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View from the Cheap Seats-Spring game


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View from the Cheap Seats-Sark’s 1st spring game

 

All Gas . . .No Brakes

 

 

 

One could not ask for a better day weather wise for new HC Steve Sarkisian and the TEXAS Longhorns to host their 2021 Spring game. New Motto: All Gas . . No Brakes which given Sark’s offensive history is very fitting. TEXAS is where expectations are sky high but it’s been over a decade since the team has come close to said expectations.

 

Sark inherits a team which is very talented (last 4 years recruiting ranking is #4 #4 #14 and #14 with only one year less than an average of 3.6 star per class, well above average) but with a long history of poor development. Likely the #1 reason each of the last 2 HCs has been canned. We at the Cheap Seats are trying not to jinx Coach Sark as we were very high early on with the last 2 hires. Frankly starting in 2010, TEXAS football had regressed to the bad old days of mediocrity coupled with high expectations.

 

The 1st thing worth mentioning is the staff that Sark has put together. The quality of these coaches has been significantly upgraded. Perhaps the most exciting part of the new staff for many Horn fans is seeing highly rated recruits’ talent truly developed. Not to mention Sark’s reputation as one of the finest play callers/designers of offense in the land.

 

Now Spring games are always a zero sum game but we liked that Sark featured the 1’s v 1’s (largely) and the 2 v 2’s. One thing that was clear, this was an opportunity for one of the 2 QBs to grabs the QB1 title going into the fall. Both looked outstanding at times and inconsistent at others.

 

Casey started on fire but slid into inconsistency and both QBs were plagued by too many dropped passes. One thing that is clear, this team has no WR1 or WR2 today. Great hopes rest on the shoulders of Troy Omerie who is recovering from ACL. Jake Smith was also out. Jordan Whittington continues to tease us with flashes Card has a GREAT arm but needs a clean pocket. While he can move well to avoid the rush, one he moves, his accuracy drops dramatically. End of the day, Casey’s superior mobility in extending plays and ability to rush put him in a tenuous lead on the QB1 spot heading into fall.

 

Basically anyone saying one QB clearly ahead of the other is pushing some confirmation bias.

 

One observation, 70 total passes thrown in the game vs 46 rushes. Clearly Sark was giving the QBs a chance to separate and come September, expect to see those totals closer to 50/50 leaning more run than pass.

 

Beast Mode

 

Sark loves the great running back and it’s fitting that the best player on the team is Sophomore Bijion Robinson. While limited to only 10 carries, he showed flashes several times. He was also featured in the passing game with 4 receptions on 5 targets. Not to be outdone, Roshon Johnson showed improvement from an impressive 2020 campaign and is clearly RB2. A very pleasant surprise from the RB spot came from transfer Gabriel Watson who ran well, 6.5 ypc on 8 totes of the rock. We may have a new RB3.

 

In the “zero sum” department, thought the offensive line and the defensive line showed pretty well. Each was missing at least one key projected starter but performed fairly well. These two units will go a long way to determining TEXAS’ success in 2021.

 

 

 

Biggest disappointment

 

Lack of production from the WRs. Too many drops, they struggled at times to get open. So far, no dominate player. And Sark loves his QB1, his RB1 and his WR1.

 

Biggest Positive

 

How refreshing was it to see a defense playing in position and fundamentally sound. We are not worried about TEXAS generating offense but our first glimpse of Coach K coupled with his history is a great reason for optimism. We have to be an above average to great D to win at the highest levels.

 

 

 

Offensive player of the game

 

BiJion Robinson. Would not be shocked if he earned this nod at least 8-10 times in 2021. Really hoping he gets 14 games.

 

Defensive Player of the Game

 

Prince Doborah. 6 tackles, 2 for losses and a sack

 

Stats that Matter

 

70/116 Passes to total plays. Do not expect to see that this season

 

2 Total offensive TDs in the game, 1 rushing 1 Passing. J Moore did drop an easy TD in the endzone but TEXAS will need more red zone consistency

 

3 / 5 Sacks per QBs. Card had 2 on back to back plays during a 2 minute drill to take TEXAS out of FG range. While Casey with a pick 6 in the red zone. Better in the Spring Game to learn from it. TEXAS has to close out scoring drives better

 

6.5 Watson’s average yards per carry. Welcome to the 40 Acres Mr Watson.

 

Charles Wright

 

For the player with the greatest name in Longhorn history, not a very impressive debut. 0-1 passing and -10 rushing on a sack

 

 

 

Conclusions

 

Zero sum game. TEXAS is a team in rebuilding mode. Honestly far less worried about the QB than the WR corps. Today we see a high side of 9-3 and a low side of 7-5. Nope, this is NOT why we hired Sark but we do think it may take a year to get “his players” in place.

 

Now the wild card for this is Sark has talked about 7-9 transfers and we have already seen the impact of Watson and LB Ray Thornton from LSU. There is no question TEXAS is suddenly one of the hot spots for players looking to make a 1-2 year impact.

 

Next up

 

Fall camp then Louisiana. TEXAS opens with one of the better Non Power 5 teams in the Raging Cajuns returning a ton of talent and riding a Top 25 pre season ranking. Then TEXAS has to travel to Arkansas which will view TEXAS as their Super Bowl (who doesn’t)

 

4 Months and a week till the next version of the Cheap Seats. Meanwhile, our way too early 

 

Big XII-2 rankings

 

#1 OU Sadly today, big drop to the next tier of teams.

 

#2 ISU Coming off a Top 10 finish, they open ranked #5. They also boast Brock Purdy back and the #1 RB in the BigXII. Top team today in that 2nd tier of teams

 

#3 TEXAS based on talent and new improved coaching

 

#4 TCU Is this Gary Patterson’s best team in years?

 

#5 OSU rounding out the Second tier in the BigXII, Mike “The Mullet” Gundy returns Jr QB Spenser who flashes great talent but has 19 INTs in the past 2 seasons

 

#6 WVY Quality coaching in Neal Brown coupled with a solid D has WVU leading Tier 3 of the BigXII

 

#7 KSU Always well coached, KSU has their top QB and Top RB to lead them in 2021.

 

#8 Baylor. Not sure if this is the last team in Tier 3 of the 1st team in Tier 4 but expect Baylor to be better in Coach Dave Aranda’s 2nd year

 

#9 TT Final season for Matt Wells?

 

 #10 Kansas Is it basketball season yet?

 

 

Hope you enjoy

 

Shout out to all of you who helped get the JimsTexas Scholarship fund over the Top

 

Very proud of the TEXAS Longhorn Volleyball team.

 

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  • 2021 Texas Football Schedule

    Week
    Opponent
    W/L
    9/4
    Louisiana
    9/11
    @Arkansas
    9/18
    Rice
    9/25
    Texas Tech
    10/2
    @TCU
    10/9
    Oklahoma
    10/16
    Oklahoma State
    10/30
    @Baylor
    11/6
    @Iowa State
    11/13
    Kansas
    11/20
    @West Virginia
    11/27
    Kansas State

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