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View from the Cheap Seats-Utah

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View from the Cheap Seats-Utah
Utes get TRUCKED in Longhorn Stampede
In what was the most complete game in all 3 phases of the ball for TEXAS during Coach Tom Herman's  3 year tenure, the Horns absolutely destroyed a talented and well coached (well not New Year's Eve) #11 ranked Utah Utes.  Keep in mind that had Utah beaten Oregon, they most likely take OU's spot in the CFP, with the exact same results.
Coach Tom now 3-0 in bowl games, off to a better bowl game record than any coach in TEXAS history.  And he's done it against some very stout competition.  Many predicted TEXAS would get run out by Utah.  Believe the line was 7.5, TEXAS covered by nearly 30.    TEXAS' Defense was absolutely suffocating, shutting out Utah in the 1st half and only allowing a FG in the 3rd quarter.   Coach Naivar showed the value of coaching, generating massive amounts of pressure while still running TEXAS base 3-3-5.   Of course his big "tweak" was turning our LBs loose which completely disrupted the Utah O.   Special teams were actually pretty special, lead by D'Shawn Jamison's 104 yards on 4 punt returns and our offense was both efficient as well as effective.
Had you told us that both RBs would average over 8 yards per carry, we likely would not have believed it.  Had you told us that Sam would not even attempt 20 passes, we likely would not have believed you.  Of course had you told us this TEXAS team would dominate both sides of the ball, we likely would have laughed.    Yet that is EXACTLY what TEXAS did.  Opening the game with the type of big strike between Sam and Collin Johnson we expected to see all year.   The tone was set early and the Horns simply kicked ass.   It was interesting to see CTH slow down the O in the 2nd half and start milking clock in the 3rd quarter.  Have to admit, damn nice to see both sides of our lines dominating the opposition.
Joseph Ossai gets his own paragraph.   The young man played the game of his early career and showed us for 4 quarters why so many are so excited.   6 tackles for loss and 3 sacks.    As Louis Riddick (an announcer I like, the opposite of E Acho) commented, Utah's All Pac QB Tyler Hundley is going to have nightmares about Joseph Ossai for years to come.   Cannot remember the last time a TEXAS defender so dominated a game.   And it was great to see Ossai turned loose on the QB to disrupt our opponents offense.    And a game where we only spotted one missed tackle, very refreshing to see.   Cannot wait to see JO terrorize teams in 2020.   Way too early projection, TEXAS enjoys the 3rd BixXII DL of the Year in the past 4 seasons.
Offensive Player of the Game:
Sam the Man, an efficient night passing but only 18 attempts?   Likely a career low but 3 passing TDs.  It was Sam's legs, (11 for 73 with another TD) that dept the Utes off balance.
Devin Duvernay, held without a catch till the 2nd half, he showed why he will climb NFL draft board with 3 grabs for 93 yards and a TD.   Him not being a Belitikoff finalist is a disgrace.  We wish him the best in the NFL. 
Defensive Player of the Game
Joseph Ossai-Showed why so many are so excited about him.  The most dominating performance by a TEXAS defender in the past decade at least.
Stats that matter
0-9         Pac 12 Title game loser's bowl record. 
89-0      TEXAS' record after taking a 17 point lead in a game (not sure the time frame)
4 of 9    3rd down conversion rate, effective efficient.
22          Total 1st downs.   You don't get to 3rd down that often when your RBs average 8+ a pop
1            Number of times Utah crossed the 50 thru 3 quarters
3            Number of times Utah crossed the 50 all game, one of those only the TEXAS 48.
The Future
For the 3rd year in a row, a big bowl win propels optimism for the following season.  This year brings the biggest changes on CTH's watch as he is replacing both co-ordinators and several position coaches.  Like many HC's, CTH is a stubborn one and he waited too long jettisoning staff member who were either out of their depth or out right insubordinate.   The biggest change will be seen on the defense as we are thankfully ditching the failed 3-3-5 model for a more traditional 4-3.   This has already had a positive impact on recruiting D linemen as players who had us off their list, now have us back on.   Hopefully it's not too little too late.   Coach Ash brings a reputation for coaching players up, teaching fundamentals and getting the most out of his players.  A welcome change from the past 3 seasons.
The D will lose Brandon Jones and Malcom Roach as key starters from 2019 but should enjoy improved play with another year's worth of experience for a team that was young and showed it often this past season.  Future is very exciting for on this side of the ball though CTH likely looks hard for another LB to add depth to a talented but thin group.
On offense, Coach Y will use the same scheme as CTH, which frankly is a good thing.   The O will need to replace our top 2 WRs including Mr 3rd Down Duvernay and a pair of offensive linemen but the player generating the most excitement for 2020 will be true freshman 5 star RB Bijion Robinson.  Biggest question is whether any WR or combination of WRs can step up on replace what Devin Duvernay brought the table.  Today he appears the most difficult player to replace. 
2020 needs to be "the year" as Sam the Man will be a senior.   Time for the no excuses tour to begin and the TEXAS season will largely be defined by 2 games, a trip to Baton Rouge to face a rebuilding/reloading LSU team then as always, facing off against the land thieves in the Red River War.  Both opponents will be breaking in new QB and will lose a bunch to the NFL.    The defensive play should be much improved but can the offense maintain consistency instead of floundering down the stretch in 2019?  The CO changes were needed and not sure CTH could have landed a better pair to step in and improve the team. 
CTH did an excellent job keeping the bulk of the recruiting class at home but we lost some guys who would have driven this class higher.   Based on the new COs and the way the bowl game went, we're projecting CTH lassos 2-3 "surprise" recruits in addition to some guys who already have TEXAS high and will not sign until Feb.  No idea whom though a grad transfer/JUCO OL and LB would be welcome.  Don't place too much stock in "team ranking" at this point as TEXAS only has 17 commits (all signed early) but measured by "average star ranking" (quality not quantity), TEXAS is #6 in the nation. 
Pressure is on, CTH has 2 to 3 seasons left at TEXAS to show he can take the next step and bring home a BigXII title.   The Cheap Seats fully expect TEXAS to play in AT LEAST 2 of the next 3 big title games.  Bold prediction for 2021, Casey Thompson is the starter for the entire season but not sure he can hold off Card/JJ (do not under estimate JJ) in 2022.   Hopefully TEXAS blows out enough teams in 2020 for Casey to log some real reps.
Cheap Seats has LSU by 10 over Clemson for the title.   And our homer/way too early prediction for 2020 is TEXAS 11-2 winner of the BigXII title with another Sugar Bowl trip in store.  TEXAS should enjoy the best QB in the conference (though there is some comp here) the best OL in the conference, the best RB stable, a top 3 (talentwise) group of WRs.   Today the most glaring weaknesses appear to be TE on the O and LB on the D.    Schedule's biggest negative is that after a 3rd week bye, TEXAS does not get another break.  It is interesting that TEXAS ends the season not on the usual Friday date but Sat in Stillwater which means Bedlahm isn't the last game of the year either.
202 Schedule break down:
50/50 games.   Games were TEXAS has as much chance of winning as losing
Tough games we should win
Upsets if we lose
Hope my small but demented following has enjoyed the read this year, certainly have enjoyed writing the Cheap Seats.
Happy New Year and Best wishes to all you filthy animals.

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8 hours ago, echeese said:
Hope my small but demented following has enjoyed the read this year, certainly have enjoyed writing the Cheap Seats.
Happy New Year and Best wishes to all you filthy animals.

Demented? Filthy animal? I guess we have met before!  😜

Thanks for all the write-ups, great job!

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On 1/3/2020 at 8:08 AM, DBut82 said:

I look forward to this read every season.  Great job and thanks!  The only thing I'll disagree with is the 50/50 vs Baylor.  ESPECIALLY if Rhule bolts to the NFL...

Upon further review, you are correct, they lose a ton and now Rhule is gone.  A return to normalcy as it realates to TEXAS v Rape u


On 1/3/2020 at 11:21 AM, oldhorn2 said:

Hope my small but demented following has enjoyed the read this year, certainly have enjoyed writing the Cheap Seats.



I have enjoyed it greatly, but I resent being called demented when everyone knows what I am is crazy

 I am properly chastised.   Obviously you are no so old you can remember William Hurt's classic line in The Big Chill:

"I had a small but demented following".



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