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View from the Cheap Seats-Iowa State


echeese
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View from the Cheap Seats-Iowa State
SLUMP BUSTER​


Nothing like teeing up a 1-5 slump busting Iowa State on the schedule to break up a 3 game losing streak, short of Kansas, the Cyclones are the best slump buster in the conference. Well except there is this pesky problem, coming into the game, TEXAS had not scored on ISU in 4 quarters and sadly would keep that streak alive for 2 more quarters, less 1 minute 31 seconds when the Horns finally managed a late FG to break the shutout streak. The most notable accomplishment of the night, we did see CFS win a game in which he trailed at halftime at TEXAS for the 1st time in his short history here. Potentially this is very important as CFS’ record at TEXAS moved to 14-17 overall, 3-3 on the season and he works to avoid the dubious distinction of the ONLY coach in TEXAS history to record 3 losing seasons in a row. To avoid that, CFS and TEXAS need to finish 3-3 and then win the bowl game. However he needs to go 5-2 for a .500 record overall in 3 years. But a topic for more discussion at a later date. For today, let’s focus the game at hand. And make no mistake, after 3 weeks of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, even a slump buster victory is good.


The real story of the game was a defense that rose up and played like demons possessed. Easily the best defensive performance since the red river war last season. Did we see a glimpse of the future, featuring some young stars or an inspired “save the coaches job†vs an outmatched opponent. Make no mistake, while ISU is a 1-5 team coming into the game, their offense is legit and they had played everyone tough this season. In the 1st half, the offense stuttered and stumbled and bumbled along, managing only a late FG to prevent going 6 straight quarters of scoreless ball vs ISU while the D kept the game in check. ISU’s best drive was it’s 2nd of the game, a 12 play 58 yard drive which had many fans thinking. . .OH LORDY . ..here we go again. But facing 3rd down in the red zone, true freshman Jeff McCullough would make the play that set the tone for the rest of the night as he recorded his 1st sack as a Longhorn, forcing ISU to settle for a FG.

Though it would really be ISU’s next drive where the D showed it wasn’t going to be “business as usualâ€. D’Onte gave up a short field fumble. After allowing one 1st down, the D bowed up and forced a late 1st quarter FG before shutting the Cyclones out for the next 3 quarters with more pressure from the front 4 than we have seen all season.

Defensive Player of the Game: D Line . .. which recorded 6 of TEXAS’ 8 sacks.

Hon Mention: Mr McCullough


Seems every week, the Cheap Seats is making the same observation:
 

D’Onte Foreman is a FREAKING BEAST.​

He is leading all of CFB by recording 7 100 yard+ games in a row (games in which he participated) and last night was his most workmanlike effort. 30 carries, 4.5 ypc 136 yards. He simply wore out the ISU D through 3 quarters + 1 series. This was D’s largest number of carries in a game at TEXAS, though also his lowest ypc of the season. Was glad to see him pulled and Kyle Porter get the balance of our 4th quarter carries after our first series in the 4th. Foreman goes down, this offense is going to struggle. Hard to believe we do not have enough RBs after coming into the season with RB our deepest and most talented offensive position. Foreman keeps the D honest and makes play action work. D’Onte has gained 740 yards in 5 games so while he is well on pace to be our first 1000 yard rusher since Jamaal Charles, he has already missed one game so the cheap seats hopes we don’t break him before the last game.

Offense started very slow. . .stop me if you have heard that before. Horns 6 drives in the first half went Punt, Fumble, Punt Punt Punt FG. In the “silver lining†category, the Horns would come out on fire from Halftime for the 1st time since the Notre Dame game, enjoying it’s best 3rd quarter in the CFS era by logging 3 TDs on 3 drives before a 12 play 4th quarter drive ended with an INT.

Shane Buchelle would come up 4 yards short of his 1st 300 yard night on a evening where he looked both like a seasoned vet and the true freshman he is. While we understand the concept of the “hurry up†offense, not sure it doesn’t at times seriously impact execution. And for all the great “schemes†and “play calling†and “X’s and O’s†out there, football is about execution. Sometimes it seems Shane doesn’t get his feet set before throwing the ball and seems to be rushing his throws out of the “tempo†offense. 

A 26 for 38 night with 2 TDs and 1 INT has Shane at a very respectable #40 in the nation in passer rating.

TEXAS 2nd TD drive was a bit of a “coming out†party for Devin Duvernay and potentially the most dynamic player we stole from Baylor. He would account for 85 of his 96 yards on the night on that drive including a 75 yard skinny out and up route that left the Cyclone DB grasping air. And great concentration on the catch before turning on the jets.

Shane would make sure everyone got into the mix, 10 different pass catchers nabbed grabs including 2 to our RBs so very nice job spreading the ball around. And we saw Shane/Sterlin run 2 post routes opening up what we thought was the “toxic wasteland†of the middle of the field. Both worked. ..hopefully we see more in the future.

Wrapping up what was generally a good 2nd half for the offense (defense played well for 4 quarters, allowing the O to get on track) are a couple observations. Not sure we understand the 18 Wheeler package anymore other than to keep Swoopes involved. Would really like to see LiL Humprey get some carries at RB in the event we need him since he appears to be our #3 right now. Shane’s QB carries really confounded the ISU D and with one exception, he got down before getting hit. One odd note, commentators said that despite his shortstop background, Shane isn’t comfortable with the mechanics of sliding. LEARN. . .we can’t afford to lose you. Despite 2 backups either starting or getting significant time, the OL played well though let’s face it, this group is still a year away and the future for this group is very good.
 

800# LBs elephant. . . .​


What did this performance do pro or con to whether CFS returns? Most likely this game meant ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, though the reason this is called the Cheap Seats is because we are the “least†insider of anyone offering observations. It was important in reaching a bowl game which is critical to CFS having his 1st winning season at TEXAS. BTW, @UTDave is EF Hutton. Ignore his comments at your own peril and he truly has no agenda to share other than being a passionate Horn and good man. We seriously outtalented ISU and winning such games shouldn’t be a question. Can the defense replicate this performance? Can the offense end a bad trend of very slow 1st half starts? Can we keep D’Onte Foreman and Shane healthy? Lose either, kiss what little is left of this season goodbye.
 

On Deck​

A trip to Manhatten and a KSU team that is always well coached. Keep in mind that CFS/TEXAS is 1-7 in the last 8 road games (Baylor last year is the sole win) and overall, CFS is 4-7 on the road as the TEXAS head man. Now if the D can replicate Sat’s performance, KSU is very beatable. Another slow start with the O and defense reverts to mean. . .could be a long road trip. CFS needs to focus on each week, continue to get the young D playing hard and try to keep D’Onte from carrying the entire load. Riding the euphoria of our slump busting night, the Cheap Seats projects a win at KSU, then over TT and Kansas to earn a bowl bid. Remember, we just need 3.

Ranking the BigXII


The pecking order of the BigXII is becoming clearer though none of these teams are “locked in concreteâ€. Time of the year to add what teams need to get to a bowl. BigXII’s last hopes for playoff inclusion are Baylor and WVU.

#1 OU despite their losses, not unlike last year, they seem to be finding real balance in the 2nd half of the year. We wonder about their ability to win shoot outs with some of the high powered offenses on their schedule. Needs to win 2 (4-2)

#2 WVU A surprise jump in the standings but they have looked better against a better schedule than the team they leap frogged this week. . . .5-0, needs to win 1

#3 Baylor Best win on the schedule is beating OSU, ISU gave them all they wanted then typical Art Briles schedule padding patsies. Beat good teams and you can move up. Qualified 6-0

This is the start of the clear 2nd tier of conference teams. Largely you could make the case for most any order.

#4 OSU, largely on the strength of their wins over Pitt and TEXAS. Needs 2 (4-2)

#5 TEXAS, largely on the strength/hope that a young team is figuring it out. Needs 3 (3-3)

#6 TCU Eeking past KU does not impress the Cheap Seats. Needs 2 (4-2)

#7 KSU Beat TT but played 3 teams with a pulse close in defeat. The key, they lost Needs 3 (3-3)

#8 TT WVU kicked the crap out of them at home. Needs 3 (3-3)

#9 ISU 1-6, nuff said

#10 Kansas Thought their new helmets were cool



As always, the Cheap Seats welcomes any comments on our observations.

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Thanks for the insight Cheese; solid as usual.

 

RE: 18-wheeler-a couple of thoughts.

1. Choose the correct Red Zone for this package. We are 3rd & 3 from the ISU 4, and we don't insert the 18-wheeler. Instead we throw an out to A. Foreman that sails high and settle for a FG. PERFECT spot for the 18. Conversely, we have the ball deep in our own territory and we put in the 18 for some unknown reason. NEWSFLASH-18 wheeler is for the actual Red Zone, not with our backs against the wall.

2. Swoopes made a play action pass in the ND game out of the 18 package. While the pass was too high for the WR over the middle and fell incomplete, it did provide the adjustment by he ND Defense for the next few series, which was it kept their LBs honest and opened up some running lanes.

 

If I had two minutes with Gilbert over a beer, this is what I would tell him. Sounds simple enough to me, but then again I'm merely a guy with a TV, a cold beer and a BBQ pit. So what do I know? ;)

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Thanks for the insight Cheese; solid as usual.

 

RE: 18-wheeler-a couple of thoughts.

1. Choose the correct Red Zone for this package. We are 3rd & 3 from the ISU 4, and we don't insert the 18-wheeler. Instead we throw an out to A. Foreman that sails high and settle for a FG. PERFECT spot for the 18. Conversely, we have the ball deep in our own territory and we put in the 18 for some unknown reason. NEWSFLASH-18 wheeler is for the actual Red Zone, not with our backs against the wall.

2. Swoopes made a play action pass in the ND game out of the 18 package. While the pass was too high for the WR over the middle and fell incomplete, it did provide the adjustment by he ND Defense for the next few series, which was it kept their LBs honest and opened up some running lanes.

 

If I had two minutes with Gilbert over a beer, this is what I would tell him. Sounds simple enough to me, but then again I'm merely a guy with a TV, a cold beer and a BBQ pit. So what do I know? ;)

Regarding the 18 wheeler package, I noticed they ran Swoopes in and kept Buechele on the field at least once. About that, when you substitute Swoopes you have to allow the defense to make their substitution so the 'element of surprise' I assume Gilbert was trying for defeated itself. Further, odds are that Swoopes is not going to throw so you just went from having 10 blockers to 9 when Buechele is on the field. Using the same reasoning, you lost a receiver on the off chance that it is a throw. It simply makes no sense. Too cute.

 

Overall, I do think the hire of Gilbert and the implementation of his offense has been a positive. Texas can roll in this conference with his offense. The run, hitch and bomb offense was tweaked at halftime to the run, hook and bomb and it was effective. ISU was ready for the hitch. They played it like it should be played, like a run. We even saw a slant. I am being a bit over critical here but I would like Gilbert's eyes in the sky (assistants in the press box) to identify this weakness a bit more quickly. Otherwise, I am quite pleased with the offense and you are correct echeese, Foreman is a BEAST.

 

Let us hope that the selection of the next defensive coordinator reaps similar rewards. It was a fine and necessary victory for the Longhorns.

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There are only 2 teams on our schedule worse than Iowa State.

 

Kansas State is a very, very ordinary team. They do not have the offensive fire power to stress our defense nor do they have the defense to stop Texas for an entire game.

I agree. If Texas tackles they win. If they don't they might still out score KSU.

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I'm glad for the defensive performance and then I was thinking it was Iowa State. However I am impressed when I found out that Iowa State had scored 42 points against Baylor and 38 points against Oklahoma State the previous two weeks.

 

I doubt that if Bedford was still the DC we would have held Iowa State to 6 points.

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