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View from the Cheap Seats-KSU


echeese
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View from the Cheap Seats-Kansas State

 

Defense seals a much needed road win

 

 

Road win.    These have been rare birds since Sark arrived.   Memories of Mack Brown’s struggles with KSU and trips to Manhattan came flooding back.  The stakes are high as the winner is setting themselves up as one half of the Conference Championship Game while the loser isn’t eliminated but will need help.   KSU coming off their biggest/best win of the season, a 48-0 thrashing of previous conference #2 Okie Lite.   This is a season where the TEXAS D has struggled.  Tonight they would deliver the knockout punch securing victory.  TEXAS opened with perhaps the best half of football they have played all season.   They would hang 31 points on KSU in the 1st half and it should have been more save a rare Roschon fumble.   You could not have scripted a better start to the game on the Horns 1st 3 drives:  8 play 75-yard drive, TD, 8 play 75 yard drive TD, 8 play 75 yard drive TD.  And the play calling was masterful.   KSU was kept completely off balance with a strong mix of runs and passes with plays going left right and up the middle.   TEXAS was well on their way to making it a rout until Roschon tracked down from behind and a rare fumble forced on drive #4.   It would be a fumble in each half that would keep the Wildcats in the game.   Defense bowed up forcing a turnover on downs, the 1st of 3 turnovers by the Horns and all would be critical.   TEXAS turned the 4th down turnover into a FG then blunted KSUs next drive with a Jaylan Ford INT which TEXAS turned into a TD and a 31-10 halftime lead.   We would be remiss if we did not mention BiJan climbing back into the Heisman discussions with a 15 carry 160 yard and a TD 1st half.    He was amazing.

 

Pressure.

 

Football is a game of emotion.   One of the most powerful is the pressure one team can force upon the other.   It was clear in the 1st half, Sark was keeping the pressure on the Wildcats with long sustained drives and opening up a 21 point advantage.    Despite their D being well coached, Sark was winning the chess match in the 1st half.   KSU’s D was back on their heels, unsure of what was coming next.    2nd half, the pressure largely flipped onto the Horns as it was clear previous failures to close out games impacted the play and play calling of the Horns.  It was in the players and coaches’ minds.    Will say there was no quit in the Horns D, they left it out on the field and in the end, secured victory.   Even without the fumble, the TEXAS D appeared to be playing well enough to run out the clock.   

 

Tale of two halves

 

Best half of TEXAS football in the Sark era on both sides of the ball.   2nd half, Longhorn fans have been here before.   Double digit lead gained, in this case 21 points at halftime but you still have to play the 2nd half.    This time the 2nd half could not have started better for the road team.  Defense once again stood up, despite an offsides call putting KSU in 1st and 5 and they would force a 3 and out punt.  Ewers and company took the field and went on the move.   Oh wait,  BEEP BEEP BEEP, the sound of the back up warning horn from a service vehicle.   Two false start penalties on TEXAS’ 1st drive.  No worries, Ewers with a great pass to Xaiver Worthy for a 1st down near middle field but a clean hard shot dislodges the ball, X Man fumble sets KSU up with a short field at the TEXAS 24.  KSU converts for a TD, cutting the lead from 21 to 14.   Here we go again.

 

You can feel the momentum of the game starting to swing.   TEXAS’ 1st three drives in the 2nd half would end fumble, punt punt.   TEXAS D started missing tackles and assignments.  KSU opened the 4th quarter, completing a 71 yard drive with a TD, it’s now a 7 point game 31-24.    The D was getting pressure on Martinez but he ducked out of arm tackles, frequently completing key passes. 

 

TEXAS responds with an 11 play drive ending in a FG to push the lead back to 2 scores, 34-24.    Not to be outdone, KSU answers with their own FG drive shrinking the lead to 7.     Kickoff to TEXAS, 4:06 left in the game, TEXAS needs a couple of 1st downs to get out of Manhattan with a rare, prized road win.   Against a KSU front selling out to stop the run, Sark calls 3 straight runs into the middle and is forced to punt.    If nothing else, an outside run would have burned a few more seconds of clock.   

 

Trejo’s punt pins KSU back at their 19 with 2:43 seconds in the game.   The dread in Longhorn nation descended like a dark cloud.    How would be blow yet another 2nd half lead.    Clock was now the key and TEXAS’ D was forcing KSU to bleed clock.    The front had done a good job of pressuring Martinez throughout the game.   On this series they even forced their 2nd strip sack but the ball bounced out of bounds.   KSU advanced to the TEXAS 43 and the clock was under 30 seconds.   Can the D hang in for a couple more plays?     Forget that, Keondre Coburn forces yet another Martinez fumble, recovered by Kaylan Ford to double Sark’s road wins in his TEXAS tenure.

 

 

Offensive Player of the Game

Who else?   BiJan Robinson.    He will leave TEXAS as one of the Top 5 running backs in our history.   Hopefully we get to see him 5 more times as a Horn.   30 rushes 209 yards (career 2nd best) and a TD 2 receptions for another 33 and a couple of critical blocks in pass pro to give Ewers just 1 more second to throw.  BiJan certainly made a statement going up against Deuce Vaughn who for the 1st time in his career, did not have a great game against the Horns.     BiJan left no question who is the top BigXII RB, maybe top in the land

 

Honorable Mention

 

Kevin Banks- we could say the entire offensive line who played very well on the road but Banks is making noise trying to be an All American this year.  Not just a freshman AA (that should be in the bag) but one of the very best OTs in the land.   He faced Felix Aundike-Uzomah much of the night.   Likely 1st round draft pick and #2 in CFB in sacks.    No sacks, no pressures, no TFL.   

 

Defensive Player of the Game

 

Kaylan Ford

 

A turnover secured in both halves.   The 1st an INT killing a 1st half KSU drive leading to a TEXAS TD, the 2nd fumble recovery to secure VICTORY.  He would also lead the team in tackles with 10 (6/4)

 

Stats that matter

 

·       8-15   TEXAS 3rd down conversion.  Much better

·       5-12     KSU 3rd down conversion, that’s winning football

·       5-5        Red Zone scoring, 4 TDs.   That ratio will win a lot of games.

·       16-57    TEXAS’ 2nd half scoring on the road, not good.

·       1129     BiJan rushing total for the season, back to back 1000 yard years. He still leads CFB in broken tackles.

 

 

Conclusions

 

Excellent win vs a very good team.  More importantly, on the road.   TEXAS continues to make silly mistakes and miss tackles but they found a way to win.  As TEXAS punted with just under 3 minutes left, how many were thinking “we’ll snatch defeat from the jaws of victory again”?    Sark’s 1st half play calling was brilliant and kept KSU completely off balance by using the whole field.   How do we get that over both halves?    And enough with the “bombs away” calls.   Ewers simply does not throw that ball well.   OTOH, his short and intermediate stuff is remarkable.   Seems to be a recurring theme, one week we’re fighting for a conference championship berth, the next week the season is a failure.  

 

On Deck

 

The undefeated Horny Frogs of TCU are coming to Austin for a night game.   We suspect the crowd will be as crazy as Mizzu from 2008.   TCU is dreaming of a potential playoff berth and has a game to give as it relates to the conference title.   TEXAS needs to win out to assure its half in the title game.   Who has more pressure?    More 1st half style play calling is in order with fewer 1st down “bombs away” calls putting TEXAS behind the chains.    Bombs away on 2nd and short is fine but TEXAS needs to stay ahead of the chains.   Hang on TEXAS fans, it’s been a roller coaster so far this season and it’s not over yet.   Going to be a fun ride to close it out and no gimmies left on the schedule.

 

Fighting Mack Brown’s

 

UNC continues to win close games and games which should not be as close as they are.   Since we saw everyone last, Mack’s crew has notched 2 more wins.  They have Wake and NCSt upcoming with GT sandwiched in the middle.  Mack playing with a loss to give and still heading for the ACC title game

 

Ranking the BigXII

 

#1   TCU   (6-0) Dreams of playoff berths dancing in their heads or will they settle for Sugar Plums in the Sugar Bowl?  They can drop a game to anyone and still have a path to the CCG.

#2   TEXAS  (4-2)  It’s been rough and rocking traveling but have they finally found themselves upright on the ground?   Cannot afford to stumble. 

#3    Baylor (4-2)   Adios Oklahoma    Nice win over the thieves of land setting up a “who’s chasing TEXAS” game vs KSU.   KSU remains in the hunt for the CCG but needs help.   Baylor, win this week and they control their own destiny

#4   KSU (4-2)    Stuck a dagger in OSU’s heart then had TEXAS repay the favor

#5   Kansas (3-3)   The land of Toto is not kind to Okie Lite as for the 2nd week in a row, they are singing “momma don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys” to the joy of Toto fans all over the world.

#6  Okie Lite  (3-3)  In freefall.

 

All above are going bowling.

 

#7   Dirt Burglers   (2-4)  Gave up almost 300 yards rushing to Baylor, needs 1 win to go bowling

#8  Texas Tech   (2-4)   Needs to win 2 from KU, ISU OU to go bowling.  Odd that OU/OSU Bedlam is not last game of OU/OSU’s season.

#9   ISU   (1-5)   Needs 2 wins to go bowling, finishes with OSU, TT and OU. 

#10  WVU (1-5)    Needs to win out to go bowling  vs OU, KSU OSU

 

If the Cheap Seats had a ballot(today)

 

Some major shake ups

 

#1 Georgia     Did the devil head down to Georgia and make a deal?

#2  tOSU      

#3  Michigan   

#4  TCU

 

Just a bit outside

 

Winner of Oregon USC in the Pac title game.   If conference titles matter

Tennessee or loser of Mich/tOSU?, can either do enough to leap frog a 1 loss Oregon/USC winner without a title?

Clemson   

 

 

Highlights

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPUmL6G7Sq4

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Good summary. The long passes are strategic whether they connect or not. Completing maybe one of three is great, but not necessary to be effective in the offensive scheme. If the defense has to account for them it opens up the rest of the field more so. 

There's a lot of parity in college football so the difference is more often than not minimizing turnovers and penalties. If the team can avoid the drive killing penalties and turnovers they will be elite for four quarters.

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4 hours ago, Hiwood said:

we got treated to a very fine color commentator in Brock Huard, he knew his stuff...I tried to listen to the Texas broadcast in SiriusXm with Craig Way, but it was so far behind I finally turned it off...

Texas so needs a MLB like DJ#56, Jeff Leiding or Britt Hager

I watched Texas-Arkansas last night on LHN. I never paid much attention to Hager's play until last night. 

Hager wasn't a big guy and got knocked back a lot. But he kept coming and before long, he made a drive-killing tackle behind the LOS. Not a ton of athletic talent, but a great nose for the ball and instincts that never let him quit.

 

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