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Harrison Wier

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Everything posted by Harrison Wier

  1. We have to have some way to keep our site running for free for all of you. That means we have to produce some type of revenue, and the only way for us to do that is through ads. Like NTG said, ad blocker is very useful and helps out a ton. Sorry that we can't do more, but that's just how it has to be in order to keep the site free.
  2. BY JAMESON MCCAUSLAND For a defense that is struggling, a Kliff Kingsbury offense is not what you want to see coming up on the schedule. Texas will have to try to go into Lubbock and slow down a Texas Tech offense that will be playing with a backup QB. Despite the key injury, the Red Raiders will still trot out big-time playmakers at almost every position. It will be another tough test for the Longhorns, as they look for a win to keep their hopes at going to the Big 12 championship alive. Let’s take a look at the Texas Tech offense: Quarterback The good news for Texas is the Red Raiders will be without QB Alan Bowman, who is dealing with a punctured lung (best wishes for a speedy recovery). The bad news is backup Jett Duffey brings a running dimension to the offense that the Longhorns will be forced to account for. Texas Tech will take a step back in the passing game under Duffey, but rest assured that Kliff Kingsbury is going to have a game plan in place to try to exploit what Texas has shown on film the past few weeks — that they struggle to stop the run. Duffey has thrown for 627 yards this season with 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. The key for the Longhorns this week will be forcing turnovers. The sophomore will throw the ball to the other team if you let him. Duffey is the second-leading rusher on the team with 297 yards. The Red Raiders aren’t likely to run the zone read directly at Texas like Oklahoma State did, but Duffey will be used as a runner and is elusive in space. Running Back Freshman Ta’Zhawn Henry is the leading rusher for the Red Raiders with 346 yards. Henry was at one point last year thought to be on Texas’ radar, but the 5’7 speedster ended up in Lubbock and has broken onto the scene in his first year. Henry is not your typical between the tackles runner, but Kliff Kingsbury is not your traditional play-caller. The Red Raiders will throw the ball to set up the run, and when they do run the ball, they will utilize Henry in space. When Texas Tech gets near the goal line or is in short yardage situations, Da’Leon Ward and DeMarcus Felton will be the go-to backs. The Red Raiders love to use the running back in the passing game, and Kingsbury has to be licking his chops thinking about Anthony Wheeler going against any of his running backs in the open field. The key for Texas will be recognizing Tech’s personnel and making sure they limit the busted assignments that have plagued them in recent weeks. Wide Receiver As usual, Tech has several receivers who can hurt defenses on the outside and in underneath coverage. Antoine Wesley and TJ Vasher are matchup nightmares at 6’5 and 6’6, respectively. Wesley leads the team with 1176 receiving yards and Vasher has added 470. Kris Boyd and Davante Davis will have to bring their best game to Lubbock, or it may be a long night for the Longhorn defense. Ja’Deion High operates primarily out of the slot and will look to cause problems for PJ Locke. High has 615 yards receiving and 3 touchdowns on the season. Texas has been prone to the deep ball in recent weeks, and while Duffey isn’t necessarily the QB to exploit that weakness, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Wesley and Vasher get chances to go up and make plays. Offensive Line There is not much that stands out about the Red Raiders offensive line. They have the usual size that Air Raid offenses need and serve more as obstacles in the run game than movers. RG Jack Anderson was a member of the All-Big 12 Freshman Team a season ago and is one of the highest-ranked recruits to ever attend Tech. Kingsbury does a nice job of scheming around any offensive weaknesses he has. The ball is always coming out of the QB’s hands quickly, and if a team chooses to blitz the QB, he will have an option of getting the ball to a playmaker in space.
  3. BY JAMESON MCCAUSLAND Winning recruiting battles in the trenches is what turns good programs into elite ones. This cycle, Texas has looked for big bodies that can play outside, and found a hidden gem in Isaiah Hookfin. Hookfin made a significant leap from his junior to senior season, and Texas jumped into the race for his services at exactly the right time. Hookfin started blowing up earlier this year, receiving offers from Auburn, Mississippi State, and others. After a visit to Austin for the West Virginia game, Hookfin received an offer from the Longhorns. Ultimately, he decided not to pass up the opportunity to play for what is becoming one of the best offenses in the Big 12. Hookfin will be a nice addition to a solid offensive line room, and has the potential to leave a mark after his time in Austin concludes. Player Information Name: Isaiah Hookfin Position: OT High School: Dulles City & State: Sugarland, TX Measurables Height: 6’5 Weight: 270 40-yard: N/A Shuttle: N/A Vertical: N/A Statistics No statistics available. Film Isaiah Hookfin Film Pros: Hookfin plays with the type of aggression coaches drool over. He is always searching for the next player to drive into the ground. He carries his weight very well. Hookfin is agile for his size, but also looks like he could add some weight and be around 300 pounds during his college career. His ability as a puller really stands out in the run game. His athleticism allows him to get to his assignment quickly and work to the second level. Does a nice job of latching onto defenders and getting leverage to move them where he wants them to go. Very effective as a down blocker and on double teams. Comes off the ball hard consistently and brings the fight to the defender. Cons: Like most high school offensive lineman, Hookfin is more polished as a run blocker than in pass protection. He overwhelmed much of his high school competition, so it's tough to get a true read on his ability when he goes against elite defensive linemen. Hookfin can play high at times. Herb Hand will need to tap into his strength and help him develop as a drive blocker in the run game. Summary Hookfin has really blown up in recent weeks, catching the attention of many schools around the country, particularly Mississippi State and Auburn just prior to his November 3rd visit to Austin. It is easy to see why many schools wanted to throw their hat in the ring for his services. The big, athletic tackle has a knack for seeking out opposing players and putting them on their backside. Hookfin has long arms and an ideal frame to grow into the perfect tackle for Herb Hand the Texas offensive line. It is not unusual for most high school offensive linemen to be more advanced in run blocking than pass protection, and the same could be said for Hookfin. He has all the tools to develop into a solid pass protector, but will need to develop his set and use his length to his advantage. Hookfin overwhelmed much of the high school competition he faced, but he will almost assuredly get a redshirt year to adjust to the speed of the college game. Final Verdict Texas is in a very good spot with offensive line recruiting for the 2019 cycle. Hookfin joins Tyler Johnson and Javonne Shepherd as the offensive linemen in the class. It is likely the Longhorns will look to add 1 or 2 linemen to close out the class, with an emphasis being placed at the junior college level. The addition of Hookfin to the class has a lot of similarities to when Sam Cosmi and Derek Kerstetter were offered later in the 2017 cycle. Both players ended up turning into solid players for the Longhorns, with Cosmi turning into one of the best linemen on the team and Kerstetter starting at RT as a freshman. Herman hopes to have similar success with another prospect who flashes major potential as the Longhorns look to continue to improve the offensive line for years to come.
  4. That's a good list. I'm not putting Catalon in there, though. Myron Cunningham would be a solid JUCO OL addition, and I would like to see them find a DL from the JUCO/grad transfer market as well.
  5. Night game in Lubbock means chaos. Get your picks in! This game could determine the winner of the Coop gift card.
  6. I'll have to inquire with Aaron on if he has these skills. We can certainly try to ease the pain if so.
  7. I'm sure this goes without saying, but with the way the LBs have played, Caleb Johnson probably just became the most important target left in the class.
  8. With Watson, I wouldn't be surprised if he takes some visits. That hasn't been out of the question. Texas just needs to continue making him feel like the priority he is.
  9. Myron Warren visited LSU this weekend and was not offered. However, several LSU reporters believe that an offer could be coming soon. If it does, Texas' chances with Warren drastically decline.
  10. Kenyatta Watson out of Grayson, GA. He's been committed to Texas since May. There has been speculation at times that he was going to take some other visits, but thus far there hasn't been much substance to them.
  11. I wouldn't buy into that until there is some substance behind it. Banks very well could have visited just for the free ticket.
  12. I was surprised by the lack of use of BJ Foster as a blitzer. He's been the most consistent man at getting to the QB other than Omenihu this year.
  13. Yep. Go read Jameson’s article on the defense. He touches in-depth on this!
  14. Yes. He re-aggravated it. From what we’ve heard, Tech is not optimistic right now.
  15. Texas produced over 500 yards of offense on Saturday, did not turn the ball over, punted once the entire game and held West Virginia to only 4 possessions in the second half. The Longhorns somehow still came up short, falling to the Mountaineers, 42-41, in Austin. Todd Orlando and his defense now find themselves at point in the season where they will either figure out a way to piece things together down the stretch, or else Texas may limp to the finish line with a 7-5 record. After rewatching the game, I want to take a look at the three main factors that define every defense in the country — personnel, scheme and execution. This will help give some answers to a burning question: what the heck has happened to the Texas defense? Personnel There is no denying the fact that Texas sorely misses Poona Ford and Malik Jefferson. The two upperclassmen held the defense together for all of 2017. Ford gave the Longhorns max effort at the nose tackle position and lived in opponents' backfields. Jefferson’s ability to play sideline-to-sideline and serve as an effective blitzer made him the ideal Big 12 middle linebacker. Fast forward to 2018, and Texas is not lacking talent. Chris Nelson, who took over for Ford, is a good run stuffer who demands double teams. Anthony Wheeler took over Jefferson’s MAC position, but had seen a lot of playing time his first 3 years on campus. Wheeler was a highly decorated recruit out of Dallas Skyline whom Texas stole away from Oklahoma at the last minute. Outside of Ford and Jefferson, the only other starters the Longhorns had to replace were DeShon Elliott and Jason Hall (when Texas played Dime). It could be argued that their replacements, Caden Sterns and BJ Foster, are even more talented than their predecessors. What can be forgotten easily is life in the Big 12 is unforgiving for defensive players. Texas is counting on true freshmen at several key positions, but also have PJ Locke, who is probably best suited for safety, playing nickel. It was thought before the season that Locke would move to safety, but backup Josh Thompson was not ready to be thrown into the fire quite yet. Add up all those factors and throw in the fact that Texas is now in the ‘Air Raid offense’ portion of the schedule, and it is not surprising to see the defense having some issues. Scheme Let’s go back to Jefferson for a second. Prior to the Oklahoma State game a season ago, Todd Orlando cooked up the 3-2-6 dime defense, featuring Jefferson and Gary Johnson as his two linebackers. The ability and athleticism of those two players, combined with rock solid Poona Ford in the middle, gave Orlando the confidence Texas could stop the run with 5 and 6 man boxes. This also allowed for Texas to add an extra defensive back on the field to take away the ability for teams to stretch the Longhorns vertically. Texas has not had as much success with the dime defense this season, and the primary culprit is linebacker play. Right now, Texas is trying to utilize Anthony Wheeler like they utilized Jefferson, and it isn’t working. Wheeler is showing that he lacks instinct in the run game and can’t cover TE’s or RB’s in coverage. This has also made life for Gary Johnson more difficult. Johnson was able to play freely and fly all over the field in 2017, because he and Jefferson complimented each other well. I’m sure when the defensive coaches watch the film from yesterday’s game, they will see the tentativeness Johnson is playing with right now. The Longhorns have a scheme that is conducive to stopping Big 12 offenses, but it may take a few years to get the type of players at each position that Todd Orlando wants to have. In the meantime, Texas has to tweak the scheme to fit the current roster. Execution Todd Orlando, Jason Washington, Craig Naivar and Oscar Giles can do all the coaching and preparation they can, but at the end of the day, Texas has be able to execute. The two-point conversion from yesterday is a good example. West Virginia came out in a formation featuring 4 receivers on one side and David Sills V isolated on the opposite side. Tom Herman called timeout to talk about how to defend it. West Virginia adjusted by flipping the formation and isolated David Sills on freshman CB Anthony Cook. Herman and Orlando did not like that, and subsequently called another timeout just before Will Grier fired a slant to Sills. So at this point, Texas knew the formation and West Virginia had already shown them a play. Texas adjusted. They flipped Cook and Kris Boyd, and instructed LB Jeff McCulloch to take away the throwing window for the slant. I’ve watched the play dozens of times now, and the Longhorns actually had it defended pretty well. Graham and Omenihu stayed in their rush lanes, and McCulloch dropped back a couple steps to take away the slant. Once Grier pulled the ball down, it was 6 Longhorns vs 5 mountaineer blockers. Johnson, Wheeler and McCulloch were all in perfect position to fill their lanes and force Grier back inside where Chris Nelson and TaQuon Graham were waiting. Instead, McCulloch took way too many steps toward the middle of the field, and Grier pranced into the end zone untouched. Execution is a combination of both personnel and scheme. Sometimes you can have all the right players on the field and the perfect play call, and you still get beat. What’s next? The good news for Texas is that all 3 of these areas of fixable, but it is not something that can be fixed overnight. There is no free agent pool to choose from, and Todd Orlando can’t change his entire defense in a week. The Longhorns will see growth in all 3 areas as they continue to fill the roster with high quality recruits and are able to adapt their system to fit the team’s strengths. The number one thing that would benefit Texas at the moment is not overcorrecting and doing something drastic, but simplifying things and trying to put players in positions to succeed. If an offense out-executes you, tip your cap and move on. Todd Orlando didn’t just forget how to coach defense in a year, and the players certainly didn’t forget how to play it. It is a frustrating time for Texas fans, but there are much brighter days ahead for the Texas defense once the personnel, scheme and execution all come together.
  16. Poor tackling and lack of assignment discipline is coaching. Herman mentioned last week that they didn't emphasize tackling any more than they usually do. That's a problem after what transpired at OSU that should have been hammered home until the players were sick of it.
  17. I believe Graham was supposed to be in contain. He got caught up and didn’t get outside. Easy points.
  18. Kickoff has been set for Saturday’s matchup in Lubbock at 6:30 p.m. on FOX. We’ve got ourselves a night game in Lubbock. Gulp.
  19. Yes, which is what is concerning. I wouldn’t say Herman got out coached. He made some questionable decisions, for sure. Orlando has to make some changes and if he refuses to, it’s close to time for Herman to play the veto card.
  20. It seems Orlando benefited greatly from having the right personnel for his scheme last season. Malik Jefferson was a much bigger piece than some give him credit for. Now, Orlando doesn’t have the right personnel for his scheme and it’s showing.
  21. Duffy is a solid backup, but he’s not Bowman. Duffy will give Texas issues because of his ability to use his legs.
  22. Nelson has certainly been big this year. Omenihu has mainly had a solid year, as well. Johnson has not been great. He’s made flashy plays and is very athletic, but hasn’t played up to his potential. Texas is going to need help at LB in the worst of ways if the defense is going to improve.

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