Week 3 - (L) UT 24 at USC 27

(Quick note, excuse the delay and the smaller GIFs if you're viewing this on a pc browser - I've optimized the size for mobile. I had to switch GIF-creating apps from last season due to youtube file sizes and other boring stuff, so appreciate your patience as I continue to figure it out.)


Whoa… I felt emotions during that game I hadn’t felt in a while about UT football, but unfortunately, I also felt emotions I’ve been feeling way too often about UT Football. 

Feelings I haven’t felt in a while:
  • Damn, we’re good! (When the D was flying like bats out of hell in quarters 2-4 and minus the last play of the half)
  • We got this. 
  • I’m proud of our guys - well fought.

Feelings I’ve been feeling way too often recently:
  • What the hell is he doing? (RHM)
  • Why is he still out there? (About RHM the second time)
  • Why are/aren’t we running that play?
  • F.

The last two of each category I felt simultaneously at the end of the game. I would say it’s a step in the right direction - while we had many ‘F.’ moments under strong, I can’t say it was accompanied by a feeling of ‘I’m proud of our guys - well fought’.

I won’t focus much on the "F" feeling while recapping this game, but I will start with the negative and end with the positve. Before negatives/positives, I’ll provide my brief thoughts on the QB.

I feel like I’ve heard mainly two camps: He’s awesome, he’s our savior, etc.; He sucks, bring back Buechele. I’ll be boring and pick neither. 
  • I love that SE improved as the game went on and how he performed late in the game minus the fumble
  • He’s tough and has a ton of guts. Love that about him, no question.
  • He almost seems more accurate on broken plays then some timing plays. Would like to see some improvement in accuracy when he has time in the pocket.
  • He looks slower than I thought he’d be. He can’t get outside on most plays, and while he’s pretty elusive in the pocket, I don’t think he’ll break many long runs against any decent defenses.

Had a conversation with a fellow horn fan. He likened him to Tebow. I see some of the parallels, but I gave him this analogy back:
NFL Ryan Fitzpatrick on one hand <————> College Tim Tebow on the other hand

Fitzy has enjoyed some success in the NFL, and his wrs/teammates loved him when he was with the Jets, but he turns it over a lot, and is best served as a solid backup
Tebow won 2 nattys while enjoying being the leader of a great team. I’m not sure SE is as fast (not that Tebow was that fast), and he’s definitely not as big. SE already has a better motion, and is likely more accurate (I hope). 

Regardless of where he ends up falling on that spectrum, I’m just glad we have 2 capable QBs on our squad even if neither are perfect fits for this offense nor likely to ever be Heisman contenders. At least we’re not looking at an Ash/Swoopes scenario.

Poor decision, but worse throw. Has to go to the outside with that coverage.

Bad play design, bad execution, and SE just too slow to get to the outside.

Next play. Poorly thrown when the wr has the db beat. These 2 plays just ended a decent drive.

Better throw by SE, just throw it up to this guy!

Again, he made most the plays at the end of the game that he needed to, but if you re-watch the last few drives (even the almost game-winning drive) he missed several open wrs. Give him credit for throws he did play, and the elusiveness he showed, but it will be interesting to see how accurate it he can be throughout an entire game moving forward.

The negative:
Run game was non-existent against a team that was getting ran all over going into our game:
Western Michigan = 260+ yds and 5.5 yds/carry
Stanford = 170+ yds and 6.5 yds/carry
Cal (week 4) = 110+ yds and 3.3 yds/carry

Tex = 68 yds and 1.9 yds/carry ... Oof
  • Yes, injuries have something to do with it
  • But mostly, I think our scheme and RBs are not that great. Remember, most of these offensive lineman are the same from last year (until Williams got hurt)
I really want to see us stick to the run more against Iowa St. and do more north/south running plays. I would really like to see the freshman get a little more PT too.

Beyond Beck’s playcylling, not loving his scheme or personnel sets
  • Tired of seeing Warren split out
  • If you’re going to play Heard, which I’m not entirely against (yet), you’ve got to throw a pass, even a very low risk/low reward one, just to keep the D honest
  • If you don’t have a quality TE, adjust your offense. Don’t force it
In game changes
  • Reggie Hemphill-Mapps should NOT have been back to receive anymore punts after taking the first one on the goal line, because of exactly what happened on the second one when he got tackled on the 2 yd line
  • End of half play. Great play by them, but still, that flat out, cannot happen
  • Learn to snap the ball! No excuses. It wasn't either of those players first games, and they've both been in shotgun offenses since early high school days
Get a new Texas Longhorns Nike Dri-Fit hat for the season. (Shameless, I know)

The Positive:
OUR D! I don't think much needs to be said, so just enjoy the GIFs below. 

Great stop on 3rd down (Locke, Wheeler, and Malik)

Crucial 4th down stop (Roach and the squad)

Incredible play attacking the screen (Locke)

Great blitz design and execution (Wheeler and Roach)

Getting off the block on 2nd and short (Poona Ford)

Next play - 3rd and short. Ford forces him to outside, and Omenihu makes the play on the edge.

Hill reminds me of the DBU days on this play

Omenihu, what a great pass rush with 4.

This is how you play cover 3 as a corner. Very well done by Boyd.

Then, great pass rush by Shark and Wheeler. This was crucial at the time to knock them out of field goal range.

Week 1- (L) UT 41 vs Maryland 51

Welp, it looks like I might have to eat crow. I Did not factor in losing to Maryland in the 9 wins or more prediction.

Unfortunately, this week (and next week) will be my two busiest weeks at work, and like I've said, I don't get paid to do this (unless you buy some stuff on Amazon via the site - do it!). So unfortunately, I'm not providing the usual thorough breakdown with GIFs. I mean, I can't just sprinkle some pixie dust on this thing and expect the analysis to be well done with GIFs.

^See what I did there.

What a tough loss. I think most UT fans felt a loss could happen, but I doubt anyone saw us getting blasted.

The 3 things I hated the most:

1. Everything

Kidding, well not really, but, I'll be more specific.

1. Giving up 8.6 yards per play. 
- We actually got off the field some in the 3rd quarter, but otherwise, I couldn't believe how easily they moved the ball on us, and in large chunks. It wasn't tricky either - zone reads that have been around for years, and that's commonly run in high school.

2. The offensive play calls and personnel calls
- All the horizontal crap, screens, and so on just looked like a lesser version of a gimmicky offense than what we ran last year. I was missing Gilbert during this game. I couldn't believe how we couldn't run the ball either.
- If I see Garret Gray and Chris Warren split out this weekend, I'm going to find out where Tim Beck lives and do nothing, but I'll seethe and imagine I would do something. 

3. The penalties and poor in-game management
- I harped on how this team was going to be better in the details of the game, because I was eating up everything Herman had been preaching. Sadly, I caught myself rubbing my eyes to see make sure I was watching a Herman-coached team and not a Strong-coached team - it looked that similar.

As far as silver linings go, there wasn't much. 

I guess you could say the 3rd quarter provides some hope, since we outscored them 20-7. Watch from the 3rd quarter again if you want to some hope of what we could maybe look like for a full game this year.

Reggie Hemphill-Mapps looked like a player, so that's cool. (But, I can't just help but go back to the fact that Garret Gray and Chris Warren were getting more plays split out than what seems to be our nice depth at WR, ugh.)

Finally, we can only go up from here. (I hope!)
You've probably heard it in so many ways this past week about other coaches first game with a new team, and so on and so forth. That's up to you if you buy it or not, I've got mixed feelings about comparing Herman to Saban, Harbaugh, etc. (or even the Pats bad loss on Thursday).

I have readjusted my outlook on the season, and now I'm hoping for 7+ wins and constant improvement throughout the season. The sad thing is it now looks like we could start out 1-3.

Apologies for not having GIFs of the game this week, and unfortunately it probably won't happen next (work conference all week), but I'll be back at it for USC, OU, and beyond. Well, I'll give you some GIFS...

If you're like me, and feeling like this about UT football:

Remember, it's only been 1 week:

Who knows, maybe we'll end up like this!