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5 Thoughts Following Texas/USC


Daniel Seahorn
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Another instant classic out in Cali between the Longhorns and Trojans. Even though Texas didn't come out on top in this one, it's hard not to feel encouraged considering everyone (myself included) had Texas pegged to get run out of The Coliseum. Hat tip to the Trojans for making one more play. Here are the things on my mind following the barn burner in LA. 

1. The Defense 

Yes they gave up some points and yes they made mistakes, but how are you not encouraged by what Todd Orlando's bunch was able to do tonight? They played with their hair on fire from the first whistle to the final snap and despite the offense being in a holding pattern for most of the game they kept making plays. They had USC run game absolutely snuffed out to the point they abandoned it for a good portion of the ball game. Holding Ronald Jones to less than 50 yards is impressive.  They couldn't make one more play to end it, but this is a great game to build off of heading into conference play. 

2. The Run Game 

It was none existent and I am absolutey baffled by the lack of touches Warren got tonight. Your freshman quarterback shouldn't lead your team in rushes and things might have played out differently if he gets the ball on the goal line instead of Ehlinger. Despite managing to manufacture offense down the home stretch, it's baffling to see lack of commitment to the run game considering it could take a lot of pressure off your quarterback. I don't know what the plan is here, but the staff better figure it out over the bye week because putting the entire offense on Ehlinger isn't wise. Speaking of Ehlinger, he was far from great for most of the night, but down the home stretch he made some very clutch plays and put his team in the position to win. He was far from perfect, but he showed some things to the entire country tonight. 

3. Losing Connor Williams 

Brutal. Absolutely brutal. Williams is the best player on the team and isn't replaceable. Texas fans need to hope it was just a sprain, but the fact he was ruled out immediately gives a very unsettling feeling. I hate it for the kid because he is well on his way to cashing NFL checks and the timing couldn't be anymore unfortunate. Texas slid Nickelson over to the left side with Williams out and the drop off couldn't be any steeper. Texas will be in a pinch going forward if they lose Williams for extended time. 

4. Collin Johnson is a grown man 

On a field full of play makers at the skill positions, Johnson may have been the best. No, check that. He WAS the best. 7 catches for 191 yards and some of those were HUGE to keep Texas alive down the stretch. USC did all they could with various coverages to take him away and he still kept finding ways to make plays. This kid is a stud and I don't envy defensive coordinators trying to figure out ways to slow him down. 

5. The Little Things 

This is where I have to be Debbie Downer because the the little things absolutely killed Texas at several points during the game. Fielding punts inside the 5 that are likely touchbacks, the touchdown before half, coverage busts (looking at you Kris Boyd), penalties (PJ Locke's on the fake punt was huge), and most of all turnovers. You can't give good football teams extra chances to beat you and Texas did that a lot tonight. Given how much they managed to shoot themselves in the foot, I was pleasantly surprised that USC didn't manage to pull away, but again credit to Todd Orlando and the defense for bowing their necks time and time again. If Texas can clean up even half of the things that plagued them tonight in LA they will have a chance to be in every ball game they got left on the schedule. It was incredibly frustrating to see the mistakes pile up in real time, but a lot of the stuff is fixable. Time to go back work. 

 

Thoughts? 

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Agreed, all points. The university of Texas earned lot of respect on prime time tv this evening. Do I think they can win the big 12? Who knows but I damn sure think that will probably be the best team we play this year. And we had em sweatin. Only wish beck would have called better. Warren should get 20 touches a game and that's not rocket science. And shackleford needs a big talking to all week. He cost us critical yards all by himself. Wasn't on Sam. Can't get myself to

worked up though because by GOD that was UT football 

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Warren got lots of snaps last night but only 4 carries??? I dont get it. I do understand having Porter back there though. The kid can flat out block. He completely folded a few guys breaking through. Sadly that was necessary because #75 completely whiffed sometimes and his man came in the backfield untouched. Why would the strongest man on the field choose to dive at the knees of his guy allowing himself to be vaulted and Sam crushed? Dammit man engage him!!!

We missed Shanes accuracy last night, but sure got good use from Sam's bull runs. I have no fault with whoever the coaches use going forward.Colli and Armenti made unbelievable catches......Poona and Malik! Poona and Malik! I had hope they were that good, but prior to last night I had no proof.

I wont make an issue of it but twice our WR were either held or flat out mugged but no flags thrown.Also, I know that guy quickly released Sam's facemask, but I dont think Sams head gets snapped around like that just because someone wipes their hand past it.Twice our guys got hit in the facemask by the crown of a helmet. Even still, I thought the refs were very good in this game.

In closing....WTH?...I want to know why Warren is used on goal line plays only as a receiver?

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54 minutes ago, oldhorn2 said:

Warren got lots of snaps last night but only 4 carries??? I dont get it. I do understand having Porter back there though. The kid can flat out block. He completely folded a few guys breaking through. Sadly that was necessary because #75 completely whiffed sometimes and his man came in the backfield untouched. Why would the strongest man on the field choose to dive at the knees of his guy allowing himself to be vaulted and Sam crushed? Dammit man engage him!!!

We missed Shanes accuracy last night, but sure got good use from Sam's bull runs. I have no fault with whoever the coaches use going forward.Colli and Armenti made unbelievable catches......Poona and Malik! Poona and Malik! I had hope they were that good, but prior to last night I had no proof.

I wont make an issue of it but twice our WR were either held or flat out mugged but no flags thrown.Also, I know that guy quickly released Sam's facemask, but I dont think Sams head gets snapped around like that just because someone wipes their hand past it.Twice our guys got hit in the facemask by the crown of a helmet. Even still, I thought the refs were very good in this game.

In closing....WTH?...I want to know why Warren is used on goal line plays only as a receiver?

Report is that he has a laceration of the eye. Don't know if that affected his vision to the point he couldn't carry the ball. 

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Very impressed with how the Defense played tonight. They deserve a game ball along with the defensive Coaches just outstanding effort to everyone of you! The offense and offensive line struggled and this is an area that will have to be addressed with better recruiting I think .  I hate the Connor Williams from my understanding this morning is out for the season, but unfortunately the game of football basically dictates next man up and you just try to adjust .  For Connor , outstanding player , team leader, and forever Burnt Orange ...we thank you!  Regarding Warren,  there is more going on from what the Coaches are either seeing or their perspective of Warren as a player than what we actually know is the only thing I can come up with as to why he gets so few carries.  I think the reason he played so many snaps was they needed a big body back to help with pass protection as Porter was just getting tossed to the side or completely run over when he tried.  Finally I was one who thought this would be a blow out game, but thanks to the Defense the UT nations can show a lot of pride this morning, and once we get an offensive line that can dominate is when you will see the wins start piling up for Texas.

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I have no idea what clicked for the defense last night, but guys were playing with their hair on fire and the light bulb may finally be coming on for 46. Anxious to see Ryan's film review on him and Wheeler. They benefited from the defensive front kicking ass, but they looked like actual linebackers and made  a lot of plays. 

I'm trying to hold out hope for Kris Boyd to turn the corner, but man it has become a weekly occurrence of seeing him bust coverages and have balls thrown over his head. 

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The feeling of being so close in a game everyone thought we had no chance is great but the feeling of letting it slip away stings even this morning. The D did play amazing but I sure didn't think they'd March down the field with 50 sec in regulation. That stings. And bet Herman is wishing he took the FG in first half. If so that's ball game. Warren hurt would explain things a little on the run side of things. Just sucks playing the perfect game and comin up short. That will be the best team we play all year in my opinion.  We could clean house in the big 12 if we keep progressing like we are. I firmly believe it. And I want a Malik jersey :D

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17 minutes ago, dillohorn said:

The D meltdowns at the end of each half cost UT the game. No excuse for sc td ( no time ) or the fg ( with 33 seconds ). Stop just one of the two and there is no overtime. I take this loss harder than the UT/Georgia Cotton Bowl loss.

Didn't the Georgia loss cost us a NC most likely?  That stings more to me even though I have only seen replays!  Yes, last night stings.  Ridiculous end to the first half should have never happened.

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2 hours ago, Embrey said:

There is no QB controversy.  If people don't know who the starter is after last night they are never going to know.

You are right QB play last nite sure does not warrent a controversy. Was a inmature freshman who contributed to the loss along with play calling.

IMO OU is a better team than USC with a better QB and Okie lite is not far behind. Defense was outstanding except when USC went uptempo

 and as usuall IMO Pac is over rated look at UCLA and Ariz.

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10 hours ago, DMAC said:

That was the best defense we have seen in years.  It's like I'm watching a different MJ.  I honestly thought we might lose big tonight.  I don't think I have ever been this optimistic after a loss but I'm proud of our kids tonight

Totally agree an all points.

Malik played the best game of his career IMO, scouts must have been salivating.

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2 hours ago, dillohorn said:

I take this loss harder than the UT/Georgia Cotton Bowl loss.

Man!....that is just wrong. We played Georgia off the field in that game and had a 7-3 lead with just minutes to play as I remember it. Georgia was 3 and out damned near every series. Once again with the clock winding down we forced another punt ...AND ALL WE HAD TO DO WAS LET THE DAMNED THING BOUNCE AROUND AND WE TAKE A KNEE AND WIN. But no.....our guy tried to run up and field the ball at the last second and muffed it. Georgia only had to go 10 yds against a suddenly deflated defense...game and Natty over. I will never get over that game.

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What is strange is with 10 seconds left in the first half Herman called a timeout and decided not to play prevent defense, but then with 5 seconds left did.  Also played prevent defense with 45 left in the 4th.  I know that they like the idea of McCulloch and Hager rushing, but I thought it was too obvious that they would try to get the edge, and all Darnold had to do was step up and deliver.  I wish they would have rushed 4 with the 2 inside guys staying in front of Darnold.

As far as Warren goes, I know everyone says he should have got the ball more, but that is a lazy complaint.  Go back to the game and the actual individual situations...down and distance, defensive alignment, capabilities of the OL, and see if a Warren run would have been a "better" play.  Maybe it was a bunch of times, maybe it wasn't, I haven't watched it on replay yet.  But it sure seemed like as I was watching it live that SC was selling out to stop the run and/or get pressure on the QB.  Running Warren may not have helped.  People would have been pissed with 1st down run for 2 yards, 2nd down run for 2 yards, 3rd and 6 every time.  Maybe the only solution is a better OL and a more experienced QB that can make a defense pay.

I hate to pick on individual players, but unless the coaches somehow told him to do it, I don't see how you put Hemphill back for punts again until he earns your trust.

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I'm encouraged by how our defense played. If USC is as good as everyone says they are then we have a championship defense. We just need a good offense and we're back in business. With that said, let's see what happens at Ames. The D needs to keep this high level of play and the O should have a slightly easier time. This team has potential, but then so have other Texas teams. 

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2 hours ago, Eastexhorn said:

You are right QB play last nite sure does not warrent a controversy. Was a inmature freshman who contributed to the loss along with play calling.

IMO OU is a better team than USC with a better QB and Okie lite is not far behind. Defense was outstanding except when USC went uptempo

 and as usuall IMO Pac is over rated look at UCLA and Ariz.

Completely disagree to all of this, but that's okay. That's why it's a discussion board B)

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Nice writeup Daniel.  I have a question about #3, how ready is JP U. and or Garrett Thomas for backup T if Connor is down for a while?  Alex Anderson has some experience, but cant remember how he did at times. Okafor and Nickelson will get the start, but they need capable backups.  Obviously the true freshman are not ready, but they need some bodies for backup.  Sure are missing Jean Delance about now for depth across the line.  Also, any update on Cunney?

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1 hour ago, oldhorn2 said:

Man!....that is just wrong. We played Georgia off the field in that game and had a 7-3 lead with just minutes to play as I remember it. Georgia was 3 and out damned near every series. Once again with the clock winding down we forced another punt ...AND ALL WE HAD TO DO WAS LET THE DAMNED THING BOUNCE AROUND AND WE TAKE A KNEE AND WIN. But no.....our guy tried to run up and field the ball at the last second and muffed it. Georgia only had to go 10 yds against a suddenly deflated defense...game and Natty over. I will never get over that game.

I remember it like it was yesterday.

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