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Quick Takes: Oklahoma State


Mike Roach
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Who: Texas Longhorns 5-5 (4-3) vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys 5-4 (3-3)

When: Saturday November 15, 2014 6:30 PM

Where: Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater OK (Fox)

Odds: Texas -2

 

The Good:

 

The Cowboys had a very promising start to the season including a close loss to Florida State in which the Pokes pushed the defending National Champions to the limit.  They then rattled off five straight wins against struggling teams such as Kansas, Iowa State, and Texas Tech.  Starting quarterback J.W. Walsh was lost to an injury and the bill came due on the heavily frontloaded schedule the Cowboys had.  Desmond Roland and Tyreek Hill have proven to be formidable threats in the running game but that is where the silver lining ends for the Pokes.

 

The Bad:

 

Aside from a solid performance by backup Daxx Garman against Texas Tech, the Oklahoma State offense has really struggled since losing Walsh.  The big play Oklahoma State offense of the past has been missing in action, and the Pokes have been blown out in their last three games by an average of thirty points.  Garman has proven to be a turnover machine, while the offensive line has failed to protect him very well.  Big play receiver Marcell Ateman has recorded only 19 catches and has yet to score.  The Oklahoma State defense is young and athletic but their inexperience has resulted in an average of 423 yards per game. 

 

The Uncertain:

 

The weather is supposed to be very cold in Stillwater on Saturday, and the Pokes are hosting their senior night.  Oklahoma State is also coming off of a bye week that has given their battered team a chance to rest and re-group.  Both teams have similar records, but look to be heading in different directions as the season goes on.  How will both team's young quarterbacks perform in a bad weather game with big stakes on the line?

 

What's At Stake:

 

Both teams are one win away from bowl eligibility, and this game represents the best chance for both teams to get a win.  Texas faces TCU after Oklahoma State, while the Cowboys have Baylor and Oklahoma ahead.  While the bar has certainly been lowered for both programs, a win here guarantees a post season and those valuable bowl practices.  For a game between two middle of the pack conference teams, there is certainly a lot on the line here.

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Good scouting info on the 'Pokes.  The "BAD" part of the O you posted about is why I think the Horns will win this game.  But make no mistake, TEXAS is coming to town, Oklahoma Aggie will have had 2 weeks to get ready, they will be fired up and playing for their bowl lives, the crowd will be loud and well lubricated.  The Horns of Righteousness will need to play well, not turnover the ball and commit a bunch of stupid penalties to help osu.

 

Hook 'Em!

 

Edit: bcherry is right, the pokes will load the box and dare us to beat them with Swoopes - that could spell big trouble.

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Based on our recent QB play, I'm not sure that we can score over 20 against Okie St.

 

However, if the defense plays like they did last week, we should hold Okie State to single digit points or maybe even a shutout.

 

I don't think you can go game by game on Swoopes.  He's a young quarterback and is going to have his ups and downs week to week.  He could come out and play like he did against Iowa State or Oklahoma, or he could play like he did against K-State.  He could also find some in between which I think wins games for you with the defense and the way the running game has gone.  Weather is going to be the x-factor here.

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I don't think you can go game by game on Swoopes. He's a young quarterback and is going to have his ups and downs week to week. He could come out and play like he did against Iowa State or Oklahoma, or he could play like he did against K-State. He could also find some in between which I think wins games for you with the defense and the way the running game has gone. Weather is going to be the x-factor here.

I agree with this. The main issue that Swoopes is having right now seems to be that he is somewhat panicking when he sees a blitz. If he can learn to adjust then I think our offense will be fine. Until then, we'll have to rely on our ground game which has been improving over the past two weeks.

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I don't think you can go game by game on Swoopes.  He's a young quarterback and is going to have his ups and downs week to week.  He could come out and play like he did against Iowa State or Oklahoma, or he could play like he did against K-State.  He could also find some in between which I think wins games for you with the defense and the way the running game has gone.  Weather is going to be the x-factor here.

 

For a really good take on the QB situation go read Scipio Tex's Post Mortem Offense from the West Virginia game. It's a very good read I promise you.

 

Swoopes really hasn't had ups and downs week to week. There's really only been 2 games that he played well in, Iowa State and Oklahoma. And, as Scipio Tex says in the above mentioned article, Iowa State is proving to have the least talented defense in the Big 12 and Oklahoma is showing that their defense is overrated.

 

In his last 3 games, Swoopes is 37 for 79! That's 47% and his completions per game are 13, 13, and 11. He started the West Virginia game 4 for 4 and finished 7 for 25 for 70 yards.

 

I said after the Baylor game that he just doesn't have the "It" factor. And after seeing what he said in yesterday's press conference, about just having to manage the game and not having to score a lot of points because of the defense, I'm even more sure of it. For that to change, the light will have to come on for him which hasn't happened yet.

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For a really good take on the QB situation go read Scipio Tex's Post Mortem Offense from the West Virginia game. It's a very good read I promise you.

 

Swoopes really hasn't had ups and downs week to week. There's really only been 2 games that he played well in, Iowa State and Oklahoma. And, as Scipio Tex says in the above mentioned article, Iowa State is proving to have the least talented defense in the Big 12 and Oklahoma is showing that their defense is overrated.

 

In his last 3 games, Swoopes is 37 for 79! That's 47% and his completions per game are 13, 13, and 11. He started the West Virginia game 4 for 4 and finished 7 for 25 for 70 yards.

 

I said after the Baylor game that he just doesn't have the "It" factor. And after seeing what he said in yesterday's press conference, about just having to manage the game and not having to score a lot of points because of the defense, I'm even more sure of it. For that to change, the light will have to come on for him which hasn't happened yet.

 

I'm a big fan of Scipio so I'll definitely check it out.

 

For me I'm measuring development by what I'm seeing more by what the numbers are.  His progress won't be linear, so it will be more of a thing where you look at the season on the whole and evaluate where he improved.  Right now he's going through something that I think David Ash went through early in his development.  That game against WVU reminded me of the game at Missouri in which Ash just kept launching deep passes with no idea where they were going.  Swoopes is doing the same thing right now, and if he can get back to eating up those routes he's getting at 7 and 8 yards he will improve.  It's just really impossible to evaluate him right now because he's been all over the place.  His deep accuracy is so hit or miss that it skews his completion percentage.  I believe he could really beef those numbers up but he's got it in his head to throw it deep every time.  He also has happy feet like crazy.  Despite the low completion numbers I thought he played well against Tech. 

 

Scouts always say you just have to see it once and you know it's there.  There are a lot of things I've seen from him that make me know they are there but he hasn't harnassed the ability to consistently execute them.  These are the struggles of a young quarterback, especially one that wasn't ready for this season.  As an aside, I think the whole discussion about "it" factor is bogus.  It can't be quantified and is used to generalize as a statement.  Vince Young and Colt McCoy were guys who people said "Just had 'it'", but I feel like I could write a book on why each was so good and expand on those reasons.  From what I see Swoopes is slow footed when running outside, struggles with deep accuracy, has difficulties reading coverage, holds on to the ball too long, hears footsteps in the pocket, and forces throws downfield instead of checking down when the defense is giving him yards.  Now that is 6 reasons that can be quantified as reasons he is struggling this year.  I'm sorry to rant a bit, I just have a pet peeve about the whole "It factor" thing.

 

Lastly, I agree that the comments in the media are a bit disturbing and show a young man who is struggling with the speed of the game and is starting to see ghosts out there.  That said I wouldn't be so hard on him.  More players than you think experience the same things, but Swoopes has an unfiltered honesty that you'd almost expect out of a small town 19 year old kid.  If proper quarterback management was seen to under Mack this kid would have had a redshirt and probably 2 years as a backup before being thrust into this position.  He's carrying the weight of a blue blood program and all of the expectations that go with it on his back and I think he's reacting honestly to it.  He's also learning in a trial by extreme fire environment.  A lot of the things I listed above can be erased with time and reps, even if it isn't on our timeline. 

 

I say all this to say, that while I'm not sure anyone has the answer to if Swoopes is the future or not, he has to be considered on a different grading scale.  He's shown things over the course of the season that shows growth in some areas and potential for greatness in others.  He's also shown the potential for meltdown.  If Jerrod Heard is what everyone (including me) thinks he is, then he will get the chance to show that in the bowl practices and spring.  The bottom line is, a Swoopes led has had them in every single game except for BYU, Kansas State, and to an extent Baylor.  I don't believe he is hurting the team right now, I just believe he's not helping it greatly.  It's kind of a crappy situation for the University of Texas to be in, but that is the reality at this time.  Two or possibly three more games for now we will be able to look back and get an accurate picture that isn't colored by the ups and downs of the week to week emotional swing.  If he's not the answer, the coaching staff will turn to the next option for next season.  Thanks for your thoughts on this.

 

#TL:DR #Coolstorybro

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To add some more to the quarterback discussion I went and picked 3 other players who started a bit young.

 

It's important to remember that while these players were true freshmen and Swoopes is a soph, all three guys came from way more advanced prep backgrounds.  All stats are through first nine starts.

 

Swoopes - 167/292 (57.2%) 1847 yards (205 YPG) 10/6 TD/INT

 

Matt Barkley - 146/252 (58.2%) 2035 yards (226 YPG) 11/10 TD/INT

 

Teddy Bridgewater - 146/222 (65.7%) 1600 yards (177 YPG)  9/8 TD/INT

 

Christian Hackenberg - 178/306 (59%) 2187 yards (243 YPG) 13/8 TD/INT

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I'm a big fan of Scipio so I'll definitely check it out.

 

For me I'm measuring development by what I'm seeing more by what the numbers are.  His progress won't be linear, so it will be more of a thing where you look at the season on the whole and evaluate where he improved.  Right now he's going through something that I think David Ash went through early in his development.  That game against WVU reminded me of the game at Missouri in which Ash just kept launching deep passes with no idea where they were going.  Swoopes is doing the same thing right now, and if he can get back to eating up those routes he's getting at 7 and 8 yards he will improve.  It's just really impossible to evaluate him right now because he's been all over the place.  His deep accuracy is so hit or miss that it skews his completion percentage.  I believe he could really beef those numbers up but he's got it in his head to throw it deep every time.  He also has happy feet like crazy.  Despite the low completion numbers I thought he played well against Tech. 

 

Scouts always say you just have to see it once and you know it's there.  There are a lot of things I've seen from him that make me know they are there but he hasn't harnassed the ability to consistently execute them.  These are the struggles of a young quarterback, especially one that wasn't ready for this season.  As an aside, I think the whole discussion about "it" factor is bogus.  It can't be quantified and is used to generalize as a statement.  Vince Young and Colt McCoy were guys who people said "Just had 'it'", but I feel like I could write a book on why each was so good and expand on those reasons.  From what I see Swoopes is slow footed when running outside, struggles with deep accuracy, has difficulties reading coverage, holds on to the ball too long, hears footsteps in the pocket, and forces throws downfield instead of checking down when the defense is giving him yards.  Now that is 6 reasons that can be quantified as reasons he is struggling this year.  I'm sorry to rant a bit, I just have a pet peeve about the whole "It factor" thing.

 

Lastly, I agree that the comments in the media are a bit disturbing and show a young man who is struggling with the speed of the game and is starting to see ghosts out there.  That said I wouldn't be so hard on him.  More players than you think experience the same things, but Swoopes has an unfiltered honesty that you'd almost expect out of a small town 19 year old kid.  If proper quarterback management was seen to under Mack this kid would have had a redshirt and probably 2 years as a backup before being thrust into this position.  He's carrying the weight of a blue blood program and all of the expectations that go with it on his back and I think he's reacting honestly to it.  He's also learning in a trial by extreme fire environment.  A lot of the things I listed above can be erased with time and reps, even if it isn't on our timeline. 

 

I say all this to say, that while I'm not sure anyone has the answer to if Swoopes is the future or not, he has to be considered on a different grading scale.  He's shown things over the course of the season that shows growth in some areas and potential for greatness in others.  He's also shown the potential for meltdown.  If Jerrod Heard is what everyone (including me) thinks he is, then he will get the chance to show that in the bowl practices and spring.  The bottom line is, a Swoopes led has had them in every single game except for BYU, Kansas State, and to an extent Baylor.  I don't believe he is hurting the team right now, I just believe he's not helping it greatly.  It's kind of a crappy situation for the University of Texas to be in, but that is the reality at this time.  Two or possibly three more games for now we will be able to look back and get an accurate picture that isn't colored by the ups and downs of the week to week emotional swing.  If he's not the answer, the coaching staff will turn to the next option for next season.  Thanks for your thoughts on this.

 

#TL:DR #Coolstorybro

 

I really appreciate reading anything that is well thought out and well written (something I'm not good at btw) even when I don't necessarily agree with some or all of it. And Mike, this was well thought out and well written. You do a good job. Thanks.

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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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