Texas took it to a team they should. After a shaky start, the Longhorns dominated for 55 minutes. Despite a few gaffs here and there, Texas showed competency in most phases of the game. Offense showed that it’s run game has a pulse and the defense showed basic understanding of their responsibilities. However, as always, don’t overreact to a single game. Texas took it to UTEP 41-7 and then proceeded to have an atrocious year. Still, this team and this fanbase just took in a huge breathe before the USC game and realized they can still play ball.
– Run fits: A huge improvement in this team was basic communication and understanding of their responsibilities. Texas kept their gaps and their perimeter contain. Much better communication and understanding between the Nickle, Rover, and Safety made sure that there were no running backs escaping through the B and C gaps. While the defensive line didn’t look spectacular they still were able to keep their gaps and responsibilities in order. Run defense looked leaps and bounds better, but the team they played are not a good run team. Gary Johnson was a breath of fresh air and Jamari Chisholm also did well. The personnel changes really helped in this department.
– Coverage: If the ball was thrown to the field side, then Holton Hill was there to break it up. The boundary side was not as solid. Kris Boyd looked like he was fighting himself on a few plays, and was lucky that San Jose State couldn’t make him pay for it. Same goes for Deshon Elliott. Texas had trouble in some places keeping the play in front of them. Still, holding the team to absolutely no touchdowns (better than Strong’s USF) and taking one back is a good confidence builder.
– Future: One thing I told Longhorn fans to look for this week was basic competency. Make sure that the team takes good angles, doesn’t have busts in coverage, and plays good fundamental football. They did two of those three things. Still a step in the right direction by letting the Longhorns find themselves and play fundamental football. There isn’t a whole lot that you can tell about this game for the future, but it is still nice to see the team hold another to 42 yards on the ground with a running QB and less than 200 yards total.
– Welcome to your regularly scheduled QB controversy: The true freshman started off a bit shaky in his first game, but found his footing later in the game. He missed a few targets he should have hit, but then made up for them by hitting those same plays later. His decision making was good, with the exception of a few throws where he got very lucky. He did well with his legs extending plays and getting downfield. I’d still stick with Shane, but Sam definitely looked capable in his first game of leading this team.
– Run Game: It’s alive! Well, at least it’s alive against an atrocious run defense. Chris Warren made a case for starting by jumping over and going through guy’s for 166 yards on 16 carries and tallying two touchdowns. Kyle Porter looked good going for 71 on 16, but Chris Warren is your starter and bell cow.
– Pass game: What else can I say besides they looked good against a team they should, but we didn’t see them a whole ton. Armanti Foreman showed off, but also dropped a sure touchdown. Collin Johnson only had two catches but also amassed 50 yards. It’s too bad Reggie Hemphill was suspended for the first half. He would have torn this team apart.
– Offensive Line: Sam Ehlinger wasn’t running for his life, had ample time in the pocket, and never ended up on his butt. The holes for running were nice and big. The offensive line played with a fire under their belly. Good turn around. Take it into next week.
– Future: Texas showed that they can run the ball. They showed that they have some good depth on offense. Now they did it against a very poor defense, but still it shows that they can know what they’re doing. In total it’s a game to build on now that everyone knows what they’re doing.