I’m going to keep this brief. Also, I watched up until both freshmen quarterbacks each had a couple series. There’s been a lot of talk about how much better the team looks and how much better the team’s been practicing and doing the little things right. Well, from the spring game, you can’t tell. Now, don’t go throw rocks at me now. What I mean by that is, there’s so little you can glean from a spring game, but you read that here heading in. What you did like to see was effort, hits, and some glimpses of ‘crispness’. Did you see any of that? The answer is yes. Now, let’s get into a few simple observations I made during the 1st live viewing. I’ll have more upon further review.
Quarterbacks – Little has changed in this department. Of course Sam doesn’t look like freshman spring game Sam, but that’s obvious. The intention of this offense is to run the ball. That’s why Sam is the better option. His body type and physicality suit the offense. Shane will always be a good passer, though he was off today with his deep ball. Either that or Burt wasn’t one hundred percent today, speed-wise. Overall, Sam made some good early throws, but continues to struggle some with accuracy. What didn’t help, the offensive line was inconsistent. You’d be too if you had to block the Texas defensive line. There’s real talent there. The current depth chart will remain heading into the 2018 season. Shane will back up Sam, and it looks like Cam will be the third off the sideline. As expected, Cam is more polished of the two freshmen, but you can see the upside of Casey, should he become an effective passer. The guy can move very well. The last note, if this team needs the quarterback to carry the offense, it’ll be an uphill battle for the unit all season, again.
Defense – The strength of the defense will be up front. That’s a blessing because there will be some difficulties on the back end from time to time. Why? For one, the league is always tough. Two, losing NFL prospects at corner and safety are always tough to replace. The Texas defense was depleted today and had no trouble bringing pressure, whether it be from the edge or A-gaps. All of Hager, Omenihu, and Roach were disruptive up front and after some early loose coverage by a back up, Duvernay, the secondary also tightened the screws. The nice thing, great tackling and pursuit. The spring game is not enough of a litmus test to judge the unit, but you at least see good effort, pursuit, and tackling. Having a ‘vanilla’ offense to go up against and simple assignments helps. You can’t wait for Maryland, right?
Offense – There is significant drop-off from the first team offensive line and the second. Add to that, the first team appears to be acclimating, showing some inconsistency, especially in pass protection. Even the run blocking was spotty at times. That’s expected. Offensive lines seem to take a while to ‘gel’. They are a team within the team and are faced with the tallest task. It needs time. Other than that, the framework doesn’t seem changed. They didn’t show much and did some things well. Beck managed to spring receivers open deep with some hits and misses. That was good. There were some running lanes open from time to time. There was some good quick passing (both quarterbacks). Then, as aforementioned, there were complete disasters. It’s the spring. You want polished, you wait until the Fall. Then, you keep waiting. Hopefully none of us are waiting long at all.
Punter – The new guy looks as promising as Dickson. Pray that this team doesn’t need him as much. Nevertheless, a part of Herman’s game is field position and it comes in handy when you have an ace up your sleeve in the kick and or punt game. This is a good development.
While general, those were my immediate takeaways. I watched the game with my family, paying three-quarters attention. The bottom lines I liked, the quarterback roster is well ahead than it’s been in 5 years and the defensive front poses the real possibility that’s it’s unblockable. That’s winning if you’re a Texas fan. Now, how that all plays out over 12 games this season is a question we’re all eagerly anticipating being answered. You tell me, share your thoughts in the comments