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echeese

View from the Cheap Seats-LSU

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View from the Cheap Seats-LSU

 

We're NOT Back but that was a GREAT football game



Hats off to LSU. TEXAS faced a better team Saturday night, a team with more talent and experience that was able to expose our weaknesses. Many will not want to hear this but it's a simple fact. LSU came into the game with 19 returning starters from last year including two Pre Seaton All American DBs. When you face a superior opponent, you need two things to beat them. First, you need to bring your A game, you need to play your best and have your play-makers step up. 2nd you need to out-coach them and expose their weaknesses. Sadly, as a team TEXAS did neither. Which is not to say that the TEXAS offense did not do everything it could in the 2nd half to overcome some our "shoot ourselves in the foot" moments from the 1st half. Nor is it to say that guys like Devin Duvernay, Brennan Eagles and Roshan Johnson did not significantly elevate their play. Had you told us before the game that we would score 38, put up 430 total yards and win the turnover battle, we likely bet the house on TEXAS. No one really respected the LSU offense and that would be the fatal flaw in the night for the Horns. LSU would put up 41 points and 575 yards of offense. Make no mistake, this was a very good offensive team. And this is likely the best Defense TEXAS will see this year.


So starting with the positives, TEXAS' offense is 1st rate. Pre-season one of the goals we set for success was TEXAS growing into the 33-36 points per game range to protect it's very young defense. The Horn's O showed they are definitely ready for Prime Time. After a 1st half where TEXAS struggled to reach 7 points, TEXAS would score on every drive of the 2nd half. Make no mistake there is no give up in this TEXAS team. LSU would go up 20-7 with a TD just before half time. The Tigers would receive the ball to start the 3rd with a chance to blow the doors off the Horns. Coach Todd's crew bowed up and force a 3 and out punt. . .yea, that's the good news. Despite being pinned deep, Sam E and company would go on a 19 play 86 yard Touchdown drive. TEXAS would score on every drive of the 2nd half logging 4 touchdowns and a FG. Except for the FG drive, every drive would be 75 yards or more.

While there is not much positive to report about the D, have to give Chris Brown a big time shout out. In the 3rd quarter he made back to back plays to force LSU into a FG. He started with a blitz, tackle for loss then follow up with a great stick on 3rd down on an LSU RB catching a pass in open space. Granted, the RB did not catch the pass anyway but Brown was in position to assure ZERO YAC on the play. Shout outs to Joseph Ossai and Malcom Roach who clearly showed up to play. 




Let's flip the page and discuss what went wrong? We'll start with this quote from the Pre Season version of the Cheap Seats:


Why do we need such a boost from the offense? Easy, we lost 8 starters off last year's #57 ranked (25.9 ppg allowed) defense. Not realistic at this point to think a less experienced defense will perform significantly better.


Our defense is young and inexperienced. It's really pretty simple. Against what likely is one of the Top 2-3 offenses we'll see this year, they were not up to the task. One of our major concerns was the schematically, nothing changed at half time. If anything we got worse. On the other sideline/press box, LSU's O found the weaknesses and exploited them. Starting in the 2nd quarter, LSU would have 8 drives. Outside of the one punt forced to start the 2nd half, LSU would record 5 touchdowns and 2 FGs. The shortest drive was 53 yards while 3 of the drives were 75 yards. Kevin Burrow would "filet" the TEXAS D from a clean pocket the majority of the plays. The best way to protect a young secondary is with pressure. TEXAS did not pressure Burrow significantly, especially in the 2nd half. And while we would record 4 sacks, 3 of them would come from secondary blitzes and 3 of the sacks came in the 1st half. LSU adjusted, clearly TEXAS did not.


It's said that age, cunning, deceit and treachery will always overcome youth and skill. We'll settle for experience and it's going to take some time to get there. We are reminded of Cedric Griffin getting lit up early in his career against OU. He turned out pretty well. When you look at games like this one, WVU/OSU and OU in the Conference title game last year, one seriously begins to question this 3-3-5 "scheme". 

In the first half, the offense was clearly tentative. Sam simply was not "on" with his deep throws. Now his "straight balls" (to use a Major League reference). . .those were great. None better than his 4th quarter pass to Jake Smith for his 1st Longhorn TD with an LSU defensive back draped all over him. But his deep throws were consistently short of the pass catchers most of the time. 

19 rushing attempts (really 15 as 4 of those are sacks) this week by Sam. This is a concern when your QB has not played a full season in 3 years. 


Summation


Time to slow down the hype machine. This was a tough loss but by no means the end of the season. TEXAS lost to a superior team, they returned 19 starters including 2 All Americans. Let's be candid, TEXAS is not a CFP Playoff caliber team today. For one thing, our defense is worse than last year and it wasn't great last year. The offense lacks the ability to sustain a running game. And frankly, Sam is simply not a good "bombs away" passer despite TEXAS calling "bombs away" 8-10 times in the game, with only 2 completions.


TEXAS is still a viable candidate to win the BigXII, the #1 goal of the season. And while we applauded going for it on 4th down twice from the 2, the surrounding play calls have us scratching our heads. You have a pair of 6'6" WRs and you don't throw a single jump ball in 8 plays? Instead you run 7 times then the one BRILLIANTLY set up/designed pass play, KI records his 1st drop in 30 targets. When you are in a shoot out game, you cannot leave easy points on the field. Also, have to seriously question on 3rd and 17, bringing so much heat but gotta give Burrow's credit for his best throw of the night under rare pressure. Sorry to say, he was clearly the better QB on the field. As for the future, our schedule sets up very well. We have a game with Rice before we face another talented OSU team that will tell us much about the growth of this team before a bye week then WVU before the RRW. . . .


TEXAS can/should stop eating the cheese as Tuna (Bill Parcells) would say. Big time wake up call and let's see how CTH rallies the kids behind the 1-0 philosophy. While we'd have much rather seen a win, always better to lose out of conference. And frankly, TEXAS knows the ONLY reason it lost was our own mistakes. #1 reason for optimism, this very good offense will get better as RBs return from injury and this was by far the best D we'll see this year. #1 reason for pessimism, our defense is not very good. Shocking to say but LSU might well be the #1 or #2 O we face this year. Lots of teams will watch this game tape to see how to attack TEXAS. Is Coach Todd up to the task? 



Offensive Player of the Game: 


Devin Duvernay. 12 grabs, 154 yards 2 TDs Back to back impressive performances, there is no quit in this young man. And what really stood out was his toughness, his ability to break tackles and fight for extra yards. Honorable Mention: Sam the Man. While it wasn't his best game, you simply have to love the fight in him. 31/47 601 4 TDs 19 carries 60 yards 1 TD. That's a pretty good stat line for a "not your best game" game. Sam Cosmi, K'Lavion Chassian is supposed to be a star pass rusher. Sam stonewalled him so badly LSU shifted him to the right side to see if he could get better results. While he did record one big sack, it came off a well executed stunt where he wasn't Cosmi's man. 


Defensive Player of the Game: 


Joseph Ossai. His interception in the shadow of our goal line coulda/shoulda/woulda been the difference in the game. Honorable Mention: TEXAS' Safeties occupied 4 of the Top 5 spots on the tackles stat sheet. 



Stats that matter


1 Number of stops our D recorded from the 2nd quarter on


573/45 Yards and points allowed, just not good enough


5 Number of drives TEXAS had in the 2nd half, all of which lead to scores


3/5 Red Zone TDs to Red Zone Trips for TEXAS

37/49 Rush Attempts to pass attempts. 2nd week in a row more passes than rushes though TEXAS short on RBs and was behind by 2 scores at halftime. 


5/5 Red Zone TDs to Red Zone Trips for LSU


Mack Brown/UNC Watch


Another week, another former Defensive coordinator bested. In each case, Mack faced more talented teams. And Mack has already matched UNC's win total for last year on his way to our projected year end bowl appearance. Now if he can just schedule more games against former coaches. . .


Ranking the BigXII


#1 TEXAS Took a more talented LSU team down to the wire. LSU clearly a Top 3 team in the nation


#2 OU South Dakota? Seriously?


#3 OSU 2 weeks before we meet in a game that will tell each team a ton about who they are.


#4 Baylor Rhule has Rape U playing pretty well. My Roadrunners ????? not so much


#5 TCU Bye week


#6 ISU Bye week


#7 KSU Beat up a bad Bowling Green


#8 TT 38 vs UTEP? This isn't your Pirate's TT team


#9 WVU destroyed by Mizzu


#10 Kansas You got beat by Central Carolina???????

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4 hours ago, echeese said:

Defensive Player of the Game: 


Joseph Ossai. His interception in the shadow of our goal line coulda/shoulda/woulda been the difference in the game. Honorable Mention: TEXAS' Safeties occupied 4 of the Top 5 spots on the tackles stat sheet. 

Someone on this board predicted this young man would have a break out season and in the first 2 games Ossai is making that person look like Nostradamus. 

 

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LSU O, 575 yds –better than anticipated.

Texas O, 530 yds –better than most would expect vs. an experienced  LSU D.

I’m sure LSU is wondering what happened to their vaunted D.

Texas D performance was a disappointment. Tough to put that much youth out there vs. an O that efficient.

Though the outcome this weekend smarts, I still think the Horns have a good chance to win the Big 12.

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