Post-LSU | Gaining From a Loss
– CJ Vogel
Let me be the first to say that I don’t believe in moral victories. There’s nothing beneficial from hanging your hat on a seven point defeat, no matter the opponent or situation. However, there are still plenty of good things that can be taken from the battle under the lights at DKR on Saturday night.
Texas is moving very firmly in the right direction.
Three moments in the game really took the wind out of Texas’ sails in my opinion. All three came at very inopportune times as well.
- Keaontay Ingram’s drop in the endzone
- LSU’s touchdown scoring drive that began at 10:09 in the 2nd quarter.
- And obviously the 3rd and 17 touchdown by LSU
I am a big stickler on momentum. Especially at home. And especially when it’s against the number six team in the nation on national television in front of 100k.
The icing on the cake after two consecutive failures to score inside the five yard line on eight attempts. Keaontay’s drop was especially demoralizing.
As a fan, you’re upset following the first turnover on downs inside the five yard line without question. But you understand the decision to go for it. Herman being advantageous and aggressive is exactly the mindset needed in a game like this.
Following Joseph Ossai’s interception return down to the 6-yard line, Texas was given a second breath to take the lead.
What was most concerning to me in these two possessions was Texas’ inability to push the ball across the goal line on a Sam Ehlinger run, one of the true staples in their offense. Looking back at the Georgia game, one of the biggest factors in being able to stun the Bulldogs was Ehlinger bullying his way into the endzone on four straight runs to completely demoralize UGA and flip the script in Texas’ favor.
That didn’t happen Saturday.
Once again, the decision to go for it is one I will not criticize. Herman remaining aggressive shows he was playing to win, instead of playing not to lose.
The play call was there. The execution was there. Just unfortunately, the catch was not.
This is where inexperience really kicks in.
Texas finally found the end zone and took a 7–3 lead. Fans at DKR felt a sigh of relief as the seemingly impenetrable wall that was the goal line was cracked and Smokey the Cannon was able to go off for the first time.
LSU’s previous two possessions included 11 plays that went for 34 yards, with an interception somewhere in the middle. That’s a 3.09 yard per play average. Probably Texas’ defense best run in the game.
A stop following the first Texas touchdown would have been huge for momentum. Texas was moving the ball easily and if they were able to go up with a two-score lead, there’s no telling how the game would have ended.
Instead, LSU upped the tempo and went 75 yards in eight very quick plays and retook the lead and shut down the Texas momentum. The response was so quick in fact, the only break the Texas defense had on the drive was the official explaining an offside penalty for not being lined up correctly due to LSU’s tempo.
Undoubtedly, the play that stung the most was Justin Jefferson’s 61-yard touchdown on 3rd and 17.
It’s easy to criticize Todd Orlando’s decision to bring pressure on the third and really long in hindsight, but I am not a defensive coordinator and Orlando is infinitely smarter than me when it comes to running a defense.
I have to give major credit to Joe Burrow and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire here. Yes, Burrow was great all night, but this was easily his best play of the night. Stepping up to avoid pressure and finding an open dig route in the middle of the field.
But Edwards-Helaire made the block of the game. Texas brought six and Jeffrey McCulloch was running scot-free up the gut until he was clipped just enough by the LSU RB to derail him from an easy sack. McCulloch was moved to his left which allowed Burrow to step up to avoid pressure and throw a dart.
The nail in the coffin came in a fashion all too familiar to Texas fans; a very long touchdown pass.
Still, Texas played very well. And the general consensus in the college football world is of positivity regarding the direction Tom Herman has the Longhorns heading in.
All three of these moments can easily be corrected. So to say Texas has a glaring problem because of one loss, would be a pretty wild overstatement, luckily I haven’t seen it that much on the board so far.
Recruit Reactions to LSU Game
– CJ Vogel
Despite the loss, the Longhorns hit the ball out of the park this past weekend with a crazy atmosphere and home appeal to several of the top recruits in the state of Texas.
2020 OL Logan Parr (Helotes)
“I played at the same time as the Texas game so I only got to see bits and pieces from it. Texas’s pass game was very solid and it allowed the Texas offense to march down the field late game time and time again.”
2021 LB Derrick Harris Jr. (New Caney)
“Great game great atmosphere wish we would have came back with the win though. (The weekend) very well, the trip was great.”
2021 QB Jalen Milroe (Katy Tompkins)
“It was a great experience. The atmosphere was electric. Texas wasn’t able to pull out the victory, but they showed a lot of fight.”
2021 DE Tunmise Adeleye (Katy Tompkins)
“Performance wise, I think they’ve got to improve the secondary. The atmosphere was electric however, and I’ll be back throughout the year.”
2022 CB Denver Harris (North Shore)
“The game was super lit and the atmosphere was electrifying! Saw some good football from both teams and I will definitely be back to UT soon.”
2022 QB Quinn Ewers (Southlake Carroll)
“They fought hard but mistakes early in that game caused some problems at the end… But yeah, it’s always loud and the fans are wild”
2022 CB Austin Jordan (Denton Ryan)“Great experience for my first college game with a close game and a lot of adversity, very entertaining.”We’ll update more as we get them!
Pair of Longhorns Garner Weekly Awards
– Charlie S
Following the LSU game, a pair of Longhorns were honored with some weekly awards!
***Quarterback Sam Ehlinger nabbed the ‘Manning Star of the Week” award.
*** Wide receiver Devin Duvernay was named “Big 12 co-offensive player of the week”
Injury Update | BJ Foster
– Charlie S
Texas Head Coach Tom Herman announced Monday at his press conference that sophomore safety B.J. Foster, who leads the team in sacks and is second on the team in tackles, will be sidelined for at least a couple weeks with a hamstring issue.
DeMarvion Overshown is a candidate to fill in for Foster at nickel.
Herman added: “Fortunately that is our deepest position on the team”
Chris Del Conte Responds to Air Condition Rumors
– CJ Vogel
LSU Head Coach Ed Orgeron creates quite a stir on social media when he announced that the Tigers were tipped off by Louisiana Tech about the visiting locker room at DKR not having any air conditioning ahead of Saturday’s game.
Interestingly enough, Louisiana Tech Head Coach Skip Holtz made no comment about the locker room conditions following the week one loss to the Longhorns.
With LSU fans and many college football fans, in general, finding the incident to be petty and labeling it bush league, it led to Texas Athletic Director Chris Del Conte to leave an official response on the topic.
LSU received grief in the second quarter on defense when seemingly every other play there was a Tiger on the field reaching a leg or foot then jogging off soon after. Fans inside DKR weren’t the kindest to the banged up Tigers needless to say.
Regardless, the “petty wars” of visiting locker rooms in college football are anything but new.
ESPN Article: https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/20918212/visiting-locker-rooms-college-football-nice-reason
We’ll see in two weeks what Mike Gundy has to say when the Oklahoma State Cowboys come down to Austin for the start of Big 12.