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Quick Thoughts on Texas' 27-16 win over Baylor


Aaron Carrara
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Texas got back in the win column against Baylor Saturday afternoon, defeating Baylor 27-16 in Austin. The win evens up Texas’ Big 12 record at 2-2 and stops a two-game losing skid. Here are some quick thoughts and takeaways from a game Texas controlled throughout.

  • The Texas defense easily had their best game of the year. It certainly didn’t help the Bears that they were missing two of their starting offensive lineman, but the Texas defensive line was extremely active the entire afternoon. Baylor finished with 64 yards rushing on 21 carries (3.0 YPC) and was forced to run to the passing game to move the ball. Despite the fact Texas only recorded 1 sack, the Longhorns pass rush did a solid job of pushing the pocket and causing disruption.
  • The Longhorns secondary came into the game knowing Baylor QB Charlie Brewer wasn’t going to beat them over the top. The safeties and cornerbacks did a good job of keeping everything in front of them and jumping plenty of underneath routes. Brewer finished with 256 yards and 2 touchdowns, but averaged under 6 yards an attempt. The senior was unable to navigate the Baylor offense to sustain long drives.
  • Offensively, Texas started off sluggish, punting on their first few drives. It was head scratching to see Texas rely heavily on 12 personnel for much of the game after the success they found in spreading teams out in the first 4 games. Tom Herman was open in his desire to run the ball effectively and the Longhorns showed some improvement improvement, running 47 times for 159 yards. Bijan Robinson saw his snaps increase and turned in a solid performance (12 carries for 55 yards). The Longhorns will have to run the ball effectively in Stillwater if they hope to pull an upset.
  • Sam Ehlinger looked to be banged up for much of the game, but turned in another good performance with 270 yards passing while adding 51 yards on the ground and 3 total TD’s. Ehlinger did throw an interception in the 4th quarter where he tried to force the ball to Jared Wiley down the middle of the field, but otherwise turned in a fairly clean performance.
  • Speaking of Jared Wiley, the sophomore has continued to see his playing time increase. It doesn’t appear he is going to overtake Cade Brewer as starting tight end, but #18 certainly looks like he has a bright future and is a weapon in the passing game.
  • Jake Smith and Caden Sterns both returned from injuries that kept them out against OU. Smith only reeled in 1 catch for 14 yards but was targeted several other times by Ehlinger. Sterns played nearly the entire game and didn’t appear to be bothered by his toe injury. The Longhorns are fairly healthy at the halfway mark on the season.

What’s next?

The noise might die down a little this week, but all eyes will be on Tom Herman as he takes his team to Stillwater next week. A win against a top 10 team on the road has the possibility to put the season back on track, while a loss would basically eliminate Texas from Big 12 title contention and the questions will continue to be asked about Tom Herman’s job security.

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2 hours ago, Aaron Carrara said:

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Texas got back in the win column against Baylor Saturday afternoon, defeating Baylor 27-16 in Austin. The win evens up Texas’ Big 12 record at 2-2 and stops a two-game losing skid. Here are some quick thoughts and takeaways from a game Texas controlled throughout.

  • The Texas defense easily had their best game of the year. It certainly didn’t help the Bears that they were missing two of their starting offensive lineman, but the Texas defensive line was extremely active the entire afternoon. Baylor finished with 64 yards rushing on 21 carries (3.0 YPC) and was forced to run to the passing game to move the ball. Despite the fact Texas only recorded 1 sack, the Longhorns pass rush did a solid job of pushing the pocket and causing disruption.
  • The Longhorns secondary came into the game knowing Baylor QB Charlie Brewer wasn’t going to beat them over the top. The safeties and cornerbacks did a good job of keeping everything in front of them and jumping plenty of underneath routes. Brewer finished with 256 yards and 2 touchdowns, but averaged under 6 yards an attempt. The senior was unable to navigate the Baylor offense to sustain long drives.
  • Offensively, Texas started off sluggish, punting on their first few drives. It was head scratching to see Texas rely heavily on 12 personnel for much of the game after the success they found in spreading teams out in the first 4 games. Tom Herman was open in his desire to run the ball effectively and the Longhorns showed some improvement improvement, running 47 times for 159 yards. Bijan Robinson saw his snaps increase and turned in a solid performance (12 carries for 55 yards). The Longhorns will have to run the ball effectively in Stillwater if they hope to pull an upset.
  • Sam Ehlinger looked to be banged up for much of the game, but turned in another good performance with 270 yards passing while adding 51 yards on the ground and 3 total TD’s. Ehlinger did throw an interception in the 4th quarter where he tried to force the ball to Jared Wiley down the middle of the field, but otherwise turned in a fairly clean performance.
  • Speaking of Jared Wiley, the sophomore has continued to see his playing time increase. It doesn’t appear he is going to overtake Cade Brewer as starting tight end, but #18 certainly looks like he has a bright future and is a weapon in the passing game.
  • Jake Smith and Caden Sterns both returned from injuries that kept them out against OU. Smith only reeled in 1 catch for 14 yards but was targeted several other times by Ehlinger. Sterns played nearly the entire game and didn’t appear to be bothered by his toe injury. The Longhorns are fairly healthy at the halfway mark on the season.

What’s next?

The noise might die down a little this week, but all eyes will be on Tom Herman as he takes his team to Stillwater next week. A win against a top 10 team on the road has the possibility to put the season back on track, while a loss would basically eliminate Texas from Big 12 title contention and the questions will continue to be asked about Tom Herman’s job security.

Aaron, nice write-up.  What are your thoughts on the state of the program?  If the Horns pull the upset and beat OkSt, do you think Herman can salvage his job (providing they don't slip up and run the table)?  Or is the writing on the wall no matter what?

Regarding the game next week, for the Horns to win, they must make those interceptions/turnover opportunities they missed today.  Also, they have to keep everything in front of them on defense and stay disciplined in their assignments to contain Sanders and Hubbard.  Offense has to run the ball, but they must stretch the defense.  Also, use Bijan and Whiley more and more.  Bijan needs to see his carries increased to 15-18 and get him the ball out in space with screen passes and flare outs.

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I think Texas remains in a precarious situation.  Today's win was a game Texas was expected to win, much like the TCU and OU games.  Baylor just isn't a good football team right now, plain and simple. There's a huge sigh of relief on The 40 Acres that the team won today, but there is no celebrating. Theres still a lot of work to be done and all the coaches and players all know it.  Stillwater looms, and looms hard. Next weekend will be the biggest test of the season for Texas.

Regarding Tom Herman...  Depends what you want to hear.  My sources have always maintained that it would be very unconventional for Texas to buyout Herman's contract with the money he is owed at this time. The athletic department has recently let more than 30 employees go, and Herman and his staff took paycuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those cuts will be reimbursed before his coaching contract expires.

The optics are concerning on a variety of levels.  Texas doesn't want to let its head coach go during a national pandemic, facing real revenue shortfalls and owing him 3 years worth of salary plus paycut reimbursements.  Does Texas have the cash on-hand if they want a buyout? Sure they do.  Would it be a good look to do so given the current economic climate?  Not really.

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1 minute ago, Aaron Carrara said:

I think Texas remains in a precarious situation.  Today's win was a game Texas was expected to win, much like the TCU and OU games.  Baylor just isn't a good football team right now, plain and simple. There's a huge sigh of relief on The 40 Acres that the team won today, but there is no celebrating. Theres still a lot of work to be done and all the coaches and players all know it.  Stillwater looms, and looms hard. Next weekend will be the biggest test of the season for Texas.

Regarding Tom Herman...  Depends what you want to hear.  My sources have always maintained that it would be very unconventional for Texas to buyout Herman's contract with the money he is owed at this time. The athletic department has recently let more than 30 employees go, and Herman and his staff took paycuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those cuts will be reimbursed before his coaching contract expires.

The optics are concerning on a variety of levels.  Texas doesn't want to let its head coach go during a national pandemic, facing real revenue shortfalls and owing him 3 years worth of salary plus paycut reimbursements.  Does Texas have the cash on-hand if they want a buyout? Sure they do.  Would it be a good look to do so given the current economic climate?  Not really.

If Texas brings Herman back for the 2021 season the current recruiting class is not getting better. The 2022 class will probably be the worst in program history.  Baylor is a 3 win team. Today changes nothing. 

 

FIRE HERMAN 

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Actually, the 2022 class is kicking arse so far. You couldn't ask for a better start to a class.

I'm the kind of guy who, once his mind is made up, its very difficult to change it. I decided after OU that it was time for Herman to go. As you all know, I had not mentioned anything about it until that point. Today didn't move the needle for me.

The only real significance this game held was that had we lost it, Tom Herman would have been fired within the week. We were supposed to win that game. We should have won that game. A loss would have proven this program was even worse than thought.

IMO, this win only buys Tom Herman another week. There would be no shame in losing to OSU, they're a very good football team. But there is shame in being out of the conference race only halfway into the conference schedule. Of being in the lower tier of the conference. Your goals are really gone. At that point, we're Furniture Bowl bound. Yippee.

I know its a bad look to throw all that money during a time when half this country thinks we're in danger with every breath we breathe. But its also a bad look for Texas to score mediocrity, yet again. We haven't been relevant in years. And there's a boatload of BMDs who are sick of it.

I don't think anything has changed except the date of termination.

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38 minutes ago, Sirhornsalot said:

Actually, the 2022 class is kicking arse so far. You couldn't ask for a better start to a class.

I'm the kind of guy who, once his mind is made up, its very difficult to change it. I decided after OU that it was time for Herman to go. As you all know, I had not mentioned anything about it until that point. Today didn't move the needle for me.

The only real significance this game held was that had we lost it, Tom Herman would have been fired within the week. We were supposed to win that game. We should have won that game. A loss would have proven this program was even worse than thought.

IMO, this win only buys Tom Herman another week. There would be no shame in losing to OSU, they're a very good football team. But there is shame in being out of the conference race only halfway into the conference schedule. Of being in the lower tier of the conference. Your goals are really gone. At that point, we're Furniture Bowl bound. Yippee.

I know its a bad look to throw all that money during a time when half this country thinks we're in danger with every breath we breathe. But its also a bad look for Texas to score mediocrity, yet again. We haven't been relevant in years. And there's a boatload of BMDs who are sick of it.

I don't think anything has changed except the date of termination.

Okay, but what happens if they run the table?  Does that keep the needle on the Herman record?  

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10 hours ago, Aaron Carrara said:

I think Texas remains in a precarious situation.  Today's win was a game Texas was expected to win, much like the TCU and OU games.  Baylor just isn't a good football team right now, plain and simple. There's a huge sigh of relief on The 40 Acres that the team won today, but there is no celebrating. Theres still a lot of work to be done and all the coaches and players all know it.  Stillwater looms, and looms hard. Next weekend will be the biggest test of the season for Texas.

Regarding Tom Herman...  Depends what you want to hear.  My sources have always maintained that it would be very unconventional for Texas to buyout Herman's contract with the money he is owed at this time. The athletic department has recently let more than 30 employees go, and Herman and his staff took paycuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those cuts will be reimbursed before his coaching contract expires.

The optics are concerning on a variety of levels.  Texas doesn't want to let its head coach go during a national pandemic, facing real revenue shortfalls and owing him 3 years worth of salary plus paycut reimbursements.  Does Texas have the cash on-hand if they want a buyout? Sure they do.  Would it be a good look to do so given the current economic climate?  Not really.

So keep Herman so we can look good and woke. Got it.

 

Edit note: I'm not attacking you Aaron as the messenger, just the message from above.

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I'm not advocating for keeping or replacing him.  But if Texas doesn't make an appearance in the Big 12 Championship Game I think there is definitely something for him and his staff to be concerned about.  

My point in the previous post was that the totality of the poor economy in the state coupled with higher education shortfalls, along with a current state budget deficit in this biennium of around $4 billion puts UT in a tough spot.  

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It’s amazing how much we have compromised on what success means at UT.  I don’t think 4 or 5 losses a year is what we should be accepting.  Anything short of winning the big 12 championship IMO means the termination of TH.

Does anyone feel like we dominated Baylor?  This was a team that had not practiced in 3 weeks, are rebuilding their roster, and have new coaches.  We beat them by 11 points.  That’s not having your way with a team.  Sometimes the way you win speaks volumes as to just where your program is heading.  

Our standards for excellence should not be compromised.  If “This is Texas” is true then UT and the fans should not settle for mediocrity and irrelevance.  If we are okay with 8-4 then keep TH and let’s use our football program as socially woke group to better the inequities in the world and only use football to fund it.  

if for no other reason TH using the football program as a cudgel to get rid of the eyes, which is what I believe he did, and the open insubordination to CDD and Hartzell while all of the other sports followed the expectations of what they outlined proves that TH is not a long term solution to coach at Texas.  He cannot run a successful football program and has every excuse as to why that’s not possible.  Interestingly he is not part of the problem.  

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1 hour ago, Sirhornsalot said:

f that includes winning the Big 12 Championship, Herman would stay.

Jesus Sha!....Say it aint so! Herman needs to be fired before the Big 12 championships are even played.He flat out underperforms as a UT coach. He needs to be gone tomorrow!

Think about it....We need a miracle against TT!....Let that sink in...we needed a miracle against TT! We lose to an inferior TCU team, and we lose to the worse OU team we will see in the next 20 years! Dammit!....what does it take to dump this loser?

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5 minutes ago, oldhorn2 said:

Jesus Sha!....Say it aint so! Herman needs to be fired before the Big 12 championships are even played.He flat out underperforms as a UT coach. He needs to be gone tomorrow!

Think about it....We need a miracle against TT!....Let that sink in...we needed a miracle against TT! We lose to an inferior TCU team, and we lose to the worse OU team we will see in the next 20 years! Dammit!....what does it take to dump this loser?

Well, Tech did beat West Virginia this weekend. But yeah, we should have beat them much worse.

If OSU beats us soundly, IMO, it's over. That would be three conference losses that would disqualify us from the conf championship game. Plus the embarrassment of being handled, once again.

 

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29 minutes ago, oldhorn2 said:

Jesus Sha!....Say it aint so! Herman needs to be fired before the Big 12 championships are even played.He flat out underperforms as a UT coach. He needs to be gone tomorrow!

Think about it....We need a miracle against TT!....Let that sink in...we needed a miracle against TT! We lose to an inferior TCU team, and we lose to the worse OU team we will see in the next 20 years! Dammit!....what does it take to dump this loser?

Unless the decision has already been made prior to the CCG, Tom isn't getting fired if he wins the Big 12 Championship. 

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As I have said before CDC seems to be a very cautious person. IMO CDC is looking for a reason to keep TH and that reason would be winning the Big 12.  This gives CDC the argument all be it a specious one to try and keep TH.  As the BMD’s go so will this decision.  If they give CDC enough grief and want the change it will happens no matter how we finish.  Call it bribery or leverage it makes no difference when you are beholden to a small group of rich alums that are finding you facilities upgrades.  In short you pay the price for that relationship.  It is my suspicion that they will cut TH loose if they have Urban Meyer waiting in the wings. If we keep losing and the deal has been made it will happen before the end of the season.

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1 hour ago, Sirhornsalot said:

If OSU beats us soundly, IMO, it's over. That would be three conference losses that would disqualify us from the conf championship game. Plus the embarrassment of being handled, once again.

 

I'm actually not as concerned about OSU. Given his history of getting the team up for a big game, (this year's RRS excluded), I think the team will play well. What concerns me more about Herman is his inability to get the team prepared to play games we should win. That concern makes me reasonably certain we will lose to a WV, or a K-State, or maybe even Kansas.

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45 minutes ago, NEOkHorn said:

I'm actually not as concerned about OSU. Given his history of getting the team up for a big game, (this year's RRS excluded), I think the team will play well. What concerns me more about Herman is his inability to get the team prepared to play games we should win. That concern makes me reasonably certain we will lose to a WV, or a K-State, or maybe even Kansas.

I don't see how we beat K-State. Well coached, make few mistakes, currently undefeated. WV would be a game we should win but could lose. And there's always Kansas, which is two games away.

OSU is pretty good. I don't think our best effort beats them right now.

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14 hours ago, slowjackrabbit said:

For Aaron Carrera:

How much money does the football program get from the Univ. of Texas budget each year?

 

Thanks

Herman's salary isn't paid using any state dollars as you probably know.  But your question about UT Austin's budget....  their annual operating budget is roughly $3 billion.

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