Jump to content

Welcome to HornSports

Join our community and talk about the latest in Texas Longhorns Athletics!

Sign in to follow this  
UTfish

Season opener ...

Recommended Posts

...just four days away and it's eerily quiet on this board.  After laying an egg the last couple of seasons, are we afraid to make a little noise?  Louisiana Tech scared the heck out of LSU for three quarters last year. Are we going to blow them out, barely squeak by, or lay another egg?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Bear19 said:

We’re going to stomp a mudhole in their ass. 

I like your style Bear, but I'm gonna be a bit more reserved/conservative. Until this team shows me they can put teams away I will worry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Baron said:

The La Tech safety is talkin' some shi...er I mean bulletin board material. Who in their right mind would want to fire up Collin and Duvernay?

350+ receiving yards for the Horns

 

angry-mob-gif.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

 

Texas Waited a Decade for Sam Ehlinger. Can the QB Push the Longhorns Over the Top?

From Garrett Gilbert to David Ash and beyond, Texas football has long waited for a quarterback to lead it back to the promised land. This time seems different—and Ehlinger isn’t shying away from the expectations.

By Jonathan Tjarks  Aug 28, 2019, 5:50am EDT
 

Sam_Ehlinger_ghetty_ringer.0.jpgGetty Images/Ringer illustration

The University of Texas football team has long lived and died with its quarterbacks. The Longhorns were a perennial force in the mid-to-late 2000s behind Vince Young and Colt McCoy and have languished in the 2010s while failing to find a worthy successor at the position. Texas has always had the caliber of athletes necessary to compete with any team in the country. It just needed the right QB to push it over the top.

At long last, the search appears to be over. Sam Ehlinger, a local product who attended the same Austin high school as Drew Brees and Nick Foles, put the program back on the map last season by delivering its first 10-win campaign of the decade. If the Longhorns take the next step and emerge as national championship contenders this fall, it’ll be because 6-foot-3, 230-pound junior led them there. Plenty of would-be saviors have passed through Austin over the last decade, from Garrett Gilbert to David Ash to Jerrod Heard. This time seems different. Not only is Ehlinger more well-rounded than any of his predecessors, but he’s also playing in a system perfectly tailored to his strengths.

Ehlinger came to Texas as the most highly touted recruit in head coach Tom Herman’s first signing class. But nothing was handed to him when he arrived on campus. The QB originally split time with Shane Buechele, who showed flashes of potential while starting for Texas as a true freshman. Ehlinger struggled with accuracy in 2017, completing 57.5 percent of his passes. He was deployed primarily as a runner as the Longhorns went 7-6.

The team’s fortunes changes last season when Ehlinger made a quantum leap. He showed far more sophistication as a passer in his second season in Herman’s scheme. Ehlinger always had the arm strength to chuck the ball down the field, but became far more comfortable making intermediate throws too. The difference between his freshman and sophomore season passing stats is dramatic:

Ehlinger’s Numbers by Season

Season Completions Attempts Completion % Passing Yards YPA TDs INTs
Freshman 158 275 57.5 1,915 7.0 11 7
Sophomore 275 425 64.7 3,292 7.7 25 5

While Ehlinger was a long way from being as effective as Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa or Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence—the presumptive no. 1 picks in the 2020 and 2021 NFL drafts, respectively—that didn’t stop him from leading the Longhorns past elite competition. Texas went 2-2 in games against Oklahoma and Georgia over the last two seasons, with Ehlinger’s ability to dictate the action through the air and on the ground evening the odds with his more heralded peers. Ehlinger outdueled Kyler Murray, who had arguably the greatest passing season in NCAA history, in the Red River Rivalry before losing the rematch in the Big 12 championship game. And Ehlinger joined Marcus Mariota as the only Division I quarterbacks since 2000 to record 25 passing touchdowns, 15 rushing touchdowns, and five or fewer interceptions in a season.

Two things make Ehlinger special. The first is his size. He’s built more like a linebacker than a quarterback, and his frame makes him nearly impossible to stop when he carries the ball in short-yardage situations. Ehlinger wasn’t a big-play threat as a runner in 2018; he rushed for 482 yards and averaged 2.9 yards per carry. His job was to move the chains and punch it in when Texas got close to the goal line.

The second is his decision-making ability. Ehlinger simply doesn’t make many mistakes. He was tied for the third-fewest interceptions (five) among the 107 NCAA QBs who averaged at least 14 passing attempts per game last season. More strikingly, he didn’t throw a pick for two months between mid-September and mid-November. He eventually earned enough trust that he was given the freedom to change play calls at the line of scrimmage.

That combination of traits makes Ehlinger a first-down machine. A QB who hardly ever turns the ball over and is automatic in short-yardage situations is almost impossible to get off the field. The Longhorns weren’t an explosive offense last year—they didn’t have a single play longer than 50 yards—but they were methodically effective, marching up and down to wear out defenses. They ranked 58th in the FBS in yards per game, but 12th in first downs.

That held true in the Sugar Bowl, when they maintained possession for 35 minutes in a 28-21 upset victory over Georgia. Ehlinger went 19-of-27 for 169 yards in that game; more notably, he carried 21 times for 64 yards with three touchdowns. Few saw it coming. A Big 12 QB isn’t supposed to be able to punch an elite SEC defense in the mouth. Ehlinger’s physical dominance in New Orleans was just as big a statement as the one he made after the game, when he famously declared that Texas was back.

Ehlinger will get another chance to make a statement against a perennial SEC powerhouse early in 2019, when Texas hosts LSU on September 7. The schedule sets up well for the Longhorns: They leave their home state only twice all season. As always, their hopes will rest on their midseason clash with Oklahoma. Only this time, the Sooners will be without Baker Mayfield or Kyler Murray; for once, the Longhorns could have the edge at QB.


One of the biggest challenges for Texas will be keeping Ehlinger healthy for a full season, given all the hits he takes. He missed time in each of his first two seasons with various nicks and bruises. And now Texas can no longer rely on Buechele as a backup QB. He transferred to SMU, leaving a redshirt freshman (Casey Thompson) and a true freshman (Roschon Johnson) as the only other scholarship QBs on the roster.

Texas has other key playmakers to whom it can turn. Two to monitor are sophomore running back Keaontay Ingram, who rushed for 708 yards on 5.0 yards per carry last season, and senior wide receiver Collin Johnson, whose size (6-foot-6, 220 pounds) and sure hands make him almost unguardable in one-on-one situations.

And while the Longhorns lost eight defensive starters from the 2018 squad, they should have no problem reloading on that side of the ball. They signed the no. 3 recruiting class in the country in each of the last two years, per the 247Sports composite rankings. The cream usually rises to the top in college football: Banner Society’s Bud Elliott tracks every FBS program’s “blue-chip ratio” (the percentage of a roster composed of consensus four- and five-star recruits) and found that no national champion since the turn of the century had a roster with a ratio below 50 percent. Texas, which checks in at 60 percent in 2019, is well above that threshold.

But talent alone isn’t always enough. The underlying issue at Texas over the last decade goes beyond wanting QB play. The Longhorns also haven’t had coaches who could put their QBs in positions to succeed. Namely, they failed to keep up with the innovation happening all around them.

The offensive revolution that has recently taken hold in the NFL happened at Texas high schools a long time ago. The Air Raid offense won the broader philosophical struggle in the state even before Mike Leach was forced out of Texas Tech in 2009, and now the Texas state playoffs are typically won by schools whose offense can best imitate his. But longtime coach Mack Brown failed to adapt toward the end of his 16-year tenure, and successor Charlie Strong came from a background that used a pro-style scheme. Strong tried to install the same offense at Texas with disastrous results, cycling through three coordinators over three seasons before being fired in 2016.

The result was a bizarre dichotomy. Texas is a breeding ground for NFL quarterbacks, with 18 in training camps this season. But the state’s flagship university couldn’t find a competent one. Only two of those 18 (McCoy and Gilbert) played for the Longhorns, and Gilbert’s college breakthrough only happened after he transferred to SMU. UT was a man dying of thirst in the middle of the ocean: There was water all around, but none to drink.

That’s changed under Herman, who has spent his whole coaching career running the spread offense. He was a Longhorns graduate assistant under Brown, then spent 10 more seasons working at colleges in the state. He made his name as the offensive coordinator for the Ohio State team that won the 2014 national title behind a third-string QB. Herman went 22-4 in two seasons as the head coach at Houston before taking over at Texas in 2017.

Ehlinger is in the right place at the right time. Unlike his predecessors, he runs the same type of spread offense in college that he grew up with. He has a strong grasp of how to maximize the system and a stronger supporting cast. And now that Texas is apparently back, lofty expectations are too: The Longhorns are ranked no. 10 in the AP poll.

This could be the start of something special in Austin. Ehlinger has grown so much in his first two seasons under Herman that it’s hard to put a ceiling on how good he could be after two more. It’s a perfect marriage between a QB from Austin and a coach who began his career there. All Texas had to do to get back to the top was go back to its roots. Given Austin’s reputation, it’s fitting that its football team’s resurgence is locally sourced.

 

https://www.theringer.com/2019/8/28/20835157/sam-ehlinger-texas-longhorns-tom-herman-big-12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It will be interesting to see at what level the team starts the year. One thing you have to give the staff credit for is , for the past 2 seasons, the team showed improvement from the beginning of the season to the end. I have faith this will continue. The ceiling will depend on where the floor is set this first game. I’m cautiously optimistic about the season and loving the long term direction the program is headed. Love the staff and love me some CDC.

I’m ready for some football!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Huskie1 said:

It will be interesting to see at what level the team starts the year.

 

This is a key question. Losing to Maryland for the past two years hasn't lent a lot of promise. We were able to overcome that last year simply because talent took over and the system became implanted in the team.

There is an old saying and I've always believed it to be true – the greatest improvement you'll see a team make is from week 1 to week 2. 

We come out and make a statement, it should bode well for the LSU game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The five most important Texas players not named Sam Ehlinger

by: KXAN Sports

Posted: Aug 27, 2019 / 07:05 PM CDT / Updated: Aug 27, 2019 / 07:05 PM CDT
 

AUSTIN (KXAN) — If there’s a debate about the Longhorns’ most important player, there isn’t much of one.

The success of the 2019 season will depend on junior quarterback Sam Ehlinger’s performance on the field and his ability to avoid injuries.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the five most important Longhorns on the roster…not named Ehlinger.

No. 5 Cameron Dicker (kicker)

Texas coach Tom Herman had this to say about his sophomore placekicker Monday: “I love our kicker. He’s fun to be around which you don’t say often.”

775199046TW016_TCU_v_Texas_1537656665174

Herman won’t use his actual name, but he knows Dicker is valuable. Dicker is already celebrated because of the game-winning kick in the Cotton bowl against Oklahoma. He can become even more consistent with a season of college experience after making 18-25 field goals in 2018.

No. 4 Keondre Coburn (defensive tackle)

Todd Orlando’s defense with a big clogging weapon in the middle of the defensive line — enter sophomore Keondre Coburn. The Longhorns have rostered the last two Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year and Coburn could be better than Charles Omenihu and Poona Foord when it’s all said and done.

Coburn is young, but he’ll be counted on to provide the push in the middle of the defense to allow the linebackers to make plays.

No. 3 Brandon Jones (safety)

A case can be made that sophomore Caden Sterns is the more valuable safety on the Texas roster, but Brandon Jones is the definitive leader of the secondary. Jones will be charged with putting the defensive pieces in the right place. A daunting task for a unit with so many young players.

Jones finished fourth on the team with 70 tackles in 2018.

No. 2 Zach Shackelford (center)

Shackelford has been through it all during four years at Texas. A team captain for 2019, Shackelford is the anchor of a Longhorns offensive line that looks to have enough individual talent, but it’s still a question of how the pieces will fit into place.

The senior from Belton High School has played in 40 games with 27 starts during his Longhorn career. He’ll need to stay healthy to keep the middle of the heart of Texas’ offensive line intact.

No. 1 Keaontay Ingram (running back)

The most important player when it comes to success in 2019 is Keaontay Ingram. The running back from Carthage was the top running back in the state of Texas coming out of high school in 2018.

Keaontay Ingram Texas running back Keaontay Ingram adjusts his helmet during a morning practice at the team’s facility in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Ingram finished his freshman year with 708 yards as he dealt with a couple bumps and bruises, and learned to handled the grind of a college football season.

Ingram’s health is a top concern going into the 2019 season — he missed most of preseason camp with a bone bruise. If Ingram’s able to eclipse the 1,000 rushing yard total, expect Texas to eclipse its expected win total.

https://www.kxan.com/sports/the-five-most-important-texas-players-not-named-sam-ehlinger/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A non believer. A complete rebuild on defense? Yes, with experienced and more talented players.

 

 

Max Meyer

Texas finishes the season unranked. Let’s be honest: Texas was not as good as its 10–4 record last season. Just three of those wins were by margins of more than seven points. The Longhorns’ defense allowed more yards per play (5.6) than the Longhorns’ offense gained (5.5). But in this case, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. The same team that lost to Maryland in its season opener followed by beating lowly Tulsa at home by seven points ended up with a big statement win over Georgia.

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the offseason hype created from that Sugar Bowl victory. But don’t be fooled by the preseason top-10 ranking, this is a team that isn’t as good as it’s being propped up to be. Texas has to undergo a complete rebuild job on the defensive side of the ball, as it has to replace its entire front seven and both of its starting cornerbacks. The Longhorns also will be breaking in three new starters along the offensive line and Sam Ehlinger lost his top target in Lil’Jordan Humphrey.

Speaking of Ehlinger, his big weakness is an inability to stretch the field with his arm. Texas was one of two schools that didn’t have a 50-yard gain on offense last season, and the Longhorns had just six 40-yard-plus gains (tied for 124th) despite playing in 14 games. That’s tough to accomplish given the Longhorns had the dynamic duo of Humphrey and 6’6” behemoth Collin Johnson at wideout. He’s an effective runner, but that also opens himself up to getting hit, and Texas can ill-afford to lose him via injury. In 2018, Shane Buechele came off the bench in relief when Ehlinger got hurt, but Buechele transferred to SMU in the offseason. Now Ehlinger’s backup is redshirt freshman Casey Thompson.

The Longhorns have a tough road schedule this season, including games at TCU, Iowa State and Baylor, all of whom have win totals of at least 7.5 at Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. Add in the Red River Showdown against Oklahoma and an incredibly tricky Week 2 home game against LSU, and that is a schedule that could easily result in four losses. And that’s what I think will happen.

 

 

https://www.si.com/college-football/2019/08/28/ncaa-bold-predictions-texas-nebraska-notre-dame-pac-12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, primal defense said:

A non believer. A complete rebuild on defense? Yes, with experienced and more talented players.

 

 

Max Meyer

Texas finishes the season unranked. Let’s be honest: Texas was not as good as its 10–4 record last season. Just three of those wins were by margins of more than seven points. The Longhorns’ defense allowed more yards per play (5.6) than the Longhorns’ offense gained (5.5). But in this case, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. The same team that lost to Maryland in its season opener followed by beating lowly Tulsa at home by seven points ended up with a big statement win over Georgia.

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the offseason hype created from that Sugar Bowl victory. But don’t be fooled by the preseason top-10 ranking, this is a team that isn’t as good as it’s being propped up to be. Texas has to undergo a complete rebuild job on the defensive side of the ball, as it has to replace its entire front seven and both of its starting cornerbacks. The Longhorns also will be breaking in three new starters along the offensive line and Sam Ehlinger lost his top target in Lil’Jordan Humphrey.

Speaking of Ehlinger, his big weakness is an inability to stretch the field with his arm. Texas was one of two schools that didn’t have a 50-yard gain on offense last season, and the Longhorns had just six 40-yard-plus gains (tied for 124th) despite playing in 14 games. That’s tough to accomplish given the Longhorns had the dynamic duo of Humphrey and 6’6” behemoth Collin Johnson at wideout. He’s an effective runner, but that also opens himself up to getting hit, and Texas can ill-afford to lose him via injury. In 2018, Shane Buechele came off the bench in relief when Ehlinger got hurt, but Buechele transferred to SMU in the offseason. Now Ehlinger’s backup is redshirt freshman Casey Thompson.

The Longhorns have a tough road schedule this season, including games at TCU, Iowa State and Baylor, all of whom have win totals of at least 7.5 at Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. Add in the Red River Showdown against Oklahoma and an incredibly tricky Week 2 home game against LSU, and that is a schedule that could easily result in four losses. And that’s what I think will happen.

 

 

https://www.si.com/college-football/2019/08/28/ncaa-bold-predictions-texas-nebraska-notre-dame-pac-12

Save this and repost it at the end of the season along with a picture of Mini Max with egg on his face.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay,  it doesn't look like we're going to have the game by game prediction contest for the board members, so for the record, here's mine:  Texas -     42                                                   LA Tech - 13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, UTfish said:

Okay,  it doesn't look like we're going to have the game by game prediction contest for the board members, so for the record, here's mine:  Texas -     42                                                   LA Tech - 13

Maybe you could post it on the game thread. That's what I'm gonna do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  


Franchise Quest



×
×
  • Create New...