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View from the Cheap Seats-Rice


echeese
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View from the Cheap Seats-Rice

Slump Buster

 

And did this Longhorn team ever need a slump buster after the worst defeat of the past decade, a tomato can a stalking horse, a stat padder, call Rice whatever you wish.  Almost feel sorry for Rice, which was once a proud program and some of the brightest kids in Texas played their hearts out.   (Rice refers to itself as the Harvard of the Southwest for good reason).    

The biggest story of the night, for the 1st time since 3 Nov 2017, Casey Thompson was QB1 for his team.    After 4 years at TEXAS, Casey got his chance to start and he shined.   Granted, he was playing Rice so don’t get too excited.   Having said that, he was decisive, his throws were on the money and outside of an Interception, he had an outstanding night.  Though the interception was interesting as he came back complete unphased.    In fact the biggest negative from the offense was that Casey was hit 3 or 4 times so the offensive line still has some work to do.

Interesting trivia, until Sat night, we did not know that Casey was half Native American.  

Casey’s evening was aided by both scheme and by our ground attack.   Clearly the strength of the Longhorn offense is it is lead by 2 outstanding running backs in BiJan Robinson and Roshon Johnson who each had amazing nights.   And it was clear the job #1 for Coach Sark was to establish the run early and wear out Rice.   Mission accomplished.   4 Running backs combined for 427 yards rushing including a 72 yard run by Roshon Johnson from the wildcat in the 1st quarter, a 62 yard run by BiJan in the 2nd quarter and a 65 yard run by Keilan Robinson in the 3rd quarter.    BiJan Robinson gained 9.8 yards a carry and was only 3rd on the team in yards per carry on a 127 yard night.   He also showed great power on several runs highlighted by a stiff arm where he threw the Rice defender to the ground.   The 1st play of the highlights below features both the stiff arm and the replay of the stiff arm.   BRUTAL

This was clearly an All Gas, No Brakes night for Coach Sark who’s scheme featured a great deal of misdirection, opening with a jet sweep to get the ball in the hands of Xaiver Worthy.  The slender (160 lbs) WR would have his biggest night of his young career.   Jared Wiley recorded his 1st receptions for the 2021 season and maybe showed us a glimpse of the tight end position in this offense going forward.    No series highlighted TEXAS/Sark was playing to win as much as our next to the last series in the 1st half.    A Rice punt pinned TEXAS back at her 11.   Following the only negative play (1 yard rushing loss) of the evening, Sark dials up 3 straight pass plays.   The 3rd down play results in a holding call against TEXAS pinning us back at the 7.  (btw, one of only 2 penalties on TEXAS on the evening)   Most coaches would have run a safe play, punted and lived to fight another day considering we were already up 23-0.    Nope, not Sark,  he showed great faith in Casey who drops back and fires a 22 yard strike to Kelovanty Dixon setting up 1st down and then BiJan’s 62 yard TD run where he featured his speed, vision and cut back ability.  

Not to jinx him but at TEXAS, we know our great RBs by one name, they don’t need 2.  Earl, Ricky, Ced, Jamaal, Priest (though more for his NFL success) and now BiJan.    We have him for 2 more seasons before he’s a 1st round NFL pick, appreciate and enjoy him now.   And we REALLY hope we haven’t jinxed him.    Great things in the young man’s future.

 

We would be remiss if we did not mention Kelien Robinson’s punt block which was the biggest special teams play of the evening and lead to a safety then a TEXAS TD drive so really a 9 point play.

Defense had a good night, forcing Rice into 7 drives of 4 plays or less on Rice’s 10 drives (we don’t count the drive immediately before half as it was simply running out the clock)   They did give up 3 drives of 9 plays or more.    One of the biggest advantages of a tomato can game is getting snaps for a large number of players who will be needed as the season grinds on.

 

Overall, doubt if you could have drawn up a better game or game plan for a badly needed slump buster.   We hope that the QB issue is now resolved for the season though we doubt Coach Sark will say anything but “week to week” which we understand.   There was only one player who left the field due to injury so hope he’s OK but fairly high on the pre-game check list was “no injuries”

Not a game to get too excited about, Rice was outclassed.   But certainly a great confidence builder game for the Horns

Offensive player of the Game

BiJan Robinson   127 yards  14 yard reception 3 TDs

Honorable Mention:    Roshon Johnson and Casey Thompson.

Defensive player of the game

Ovie Ogaphour     Tackle and a half for loss + a sack

Up Next

Texas Tech comes to town.   They will be a better opponent than Rice though they still will not tell us who this Longhorn team is.    TT in Austin is seldom the same team as TT in Lubbock.   We look for a somewhat similar game plan, plenty of mis direction and leaning hard on the run game with Casey throwing 18-25 times.   2 weeks until TCU on the road, which will be TEXAS’ “big test” of the season  before we face OU in the Red River War then Oklahoma State before a bye week.   We hope we see more passing to the TEs, we certainly have enough of them on the roster.    One of Coach Sark’s challenges is to continue to rebuild this young team’s confidence.

 

 

Stats that Matter

0   TEXAS’ D pitched it’s 1st shutout since 2017

427    TEXAS’ combined rushing yards with only 1 negative play  a -1 yard run.

5-6    Six trips into the redzone coming away with 5 TDs and a late 4th quarter turnover on           downs  

0-2  Two Rice red zone trips resulting in ZERO scores

6     Number of TEXAS players who scored touchdowns in the game

0   Number of punts TEXAS needed

 

Mack Attack

Loss to Va Tech now looks worse with their loss to WVU.    Facing Virginia, UNC  took an early lead, lost the lead going into half time then came roaring back scoring 5 TDs in the 2nd half to win going away.    Up next they face a Georgia Tech team that gave Clemson all they can handle

 

Ranking the BigXII

 

#1  Oklahoma    while not an impressive win vs Neb, they are the champs and remain on top until someone knocks them off

Standard caveat, until we know more, 2-7 can be ranked in any order today

#2   ISU    Big win vs a tomato can.

#3  TEXAS    We certainly know TEXAS can beat the weak teams on the schedule,

#4  West Virginia on the strength of the best win (vs #15) on the BigXII schedule this week

#5  TCU    Horn Frogs on an early bye week

#6  Okie Lite    Neither team scored in the 2nd half, eeked out a win over Boise State

#7  KSU    21 4th quarter points lead to a 21 point victory

#8  Baylor   Blew out Kansas

#9  Texas Tech  Blew out Florida International

#10  Baylor     Is it basketball season yet?

 

Way too early Playoff projections

#1 Bama    Faced a real test in the swamp, simply too much talent but might not be their last game with Florida

#2  Oregon    Blew out a tomato can.  Can anyone in the Pac stop their run?

#3   tOSU     Bumbling, stumbling but continues to win.  B1G play should be very interesting

#4  Oklahoma     For now, they run the table, they are in the playoffs

 

Just a bit outside

Georgia    Cocktail party likely determines who plays Bama for the SEC title.   Need some of the front runner sin the nation to lose a game so SEC can get 2 teams

Penn St    Beat a better than we thought Auburn team who’s role this year might be spoiler

Michigan     Harbaugh’s year to win the B1G?  

Iowa     Looking good early

Clemson    Not looking impressive but just win baby

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YY_c5eWZhuE

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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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