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Everything posted by echeese

  1. View from the Cheap Seats-Kansas The Bijan Show, Toto, can we play in Kansas every week? Let’s be clear, Bijan LOVES him some Kansas. After logging 30 carries for 216 yards in Manhattan 2 weeks ago, Bijan has a ‘hold my beer and watch this’ night going off for 243 yards and 4 TDs on 25 carries. TEXAS went to Lawrence and simply blew out Kansas like it was 1999. By far the best and most complete game in the Sark era on both sides of the ball. TEXAS got off to a slow start with a 5 and out then they would take off, responding with scores on their next 9 drives, 7 of them touchdowns on their way to a 31-0 lead at halftime. Meanwhile the D set the early tone with back to back 3 and outs, a turnover on downs a missed FG, an INT, a punt and another turnover on downs leading to a 1st half shut out. Our D has gotten dramatically better since last season. More on that in a second. It was clear early that Sark had committed to the rush game, 27 1st half rushes to 14 pass attempts. We will offer our only criticism of this week’s Cheap Seats, where has this game plan been? Sark gave Ewers short passes to build his confidence and it paid off. And he was back to attacking the edges with the TEXAS rushing attack, putting Bijan in a position to showcase his skills. It should be mentioned, thanks to a collection of issues (poor play calling, poor execution, dropped passes) TEXAS could not effectively use temp vs TCU. They used it and used it well again the Jayhawks. Let’s talk about Bijan for just a second as he nears the end of his TEXAS career (he’s expected to jump to the show this spring). With this monster night, Bijan has moved into a 5th place tie with Chris Gilbert and is only 97 yards behind Jamaal Charles in the #4 spot. Gilbert was a brilliant running back for the Longhorns (though before our time) from 1966-1968 and would be the 1st D1 RB to gain 1000 in each of his 3 seasons. Back then Freshmen were not eligible. Not much chance of Bijan catching #3 Earl Campbell as he’s 1200 yards behind with 2 games to go (sorry, we know it could be 3 but longshot at best to get to the conference title game). With tonight’s game, he became the 7th TEXAS running back to reach 3000 yards in his career. With his 4 TD performance, he has scored a TD in 20 of 23 games at TEXAS. Coming into the game he had gained 784 yards after contact of his 1158 yards this season. He also had forced 74 missed tackles, leading the nation. That number will jump up again this week. Since he arrived, Coach Pete Kwiatkowski has been under fire. This year’s D significantly better than last year and his young charges stepped up in a big way on the road. Kansas would not score until late in the 3rr quarter with the game already out of reach. Some interesting stats were posted during the game: 2021 2022 Rush D 114th 39th Total D 100th 59th Scoring D 99th 32nd Sacks 101st 48th Tonight’s efforts should improve those numbers. Kansas’ best weapon was Devin Neal and their RB came into the game having rushed for 414 yards in the previous 2 games. He would leave gaining just 55. Defense stepping up in a big way. Offensive Player of the Game Bijan Robinson. He will be missed badly when he leaves, tonight was his show. 4th TEXAS RB with 250+ yards in 25 carries or less. Had he been featured all year like this, he’d be a shoe in for NYC. Doak Walker award in sight? Perhaps Honorable Mention: Offensive line. They were impressive coming off their worst night of the season. Defensive player of the game Jaylan Ford He made a great play to undercut a route to record another INT, snuffing out a late 2nd quarter Kansas drive and setting TEXAS up to record another touchdown. Honorable Mention: The entire D played well but we’re going with Morice Blackwell, tied for the team lead in tackles and a tackle for loss Stats that matter · 0-2 KSU on 4th down Jarren Thompson with 1 and Alfred Collins with the other 4th down stuff. · 3-4 TEXAS on 4th down · 2 Sark/TEXAS on a 2 game road winning streak · 5-6 TEXAS red zone TDs + a FG · 539 Total TEXAS yards · 12-11 Sark’s record at TEXAS Conclusions Great game and a great game plan on both sides of the ball. In what should/could pay big dividends in the future was so many young players logging time in the 4th quarter. Johnathan Brooks took advantage of his 11 carries to log his 1st 100 yard game of his career. Always a sad time of the year, another college football regular season is down to its last game. TEXAS can finish on a high note but the season will be remembered best as what could have been. On Deck Baylor snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and now faces traveling to Austin, we hope more than a little hung over from a game they should have won. TEXAS shows up like they did vs Kansas, TEXAS can go to sleep Friday night as YUGE Kansas fans. A TEXAS win and a Kansas win puts TEXAS in the Big XII title game. We don’t see it but that’s why they play the games. Beat Baylor, finish 8-4 (which was our pre season floor) and let the chips fall where they may. Fighting Mack Brown’s Mack’s guys have been playing with fire all season and it caught up with them this weekend. Up at halftime, they would give up the lead, go for it on 4th down late in the game only to have their All American WR drop an easy pass in the endzone to take the lead. Defense could not get a stop and UNC went down to lowly Georgia Tech. Mack still has his ticket punched to the ACC title game where he needs to beat Clemson for a New Year’s 6 bowl bid. Otherwise, he might be facing TEXAS in the Cheez-it Bowl Ranking the BigXII #1 TCU Kept the dream season alive with a miracle comeback vs Baylor. Needs to get past cellar dweller ISU then KSU or maybe TEXAS in the CCG to make the playoffs #2 KSU Beat Kansas and they face TCU again in the CCG #3 TEXAS Need Kansas to upset KSU to have a chance at CCG. Next 5 can go in any order #4 Okie Lite #5 Baylor Could have pulled a huge upset, going bowling #6 TT Going bowling #7 Kansas Going bowling #8 OU Going bowling #9 WVU #10 ISU We care about bowling as we have ties to the Armed Forces Bowl and for the 1st time in a while, the BigXII will have a representative, likely TT which means better turn out. If we had a vote that matter. No style points this weekend but the picture coming into view #1 Georgia sluggish win vs Kentucky #2 tOSU late defensive TD obscured the closeness of the game #3 TCU very late FG to take a 1 point win #4 USC UCLA gave them everything they wanted, one of the better games of the day Just a bit outside #5 Michigan faces tOSU for a spot in the B1G title game #6 Clemson set to face the fighting Mack Brown’s for the ACC title #7 LSU Can a 2 loss SEC champ make the playoffs? Over 1 loss champs from other conferences? And where would that leave a 1 loss Georgia? Game highlights https://youtu.be/dQ1NCyBBiDo Bijan Lights, every carry, thanks Nash https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYnqSQAv9LE
  2. I blame it on too much single batch at the Marine Corps Ball Sat night, thanks for the catch, now fixed It was a bad game for the OL but I think Floyd will prove to be the right guy. And I think our OL is going to be impressive starting with Kelvin Banks who I believe is that next AA OL/Outland type you are looking for.
  3. View from the Cheap Seats-TCU Opportunity squandered TEXAS came into the game a 7-point favorite in full control of their path to a BigXII Title game berth. With a raucous crowd of over 100,000 on a chilly night for the ABC PRIME TIME match and with Game Day making their 2nd visit to Austin in one year, something that only happens rarely. #4 TCU coming to town against the #18 ranked Horns. The stage does not get any bigger for a regular season bout. Two high scoring teams not really known for their defense featuring two excellent running backs and the best QB in the BigXII. No, the other guy, Max Duggan. The nation treated to a defensive slug fest and the lowest 1st quarter yardage output to date among FBS teams. No way to sugar coat this, the TEXAS Longhorns are not remotely ready for prime time. And the really sad part, half the team showed up ready to play. Our defense was clearly channeling their inner Joseph Ossai and completely wrecked shop on TCU. TCU came in averaging 43 points per game and was held to 17 while being limited to just over half their usual yardage. A signature win was served up for Sark and company on a silver platter only to see TEXAS with its worst offensive performance in years. We said pre-season that Sark/TEXAS’ goal this year should have been to put BiJan in a position to win the Heiman. This is a run first team (or at least should be) with a very young offensive line and a very inexperienced quarterback, do what you do best. The game ended with TEXAS still looking for a signature win under Sark. So far the closest we come is a 1 point loss to Bama. In the last 4 games, TEXAS has recorded only 1 2nd half touchdown. Even the staunchest Sark fan has to be questioning what is going on with the Horns. This is now a scary trend. Not 100% on Sark as the execution in this game was abysmal. 5 dropped passes, multiple misfires by Ewers, at least against Okie Lite, he had a legitimate injury excuse. He is young, he is very inexperienced, and he appears to be pressing badly. Sark called bombs away early and often, one of them leading to Ewers forcing a ball into double coverage and an INT. He continued the pattern of taking a deep shot on 1st down putting TEXAS behind the chains. Ewers simply does not throw a good deep ball and not one deep shot pass was remotely close to catchable. To us there are 2 stats that stand out. A great rushing team only rushing 22 times out of 61 plays and being 1st and goal at the TCU 5 or closer twice and only coming up with 3 points. BiJan, arguably the best RB in the nation, only carried 12 times. His counter part for TCU carried 22 times while TCU rushed 44 times. They NEVER abandoned the run even though it wasn’t working very well. Not all on Sark, dumb penalties, and poor execution (5 dropped passes) but the lion’s Silver lining department, defense played with their hair on fire from the opening bell. Our only complaint, where has this been all year? They were relentless, lead by Barryn Sorrell’s break out performance, 3 tackle for losses and a sack and a half. He seemed to live in the TCU backfield. Nor was he alone, in all TEXAS would record an amazing 13 tackles for loss and 5 sacks. Had you told us TCU would be held to 17 points, we’d have bet the house on TEXAS covering the 7. And the defense would score the only touchdown of the game for the Horns on a scoop and score fumble late in the 4th. Great job by the D, they created something to build upon going forward. Aggie and OU lost. Sorry not sorry to enjoy their misery but Aggie just blew a shot at going bowling even if they win out, which we doubt happens. OU has to win one of the next 2 to go bowling. We care about that because we have ties to the Armed Forces bowl and we need 1 more BigXII team to qualify to get a BigXII team as half the matchup. Stats that Matter 22-39 Run vs pass mix. 1-13 TEXAS on 3rd down with over 10 yard the average line to gain 13/5 Tackles for loss and sacks, it wasn’t all negative 1-3 Scoring in the red zone, 1 FG no TDs Putrid 1 Number of offensive touchdowns in the 2nd half of the last 4 games Offensive Player of the Game Jordan Whittington, 6 catches 72 yards as we recall no drops Defensive player of the Game Barryn Sorrell Set the tone early and often. Finished tied for the team lean in tackles, sack and a half and 3 tackles for loss. Jahdea Barron needs some love as well, tied for the team lead in tackles with 3 and a half tackles for loss. Defense made us proud today, great efforts across the board. Conclusions Teams reflect their coaching staff and that is not a good thing this morning. We expected the pressure to get to TCU and frankly it did a bit as they seriously under performed. But we don’t care about the cock roaches, we care about the Horns and sadly the TEXAS O was putrid. We fear Sark coaches scared or responds too much to pressure. 22 rushes out of 61 plays is a horrid mix and the game was NEVER that far out of hand. Nor was it the 1st loss on the year where we abandoned the run despite the game never being out of reach. Granted it’s hard when you call the right plays, but the players drop the ball or fail to execute. But as he said in his press conference, his job to put players and the team in a position to succeed. He failed. Opportunity squandered and really it will be 2023 before he has a chance to record a “signature” win. On Deck Kansas on the road. While there is a convoluted path to the BigXII title game, we’re going to just enjoy the final two regular season games cuz the odds on us getting to that game are slim at best. Good news, pressure if off Sark, maybe he’ll loosen up and go back to having some fun with the play calling. Time to build for 2023. If we have not burned a shirt on a player, we shouldn’t. If we have burned a shirt, time to get some guys some snaps when live bullets are flying. Please for TEXAS fans, we have 2-3 games (we don’t whine at all if Bijan wants to skip the bowl), let Bijan go out in style, 15-20 carries a game. Let him leave TEXAS as a top 5 rusher in our books. Fighting Mack Browns Took a big early lead vs Wake Forest and hung on to win a close one. With the win, they punched their ticket to play for the ACC title where they face Clemson who has also qualified for the ACC title game. Ranking the BigXII #1 TCU Their sights still set on the playoffs for now but they are assured a trip to the CCG. #2 KSU They are now the front runner for the other CCG berth. WVU and Kansas on tap, fat lady is warming up #3 OSU Needs some help to get to the CCG, anxiously awaiting bowl bids #4a Baylor Going bowling but finishes with TCU then TEXAS. No rest for the wicked #4b TEXAS Going bowling. Better year than last year but not by a great deal #6 Kansas Bowl ticket punched. #7 Texas Tech Needs 1 win to go bowling with ISU on deck then OU. They could beat both #8 WVU Needs 2 wins to go bowling. Not impossible but not likely KSU then OSU to finish the year #9 OU Needs 1 win to go bowling and they finish with OSU and TT. They might not get there. #10 ISU Needs 2 wins to go bowling vs Tech then TCU If we had a playoff ballot Playoffs getting REALLY interesting. Does a 1 loss Tenn or Mich/tOSU without winning their conference trump a 1 loss Clemson or USC that has won their conference? Or the fighting Mack Brown’s if UNC wins out? Since conference titles are supposed to matter. #1 Georgia Will face LSU for the SEC title . #2 tOSU Match up with Michigan for the B1G title looms large #3 TCU 3 games to go. Gary built a hell of a team. #4 USC Assumes they win the Pac with 1 loss. Just a bit outside #5 Tenn #6 Michigan, this assumes a loss to tOSU but is either’s resume better without a conference title than Tenn? #7 UNC Who’s to say that Mack/UNC do not win out, then they are in the mix #8 LSU If 2 loss LSU wins the SEC, how do you keep them out? Which raises the question, how does the committee keep out a 1 loss but not conference champ Georgia? Low lights
  4. 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
  5. View from the Cheap Seat-Okie Lite Déjà vu all over again Shades of 2021 and a familiar title. It fits. TEXAS enjoyed a double-digit lead late in the 2nd quarter and our offense goes turtle . . . . .again. Clearly their DC said “we are not going to let BiJan beat us on the counter” at half time and our “offensive genius” HC could not adjust. We ran ZERO jet sweeps, we ran a GREAT WR screen to Brennan Thompson, worked so well, we never called that play again. Think we ran 1 outside zone play, we ran virtually no passes to our outstanding pass catching RBs out of the backfield. We seemed to forget until late in the 4th quarter our TEs are both excellent and eligible. But we ran plenty of “bombs away” to Xavier even though Ewers does not throw that pass very well on his best day. WHY? Ewers loves crossing routes, slants, bubble screen and the like. And let’s be candid, this was his worst day. Against OU, we ran some great crossing routes and schemed our pass catchers pretty well. Mike Gundy has owned TEXAS of late. 5-3 vs TEXAS in the CFS/Mensa/Sark era. Best Okie Lite streak in the history of the series. He is the best coach in the BigXII and he rolled out the best QB in the BigXII (there is a reason he was the All BigXII QB last year). And for all of that, Sark & Company once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with poor play but worse, poor play calling. Some of the fan boys will blame the D and they did give up 40 points but overall the D played fairly well considering we have walk ons and 3rd teamers playing large roles in the secondary. We needed an offense that could run the clock and shorten the game. We didn’t get it. We also enjoyed 14 penalties. . .14, we are Alabama bad at that after seemingly getting that issue fixed. Though in fairness, the last penalty saved a pick 6. Oddly, almost impossibly, Okie Lite recorded ZERO. Yes, you read that right, ZERO. Despite their OL practically tackling our pass rushers and their DBs Face it, by giving the BigXII the finger, we’re going to have to beat the refs as well as our opponents. And why were beyond pissed, this was another coulda/shoulda/woulda game we allowed to get away. 2nd half 1st down plays Want to point to the single biggest problem with the offense? We frequently got behind the chains in the 2nd half. Below are the 1st down plays from each drive BiJan 5 yards, 2 incompletions Punt BiJan Zero Punt Xavier 27 KR -1 Punt BiJan 4 Sanders’ 1st catch-7 Punt Billingsley 20 FGA Billingsley 13 INT Ewers INC/Pass to Milton no gain/penalty 1st 15 INT Forget sustaining drives, we could not get out of 1st down without being behind the chains. Where was the jet sweep, crossing pass off play action to the TE, where was the outside zone or another WR screen? This offense (most offenses) work best when you are not behind the chains. So to be clear, some fans will claim we’re calling for Sark’s head. To be clear we are not. We want Sark to stop being so rigid in his play calling and to take a page out of Greg Davis’ book, tailor the offense to your talent. The best coach’s self-coach/evaluate during the season. Heck the really good ones adjust at halftime but let’s crawl before we run. Keep the D off balance with misdirection, don’t be so predictable. And we don’t care if bombs away worked at Bama, you don’t have that QB or those WRs. 3-4 times a game, fine, we did not chart it but had to have been at least a dozen. So these are our observations of TEXAS’ deficits and they are pretty obvious. You can support a coach/not call for his head but still point out what doesn’t work right. The worst thing TEXAS could do is start over again after 2023, after 2024 or after 2025. Silver lining section: Ewers is going to get better. Our offensive line is going to get better. Keep in mind we start 2 true freshmen and 2 sophomores; future is bright there. Our TEs and WRs are going to be better and we have Worthy for another year, JWhitt? Maybe not. And as much as this hurts to say today, this team can still finish 9-3/8-4, can still play in a bowl game and is one of the most attractive portal spots for the spring. Our 1st look is for a pass rusher or 2, DBs (both) 2-3 of those and a #1 pass catcher. And yes, it will trigger some but there is ZERO reason this team is not favored to win the BigXII next year despite losing BiJan, the best RB in America and Roschon, an absolute stud. Oh yeah, we lose 2 big men in the middle of the DL who will be hard to replace as well. Offensive player of the Game BiJan Robinson, he was his usual amazing self.24 carries, 140 yards TD and 1 reception 41 yards and a TD. He had some great runs in the 2nd half despite Okie Lite loading up to stop him. He’d have done better with better play calling. Honorable mention: Roschon Johnson, 5 carries 73 yards and a TD Defensive player of the Game Co’s this week Jaylan Ford-Really coming into his own this year Ryan Watts-His endzone INT kept TEXAS in a position to win, snuffing out an early Okie Lite drive. His departure from the game highlighted how important he is to the TEXAS defense. Yes, we’ll say it, he doesn’t go down, the secondary has more stop and we likely win.. Special Teams- Want to spend a minute to highlight how well our special teams played overall. They opened with a blocked punt. Both K Robinson and Xaiver Worthy had very nice returns to set TEXAS with good field position. With the exception of one KO return, Okie Lite basically lost the field position battle and had no returns of note. On that one big return, the D bowed up with a 3 and out. Auburn made two FGs, missed one. Not perfect but more than enough to win the game. Stats that matter: 15-0 Not sure we’ve ever seen it, TEXAS penalties vs Okie Lite. Some were DUMB, some were bull. Never seen a team go ZERO for penalties in such a contested game and at least 2 Okie Lite drives kept alive with penalties. 1-6 Sark’s road record at TEXAS. No bueno 10-10 Sark’s overall record 52 Before this game BiJan’s “forced missed tackles”, he lead the nation in the category coming in to the Okie Lite game. 8 Okie Lite drives of 5 plays or less ending with punts. D wasn’t great but also a) not the strength of the team b) playing with 3rd stringers and walk ons and c) played well enough to win 4-2 TEXAS turnovers (3 INTs. downs) vs Cowboy turnovers (INT blocked punt) 3-17/0-2 3rd down conversion rate for TEXAS then 4th down. Pathetic 32/49 Runs vs passes called. Seems odd since Ewers was struggling from the 1st series and we have 2 All American level backs Conclusions As mentioned above, TEXAS/Sark figured out another way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and recorded another “failure on the road”. Make no mistake, this is a good team that likely finishes ranked in the top 10 if they can win out. Though they only have 1 patsy in their next 5. Will be interesting to see but sadly, TEXAS blew a chance to continue control over it’s destiny. Having most of the players walk out and not sing the Eyes reeks of a lack of culture. On Deck If Sark is going to enjoy success at TEXAS, he will have to learn how to win on the road and hold leads in the 2nd half. And clearly he needs to stop getting outcoached in the 2nd half. The good news, he has a bye week to fix some problems then TEXAS will be tested again in 2 weeks by a very good KSU team.. . . on the road. No rest for the wicked from there, TEXAS will follow that hosting TCU, traveling to Kansas then closing out with the surging Baylor Bears to finish the season. Go 1-3 down the stretch, TEXAS goes bowling, go 2-2, that was the pre-season floor so either of those outcomes and the season is meh. Improvement from last year but nothing special. Go 3-1 and it’s a good not great season. Bit far fetched today but win out, TEXAS will need some help to make the Conference Title game. Every team we’ll face features a dual threat QB and a couple of them will compete for All BigXII QB. Going to enjoy some good sipping whiskey to numb the pain and resign ourselves to just enjoying the next 4 game by game plus bowl selection Sunday. #1 goal from here is to keep the recruiting class together and land some quality portal kids to fill holes. Fighting Mack Brown’s On the bye this week, 6-1 so they go bowling. Biggest remaining game is Pitt. Each controls their destiny to win the division. Bad news, the Fighting Mack Brown’s seem to make every game interesting in the 4th, even the weak teams. Ranking the BigXII #1 TCU 7-0/4-0 Beat 4 straight ranked opponents, control their destiny to the BigXII CCG, got to face KSU’s back up QB #2 Okie Lite 6-1/3-1 Will be tested vs KSU next weekend, winner controls their destiny to the BigXII title game. Going bowling #3 KSU 5-2/3-1 Faces Okie Lite then TEXAS next and they control their path to the BigXII title game #4 TEXAS (5-3/3-2) Easy path to going bowling but is the season slipping away? #5a Baylor (4-3/2-2) Nice win over Kansas though they should have put them away earlier. Baylor is getting better as the season goes on. 2 wins to go bowling #5b Texas Tech (4-3/2-2) Beat cellar dweller WVU, still needs 2 to go bowling #7 Dirt Buglers (4-3/1-3) Needs 2 to go bowling, they have Gabriel back and it matters #8 Kansas (5-3/2-3) Needs one win to go bowling, if you are Kansas, that’s a Dorothy level season. #9a ISU (3-4/0-4) Like WVU, needs to win 3 and they play each other to go bowling #9b WVU (3-4/1-3) 2 weeks and they play ISU to determine the cellar dweller. Looks like BigXII only gets 8 bowl eligible teams at best. Good news, if we get to 7, one will play in the Armed Forces Bowl which will be a good draw. If we had a vote that counted #1 tOSU Big win vs Iowa, style points #2 Georgia Bye week #3 Tenn beat up a tomato can, Cocktail party for the SEC East rep? Even if they lose, they also beat Bama who likely has 2 losses by year end. #4 Clemson Dodged a major bullet vs a better than we thought Syracuse. Norte Dame on deck then largely cupcakes. Just a bit outside Michigan, can make their case when they play tOSU, win that game, they are in the Final 4 Oregon Win out and their sole loss will be to #1 Georgia. Biggest games left, Utah and then the winner of UCLA/USC in the Pac 12 title. USC/UCLA winner. Both with 1 loss, each needs to win out to have any chance TCU Why not, they are unbeaten. Bet you wouldn’t have thought that in the offseason. Bama needs to win out/win the SEC to score an invite Game Highlights
  6. Think that is a very good observation. Though we saw the negative impact of Watts going down and keep in mind, we are missing Junior in the middle of the OL and it shows. Though the OL coming together/rising to the challenge.
  7. View from the Cheap Seats-Iowa State Demons exorcised Make no mistake, this is BiJan Robinson’s team. Against the Cyclones, he put the Horns on his back, using both receptions and rushes and showed everyone why he is a Heisman candidate this year as well as a 1st round pick in next spring’s NFL draft. An exceptional performance where many great plays will not show up in the stat sheets, but it was his talent and drive that regularly turned 1-2 yard gains into 5 and 6 yard gains. Nothing better than watching him routinely break defenders’ ankles with his almost other worldly cuts. Good thing BiJan showed up strong as we saw Quinn Ewers come back down to earth more than a little. BiJan would finish the game with 28 carries and 4 pass receptions including an amazing grab on 3rd and 6 to carry the ball down to the ISU 9 yard line leading to an X Worthy TD pass which represented the game winning points in a 24-21 victory. The ISU Cyclones and Matt Campbell come to DKR riding a 3 game winning streak over the Horns and the #1 WR in the nation with their own version of Xaiver, Xavier Hutchenson. Their Xaiver would have a monster game against the Horns, 10 receptions 154 yards but his biggest play was the only ball he dropped late in the 4th quarter which would have set ISU up at the TEXAS 8 yard line with a chance to take the lead. Our Xavier would have a nice game with 10 catches as well but the big difference, our Xavier turned two of his grabs into touchdowns. The 2nd off a pivot or whip route which left the DB clutching at air. He came off the line broke hard for the post then planted his foot, spun around and headed to the sideline. Just as they did in the 1st half when Jaylen Ford picked off the ISU QB in the end zone, TEXAS’ D, specifically Anthony Cook would hit their QB hard on off a scramble and force a fumble where once again Jaylen Ford was Johnny on the spot, recovering the fumble to seal the win for the Horns. We mentioned last week that the TEXAS D struggles against dual threat QBs. Today the ISU’s 4 star Sophomore QB would outplay TEXAS’ 5 star freshman QB. The turning point of the game would be TEXAS’ D (Jaylen Ford) coming up with 2 turnovers. Not unlike TEXAS, ISU likes to run 1st setting up the passing game. We would be remiss if we did not give both lines some props. ISU’s Will McDonald, another spring NFL draft pick, came into the game needing 2 sacks to tie the BigXII record. He’s heading back to Ames still needing two sacks and frankly wasn’t much of a factor. OTOH, TEXAS would rush for 191 yards and 4.4 per carry. Ewers was not pressured consistently either. On the flip side, the TEXAS D held ISU’s rush game to 2.6 yards per carry and was a major factor in the outcome. Steve Sarkisian arrived at TEXAS coming off a National Title at Alabama where he earned the Frank Broyles award for his contributions as their offensive coordinator. Last year raised tremendous questions about his ability to be a head coach including 4 double digit leads blown in the 2nd half of games on the way to a 6 game losing streak. He would finish with a 5-7 record, the worst for a 1st year TEXAS head coach in our history. Demons exercised, for now. Setting up the coaching challenge, can Sark go from the lows of the Tech loss to the high of the Red River War rout and have the Horns ready to play against a well-coached team? Now let’s make this worse, your young QB who seemed to be playing far beyond his experience was miss firing pretty badly. Quinn Ewers came back to earth this week to follow up on his BigXII Newcomer of the Week performance vs OU. All part of the growth and maturation of a young player. #1 positive for Sark, despite the Horns losing a lead in the 2nd half, they found a way to come back and win the game. So Sark can check off two demons, keeping his players from eating the cheese (well winning despite some cheese eating) and exercising the 2nd half, lost lead bug-a-boo. Next week’s challenge, a win vs a quality opponent on the road. If TEXAS wants to play for the BigXII title this year, they need to beat a very good Okie Lite team in a very hostile environment on the road. Then TEXAS gets a bye week to get ready for another road trip to KSU Offensive Player of the Game: This one is easy, BiJan with 28 carries for 135 yards (4.8 per) with 4 catches for 36 yards. The biggest his 26 yard reception to the ISU 9 setting up Xavier Worthy’s 2nd TD. Honorable Mention Xavier Worthy, 10 catches for 74 yards and 2 TDs Defensive player of the Game Jaylen Ford In addition to leading the team in tackles, his 1st half endzone INT was a big turning point in the game. His 4th quarter fumble recovery sealed the deal. Honorable Mention Ryan Watts. What you say? Him going out allowed their X man go off for a big day. Our secondary is much worse without him. Hope he’s ready for Okie Lite, we need him. Stats that Matter · 3-4 TEXAS touchdowns in the red zone, they would add a FG as well · 4-20 Penalties by TEXAS for 20 yards. TEXAS is playing much better and not costing itself wins · 13.7 ISU came into the game ranked #8 in the nation for points allowed, TEXAS scored 24. · 43-26 Run to pass mix, expect us to be more balanced vs Okie Lite · 69-13 TEXAS scoring in the 3rd quarter. Only 3 points this week. · 9 TEXAS drives, 3 TDs (2 80 yard drives 1 75) FG FGA 2 punts one downs, average for this team. We need to be better and score on 50% or more of our drives. Special teams We had an up and down night on special teams. Killeen Robinson starts the game off with a blocked punt after the D forces an opening 3 and out. He would take a kickoff out to the 40 only to have it called back due to a penalty. Auburn was 1 for 2 on FGs while Texas Wesleyan portal transfer Daniel Trejo averaged 36 yards on punts with 1 pin inside the 20. After some debate this past week, we saw Will Stone kick off to start the game with the ball going around the 3. ISU tried to return, pinning them at their 15. He would do the same thing before half pinning ISU to their 18. ISU would then fair catch 2 Kos and one would go for a touch back. We suspect this is intentional and Stone doing a very good job. We haven’t charted the whole year but it’s clear that Coach Banks and Coach Sark feel our superior athletes can effectively create a negative play to impact the field position game. A fair catch or touchback takes the ball to the 25 so for the game, Will was +17 in field position. Conclusions 1st game of a tough 4 game stretch down, 3 more to go. In some ways, EXACTLY the kind of game TEXAS needed to play and win. Perhaps Sark saw that Quinn wasn’t “on” for the game and leaned heavily on the run game. This is the type of win that comes with a team growing and maturing. Clearly a dramatically better team than last year. We thought the scheme was vanilla by the O, needless to say, BiJan and Roschon answered the run first/run often call very well. Props to the D, especially the DL. We were concerned TEXAS did not put the game away early. Particularly blocking a punt in the shadow of their endzone only to come away with no points. ISU is the best D we’ve faced since Bama On Deck Okie Lite. A team that looks a good deal like TEXAS on both offense and defense. They will feature another dual threat QB in Spenser Sanders, likely the #1 QB in the BigXII today, which causes TEXAS problems (well dual threats cause everyone problems). Okie Lite can both run and pass well. You beat them by attacking their secondary. Sark and the team need to learn to win on the road, so far only 1 road trip this year. This will be the biggest conference game of the year for TEXAS and make no mistake, this will be a very hostile environment. We’re expecting a shoot out, hope we see more of the dirt bugler game plan by our offense. Fighting Mack Brown’s We missed the Fighting Mack’s last week, bit too excited about the Red River War outcome but no excuses. What an improbable win. UNC pulls it out late adding to another GREAT day of CFB. Game would not have been close except for Mack’s hiring of Gene Chizik whose defense was a sieve. Only 3-0 team in his division so they control their shot at the ACC title game and already bowl eligible. Amazing day in College Football. We remain convinced that College Football is the greatest sport in America. And what an early fall day it was, check out these amazing games: · TEXAS coming back in the 4th to beat ISU · TCU coming back from 2 scores down to beat #7 ranked Okie Lite in double OT. TCU tied it up thanks in part to the play of former TEXAS TE Jared Wiley. · Tenn knocking off Alabama for the 1st time in the last 15 tries with a no time left on the clock FG · Former TEXAS QB Camron Rising lead Utah to 2 4th quarter TDs and a go ahead 2 point conversion with 14 seconds on the clock to beat previously unbeaten USC. · Michigan DESTROYED Pedophile State. We don’t like PSU · Really good day to gorge on CFB. Note We were asked this week about our process for writing this. We have watched none of the post game shows (other than just highlights) nor do we read anyone else’s breakdowns or thoughts on the game. 100% ours for better or worse. We do this because we enjoy it and seems more than a few others enjoy the takes of the average fan, thus from the Cheap Seats. Ranking the BigXII #1 TCU 6-0/3-0 with an improbable comeback against Okie Lite and aided by TEXAS transfer Jared Wiley’s late TD, TCU moves to class of of the BigXII. TCU now has a game to give but set themselves up for half the CCG. Still a great deal of football to play. They should move into the Top 10 this week. #2 KSU 5-1/3-0 Unbeaten in conference On the bye this week. TEXAS sees them after Okie Lite but with the bye to get ready #3 TEXAS 5-2/3-1 Facing a better than their record ISU, TEXAS/Sark exercises some demons. Gritty win. TEXAS matches last year’s win total with 5 games to go. The road grows harder from here with the Top 3 BigXII teams on deck. Bye comes at a good time. #4 Okie Lite 5-1/2-1 Seen it for years, Gundy blew it in the 4th quarter. With a touchdown lead, looking for a FG at around 6 minutes and looking to run clock, he calls 3 straight passes. Yep, you guessed it 3 straight incompletions. Separation has begun in the BigXII, above is the class of the conference, below, not so much. the next 6 teams all have at least 2 losses. #5 Jayhawks 5-2/2-2 Reality setting in but KU most likely going bowling. #6a Baylor 3-3/1-2 Can they win 3 more to go bowling? 6b TT 3-3/1-2 Can they win 3 more to go bowling? 6c Dirt burglers 4-3/1-3 Playing for their best bowl bid 6d WVU 3-3/1-2 Can they win 3 more to go bowling? 10 ISU 3-4/0-4 Can they win 3 more to go bowling? Way to early playoff votes #1 Georgia #2 tOSU #3 Clemson #4 Michigan Just a bit outside #5 UCLA USC/UCLA could determine the South winner #6 Tenn Cocktail party may determine the East winner #7 Bama Controls their destiny to the SEC title game but not sure they win out. Are we seeing a changing of the guard? # 8 USC Need to win the South and the PAC to have a chance Highlights
  8. Enquiring minds want to know. Nothing better than over ranked land thieves and ACES, plummeting down the polls as each week goes by. For the record OU started #9 and ACES started #6. Neither should be ranked this week.
  9. View from the Cheap Seats-Red River War How sweet it is Our younger readers may not remember the great entertainer, Jackie Gleason, and his signature line. Done in an amazing baritone. In our wildest fantasy we’d have never dreamed such an amazing day for TEXAS football. The weather was as perfect a fall day as Dallas has seen in years for the Red River War. Showdown? WTF? It’s a war (quick someone tell Brent Venables), well not today, today was a ROUT. And it was both sides of the ball. Offensively Sark called the best game since he’s been here. The 1st half was brilliant, the offense we thought we were getting when Sark was signed. The 2nd half was a bit more subdued but still registered 21 points. No Tortugas in sight. OU’s D had no idea what the next play call would be. Welcome back QB1. While we deeply appreciate Hudson Card’s selfless work, this is a different offense with Quinn Ewers in the game. For all the great play calls, they don’t work without execution by the players, and we saw Quinn run Sark’s O with perfection. The D PK/Gary were not to be outdone and put up their best showing of the year as well. We should go with Sark’s own version of another well know Gleason line, TO THE MOON BRENT. . . .TO THE MOON. Which is where Sark knocked Venables today. Both teams 1st drive of the game would end with a punt. OU appeared to have the field position advantage as they pinned TEXAS back to their 10 yard line. No problem for Quinn and crew, TEXAS would take 12 plays, march 90 yards to record their 1st TD of the game on a BiJan 2 yard run. Amazing this would be the game winning lead, everything else was just running up the score. 7-0 Land thieves then respond with their own 67 yard drive to the TEXAS 9. Should be noted that the pressure was getting to Venables early as he opts to go for it on 4th and 2 at TEXAS’ 9 yard line instead of taking the FG. Ojomo and Sweat stuff the OU RB up the middle at the 8, a yard short. TEXAS goes 92 yards on 8 plays for their 2nd TD of the 1st quarter. Drive is capped by a 10 yard TD pass to Xaiver Worthy very early in the 2nd quarter. 14-0 D bows up again, forces a punt after 6 plays. TEXAS/Sark/Quinn & crew respond with a 9 play 80 yard drive featuring a mix of run, pass, misdirection, great route design (of course this true the 1st 3 drives). Keilen Robinson would take a pass from Ewers for 15 yards and a TD to close out this 9 play 80 yard drive. 21-0 TEXAS and the burglars of dirt would exchange punts on each’s next drive. Relying heavily on the wild card and having lost all confidence in their backup QB (a big reason we wanted to thank Card earlier), OU put together a strong drive to the TEXAS 20 yard line. Out of the wildcat, OU tries to catch TEXAS off guard with the Tim Tebow pop pass. Pressure up the middle forces a bad pass and Jahdea Barron gains TEXAS’ 1st turnover in 4 games to snuff out what would be the last serious threat TEXAS would see from our friends up north. TEXAS would then drive 79 yards, culminating in Jai’Von Sanders 1st of 2 TD catches in the game to tear the heart out of OU. 28-0 TEXAS would come out in the 2nd half and the D would continue it’s best game of the year by ending OU’s 1st drive with another stuff on 4th down. TEXAS came out firing but they would face their own adversity when Ewers 1st missed Jordan Whittington with a sure TD then under pressure and trying to throw the ball away, fired up a DUCK (quack quack) that was intercepted. D said we got you Quinn and proceeded to 3 and out OU. Following their punt, Quinn bounced back going 3 of 3 on a 7 play 76-yard drive which ended with BiJan’s 2nd rushing TD of the day. 35-0 At this point it was clear there was no fight left in the Crimson. If we can use one word to describe the game, that word is PRESSURE. TEXAS/Sark put the pressure on OU/Venables early, often and from both sides of the ball. No single play better highlighted the PRESSURE than a 3rd quarter Pass Interference call when Worthy was open in the end zone setting TEXAS up for a short TD run. Glorious to not have to listen to Boomer Sooner much in the game and outside of the start of both halves, we never saw the Boomer wagon. OTOH, Sark did his best to run Smokey out of ammo. Or if you’d like to focus on the negative, QUIT. Let’s be candid, our friends from north of the Red River quit in this game. They literally stopped trying. It was glorious. Remembering back to 2003, TEXAS lost big but there was no quit from the Horns, they keep playing hard, they kept hitting hard. Hopefully this allows Sark to poach a few recruits from them. Midway through the 4th quarter, as the greatest named football player in TEXAS football history was logging some garbage time snaps Charles Wright, there was an overhead shot of the stadium. The OU side was DESERTED. It was glorious. Stats that Matter-OU 49 Largest margin of loss by OU in the Red River War rivalry 311 Games since OU was last shut out in 1998. The longest current streak in CFB, well no longer. Fitting paypack for 2004 when they stopped our NCAA record streak 1965 Last time TEXAS shut out OU 167 Games scoring a TD streak, longest in FBS. . . .NO MORE Are we gloating too much? Stats that Matter-TEXAS 10-15 TEXAS 3rd down conversions 3-10 OU 3rd down conversions 1-3 OU 4th down conversions edit: left off the fake FG drive which ended in the 1st 4th down stuff. 7 Number of pass catchers Quinn completed balls to 0 Sacks allowed 2 After 4 games, TEXAS gained 2 turovers, should have been 3 but the officials failed to review a clear OU fumble 6 6 red zone trips by TEXAS, 6 Touchdowns 49 Points scored 0 Points allowed Offensive player of the game Welcome back QB1-Quinn Ewers. 21-31 289 yards 4 TDs 1 Int. Young man simply plays with great poise, moved well in the pocket, hit 7 different pass catchers. New handle, Iceman, he has ice water in his veins. Even a bad miss/easy TD pass and an INT does not shake him. Honorable mentions to: BiJan Robinson. 22 carries 130 yards (5.9) 2 TDs and a BRILLIANT catch Ja’Tavon Sanders Coming out party for the TE, looking forward to seeing more. 5 grabs 71 yards and 2 TDs. Jordan Whittington 5 catches 5 1st downs 97 yards but some GREAT blocking downfield. Offensive Line. These guys are coming together. Can’t wait to see the scores but their best game. ZERO sacks Defensive Player of the Game Jahdae Barron His INT was a clear turning point in the game, driving a dagger into the heart and soul of the burglars of dirt Conclusions Let’s not sugar coat it. This is the worst OU team since 1998. This is still the RRW and the best win since 2008. Better than 2008? Not sure. This was also Quinn’s return to prime time and the most complete game on both sides of the ball in the Sark era. Sark also improves to 9-9 at TEXAS. By product, maybe this opens the door for Sark to steal a recruit or 3 from the land thieves. Venables is not the answer, wonder who OU goes and gets before we head to the SEC? We not only loved the play calls, we loved the Horns going up tempo and the way Ewers managed the game. TEXAS should be ranked somewhere in the 20-25 range. On Deck The 3rd game in a row vs the weakest teams in the BigXII. We’d have never believed that at the start of the season OU and ISU would be in the bottom 3 in the conference. TEXAS will be at home with another 11 AM KO. For Sark the coaching challenge is to have the team focused on ISU and not peaking forward to a road trip to the top team in the BigXII OSU prior to a Halloween weekend bye week. Call a similar game plan as today, TEXAS should take ISU. OSU game should be outstanding. Let’s make no mistake, the bar has now been raised, can Sark get this team up week in and week out? Has the corner been turned? Not sure we know anytime soon but we can comfortably say, this team is a serious upgrade over last year. Too soon to talk about a seat in the BigXII title game? Yeah, we agree, beat ISU and OSU and then we’ll talk. Ranking the BigXII #1 OSU (5-0) Ranked #7 Survived a shoot out at home with TT #2 TCU (5-0) Ranked #17 in a battle with Kansas for undisputed 2nd place in the conference. Duggan is a very effective dual threat QB. TEXAS does not do well vs dual threat QBs #3 KSU (5-1) Ranked #20, eeks out a 10-9 win over ISU. They have an excellent running QB but he’s average as a passer #4 Kansas (5-1) They lost their QB and still almost beat TCU in the biggest game (including GameDay) at Lawrence in decades. #5 TEXAS (4-2) They jump way up with a historic win over the thieves of land #6 Baylor (3-2) Bye week. Well coached now playing spoiler in the BigXII #7 Texas Tech (3-3) Gave OSU all they wanted in Stillwater with their back up QB. #8a ISU (3-3) no quality wins #8b OU (3-3) no quality wins, Do they fail to go bowling this year? #10 WVU (2-3) Bye week saved them another loss If we had a vote that matters #1 Georgia 5-0 Continues to roll #2 tOSU 5-0 Continues to roll. #3 Clemson 6-0 If they continue to run the table, likely fact currently unbeat UNCSt in ACC title game #4 OkieSU 5-0 Class of the BigXII right now Just a bit outside Bama winning ugly but hanging around. Damn but Bob O'Brian is a weak play caller Michigan Gets to face off with tOSU for a spot in the B1G title game, both have tough outs with Pedophile State USC/UCLA Both unbeaten. Are they heading to a game determining the Pac12 south champ? UNCSt Run the table and get to face Clemson in the ACC title game Final thoughts Damn but this white label TX taste good. Great day of College football, some outstanding games. Oh yeah, 2 weekends in a row OU and Aggie both lose while TEXAS wins handily. This is a trend we can get used to. Though ACES likely claims a win since they covered the spread. Game highlights
  10. View from the Cheap Seats-West Virginia Slump buster So maybe it was just a one game slump but the Longhorn Nation was suffering from battered fan syndrome after last weeks nightmare in Lubbock and TEXAS wasn’t even playing Halloween weekend. The BigXII has gone topsy turvy on us in 2022. Kansas is 5-0 and heading to Ft Worth to face the 5-0 Horny Frogs who just put up 668 yards of total offense and 55 points on OU. And the loser of tonight’s match up got to join ISU and OU (say what????) in the BigXII cellar at 0-2 in conference play. Baylor and OSU face off this weekend in a battle for top of the conference, for those who missed it, some outstanding football. We hate to gloat, but it’s been sometime since TEXAS won while OU and ACES were both blown out on the same weekend. Worth noting. OK we lied, we like to gloat. Both losing badly to team projected not to do well in their conferences. So much for pre-season polls. Let’s start with Coach Sark who may have called his best offensive game plan of the season. While TEXAS opened with a punt, they would then score TDs on their next 4 possessions of the 1st half. It was an impressive game and with some very creative play calling which kept WVU off balance. Our favorite play call was a backward pass to Xavier Worthy who then hit Ja’Tavion Sanders for a 33 yard TD. The game featured Sark taking advantage of all of his weapons, getting play makers the ball in space and Hudson Card’s best game under center of the young season. Despite clearly not being 100% and on a gimpy ankle, Card routinely climbed the pocket to evade the rush, buying time to find open receivers. Quickly elevating fears of Sark going turtle with a 2nd half lead, Sark’s Horns scored on their 1st possession to push the lead to 35-7, then had to punt when penalties buried them in a DEEP hole followed by a FG drive. The Horns would then close out the game with a “run out the clock” this game is OVER drive. Sark would make sure BiJan got to 100 yards rushing on the final drive. After an impressive most of the 1st half, the defense would give up a 13 play TD drive at the end of the 2nd quarter, then an 18 play 65 yard drive eating up 7 and a half minutes followed by a 13 play 75 yard drive of almost 6 minutes both ending in TDs. It was clear the D started playing bend but don’t break. We are concerned about the rest of the schedule as Daniels is not a real running threat but almost every team TEXAS will face from here is a threat to extend plays with his wheels while KSU’s Martinez is in the Tyronne Swoopes mode, more a run 1st type QB. And he is a very effective runner. This might offend a few but what did Tim Brando do to some of you? Thought he called a good game. Not remotely close to some of the awful announcers on TV. Stats that matter 1 From the Bama game forward, TEXAS only has 1 turnover, an INT v UTSA, in 4 games 3-3 Technically 3 of 4 on red zone chances but TEXAS was not trying to score on it’s last drive when it reached the 19. All TDs. Very good 4.2 Points per drive, 9 drives 2 FG and 5 TDs 4-5 Four of 5 games this year holding opponents under 20. Offensive Player of the Game Co votes this week Hudson Card 21-27 303 yards and 3 TDs but most importantly, no turnovers and he played very smart. He frequently climbed the pocket or escaped the rush to extend plays and added a long rush to pick up a 1st down. Xavier Worthy 7 receptions 119 yards and 2 TDs. The 2nd an incredible example of concentration on a ball tipped in the end zone Defensive player of the game Jaylan Ford Team leading 14 tackles (7/7) a tackle for a loss. Special teams player of the game Keilan Robinson for his onside kick recovery Conclusions Sark and TEXAS took care of an opponent the way they should have, got up early, kept the pressure on and outside of 2 late drives, they did not let an inferior opponent hang around. What does it tell us going forward? Honestly not much though we are impressed with a good win at home. We saw Sark call 2 halves of the game All Gas No Brakes and we like that. We saw Card have his best game in 2 years. We saw a balance from our play calling that kept WVU off balance. On Deck The Red River War Generally the biggest game of the year. While a heated rivalry it is likely not TEXAS’ biggest game though it is always huge. Can TEXAS enjoy TCU level offensive success? Can TEXAS be mentally tough as a loss likely takes TEXAS out of conference title contention. Can TEXAS play another complete game ala Alabama, UTSA or WVU? Is this team better than last year? Certainly, though that’s the lowest bar for a TEXAS head coach in his 2nd year in our history. Ewers or Card? We think it’s Ewers. Another question, who does OU go with at QB? Fighting Mack Brown’s Kicked the stuffing out of Virginia Tech to go 1-0 in conference play. The best ACC teams are in the Atlantic division so the UNC has a shot at playing for the conference but we think they are playing for the best bowl invite. Ranking the BigXII after a wild and wacky week #1 OSU 1-0 in conference Won the battle of the two best team in the conference #2 Baylor 1-2 Lost a hard fought battle #3 KSU 2-0 Coming off their win in Norman, they brought Texas Tech back to earth #4 TCU 1-0 Would you have believed pre-season that 5-0 Kansas would be traveling to 4-0 TCU? Yeah we wouldn’t have believed it either. #5 Kansas 2-0 Needed ISU to miss 3 FGs but a win is a win is a win. #6 OU 0-2 and playing to stay out of the cellar next weekend #7 TT 1-1 #8 TEXAS 1-1 Sorry, Tech won so they get ranked higher #9 ISU 0-2 lost a snooze fest to KU And no, not a basketball typo #10 WVU 0-2 With Baylor on deck and a trip to Lubbock following, their season might be over before Halloween. If I had a vote that mattered #1 Georgia, survived a scare #2 tOSU Ryan Day has them cranking #3 Bama 2nd best win of the weekend #4 Oklahoma State Best win of the weekend. Just a bit outside #5 Michigan #6 Utah Cam Rising with another great day #7 Clemson TEXAS/WVU highlights
  11. I know that some think Texas HS kids are pretty well developed coming out of HS (at least the big time programs) and have maxed out their potential. Granted a generalization and everyone must be judged on their own.
  12. As fans we tend to want to find one "boogy man" to blame, it can be multiple things. JMHO but based on clear patterns that are starting to emerge, the biggest failure came from our coaches. The offensive game plan went turtle in the 2nd half and we went away from our best plays. Our Defense shut down the run and when we brought pressure (as sadly we cannot get pressure from our front 3 or 4 depending on alignment), their QB got flustered. Worked so well we stopped doing it. Why in the wide wide world of sports would we stop running BiJan's best plays. Either a stretch run (to either side) where he can cut back and break defenders ankles or the counter sweep (where we pull an OL or 2 to lead the play outside) which is the play that went for 40 and a TD. BiJan had 9 carries and was not used in the passing game in the 2nd half. 1 play, 40 yards, 8 plays 17 yards. . . WHY WHY WHY constantly run BiJan up the middle. So is the offense to blame? Yes Is the defense to blame? Yes Was Card perfect? Of course not, there is a reason he is QB2. But you want to bitch about Card?, then don't ignore the play calls he's handed. Don't ignore that without him going off script, we don't over come 2nd and 19, he doesn't complete 3rd and 9 to set up our sole TD in the 2nd half. And did you see him lead the drive for the game tying FG? Yeah, pretty damn good. Spare me the "X was out" excuse. NEXT. Sark can't go bombs away??? OK, you have great RBs in the passing game, you have a 5 star, emerging TE, J Whitt, 4 catches (3 for 1st downs). Would love to see more of Cain. You have options. USE THEM. And before this rant is over, if you have not seen this, watch. A HS coach was gloating and talking shit about Sark/TEXAS. Hope we never return to Lubbock (we've had some ugly losses in that shit hole) and I hope Sark hangs another 70 on Mr HS Coach of the Year when we play them for the last time in Austin.
  13. This is where I have issue with the play calling. You want to load the box? Fine, we throw the ball to the flats or to a back coming out of the backfield. We run the stretch play or counter sweep (which went for 40 so we stopped using it), you don't run up the middle. Oh yeah, we use the TEs too. Helm and Sanders had 1 catch each. Sad
  14. View from the Cheap Seats-Texas Tech DeJa'Vu all over again. Well shades of 2021 all over again. Full disclosure, like this loss, this write up will be stark and not fun. We saw the same TEXAS team with the same really weak 2nd half offense blow a double-digit lead after the half. Penalties at the worst of times, missed tackles, dropped passes and you can forget TEXAS getting a penalty call from the BigXII refs, it’s just not going to happen this year or next. TEXAS was outscored 23 to 10 in the 2nd half plus one overtime period. Granted, this is not all on the offense as the defense reverted back 2021 form as well, featuring missed tackles blown assignments, not getting off the field/making a play on 3rd/4th down and penalties at the worst possible times too. Defense would force two fumbles, one near the goal line where instead of falling on it, the DB tries to pick it up and run. Net resutl, TT OL jumps on the ball and they retain possession. Other time we strip Smith and he falls on it. Team loss not question but with a 10 point lead, with 2 of the best running backs in the nation, why do does Sark constantly run up the middle in the 2nd half? Same turtle play calling as 2021. Jerry MaGuire would become only the 2nd Texas Tech coach in their history to win their 1st game against TEXAS. The other? David McWilliams. Here’s another embarrassing stat, in their entire time in the BigXII, TT has only come from behind down 10 at half twice. Yep, you guessed it (if you didn’t see it) both against TEXAS. The pressure of the game clearly got to Sark, late in the 4th with a chance to drive for the win, Sark goes ballistic on the sideline on a 3rd down call. Confusion on the play but good lord, don’t let your team see you go nuts, call time out (which he eventually had to do anyway), re-group and run the right play. Zero excuses as you sent a clear message to the team. Make no mistake Jerry McGuire out coached you Sark just like DeRuyter was the better DC on the day. In his 1st tortilla bowl (and likely his last), McGuire played to win, going for it on 4th down 8 times in the game. Bad news, he made 6 of them, frequently relying on TEXAS missed tackles and the one great stop at the goal line, dug TEXAS into an offensive hole. Choke. You want one word to describe the game, choke. We were outplayed, we were out adjusted, and we were outcoached by a team that likely finishes in the middle of the BigXII pack this year at best. All you people squawking about a visit to Dallas in December? This isn’t even the best BigXII team we’ll have to face. When Rod Gilmore (the color man) was calling the plays by formation, when he had spotted our tendencies, we realized this game was going to be a challenge. And on the topic of adjustments/scheme after the 1st 2 offensive series by Tech, it seemed the PK/Gary brain trust found that TT’s QB, Dennis Smith, does not respond well to pressure. When they applied it, it worked but they kept reverting back to rush 3 or 4 and drop 7 or 8, which Smith picked apart. Wonder if anyone else on TEXAS’ schedule is going to scout this game? Tech would finish running 100 plays, thanks in part of 6 successful 4th down conversions. TEXAS would run 60. In the 2nd half, Texas would have 6 drives. On their 1st drive of the 2nd half, Sark went for it 4th and 2. No problem going for it, been doing that all year. Sark calls Wildcat, stop me if you have heard this before, runs RoJo right up the middle. Tech was sitting on it. In a year and a half, we’re not sure RoJo has ever thrown the ball from wildcat or done anything but run right up the middle. Don’t make me go watch this game again but I think Wildcat (with the same play called each time) was stuffed the last 4 or 5 times it’s been run. On TEXAS’ 2nd drive of the 2nd half, we thought we saw a BiJan Heisman moment, he ran a counter sweep right, which frankly is one of his and TEXAS best plays, for 40 yards and a TD. Highlight moment. Pretty sure that was the last stretch or sweep play Sark would call. De Javu, same thing we saw last year. We stop running our best plays in the 2nd half for some reason. Give Tech credit, their D is coached by Tim DeRuyter who is an excellent defensive coordinator. No way to spin it, he owned Sark and the TEXAS offense in the 2nd half. 6 TEXAS drives in the 2nd half, 1 lost 4th down on downs, 3 more 3 and out punts and one excellent TD drive where candidly, credit to Card who improvised on two plays to overcome a holding call and a great 14 yard completion to Cain off a scramble on 3rd and 6. Then capped off by BiJan running what might be BiJan’s best play, the counter sweep for 40 and TEXAS sole TD of the 2nd half. And despite all that, TEXAS pulled off an amazing drive at the end of the game to put Bert Auburn in a position to kick a 47 yard field goal. Which the wild haired freshman kicker promptly converted with no time on the clock. Was it time to rip Tech’s heart out? Nope, 1st play of OT, running right up the middle again, BiJan loses the very rare for him fumble. There was no joy in Austin-ville, the mighty Horns had struck out. Want some good news? It is likely that TEXAS never has to travel to Lubbock again. We have had some ugly losses in Lubbock, this isn’t 2008 ugly but it’s in the bottom 5. Stats that matter 6 Texas Tech converted 6 4th down attempts, that will make for a long day 100 Total plays Texas Tech ran. 100 8-17 Taking out the 40 yard 3rd quarter TD run, this is what BiJan accounted for yardage wise in the 2nd half. No receptions 2.8 TEXAS points per drive, 12 drives 34 points. Not very good 37 TEXAS gave up almost twice the points given up in their previous most allowed. 3-9 TEXAS on 3rd down. Though they were 1-2 on 4th down. This is not good. This team will win by running the ball and sustaining drives. Same problem seen during last years, worst in 50 years 6 game losing streak 2 TEXAS’ trips to the red zone resulting in a TD and a FG, not good. Offensive player of the Game: Hudson Card played very well. The one big mistake he made was on the 4th quarter/3rd down and 3 pass to Whittington, he had Gunner Helm running wide open on a drag route for an easy 1st down. On TEXAS sole TD drive on the 2nd half, he played some of his best football, avoiding the pass rush to make a big completion then bailing TEXAS out of a 2nd and 19 hole with a 22 yard scrable setting up BiJan’s 40 yard TD run. Honorable Mention: Jordan Whittington, 4 catches, 54 yards 3 1st downs, Ja’Tavion Sanders, 4 catches for 40 but this is about his blocking and he made key blocks on 3 of TEXAS TDs. Keileen Robinson 1 reception, stubling bumbling rumbling 33 yards to a TD. Did not touch the ball again. Why? Defensive player of the Game Jaylan Ford 12 tackles and a tackle for loss. Special teams player of the game Bert Auburn, hair and all, 47 yard FG to force OT. 2-2 on FGs in the game Conclusions Many wanted to give Sark a pass for 2021 as he opened with the first losing record ever recorded by a 1st year TEXAS coach. This game showed some of the same problems rearing their ugly head. Sark & TEXAS have to face another team that showed it could score on the road in West Virginia, which also features a talented QB in JT Daniels. Let’s hope he has nightmares of his last time to face TEXAS, he was Georgia’s QB in the Sugar Bowl. The season is not over by any means but the floor is 8-4 and TEXAS already has half that many losses. Card played more than well enough to win, losing Worthy did not help, hope he’s ready for WVU and OU. We have to find a way to establish a consistent running game. We’re better than WVU but then we are better than TT too. . . at least on paper. While Card did not lose this game, we are ready to see Quinn Ewers back at the helm. Time for a TX White label or maybe 10. This was ugly. Fighting Mack Brown’s No way to sugar coat it, UNC got their butts beat by Norte Dame. 3-1 so Mack likely gets them to a bowl but they are now playing spoiler in the ACC Ranking the BigXII Many games still underway and KSU up 14-7 on OU as this is being typed so will edit this in the morning, time to do some drinking and pull for KSU and Arkansas to beat ACES. Lowlights https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0qMYg_MRe0
  15. It's been funny when it's been brought up. For the most part, no one cares but a few take themselves WAY too seriously. TEXAS dodged a classic trap game and now must go on the road to what will be a very hostile environment. Trying not to drink too much of the kool aid but outside of Ewers going down, not sure this season could be scripted much better so far.
  16. View from the Cheap Seats-UTSA Beep Beep Tale of two halves Clearly a tale of two halves. UTSA outplayed TEXAS in the 1st half. Plain and simple. The Roadrunners are not as talented as TEXAS but they wanted it more, played better fundamental football and executed far better. And make no mistake, this is a talented well coached team. This was also a game TEXAS would have lost last year. This is not the same TEXAS team. The Horns did not play with the Bama level of intensity. This team was eating the poison cheese. A reference to a Mack warning that he got from Bill Parcells. DKR would have called it reading your press clippings. Lots of coaching points to clean up as we enter BigXII play. Penalties, miss tackles and blown assignments all re-reared their ugly heads. Those have to be fixed. Our defensive line largely got outplayed till late in the game. Those are the negatives. The positives, #1 this team continued to battle, they continued to make plays, outscoring UTSA 24-3 in the 2nd half. Granted, aided by a bit of luck. UTSA’s nation leading in total offense QB Frank Harris threw one bad pass all night, which TEXAS turned into a pick 6 late in the 3rd quarter which was likely the turning point of the game. At the time, TEXAS nursing a 24-20 lead. UTSA was fighting back, 4th and 1, Harris with a perfect slant pass to his top WR who turns his head up field too quickly, takes his eyes off the ball and drops it. TEXAS just kept grinding, leaning on BiJan Robinson’s 1st 100 yard game in the last 5 and RoShon continuing his self-less play including a highlight hurdle. While Hudson Card did not have a sterling night, the gimpy dual threat QB turned 1st and 20 into a 1st down off a 32 yard run. Good news for the Horns, they don’t have to face 5th year senior Frank Harris again. Bad news, Oklahoma has a very good dual threat QB as well. Game changing sequence. UTSA deferred the coin flip and took the ball in the 2nd half. They opened the game with 2 long sustained drives, 20 plays 74 yards and 10 plays 65 yards which accounted for 10 points then fooled TEXAS badly with an on side kick they recovered and used a double pass for their final TD of the game. TEXAS’ D had not stopped their offense in the 2nd half to this point and now were faced with UTSA having the ball with time to score before half-time then facing their offense again to start the 2nd half. The D bowed up, forced 3 straight punts, 2 to start the 2nd half then gave up a long drive but held the birds to just a FG. That FG would be their only 2nd half points. On UTSA’s next offensive series, Jahdae Barron would take what seemed to be Frank Harris’ only bad pass to the house with a pick 6 which also marked TEXAS only turnover in the past two games. While TEXAS fans were still scarred by last year's 2nd half meltdowns, this would be the final straw in the game. Offensive player of the game BiJan turned in a Heisman worthy performance logging 183 yards rushing, with 3 TDs to go with a 19 yard catch and run that left a trail of broken ankles in his wake. He also recorded his longest run of his career, with a 78 yarder where he cut back against the grain behind a terrific seal block from Travion Sanders. While Sanders only logged 1 6 yard catch, he was spotted frequently throwing key blocks. Honorable mention: RoShon Johnson 11 carries, 81 yards with 3 receptions and a TD. Defensive player of the game: Jahdae Barron He added 6 total tackles to his pick 6 but the pick 6 at the end of the 3rd quarter was key to victory Honorable Mention: Would have been new dad DeMarvion Overshawn but his maybe/maybe not targeting negated TEXAS’ sole sack of the game. He added a pass break up and half a tackle for loss. Stats that matter 4-11 TEXAS on 3rd down, not getting it done 9 Penalties on TEXAS, 4 created 1st downs for UTSA, not good enough, some really dumb 17 TEXAS’ D average points allowed through 3 games, that’s getting it done. Last year, 31 ppg 2-3 Red Zone TDs. Better than last week, other was a FG 0 Sacks by TEXAS. Should have been 1, still not sure Overshawn targeted Harris. Still, not good enough. And this against a patch work OL featuring a walk on Conclusions Sark has shown this year he is better in the 2nd half than he showed last year. This was a big coaching challenge, after the 1st half, we’ll make no bones, we were concerned. While the 1st 30 weren’t impressive, football is a 60 minute game and judged at the end of 60 not the end of 30. The defense? Lots of “coachable moments” on that side of the ball. Too many blown tackles (7-10 at least), too many mistakes. Sorrell’s roughing the passer penalty was pure bone head which kept their drive alive. But the key is that this is not last year’s TEXAS team. This is a team that is learning to play 2nd half football. The offense stepped up in a big way while the D bent but didn’t break. A 24-3 2nd half will win you lots of games. One nitpick, Card still in the game with 8 minutes to go. Should have pulled him since we were just handing off anyway. Or said more simply, nicer to win ugly than lose pretty and at the end of the night, Sark's young charges got the job done with a great 2nd half. On Deck The dreaded road trip to tortilla slinging Texas Tech. Texas Tech played fairly well in losing to North Carolina State on the road. NCSt is in the mix for their division in the ACC so a good test. Stop us if you have heard this before but TEXAS traveling to Lubbock is Tech’s biggest game of the year. No offense, Card played with heart but we’re really hoping that Ewers is ready for WVU after Tech. Would be nice to see him get a tune up game before OU. Sam Acho Props to Sam Acho for being inducted into the TEXAS Hall of Honor for his contributions on the field, in the classroom and in the community. One of 2 TEXAS players to win the coveted Campbell Award for his work in all 3 areas. Often called the Academic Heisman. Nice video tribute from Mack Brown. Full Disclosure I am a UTSA grad. Never made any secret about it though some people are bothered by it. I had the foolish notion coming out of high school I could play college ball so I enrolled in tiny Texas Lutheran. That dream lasted about 15 minutes and my only contribution to the program was helping a couple of players through a few classes. I had the choice of Austin and the University of TEXAS or UTSA. The catch was I was working my way through college and had a good job in SA and no jobs in Austin. I’ve never regrated the call. It allowed me to be elected to student government and to be the 1st Marine officer commissioned from UTSA. So I confess it was bitter sweet watching UTSA outplay TEXAS in the 1st half. OTOH, the 1st TEXAS game I watched was 6 Dec 1969. Older fans and history buffs will recall the game, the Great Shootout where TEXAS earned the National Title against Arkansas. Been a TEXAS fan ever since. Ranking the BigXII #1 Oklahoma Their QB concerns me and their defense plays fast. They crushed potentially the worst Nebraska team in 50 years #2a Baylor shook off a tough loss to BYU to pummel a 2nd tier tomato can 2b OSU Beat up a tomato can 2c TEXAS beat one of the better 2nd tier teams after an ugly 1st half 2d Iowa State Pummelled a weak 2nd tier team (seems to be a theme this week) 6 Kansas Don’t look now, they beat a team ranked through week 2, 3 and 0 7 Texas Tech Lost to NCSt, will be sky high for TEXAS coming to town. 8 TCU Bye week 9 WVU Beat up a tomato can 10 KSU Lost to Tulane. WTH? Game Highlights https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hX0Kaj6HGc
  17. View from the Cheap Seats-Alabama Coulda/shoulda/woulda Deja vu all over again. Stop us if you have heard this before, 1st quarter, at their goal line and Bama knocks out the TEXAS QB with a shoulder injury. Shades of the 2010 National Title game. In a million years, we’d have never called TEXAS not just beating the spread but being in a position to argue coulda/shoulda/woulda won the game. There have been 3 MASSIVE games at DKR in the 21st century, when Norte Dame came calling, LSU in 2019 and Bama in 2022. If you want to add Top 10 Mizzu in 2008, we will not argue. TEXAS showed incredibly well in all 4. Frankly, should have won all 4. In a million years, we did not expect to type that in 2022. In a game which has been anticipated since it was scheduled, with a build up to the game which was off the charts, the TEXAS Longhorns quite simply played their Bevo loving backsides off. In a million years we’d have never called TEXAS being more poised, more ready for prime time and making more plays than Bama. Even without his QB1, Sark called a great game. We’ll nit pick a couple play calls later but for now, outstanding game plan. He was the superior coach on the field. We had thought this would come down to a discussion of Jimmies & Joes vs X’s an O’s but Sark/PK/Patterson and crew had their guys more ready and honestly were superior to Nick and company. And make no mistake, Nick had this game dialed up for sometime. Bama seemed like the young inexperienced team. They were not sharp highlighted by dropped passes and a Saban era record 15 penalties and the zebras missed more 3 obvious violations. So one Jimmy & Joe who was the difference for Bama, Bryce Young. Gotta give the Heisman QB credit, interesting he was a high school point guard and a player Sark recruited. He played like a high school point guard on grass. He was poised despite at least 3 maybe more drops by Bama WRs and Bama’s miscues. Despite a relentless at times pass rush and without Bama’s vaunted rushing game, Bryce Young put the Bama team on his back. Our hats off to him, without him TEXAS wins. PK or Patterson? One of TEXAS’ biggest off season story lines was “Special Assistant to the HC” Gary Patterson joining the TEXAS staff after being let go by TCU. So who gets the credit for TEXAS’ almost perfect game on D against a more talented offensive line, Georgia Tech transfer Jamyher Gibbs (one of the top transfer backs in the nation) and the aforementioned, Bryce “Mr Heisman” Young at QB? Well let’s start by giving the players the lion’s share of the credit as they played almost flawless football. A team with a horrid past of allowing broken tackles and busted coverage came up with the best defensive effort since. . . .. ? It’s been sometime. TEXAS would force Bama to punt 6 straight possessions covering both the 2nd and 3rd quarters. TEXAS would hold Bama to 161 yards rushing, with 81 of them coming on one run. Whether it was PK or Patterson, we think they both deserve credit, this game will push Patterson even higher on the “hot coaches for 2023” list. It was clear, the defense went up against one of the best offenses in the nation and did more than enough to win the game. Before Quinn Ewers went down with a shoulder injury, the TEXAS offense was humming. 2 scoring drives of 65 and 75 yards to open the game saw some of Sark’s best play calling at TEXAS, and this against arguably the #1 defense in CFB. While TEXAS came up with 10 points on those first 2 drives, a blown/obvious/WTF were they watching, non-pass interference call on Sanders should have had TEXAS 1st and goal at the 2 not trying a FG. In a 1 point game, clearly every point matters. Hudson Card got the call as QB2 and it wasn’t long before he would injure his ankle. This might have been what would end up costing TEXAS the game as he was good after injury but clearly could not get the velocity on his throws, including a pass to Xavier Worthy in the 4th quarter which should have been an easy TD/at least a long gainer. But with a bum ankle Card could not drive the ball. Kid left it all on the field for TEXAS. It’s his team until Ewers returns. One battle that TEXAS lost was the field position battle with 3 of their 11 drives starting at/near the 25 and 5 drives starting at the 15. Tough to win games against a great D having to drive the length of the field. We would be remiss if we did not give some props to the offensive line which we felt damned TEXAS’ chances. They still have much growing to do but overall, we saw improvement compared with last year. Stats that matter 1 of 5 Touchdowns scored by TEXAS red zone trips, if you want one stat that cost TEXAS the game, this is the one. 15 Number of penalties by Bama (we did not find a single bad call). A Saban era record. 3-12 TEXAS on 3rd down. Granted this against the Alabama D but you cannot win games without sustaining drives 1-2 Bama on 4th down. We highlight this to focus on a key 4th down stop. We heard one announcer claim “well the Bama back tripped over a linemen’s feet”. True. Upon further review, on that 4th down play, the TEXAS DL had actually pushed the Bama line back. 0 Turnover gained/committed. TEXAS’ best shot was when D’Shawn Jamison dropped what should have been an easy pick for him. Offensive player of the game Jordan Whittington, 7 catches 3 of them for 1st downs and several of the catches contested. He became the safety blanket for both QBs. Honorable Mention: Xavier Worthy, 5 catches 97 yards. Defensive player of the game Kaylan Ford 2 tackles for loss (-18 yards) and a sack to go with a team leading 10 tackles. Honorable Mention: The defensive, we came into the season thinking major liability and they came up big. Special teams Daniel Trejo 5 punts with a 46 yards per punt + average. The highlight was a punt pinning Bama at their 1 and flipping the field position game. Conclusions: Sark now faces a new coaching challenge. He still has a largely young and inexperienced team. There is no question he had his charges up for the Bama challenge. Can he continue this level of performance week in and week out? Can he keep the Longhorns from “eating the cheese”/”reading their press clippings”? Let us not forget 2019 where TEXAS had another coulda/shoulda/woulda style game with LSU and that loss was part of 4 additional losses that year. UTSA will come into DKR this week playing their biggest game in history, the roles will be reversed before TEXAS gets on the road to Lubbock and TT. We are going to offer one small nit pick, we ran wildcat with Roshon on 3rd down near the red zone. At some point, let Roshon throw. The Bama defense collapsed on RJ but replayed showed there was a TEXAS receiver wide open for a short pass/1st down. Overall, both CO’s called great games. X’s & O’s did not beat TEXAS. Fighting Mack Brown’s Gene Chizik doesn’t seem to be helping Mack much. After giving up 40 4th quarter points to App State last week, this week it was Georgia State scoring 18 in the 3rd quarter to make things way too interesting. Tar Heels are 3-0 but today we don’t see them making too much noise in the ACC. Ranking the BigXII This is still way early. #1 Oklahoma Beat up another tomato can. They have Nebraska on deck. Upset might save Scott Frost’s job but do the Bugeaters have the horses? #2 Oklahoma State Nice win vs Herm Edwards Zona State Devils #3a Baylor tough OT loss on the road at BYU #3b KSU Took Mizzu out behind the woodshed #3c TEXAS If Sark can hold TEXAS near this level of play, they should earn a trip to Dallas. . . we shall see #3d Texas Tech OT win vs ranked Houston in OT #7 Kansas SAY WHAT? Yep, OT win over WVU #8 ISU Win over Iowa with a baseball like 10-7 score #9 TCU 2-0 after beating tomato can Tarlton #10 WVU Note: May take a few more weeks to separate the BigXII teams. Right now even the traditionally weak teams are playing well. Game Highlights https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_faYnQBM0A
  18. View from the Cheap Seats-Louisiana Monroe 130 Years of TEXAS football The season is finally here and TEXAS, lead by Steve Sarkisian tees up TEXAS’ 130th season of College Football. TEXAS enters the season ranked #6 in the Nation on the All Time wins list. Sadly we were ranked #4 when Mack Brown left. Coach Sark certainly fixing the talent issues, bringing in a #16 recruiting class his 1st year, #5 ranked class his second and currently sitting at #5. These classes include 2 QBs each ranked #1 in the nation along with arguably 14 of the best offensive linemen ever recruited on the 40 acres. Before we jump into the Horns game, a word about week 1 and some great matchups. There was some amazing College Football which is the best sport in the world. The Fighting Mack Brown's went on a 35-0 run against Appalachian State to take what appeared a game winning lead only to see a 62 point 4th quarter where UNC hung on by the skin of their teeth. Other great games included tOSU opening with Norte Dame as Marcus Freeman returns home in his ND coaching debut only to lose 21-10. West Virginia faced ranked Pitt in what may have been the best opening game. Florida used 2 goal line stands to blunt Utah's efforts. Watch out SEC East, Richardson is the real deal at QB. #13 UNCSt survived a game winning missed FG vs East Carolina. In the clunker of the "big games", Georgia showed Oregon they are not ready for prime time. The Sunday night game featured an amazing finish by LSU against FSU, ending with the 2nd blocked kick of the night by FSU ending LSU's upset bid. It was a great Saturday of channel surfing. Back to the Horns. Let’s face it, this game amounts to a controlled scrimmage against a D 1 tomato can. Though a controlled scrimmage is important as QB1 Quinn ‘hasn’t thrown a game pass in 2 season’ Ewers needs all the reps he can get. And Quinn delivered the type of game one expects from a guy who hasn’t thrown a real pass in two years, great at times and rusty in others. This is why you schedule tomato cans. The low light, on his 2nd pass as a Longhorn, Quinn forced a poor pass into double coverage to see his first INT. The highlight of the evening was the Ja’Tavion Sanders break out party. It was clear that Quinn has found a friend on the team, a very talented friend who after not recording a catch in 2021, broke out vs Louisiana Monroe in 2022 with 6 catches for 85 yards and a TD. 5 of those 6 catches were for 1st downs or a TD and 2 were 4th down conversions. TEXAS fans know the value of a great QB/TE relationship and very early indications are that Mr Sanders came ready to play this season. His break out becomes more important as it was announced that Bama transfer Jahleel Billingsly will be suspended for 6 games due to infractions committed at Bama so he will miss half the season. Gunner Helm/Juan Davis, you are up. Hard to call a night where he logged 113 yards from scrimmage and 2 TDs quiet, but BiJan Robinson’s Heisman campaign kicked off quietly. If by “quiet” you mean averaging 7 yards a tote quiet. He had one play that highlighted his amazing ability where on an inside zone, he made a quick move in tight space, you could see the DBs ankles seem to break as he sped past the hapless defender on the way to 6 more yards. Classic BiJan, barring injury, he should finish his TEXAS career easily one of the Top 5 RBs in TEXAS history. He is an amazing combination of power, pass catching and elusiveness on his way to being the highest drafted RB by the NFL in years. Defense was not about to be outdone and featured both a name we know and a couple of new players. Now temper the enthusiasm as we have little doubt TEXAS could have lined up it’s 2nd team and beaten tonight’s tomato can but several things stood out. First and foremost, TEXAS tackled well and seemed to be playing much more disciplined assignment football. DeMarvion Overshown picked up where he left off from last year and was in beast mode. 6 tackles, 2 tackles for loss recorded and he seemed all over the field. Joining him was Barryn Sorrel who recorded a sack and a half and 2 more TFL. New faces who showed up from the secondary were transfer Ryan Watts (TFL) though we thought he had a Pass Break up but not officially and true freshman Jaylon Guilbeau. All 3 were new starters from last year’s KSU game. Stop me if you have heard this before, DeShawn Jamison took a KO/Punt/INT to the house. This time a pick 6 to go with his 1st quarter punt block leading to a Keillen Robinson scoop and score. Special teams were very much a mixed bag. Xaiver Worthy is now returning punts and you saw why when he took one punt back 21 yards. Bert “world’s record fro” Auburn connected on a 41 yard FG but his 38 yard try saw new punter Issac Pearson fumble the snap. It would be Issac’s 2nd miss handle as he dropped his 1st punt attempt but managed to escape the rush to get off a 15 yarder. Daniel Trejo handled the 2nd punt attempt recording a 40 yarder. We call them as we see them, special teams has us nervous. Overall As we said, you can’t tell much beating up a tomato can. This was a controlled scrimmage for all practical purposes. We needed it. After Sark bragging about Quinn’s deep ball ability, he badly overthrew 3 deep ball chances. On the plus side, his short and intermediate throws were much better than his deep balls and we though Quinn went through his projections well. Defense held La Monroe to 2.2 yards per rush. #1 positive, no injuries but did anyone else suck in hard when Kelvin Banks left the game? Fortunately for only 1 play. #2 positive, lots of young players received reps. Offensive Player of the Game Ja’Tavion Sanders gets the nod just barely over BiJan with his break out performance where he established himself as Quinn’s new best friend. 6 receptions, 85 yards 1 TD (all but one for a 1st down or TD) Honorable mention: BiJan 7 yards per carry, 2 TDs on what seemed a “quiet” night for him Defensive Player of the Game DeMarvion Overshown for his beast mode game with some love for DeShawn Jamison with his punt block and pick 6. Barryl Sorrell needs some honorable mention love too Stats that Matter 3 3 4th down conversions 5-25 We did not like 5 penalties but an improvement from last year and all of the 5 yard variety 5-6 Red Zone scoring, 4 TDs 1 FG (we didn’t count the punt block). Missed FG outside the Red Zone 130 130th season of TEXAS football On Deck The most anticipated home game since Norte Dame came calling, TEXAS faces Alabama with their Heisman QB and a defensive lineman who Is a Top 3 NFL pick in the spring trying to lead their team back to a National Title. We would love to blow some smoke at our readers backsides but there is literally not one match up where the Horns have an advantage. Nick “Satan” Saban has simply stockpiled too much experienced talent. A page Sark is working on but today we are still 2-3 years away from this level of competition. On the plus side, this is a very young team and young teams grow. State of the BigXII Other than West Virginia, the BigXII opened with a slate of tomato cans. Even Kansas beat up their tomato can. Oklahoma State did get into a bit of a shoot out with a quality Central Michigan club and WVU opened with ranked Pitt, had the only loss in of the BigXII but against a quality opponent. Baylor, OU and OSU appear the class of the conference, for now. TEXAS is in a pack of teams today in the 2nd tier. Might take another week or two before we are comfortable actually ranking teams. Game highlights [MEDIA=youtube]nxF8WoTK9HI[/MEDIA]
  19. The failure to sustain drives in the 2nd half of games with the lead is my #1 concern. Even with fairly dramatic improvement in the D (I don't see them that much better) our D will still be average. We should be winning with offense not defense with our weapons and we should be a run first, dare you to stop us team. Our best play is the outside zone but Sark ran way too much inside zone in the 2nd half of games. Sark is the biggest opportunity for improvement in the off season, glad he's meeting with Sean. Now if we can just get Dallas' K Moore to do the same.
  20. Hope he ask Sean how to not go turtle in the 2nd half of games with his play calling. My #1 concern in 2022, can Sark self evaluate and figure out how to run the best plays and sustain drives.
  21. So our opinion, this was not a WOW draft where really good players/star players fell to the Cowboys. Not much sizzle in this draft for Dallas but lots of good steak. No CeeDee Lamb/Trevon Diggs falling our way this year. In fact Dallas would see reported targets constantly come off the board just before they were on the clock. We see this as a solid draft where Dallas landed guys who fit their needs. B to B- as a grade only in that they did not land any obvious stars but they did land 2-4 starters down the road. The indented write ups from NFL.com. Dallas stuck to finding highly athletic kids but really went away from their normal drafting pattern of avoiding the small school guys. Clearly Dallas was focused more on the player's traits. PS, rumors fly that Tristen Hill is on the trading block, especially with the pick of Ridgeway in the 5th. Round 1 #24 Tyler Smith OG/OT On the plus side, kid (only 21) has great size, intelligence (30 wunderlick) and athletic ability. Absolute road grader in the run game and plays with a nasty streak. Not as strong in pass pro but will be moving inside for year's 1 and likely 2. Biggest need for Dallas in the draft. Jerry/Stephen Jones thinks he can kick out to OT eventually. My #4 favorite pick of this draft for Da Boys On the negative side, Smith tends to "catch" defenders instead of exploding into them and draws too many penalties. Look for him to push Conner McGovern week 1 as our starter at LG. With the UND OT in the 5th, Dallas has gotten bigger and nastier along the OL with this draft. Ferguson the TE fits this mold as well. Power merchant who plays the game with a field demeanor that can work in his favor on one play and against him on the next snap. Smith is able to displace defenders as a run blocker despite lacking proper hand usage for leverage. He's explosive and athletic but struggles to sustain and finish what he starts. He's too quick to discard any semblance of technique in favor of bear-hugging the opponent and drawing a penalty. A move from tackle to guard would allow teams to feature his downhill power in the rushing attack while reducing exposure in pass protection. The holes in his game can all be filled if he accepts coaching and brings it to the field on Sundays. There is some bust potential present, but the ceiling could draw a team to him on Day 2 of the draft. Round 2 #56 Sam Williams DE #1 reason he fell into the 2nd round was a domestic violence arrest so a bit of a character issue. Dallas believes in their system and has enjoyed some success turning around some of these "problem children" around. Top pick of the draft (IMHO) for Da Boys. Marcus Spears LOVES this pick too. As we said at the time, Randy did us a favor by rejecting Dallas' larger contract. Williams was considered an elite junior college prospect after earning first-team JUCO All-American honors at Northeast Mississippi Community College in 2018 (28.5 tackles for loss, 17.5 sacks). His pass rush skills translated to the SEC in 2019, as the Montgomery, Alabama, native led the Rebels with six sacks among his 37 total tackles (9.5 for loss). He also intercepted a pass and forced a fumble in 12 appearances (eight starts). Williams was suspended from the team in July 2020 after he was charged with sexual battery. He was reinstated to the team in September of that year after the charge was dropped. He started six of 10 games played in 2020, posting 39 tackles, eight for loss with a team-high four sacks on the year. Williams garnered 2021 third-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-SEC honors by ranking fifth in the FBS with a school-record 12.5 sacks (among 57 total tackles, 16 for loss) and tying for 10th in the country with four forced fumbles in 13 starts. -- by Chad Reuter NFL.com Round 3 #88 Jalen Tolbert WR South Alabama Make no mistake, big runs on WRs this year. Dallas missed on their top targets though they did land a kid they liked who will be a plus WR for them and has WR2 potential. This was the Cheap Seats 2nd favorite pick. Silky smooth athlete who has morphed into a monster over the last two seasons. Tolbert is a high-character prospect with skill elements that are dripping with NFL potential. He gave work to everyone he faced, including SEC cover corners at Tennessee. His three-sport background offers unique perspective to pull from at his position, and his route-running gives him a leg up in camp battles early on. His traits, talent and production should push him up the board, and dialing up the competitive spirit could turn him into a top-flight WR2. Round 4 #129 Jake Ferguson TE Whiskey Baltimore traded up to #128 to take Charlie Kolar so one might speculate that is who Dallas really wanted but Jake was on Dallas' radar too. He's a solid TE who will move into the TE2 roll rather quickly. He is a good pass catcher and blocker. Face it, Whiskey does a great job with OLs and TEs. We'll rank him as our #5 favorite pick of this draft Durable, reliable and consistent, Ferguson comes from a football family. He had copy-and-paste receiving production throughout his career despite playing in a limited passing attack with inconsistent quarterback play. He has outstanding ball skills, including a rare level of concentration to make challenging catches in the face of oncoming collisions. While he gives effort as a blocker, he wasn't a great fit for what Wisconsin asks of their tight ends in the running game and he's likely to be overmatched if asked to take on defensive ends in the NFL. He is a solid receiver and a below-average blocker with TE2/3 potential. Round 5 #155 Matt Waletzko OT Rumblings from the talking heads, this was very good value in the 5th. #9 ranked (of 1200) OT's test this year for athletic ability. Clearly a developmental type. This was Dallas' pick from the Amari Cooper trade with Cleveland Skyscraping FCS tackle with tremendous length but there are too many holes in the physical profile to project NFL success at this stage. Waletzko's length and upper-body power are traits that teams will want to cultivate, but his pad-level issues and average foot quickness are limitations that could be difficult to work around. The run blocking should improve with more experience and coaching but his habit of leaning in pass protection reflects core strength concerns. If his pass posture isn't fixed as a right tackle prospect, power rushers will eat him up. Round 5 #167 Deron Bland CB Fresno State Very athletic CB with excellent size. Coaches like him a good deal. Likely biggest contributions in Year 1 are on Special Teams. Dane Brugler says he "smothers receivers" and had mocked Bland to Dallas. There's plenty to like about Bland's physical traits and potential but holes in both man and zone coverage could create some doubt about his future success. Bland lacks coverage fluidity but his physical cover style should work in his favor if he can play with better discipline. He could be a zone corner fit and has the physical tools for safety consideration if he can charge up his tackle toughness. Round 5 #176 Comp pick Damone Clark LB LSU This is a 2nd/3rd round talent but had surgery and is not available till Nov this year at the earliest. If you are going to gamble on injury, better 5th round than 2nd. Full recovery is expected. Brian Broaddus (former Cowboy & NFL scout) loved the pick and his play. Loved the line "there is some violence to his game". Sideline to sideline player. Large LB who moves well. Top 100 talent Long, well-built inside linebacker packed into an athletic frame. Athleticism, toughness and tackling talent helped Clark piled up production in 2021 despite a lack of game-to-game consistency. Play recognition and instincts are erratic and could continue to be, but his game against Alabama should be weighed more heavily in his favor, as it shows what he's capable of against bigger, better opponents. Clark profiles as an early backup and special teams performer with projectable upside in the middle. However, the spinal fusion surgery he underwent in March is likely to sideline him for the 2022 season and could cause him to drop lower than his tools warrant on draft day. Round 5 #178 Comp pick John Ridgeway DT Pigs For only the 2nd time since buying the team, Jerry nabs an Arkansas player. More of a 2 Tech/NT type. Another Top 100 talent. This is an outstanding pick in the 5th round and our #5 pick of this draft for Dallas, again IMHO. He is a guy who "plays with an edge" very much an old school style DT. Very much one of our mock draft pet cats. Our #3 favorite pick of the draft College nose tackle with the size and length for consideration along the interior or as an odd front defensive end. Ridgeway is more wrestler than gap-eater when taking on blocks as a nose. He's likely to be coveted by traits-based evaluators eager to develop the physical ingredients into a more polished product. While most of his experience has come at nose tackle, the sum of his parts might make more sense as a 3-4 defensive end, where his long arms and natural power would become more beneficial as an edge-setter. Regardless of position, he won't offer much help as a pass rusher, so rotational lineman with upside is likely to become his tag as a Day 3 prospect. Round 6 #163 Devin Harper LB Okie Lite A player Dallas did not want to fight for in UDFA. Very athletic. Would have like Marquese Bell (S) better here but this is another player who will be an instant Special Team contributor and could grow into a regular player. Harper is a 4-3 Will linebacker candidate whose strong athletic traits could outweigh his lack of starting experience for some teams. His pursuit of the ball is bolstered by his speed and agility, providing him with NFL-caliber range. However, his lack of instincts and play recognition will require a much-needed upgrade. Harper's special teams potential could give him a chance to make a practice squad.
  22. Call me around signing day in Dec. . . .
  23. Yes, Poorly written on my part. The wins/losses/toss ups are for TEXAS. I graduated from UTSA, thus the source of the commentary Thanks for the comments and reading my passion project.

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