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View from the Cheap Seats-Red River War


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View from the Cheap Seats-Red River War

Coach tom on life support

One of the hardest Cheap Seats we’ve had to write. Not because we saw anything we have not seen through 3 and a half seasons. Rather with a chance to “right the ship”, we saw the same old undisciplined team get out physical-ed yet again. And we see another week where defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory. Stop us if you have heard this before. For the 3rd week in a row, we see TEXAS let an inferior opponent not only hang around but take a double-digit lead in the 2nd half. For the past 2 weeks, Sam the Man’s miracles cannot overcome an unfocused, undisciplined football team. Sadly, the powers that matter are fine with this. Barring a complete meltdown, which frankly isn’t too far-fetched, get ready for Coach Tom Mensa to roll into 2021 as the Head Coach at TEXAS. Now 3 years ago, multiple fans got their panties in a wad when we mocked Coach Mensa, we’ll wager that doesn’t happen this week. The old adage is that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. Why we mock Coach Tom? For all his “mensa” IQ, he has now been outcoached 3 weeks in a row. Today saw the same old Longhorns we’ve seen the past 4 years. Coach Tom stated he wanted to be the most physical team on the field on both sides of the ball. Outside of a couple bowl games, it’s never happened. Certainly not with the season on the line and the most important game of the year at hand.

Joel Klatt and Gus Johnson quote of the day: “This TEXAS team has no identity”

We could not agree more

THE DRIVE. . .And what “could have been”. Had TEXAS won, that would have been the title for the Cheap Seats this week. Actually, made a note of that before Sam gained a yard. 1:52 on the clock in the 4th quarter, ball on the TEXAS 16. It was Super Sam time, time to carry the team and 8 plays later, he does not disappoint as he throws to Josh Moore for his 2nd passing TD of the day to go with 4 rushing TDs. Now had CTH elected to go for 2 (we were thinking “what if”at the time), he’d have gotten no flack from the Cheap Seats for the call. So we understood kicking the PAT, we understood trying to win the game right there.

Let us honor the efforts of an absolute WARRIOR. Sam Ehlinger did not play his best game by any means yet when it mattered most, he put the Longhorns on his strong shoulders and did everything in his power to carry them to victory. His passes were sometimes off the mark, he misfired to multiple open receivers and for the 3rd week in a row, he was not the best QB on the field. The other side of that coin, without Sam, TEXAS loses by double digits and is on a 3 game losing skid. He deserves FAR FAR better than what he is getting from staff and surrounding crew.

As it stands now, the benchmark of success for this season is winning the conference and TEXAS sits 2 games back today behind a 2-0 team and 2 3-0 teams. The good news for TEXAS, if you want to call it that, the tiny sliver of hope is we get to face each of the leaders plus they all have to play each other. So while there is some small mathematical chance of getting to the conference title game, TEXAS needs to #1, start playing sound football and #2, get some help. We have seen NOTHING from Coach Mensa in 4 years to think the rest of the season will be any different than the last 3 years and 4 games.

Where the game was lost

From the last drive of the 1st quarter all the way through the 1st drive of the 4th quarter the 5 drives that DOOMED the Longhorns.

Not sure how TEXAS came back to tie the game at 17 but with a minute and a half to go in the 1st, TEXAS had accomplished just that, stopped OU and had a chance to take the lead going into the half.

Important as they would also get the last drive of the 1st half as well. So here’s how it went.

Last drive of the 1st, great field position, ball on their own 44. Even if they just get a FG, they take the lead and start the 2nd with the ball.

6 plays 13 yards and instead of going for it on 4th and 2, a false start forces a punt from 4th and 7.
1st drive in the 3rd. Score here gives TEXAS the lead. 3 and out


OU, 3 plays TD
2nd drive of the 3rd, 3 and out


OU-17 plays, 83 yards to take a 2 TD lead
3rd drive of the 3rd quarter, 3 and out. . . .
1st drive of the 4th, 6-13 and punt

Instead of putting away a dog when they had the chance, TEXAS turned turtle and would punt on 5 straight series. And continuing a pattern, our staff clearly failed to make adjustments at half. 3 weeks in a row

Special teams were anything but special.

  • Dicker the Kicker has a FG attempt blocked when the offensive line was shoved back into his face. How big was not getting those 3 points?
  • Our Aussie punter double clutched a punt leading to it being blocked giving OU a very short fiel
  • Still stinging from the blocked kick, he then proceeds to get a 15 yard penalty on a later OU put return.
  • TEXAS had a great punt return called back when a blocker tackled an OU player. Just get in his way son.

Conclusions & up next

Not sure the bye week is a good thing or a bad thing. Not sure it matters. While the D played better, our D Line was simply not a force and got very little pressure on a Freshman QB with a history of getting rattled. Not to be outdone, our offensive line was even more offensive. Sam was constantly under duress and there was no push for the running game. It sucks to say but OU played like they wanted it. TEXAS simply didn’t. It is also clear that Sam badly misses WR like Lil Jordan, Collin Johnson and Devin “Mr 3rd Down” Duvernay. WRs who will make contested catches. Though it certainly did not help when Sam misfired multiple times to open WRs. Was Jake Smith hurt? Not sure he logged a snap. And what idiot kept calling “bombs away” and 1 or 2 WR routes when we only need 4-6 yards for a 1st down. Hey coach, have you seen the last 3 weeks how well tempo works? Newsflash, you don’t have to wait till the 4 minute mark of the game to use is.

Oh and not to go full blown negative nellie, stand by for several guys entering the portal and the de-commits to continue. To make it worse, Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies just recorded a signature win beating Florida. Their season is officially a “success” regardless of how they finish out.

Stats that matter


7 In the past 4 seasons, number of loses a ranked TEXAS has absorbed to un-ranked opponents. At least CTH leads the nation in something.
14-38 TEXAS v Opponent scoring in the 3rd quarter. In case you are wondering why we cannot put away some of our weak opponents. Mack wanted the ball to start the 3rd to score and take control of the game. Does anyone seriously think CTH is a better coach than Mack now?
29 Net rushing yards in the game taking out Sam’s rush totals
1 to 6 Sacks we gained, sacks we lost. Thought this was the best DL in the conference??? No pressure, QBs licking their chops to line up vs TEXAS


4 4 OT possessions by OU, 4 TDs + a 2 point conversion

Fighting Mack Browns

Speaking of Mack Brown, beat a Top 25 opponent today. His UNC charges are playing well. Oh yeah, Joel & Gus mentioned that as well. Mack has them ranked in the Top 10

Ranking the Big XII

Top tier

#1 Okie Lite 2-0 and ranked #10
#2 ISU 3-0 ranked #24 Put TT away early, that’s how you beat dogs
#3 KSU 3-0 likely ranked this week. Won a close game against TCU

2nd Tier (order likely doesn’t matter)

#4 Baylor 1-1 on the bye
#5 WVU 1-1 on the bye
#6 OU 1-2 Riley now 4-1 vs CTH, it’s a shorter list of coaches who don’t own CTH
#7 TCU 1-2
#8 TEXAS 1-2 As Tuna once said, you are what your record says you are

Bottom feeders

#9 TT
#10 Kansas

Still too early playoff projections

#1 Bama (as we type, tied at half with Ole Miss)

#2 Clemson

#3 tOSU

#4 Georgia

Just a bit outside:





One of the toughest Cheap Seats to write. The eternal optimist in me wants to think that after 3 and a half years, Coach Tom actually does something different. The pragmatic. . . ..if you think this is hell? Remember that we lose Sam & Sam after this year, our best offensive players as well as Joseph Ossai, our best defender. Also remember CDC has no intention of letting CTH go so maybe in Dec of 2021, we can have a serious conversation about “next” as it relates to our HC spot.

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4 minutes ago, primal defense said:

Do you still believe Herman will be here for three more years.

I was thinking that I became a longhorn fan at age 9. If a 9 year became a longhorn fan in 2010 then he would be 21 years old today and never experience any real longhorn success.
No NC or Big 12 Championships. Sad times indeed

Oh lord I hope not.


Keep in mind, the caveat was "barring meltdown", not sure how CTH keeps this team together.



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Thought a few of you might want to remember this next time you want to throw something at the TV re missed tackles. Don’t get me wrong, lots of blame to go around. A long ball on 3rd and 1 in the 3rd quarter when we are down?  Yep, creative play calling for sure. 

Anyway, everyone has problems this year. Check out the first 2paragraph



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