think that Briles bailed us out a couple of times when he brought Hawthorne back in near the redzone....after they were making 8-12 yards per play down to the RZ....Once they had to settle for a field goal...

 

It makes me worry what will  happen when we have talent and maturity...does that still raise its head in big games?

 

On O, still the patterns and style of our O play calls do not fit Heard's talent.  Slow developing routes are not to his talent. And he will never contribute if we don't change that. 

 

Thanks again for the post

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nah, i think we leave him in the cheap seats.  if he gets better seats, it may degrade his post; his post from the cheap seats is excellent, imo.   :)

 

one thing i'd like to add about the post.

 

"Our QBs are no better today than they were at the start of the year. "

 

our qbs are no better today than they were at the start of 2014-2015, when charlie first got here; which is an even worse statement than what you made.  however, charlie was at a disadvantage when he got here.  he didn't have a pick at qb his first year.  heard was onboard when mac was at the helm.  so this is a no-brainer.  you have to take him.  i stated at the beginning of that year, dump ash and concentrate on swoopes in the off season.  he didn't and was forced to do that when ash went down the first game.

 

his second year or 1st year of full recruit cycle, we didn't get a juco qb for whatever reason and stayed with what we had and we are now at a point where we can evaluate that decision.  arguments from every angle, is it the OC, the play calling, the qbs ensued.  when things go bad, everyone's got a theory.

 

his second full recruit cycle, he's got a new qb coming in.  his guy based on the offensive scheme that got him onboard.  with the offensive staff in flux, will he stick?  does he flip?  will his skillset be inline with the new offensive scheme, if one is introduced?

 

lots of questions which time will answer.

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Texas will always be limited as long as the QB situation remains the same.  Heard and Swoopes are effective running the ball and do it in different ways.  The problem is that UT isn't running the wishbone and in this conference, you must be a capable passer, which neither are and won't become in the future.  CS is a good dude and is doing a good job of replinishing the talent on this team; however, if Locksley, Buechele or brining in a JUCO QB doesn't reveal a Big XII QB, CS more than likely will not get the opportunity to see this thing through.

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Texas will always be limited as long as the QB situation remains the same.  Heard and Swoopes are effective running the ball and do it in different ways.  The problem is that UT isn't running the wishbone and in this conference, you must be a capable passer, which neither are and won't become in the future.  CS is a good dude and is doing a good job of replinishing the talent on this team; however, if Locksley, Buechele or brining in a JUCO QB doesn't reveal a Big XII QB, CS more than likely will not get the opportunity to see this thing through.

 

In the 2 years Heard has been at Texas he has not had a real QB coach or offensive coordinator like he will have with Cumbie. The difference between Norvell/Watson and Cumbie will be like night and day so I think it will be interesting to see if Cumbie can develop Heard. You don't do what he did against California and not have the potential and/or talent to develop into a solid QB. 

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In the 2 years Heard has been at Texas he has not had a real QB coach or offensive coordinator like he will have with Cumbie. The difference between Norvell/Watson and Cumbie will be like night and day so I think it will be interesting to see if Cumbie can develop Heard. You don't do what he did against California and not have the potential and/or talent to develop into a solid QB.

 

 

 

Agree. People seem to forget that game he had vs Cal and the fact he is a red-shirt freshman.

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The worst mistake you can make is focusing in on one game that a QB has and spend the rest of your time as a coaching staff trying to replicate that production.  Ask OU how that went with Trevor Knight after the Alabama game.  Heard had simply not put much on film prior to Rice and Cal and took advantage of that.  Once running lanes were closed down, his effectiveness waned as he continued to under throw deep routes.  Heard isn't the answer if you are in the business of winning consistently, with or without Cumbie. 

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The worst mistake you can make is focusing in on one game that a QB has and spend the rest of your time as a coaching staff trying to replicate that production.  Ask OU how that went with Trevor Knight after the Alabama game.  Heard had simply not put much on film prior to Rice and Cal and took advantage of that.  Once running lanes were closed down, his effectiveness waned as he continued to under throw deep routes.  Heard isn't the answer if you are in the business of winning consistently, with or without Cumbie. 

 

This is why I believe that coaching could make a difference. Okay, so other teams saw what Heard could do and game planned accordingly. I see people say that and I think, okay then why in the hell don't our coaches make adjustments to what they saw the other team doing. It makes me think that other teams were simply out-coaching our offensive coaches. Combine that with little development of our QB's and the QB's look pretty lost out there. 

 

I just really believe that the right QB coach and the right OC could make a huge difference in our QB play. Whether that be Heard or someone else. 

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This is why I believe that coaching could make a difference. Okay, so other teams saw what Heard could do and game planned accordingly. I see people say that and I think, okay then why in the hell don't our coaches make adjustments to what they saw the other team doing. It makes me think that other teams were simply out-coaching our offensive coaches. Combine that with little development of our QB's and the QB's look pretty lost out there. 

 

I just really believe that the right QB coach and the right OC could make a huge difference in our QB play. Whether that be Heard or someone else. 

 

They probably were out-coached as it pertains to QBs

 

Watson had to update his resume and start networking for his next job after his demotion. I'm sure he was putting in the hours, but was his heart in it? Was he emotionally invested? My guess is no.

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