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Daniel Seahorn

5 Thoughts Following The Win Over Tech

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Well that escalated quickly. Texas was in control of things for most of the night in Lubbock and the things got wild and crazy as things normally do on the plains as the Red Raiders came storming back late in the 4th quarter. If you are tuning into Longhorn football games these days, then you better make sure to pop a double dose of your heart medication, because nothing is coming easy for this team as the season heads down the home stretch.

Tonight’s game had a similar ending to the game that took place ten years ago when, Michael Crabtree and Graham Harrell delivered a gut shot to Texas national title aspirations, but this chapter ended in favor of the Longhorns. It got hairy down the home stretch, but the Longhorns found a way win rather than finding a way to lose. Behind Sam Ehlinger and Lil’Jordan Humphrey, Texas scrambled late to notch their 7th win and remain in contention for the Big 12 title.

Now that the pleasantries have been exchanged, how about we get to the meat and potatoes of this piece and discuss some of the bigger storylines coming out of this matchup.

  •    The Struggles Continue Defensively

The back half of this schedule has not been kind to Todd Orlando’s defense and the issues that have plagued them the past couple weeks showed up tonight in Lubbock. Texas Tech was down to its backup quarterback in Jett Duffey, who coming into this game had struggled as a passer. Duffey proceeded to shred the Texas defense to the tune of 524 total yards, including 444 through the air with four passing touchdowns. If it isn’t for three turnovers by Duffey those numbers would be even higher and Texas probably isn’t as fortunate tonight in Lubbock.

What makes the numbers even worse is that Texas unraveled defensively late in the fourth quarter. Texas held Tech to 10 points in the first three quarters and then allowed a 24 point explosion that almost pushed the game into overtime if it wasn’t for the Ehlinger and Humphrey being the monsters that they have developed into this year.

Todd Orlando has some serious soul searching to do and some things to get sorted out as the Longhorns prepare to host Iowa State.

  •     LJ Humphrey Turns In A Monster Performance

Texas has one of the top receiver duos in the country in Humphrey and Colin Johnson, but the Longhorns were forced to head into this matchup without Johnson due to an injury suffered during the week. This was something that worried me going into the matchup because it would allow Tech to scheme up the Texas offense and take away Humphrey. Well it worried be until number 84 reminded me he was part transformer and went full Optimus Prime on the Red Raiders tonight.

It didn’t matter the coverage or who was covering Humphrey tonight. He came up with several big catches including the reverse Crabtree that ended up being the game winner and a dagger to the heart of Red Raider fans hoping for another upset of their rival from Austin. Humphrey turned in an 8 catch, 159 yard performance and found the end zone twice in Lubbock and continued to make an excellent case that he may be ready to get paid to catch touchdowns on Sunday. The kid is an absolute stud and Longhorn fans may only have a few more weeks to enjoy him.

On another wide receiver note, it should be mentioned that Devin Duvernay came up big with two touchdown catches of his own. He was the number two option tonight with Johnson out and he more than did his part within the offense.

  • Sam Ehlinger: Budding Superstar

How much fun has it been to watch number 11 in burnt orange and white this year? You will be hard pressed to find another player on the roster that has come further in their development as Ehlinger has this fall. I was as critical of Ehlinger as anyone last year when it came to his tendencies to turn the ball over in critical spots, but he has taken care of the football as well as any quarterback in the country this year and hasn’t committed a turnover since the season opener against Maryland. Tonight Ehlinger broke the Big 12 record for pass attempts without an interception (273) that was held previously by former West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith and its makes even more impressive considering Ehlinger is pushing the ball down the field consistently and not dinking and dunking.

Ehlinger posted 312 yards through the air and recorded four passing touchdowns, as he continues to make remarkable strides a player in year two in Austin. Ehlinger is playing at an All-Big 12 level and that’s saying something when you got guys like Kyler Murray and Will Grier playing in the same conference. Ehlinger continues to come up big when the game is on the line and he and Humphrey hooked up for a cold blooded touchdown connection that turned the lights out in Lubbock.

Ehlinger is likely a four year player and that should make every Texas fan ecstatic.

  •     Winning The Turnover Battle

As mentioned early, the Longhorns forced three turnovers of Jett Duffey this evening and you could even say they forced four when you count the 4th down stuff on the quarterback sneak that set the Longhorns up with favorable field position. The two fumbles and interception of Duffey all occurred in the red zone and ended up being back breakers for the Red Raiders, as Duffey simply was careless with the football in each instance.

On the other side of the ledger, Texas didn’t commit a single turnover and didn’t give Tech any extra opportunities to beat them. At least in that manner anyway. That’s meaningful given what this game came down to and it’s those kinds of things that can make a difference in a ball game.

  •     Survive and Advance

It wasn’t the prettiest win of the evening, but with the Big 12 title race shaping up the way it is you will take them however you can get them. Texas isn’t a playoff team this year, but they are still in the hunt for the conference crown and they could end up in the dance if they take care of business the next two weeks and get a little bit of help. Oklahoma flirted with their second loss today in their annual Bedlam matchup with Oklahoma State and still has to travel to Morgantown to take on West Virginia to end the regular season. Meanwhile, the Mountaineers have to take on the Cowboys in Stillwater before hosting the Sooners. All hope is not lost just yet, Longhorn fans.

Things have been complicated with the two conference loses in the previous two weeks, but if the Longhorns handle their business and a few bounces go their way, then we could be seeing a matchup for a chance at redemption for a conference title.

Keep the faith and for now… #BeatISU.

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Good write up.  If not for those 3 turnovers, we easily could have given up 50+.  It was a win, but I’m starting to think this is about as bad a defense as I’ve seen at Texas, and I’ve lived through some really bad ones since 1977 when I went to my first Texas game.  

Offense is simply mind boggling good.  Mind boggling since I might have made the same critical statement as the one above about the offense last year.   At Texas we are prone to love our DCs and rag our OCs but Tim Beck should be applauded!  Even if only for his coaching up of Ehlinger.  

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  Just joined the board here. 

   It seems that the number of injuries should be mentioned in considering the woes our defense was having in the 4th quarter. Devin Duvernay was playing the nickel for cryin’ our loud.

  This team has some issues. We aren’t world beaters but we have chemistry and we haven’t been embarrassed by anyone, except perhaps ourselves, since Herman has taken the rains. The pieces are falling into place. We are learning how to finish but the depth, particularly on defense, is not there yet.

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10 minutes ago, Sundancekid said:

  Just joined the board here. 

   It seems that the number of injuries should be mentioned in considering the woes our defense was having in the 4th quarter. Devin Duvernay was playing the nickel for cryin’ our loud.

  This team has some issues. We aren’t world beaters but we have chemistry and we haven’t been embarrassed by anyone, except perhaps ourselves, since Herman has taken the rains. The pieces are falling into place. We are learning how to finish but the depth, particularly on defense, is not there yet.

Nice first post sir.

 

Rudy_Hard-Clap128-small.gif

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49 minutes ago, Sundancekid said:

  Just joined the board here. 

   It seems that the number of injuries should be mentioned in considering the woes our defense was having in the 4th quarter. Devin Duvernay was playing the nickel for cryin’ our loud.

  This team has some issues. We aren’t world beaters but we have chemistry and we haven’t been embarrassed by anyone, except perhaps ourselves, since Herman has taken the rains. The pieces are falling into place. We are learning how to finish but the depth, particularly on defense, is not there yet.

Well, it was actually Devin's brother, Donovan. But you are exactly right on with this post. Multiple starters on defense were not on the field for most of the 4th quarter. 

And welcome to the board. When is Butch joining?

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3 hours ago, TB14 said:

I think you could say Texas was down 5 of their top 7 db to start the year:

Brandon Jones

Caden Sterns

Davonte Davis

Josh Thompson

John Bonney

Obviously, not having 3 of 5 starters in the backend during Tech's rally was a major contributor to the defensive breakdowns.  Getting lined up, being in the right space to force the QB to look elsewhere.  As was mentioned earlier, when I saw #27 (Donovon Duverney) out there I thought to myself "well that cant be good".  However, 2 of the long throws (including 1 TD) were on Boyd.  He was again in good position, but his ball skills are horrible.  He might need contacts because he cant see the ball.  Reminds me of Major League when the skip asks Vaughn to look at the picture of Nolan Ryan.

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I have a theory about our defense… I have a half baked theory from someone (me) who’s information comes from what he reads and watches on TV.  My theory is that Orlando’s defense is extremely complicated. Hard to teach, hard to learn. The results, this year, remind me of what Manny Diaz ran out for his year plus a few games.  

 
At best Orlando‘s defense is extremely difficult on otherwise good quarterbacks. They are confused… Blitzes come from all angles… You never know who’s going to drop in to coverage and who’s going to come after you.  It is the kryptonote for great offenses and quarterbacks.
 
At worst you have people doing a lot more thinking than flying to the ball. You have coverages completely busted because people are confused. You have running backs running 7, 8, 9 yards downfield before they are even engaged.
 
Greg Robinson replaced Manny Diaz and corrected the defense in two weeks mid-season. His antidote was:  simplifying, line up and fly to the ball.
 
This isn’t a bash Todd Orlando post. When clicking, his defense is awesome (see last year).  Most defenses would struggle a bit with so many players injured. But not this much… This years defense is a product of inexperienced players coming in and being confused… Not knowing what to do when the ball is snapped.
 
That’s my theory. Perhaps I will be corrected or admonish by coaches on the board. As I said… It is a half-baked theory based on what I see.   

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2 hours ago, texbound said:

Obviously, not having 3 of 5 starters in the backend during Tech's rally was a major contributor to the defensive breakdowns.  Getting lined up, being in the right space to force the QB to look elsewhere.  As was mentioned earlier, when I saw #27 (Donovon Duverney) out there I thought to myself "well that cant be good".  However, 2 of the long throws (including 1 TD) were on Boyd.  He was again in good position, but his ball skills are horrible.  He might need contacts because he cant see the ball.  Reminds me of Major League when the skip asks Vaughn to look at the picture of Nolan Ryan.

The D has been in trouble since the kickoff of the Maryland loss. Injuries have made it worse.

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10 hours ago, 83Dee said:

Good write up.  If not for those 3 turnovers, we easily could have given up 50+.  It was a win, but I’m starting to think this is about as bad a defense as I’ve seen at Texas, and I’ve lived through some really bad ones since 1977 when I went to my first Texas game.  

Offense is simply mind boggling good.  Mind boggling since I might have made the same critical statement as the one above about the offense last year.   At Texas we are prone to love our DCs and rag our OCs but Tim Beck should be applauded!  Even if only for his coaching up of Ehlinger.  

While you're looking around for worst Texas defenses, make sure you remember the one that lost to Kansas. That wasn't so long ago.

We were 6-6 or something last year with a great defense.

We're 7-3 with the crappy defense this year.

I'm wondering whats so wrong with a crappy defense. lol

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Just as we have injuries so do Tech and many other teams and you just have to be ready with the next  man up in football as no one on the opposite side is going to care one bit about your injuries.  I did not expect Texas to escape with a win but hey I will take it and lets get ready for the next game.  Am I the only one who thinks both Humphrey and Johnson are 50 % of our offensive success or it just seems that way.  Next year or even bowl game if they decide to move on to the NFL I wonder how productive our offense will be without those two key players.  They keep the defense from loading the box for the run and with their size the passes do not have to be perfect. 

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6 minutes ago, mctmatt said:

Just as we have injuries so do Tech and many other teams and you just have to be ready with the next  man up in football as no one on the opposite side is going to care one bit about your injuries.  I did not expect Texas to escape with a win but hey I will take it and lets get ready for the next game.  Am I the only one who thinks both Humphrey and Johnson are 50 % of our offensive success or it just seems that way.  Next year or even bowl game if they decide to move on to the NFL I wonder how productive our offense will be without those two key players.  They keep the defense from loading the box for the run and with their size the passes do not have to be perfect. 

I think it just seems that way.

Ingram looks great running the ball. Ditto for Watson. Some of our passing success can be attributed to the need to respect our run game.

But this offense wins or loses on the back of Sam Ehlinger. He is the catalyst.

 

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1 hour ago, Sirhornsalot said:

While you're looking around for worst Texas defenses, make sure you remember the one that lost to Kansas. That wasn't so long ago.

We were 6-6 or something last year with a great defense.

We're 7-3 with the crappy defense this year.

I'm wondering whats so wrong with a crappy defense. lol

And the 3 loses are by an average of 3 pts (5, 3 & 1). 

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It's hard for me to wrap my old school brain around this, but really nobody plays defense much anymore. Even Bama's defense is not what it normally is. We see now how good Jefferson and Ford were last year. Two players of that caliber make a big difference. Gary Johnson is a nice LB, but he's not in Malik's league. Injuries and inexperience have impacted the team, but I think our young DBs will be the strength of the team next year and beyond. Offensively, Sam's improvement has been so similar to how Colt McCoy progressed from redshirt freshman to sophomore year. If you are a 2019 or 2020 WR recruit and you can't see that this is the guy you want to play with, you are clearly missing a helluva ride. I think we're close, real close, to reaching pre-2010 status. The next step is the hardest one, but I think we're real close to that. Hook 'em! 

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4 minutes ago, NWAHorn said:

It's hard for me to wrap my old school brain around this, but really nobody plays defense much anymore. Even Bama's defense is not what it normally is. We see now how good Jefferson and Ford were last year. Two players of that caliber make a big difference. Gary Johnson is a nice LB, but he's not in Malik's league. Injuries and inexperience have impacted the team, but I think our young DBs will be the strength of the team next year and beyond. Offensively, Sam's improvement has been so similar to how Colt McCoy progressed from redshirt freshman to sophomore year. If you are a 2019 or 2020 WR recruit and you can't see that this is the guy you want to play with, you are clearly missing a helluva ride. I think we're close, real close, to reaching pre-2010 status. The next step is the hardest one, but I think we're real close to that. Hook 'em! 

I don’t see much deficit with the bama d as they pitched a shut out yesterday.

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4 hours ago, mctmatt said:

Just as we have injuries so do Tech and many other teams and you just have to be ready with the next  man up in football as no one on the opposite side is going to care one bit about your injuries.  I did not expect Texas to escape with a win but hey I will take it and lets get ready for the next game.  Am I the only one who thinks both Humphrey and Johnson are 50 % of our offensive success or it just seems that way.  Next year or even bowl game if they decide to move on to the NFL I wonder how productive our offense will be without those two key players.  They keep the defense from loading the box for the run and with their size the passes do not have to be perfect. 

I read somewhere the LJH said he will play in the bowl game no matter his decision is 

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2 hours ago, MikeV73 said:

I don’t see much deficit with the bama d as they pitched a shut out yesterday.

Mississippi State is not very good offensively, so not a huge surprise there. Arkansas, also not very good, put 31 on Bama. Bama's first team defense is good, not typical Bama good, but good. The backups are not, which means they are lacking their usual depth. This is why Clemson will have a real chance at beating them if they play. I think Georgia will also give Bama a serious challenge in the SEC championship game.

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46 minutes ago, NWAHorn said:

Mississippi State is not very good offensively, so not a huge surprise there. Arkansas, also not very good, put 31 on Bama. Bama's first team defense is good, not typical Bama good, but good. The backups are not, which means they are lacking their usual depth. This is why Clemson will have a real chance at beating them if they play. I think Georgia will also give Bama a serious challenge in the SEC championship game.

I’m all for UGA or Clemson knocking off bama.  My other goal is to keep ou out of the playoff please.  Hope WVU shows up big and beats them in Morgantown..

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