Everybody needs to calm down. Two things, you do realize how difficult it is to hold THAT offense to 10 points (with some luck)? Now, consider that the OSU defense is on par with the Texas defense, they rank very similar. Did you expect the Texas offense to move the ball well against OSU? Yes, at times, and they did. However, much like the OSU offense had miserable things happen, so did the Texas offense. It was just that kind of game. You may know, I cut Tim Beck slack, why? You have a new offense, multiple injuries, and a freshman quarterback starting (again). The latter 2 issues make the former more of a problem in my opinion. Do you think it sucks to call 3 consecutive pass plays because you can’t count on yards running? That’s a problem Beck runs into and it’s hard to shake because neither are very high percentage decisions at the moment. Add to that, some players just don’t ‘get it’. Take for example Armanti Foreman, who’s dad’s Twitter account has seen more playing time the last two weeks. Why is it such a talented player’s managed to find himself at the bottom of his position on the depth chart, curlture. Take Chris Warren III, a 6’3″ 250-plus pound back. Chris manages to cut when he should drop his pads and force defenders to make ‘business decisions’. Then, the unthinkable, the disgusting, the same guy getting ‘blown-up’ on a lead block, in overtime nonetheless, with the game on the line, with a freshman quarterback needing a block. I’ll tell you where that kind of play belongs. You guessed it, on the bench. Physicality is paramount to Herman’s program. If your 6’3″ 250-pound back fails to bring it, it’s a bad look, moving on.
The missed blocks, they continue, where you can’t have them, along the offensive line. Now, it wasn’t ALL bad, Texas did manage to string some good plays together. The bad is a mixed bag of driving you nuts! Though it’s mainly the offensive line, the quarterback doesn’t help at times either. Sam’s ability is what keeps the offense’s head above water, but he too misses open receivers, is late on some throws, and off-location, freshman problems. Now, he’s hurt too. It’s unfortunate he has to start, but this same offense managed to get Shane hurt as well. Both quarterbacks are capable of buying time, but Sam is the more capable run threat. Without that, the offense is forced into a an even tighter corner, tough. Shane excels more in the passing game, but is it to an extent that makes games more manageable for Beck? I doubt it. It’s going to be a slog, folks. Until Texas is ‘complete’ at offensive line, you’re going to see major hiccups. Lastly, as mentioned, there was some decent play Saturday, mainly from the run and screen game. The problem is it’s too few and far between and negative plays are kryptonite for this offense.
The defense is a different story. As expected, Orlando chose to take the big pass away and encourage OSU to run. You want to know what’s crazy. Prior to the game I was averaging points per possession and such, for both teams. Based on my calculations, I thought, if Texas could hold OSU to less than 500 yards and 20 points, they could win. They did better than that and it still wasn’t good enough! Texas played its best game on defense Saturday. Let’s hope that remains the case going forward. If so, the chances of a winning season substantially increase. Count me as a little surprised how well Texas’ ‘Dime’ personnel played the run on Saturday. Orlando will have plenty opportunity in the coming weeks to deploy it, think TCU, West Virginia, Kansas, and Texas Tech. The base Nickel defense played well too. I thought Kris Boyd played a solid game and the coverage did well enough to avoid ruin. Meaning, they didn’t give up any big play touchdowns and managed to make stops in the scoring zone and at the goal line, including a turnover. You did see some big plays, including one drop that looked to be a touchdown. They all seemed to come against over-under brackets in the seam. Orlando will need to polish that in coming weeks. You also saw the re-emergence of Breckyn Hager. It’s been a while and it makes me wonder if Orlando opts for a bit more 2-4 alignments with Roach and Hager book-ending the defensive line, who knows? With the type of offenses left on the schedule, Breckyn is a welcome sight.
How would you rate Herman’s first 7 games? The losses stink, but how much would you attribute them to the staff? You’ve seen the staff put the players in 4 situations to win games late against stiff competition. They are 1-3 in those situations. Heck, some of it is luck, how much, don’t know that either. All I know is, these things take time. Personally, I don’t blame the staff. After all, the side of the ball with the most experience and least attrition is trending up. If the offense were as lucky I’d expect similar results. That is not the case and it sucks for Beck, as he’s become Texas fans’ number one scapegoat. Maybe you and I disagree on that, but if you do, please detail exactly how you expect Beck to compensate for the personnel shortcomings and call plays differently in different situations.