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View from the Cheap Seats-LaLa


echeese
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View from the Cheap Seats ULaLa

 

All Gas No Brakes

 

 

 

What is likely the most significant off season in TEXAS Longhorn history opened with plenty of questions being answered by new Coach Steve “Sark” Sarkisian and his young charges. Not sure you could have scripted a better opening for Coach Sark, his brand new staff and the debut of Hudson Card.

 

Let’s quickly start with the off season changes. As most are aware by now, TEXAS and Oklahoma shook the college football world by announcing they were joining the SEC. This announcement would come after TEXAS chose to fire Coach Tom “Mensa” Herman who had not done poorly, but he had not done well either. And after very publicly courting Urban Meyer who would bolt for the NFL, TEXAS would “settle” by plucking Coach Sark from the Bama staff, along with 3 other Bama coaches. The move to changes conferences that supposedly had been blocked for years (decades?) by the TEXAS administration was now seen as the most obvious move by a new AD, President and head of our board of Regents. Big time props to AD, CDC (now know by his initials), UT President Jay Hartzell and Board of Regent chair Kevin P. Eltife. History will be the judge of the wisdom of these moves but these men should be credited with the vision and courage to not stand with the status quo.

 

 

ACES. So 2 quick digs at our friends down in College Station before we get into Sat's game. 1st, as great as the news of the move from the lackluster BigXII to the SEC was to real CFB fans, almost as joyous was listening to the howls and whines of our former “rival” (how much of a rival are you really when you lost 3/4ers of the games you play?) who realized they were going right back into the shadow of TEXAS. It was interesting that Aggie would also give Jimbo Fisher a raise after going 33-16 over 4 years, failing to win 10 games in a season and not even winning their division. TEXAS would fire their head coach who would go 32-18 over 4 years, producing a 10 win season and playing for the conference title. The standards are not the same

 

Back to the game at hand

 

TEXAS opened their season facing a Nationally ranked opponent that returned 20 of 22 starters from last year, a team which finished the year with a well-deserved Top 25 ranking. This is a team that upset Iowa State in the opener last year. This was also the game many pundits picked as their ”upset special” to kick off the season. Coach Sark and company would put the quick kibosh on that, jumping out to a 14-6 half time lead and never looking back.

 

TEXAS would open the season forcing a 3 and out then registering their own 3 and out. . . .TEXAS would then go long TD drive, long missed FG drive then long TD drive to take a 14-6 half time lead. Did you read that right? Only 4 drives in the 1st half? Get used to Sark’s ball control offense where he’ll change plays at the line but will eat up much of the clock on every play. While the motto is “All gas no brakes”, this is not an up tempo offense many are used to seeing. To highlight that ball control, TEXAS would convert 10 of 15 chances on 3rd down. Not that Sark will not go uptempo from time to time, something he did several times in the game to keep the LaLa D off balance. If we were to pick one word for this offense? Methodical. Speaking of “methodical”, after the opening 3 and out, TEXAS would score or attempt to score, missed FG on drive #3, on every drive it had until the very last drive of the game where TEXAS was simply trying to run out the clock. Along the way, Coach Sark showed why he was so highly regarded and such a desirable candidate for the job. He put his talented players in a position to succeed and when asked to, his players made plays.

 

The difference in not just play calling but play design as well. We’ll focus on BiJan’s 1st TD pass. TEXAS lines up with 2 tight ends tight on the left side of the formation with no WR to that side and BR in the backfield. Both TEs run routes into the center of the field, the Corner back follows the TEs leaving BR wide open to leak out into the flat where he outruns the D to the end zone. Of course nothing helps a play caller more than talented players and in BiJan Robinson TEXAS is blessed with a dynamic ball carrier with the power to break tackles as well as the quickness to leave defenders trying to find their underwear on the field. Think larger, stronger version of Jamaal Charles. As we saw at the end of last year, BR will be a special RB for TEXAS if he can stay healthy.

 

The biggest story of the off season (on the field) was who would win the job as QB1 for the Horns. Hudson Card served notice the job was his while he lived up to advanced billing with a very impressive performance. Through one game, he showed why he deserved QB1 status. He delivered a calm, cool demeanor, frequently extending plays displaying good elusiveness in the pocket. He certainly displayed a “live arm” with pinpoint throws. He reminds us of another redshirt freshman QB, Colt McCoy, who enjoyed an on field maturity beyond his years. Not to mention a frame that could use another 10-15 pounds of muscle. Card did something not sure many noticed, when he scrambled, he kept his eyes down field. He never lost awareness of what was going on and where his targets were. Just one game but Card did everything he was asked including not turning the ball over.'

 

Applaud Coach Sark for getting Casey Thompson into the game late in the 3rd and giving him the entire 4th quarter.  Move should pay big dividends.   He also managed to get RB3  Kelian Robinson plenty of snaps and he responded with a 5.1 ypc performance.

 

Not everything was wine and roses. The TEXAS offensive line gave up 4 sacks on the day. Having watched the OU game with their DL wrecking havoc on the Tulane offense at times, this is a concern. Largely the only negative we can find with the offense but it’s pretty important one.

 

While not as impressive or dominate as the O, the D acquitted itself well and we think Coach K is going to pay strong dividends. Without blitzing much, the TEXAS D contained a very good LaLa offense. Of particular note was limiting 5th year Senior QB Levi Lewis to his worst game in 2 years. A true dual threat QB, one of the big concerns was not letting Lewis beat the Horns with his legs. La La was never able to establish their run game and by the 2nd half, they became largely 1 dimensional. La La did manage 2 long drives in the 2nd half but by then the game was largely out of reach.

 

Offensive Player of the game:

 

#1 BiJan Robinson. 176 total yards from scrimmage, 2 TDs and showed off both great cutting ability, great power and great speed.

 

#2 Hudson Card. 177 QB rating on a 14 for 21 224 yard night with 2 passing TDs to go with a rushing TD and not INTs. Well done young man.

 

#3 Jordan Whittington J-Witt to his friends. 7 catches 113 yards and a TD.

 

Defensive Player of the game

 

Co D-MVPs, DeMarvion Overshown & Luke Brockemeyer would record 24 tackles (8 solo) and 2 sacks combined.

 

 

Stats that matter

 

5-5 Red Zone scoring and 4 of 5, 4 TDs and 1 FG.

 

10-15 3rd down conversion rate.

 

4-13 LaLa’s 3rd down conversion rate, 0-9 through 3 quarters.

 

4/3 Good news bad news. We gave up 4 sacks and recorded 3.

 

7-64 Penalties on TEXAS. Will be a coaching focus this week

 

177    Hudson Card's QB rating through game 1

 

 

On Deck

 

So Sark faces an early coaching challenge. He takes the Horns on the road to visit old SWC rival (now this a real rivalry) Arkansas who will be sky high for the game. His young team will be tested in a very hostile environment as the fans. Arkie’s QB is a big guy, 250 lbs and more known for being a rusher not passer. Avoid turnovers, take an early lead and another methodical game will be next week’s keys to victory.

 

 

Ranking the BigXII

 

Big Dog

 

1 Oklahoma. Lots of teams guilty of reading their press clippings/eating the cheese, OU appeared to be one of them. OU’s front is scary, their secondary not so much. They remain #1 until someone knocks them off their perch

 

Chasing the title

 

2 TEXAS Great debut for Sark over a ranked opponent. Best BigXII win of the weekend

 

3 ISU Speaking of eating the cheese, expect ISU to be formidable and improve from a lackluster performance vs a good FCS level school

 

4 TCU Strong showing vs a tomato can. TEXAS BigXII opener

 

5 KSU Looked good vs Stanford. 2nd best BigXII win of the weekend

 

6 OSU Did not look good beating an FCS opponent, Mizzu State

 

Also rans

 

7 TT Beat Cougar High

 

8 WVU Lost to Maryland, shades of Mensa

 

9 Kansas Eeked out a win vs FCS opponent (sensing a week 1 pattern?)

 

10 Baylor Did not look good beating FCS opponent Texas State

 

 

Way too early playoff picks:

 

  • #1 Bama Stop me if you have heard this before, new QB, New OC. . .same ole Bama
  •  
  • #2 tOSU Best of the rest but a step below Bama
  •  
  • #3 Dawgs Hard to believe Clemson and Dawgs would play a game without scoring an offensive TD
  •  
  • #4 Field is open. Today the Land Thieves fill this spot but Clemson’s playoff bid took a shot this weekend.

 

Game highlights

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBwVTk7rRPo

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Solid write-up.  

I would put Georgia at #2. As far as #3 #4: we should know more about Oregon and Ohio State this week and Clemson's  defense will keep them in the top 4 to help the offensive side get righted.

Only Alabama is the most complete team out there. 

OU has lots to work on in all 3 phases; yes the K had 3 50+ kicks, but he also missed a chip shot 38 yarder? I think. Their defense  looked  like total elephant dung the 2nd half and had a home no call on a 4th and 13 where one of the defensive  player(s) hit the Tulane qb after he was down . Just saying. Plus is he was only short by half a yard. 

 

 

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Good read!

I think I’m still in “wait and see” mode.  A lot of good things with the Horns for sure, but I want to see if we have improvement from week 1 and how they handle a hostile environment.

Honestly, I cant get excited about the Big XII this year.  A Texas conference championship would be awesome as a goodbye gesture but I’m looking more towards a great first year in the SEC being a contender for a conference title and being a serious playoff contender.

I guess I’m expecting good things, but we have been expecting good things in the past…I’m just not quite ready to drink the koolaid.

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To put into more perspective, 4 of Card's incompletions were batted passes (2) and throw aways (2).

After their game with Rice, I'm not as worried about Arkansas. Maybe they were overlooking Rice and ahead to Texas, hard to say. But they didn't look good early in that game. Rice was leading at one point.

 

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1 hour ago, Sirhornsalot said:

To put into more perspective, 4 of Card's incompletions were batted passes (2) and throw aways (2).

After their game with Rice, I'm not as worried about Arkansas. Maybe they were overlooking Rice and ahead to Texas, hard to say. But they didn't look good early in that game. Rice was leading at one point.

 

Yes, but U-Laf was leading at one point, too. Good point on Card's incompletions.

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excellent article Cheese. To me it is damned refreshing to have a coach that runs multiple formations that can either be passed or run without changing the look. That makes it tougher on opps DC'c.....and if that wasnt enough, Sark has em get to the line quickly so he can seethe defense and have plenty of time to change the play accordingly.

 

Frankly, I was shocked when he ran Roshan into the line on 3rd down in the second quarter needing nearly 12 yds. That left 4th and like 6 yds, and Sark didnt even blink going for the 6yds....Card ran it to the right and made it closer than he needed to , but making the first down. I knew right then and there that there was a new Sherriff in town and we had a true innovator calling the shots.

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It may be just one game, but I saw evidence of REAL coaching for the first time in maybe 15 years. For the most part we made certain, sure tackles. The WR's that we were so worried about made fabulous catches.

 

The blocking was not good, so the run game didnt get the "pop" it needed. Special teams coach Banks is THE MAN! Card needs definite work on the long pass, but he is "nails" on the intermediate stuff. I even wondered if he was told to over throw those deep balls.

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  • 2021 Texas Football Schedule

    Week
    Opponent
    W/L
    9/4
    Louisiana
    W 38-18
    9/11
    @Arkansas
    L 21-40
    9/18
    Rice
    W 58-0
    9/25
    Texas Tech
    W 70-35
    10/2
    @TCU
    W 32-27
    10/9
    Oklahoma
    L 48-55
    10/16
    Oklahoma State
    L 24-32
    10/30
    @Baylor
    L 24-31
    11/6
    @Iowa State
    L 7-30
    11/13
    Kansas
    L 56-57 OT
    11/20
    @West Virginia
    L 23-31
    11/27
    Kansas State
    W 22-17

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