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2020 Texas Football Season Thread: Win or GTFO

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1 minute ago, texifornia said:

All of those guys except Epps were takes for every program in the country. The evals weren't the problem.

I didn't mean evaluation of recruits.  I meant evaluation of your current roster.  Like when Herman said he had an amazing offensive line that first year.  That kinda thing.

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1 hour ago, fellside said:

Obviously it's too early to know for sure, but what's happening with Foster, Cook, Green, Eagles, Epps, etc. might suggest the failures of the previous coaches had less to do with scheme and more to do with culture/entitlement.  For this many starters to become bench players as they become upper classmen suggests either evaluation or true competition wasn't happening before.

Or maybe those guys have been taught bad habits for years and are now having to break them. Like Tex said, every program in the country wanted them. They received horrible coaching since day 1. If it were a culture/entitlement issue, it woudl be way more widespread than a couple DBs. Also, we've been taking loaded DB classes every year, so there will always have to be some really talented guys who don't get to start. Also neither Foster or Green are getting beat out by younger guys. They're getting beat out by seniors at their positions, which is what happens when you have depth and a talented roster. 

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Any rumors/speculation yet why Jacoby Jones didn't play last night?

Family issue, according to Nahlin.

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This DB group is pretty fucking good and the competition is making them better.  Jamison was always better than Cook coming out of high schools if you watched the tape.  It’s no surprise he’s locked in a spot.  Josh Thompson like a NFL player last game.  If this is how his fall camp has been, then we’re going to enjoy watching him play this year.  Sterns seems to have the coaches trust in lining the defense up.  He’s solid when healthy.  I love watching Brown play.  That guy loves contact, doesn’t make mistakes, and is great against the run.  Then you have Adimora who just looks like he’s trying to kick everyone’s ass out there and normally does.  I’m pumped to see Herman continue to recruit this level of prospects year and year out.

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28 minutes ago, victory88 said:

This DB group is pretty fucking good and the competition is making them better.  Jamison was always better than Cook coming out of high schools if you watched the tape.  It’s no surprise he’s locked in a spot.  Josh Thompson like a NFL player last game.  If this is how his fall camp has been, then we’re going to enjoy watching him play this year.  Sterns seems to have the coaches trust in lining the defense up.  He’s solid when healthy.  I love watching Brown play.  That guy loves contact, doesn’t make mistakes, and is great against the run.  Then you have Adimora who just looks like he’s trying to kick everyone’s ass out there and normally does.  I’m pumped to see Herman continue to recruit this level of prospects year and year out.

Are you talking about the same secondary that finished 125th out of 130 teams last year in passing yards allowed?  I'll withhold judgement until we play somebody with a pulse.

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1 hour ago, Blotto said:

Are you talking about the same secondary that finished 125th out of 130 teams last year in passing yards allowed?  I'll withhold judgement until we play somebody with a pulse.

Ah yes, I believe you’re referring to the secondary that was coached by Todd Orlando that is now no longer coached by Todd Orlando. 

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9 hours ago, texifornia said:

Hah, Marcus Washington's dad does good Twitter

 

Yeah - Dad is great - he's told the coaches, on twitter, on more than one occasion to put a boot to Marcus' ass if he steps out of line.

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6 minutes ago, texifornia said:

There's nice Texas section beneath the Rattler lovefest

 

I kind of hope you get punched in the dick for posting this tweet, but the stuff in the article on Texas was pretty good. The writer makes a good point that Yurcich emphasizes vertical attacks and we still need to see improvement from Sam on those throws for the offense to fully work.

I think we will though. He got visibly better at those in 2019.  Part of the reason Sam’s numbers on those throws are bad is because he usually chose to throw a jump ball down the sideline instead of throwing the ball away when nothing was open and thanks to our brilliant play calling, that’s happened to him a lot. 

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1 minute ago, texifornia said:

Sweet now go tell BJ Foster this unexpected revelation

 

Ha. In all seriousness, DMO balling out at LB could really help big safeties accept spinning down in the future, which is big because the state doesn’t produce many good LBs who actually played LB in HS. 

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12 minutes ago, texifornia said:

There's nice Texas section beneath the Rattler lovefest

 

Lmao Murray gets no respect. Like, he played just 2 seasons ago. It's really not hard to take 5 minutes to go back and see him making the exact same if not more impressive throws.

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Per the below, Ehlinger seemed to struggle more with intermediate passes last year than with deep shots, although the below graphic could just pertain to how often those zones were targeted...it's not really clear.  Someone needs to subscribe to PFF for a month, download their CFB preview mag, and paste every page onto a thread here in spoiler tags lol.

Texas1-768x432.png

 

Edited by Fozzz

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OB is saying that Mitchell was also pissed about playing time in the first half and left his gear on the sideline at half time but eventually came back out. Coaches and players had to console him. Hopefully this is just more of the drama that surrounds him and won't amount to much more than that.

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Just now, KYHorn said:

OB is saying that Mitchell was also pissed about playing time in the first half and left his gear on the sideline at half time but eventually came back out. Coaches and players had to console him. Hopefully this is just more of the drama that surrounds him and won't amount to much more than that.

Good lord that kid is such a princess.

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2 minutes ago, texifornia said:

Good lord that kid is such a princess.

He's the queen of all our princesses.

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21 minutes ago, KYHorn said:

OB is saying that Mitchell was also pissed about playing time in the first half and left his gear on the sideline at half time but eventually came back out. Coaches and players had to console him. Hopefully this is just more of the drama that surrounds him and won't amount to much more than that.

 

21 minutes ago, texifornia said:

Good lord that kid is such a princess.

He’s used up all his chances and been passed by a walk on. Later bro. 

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The RB rotation seemed a bit strange. Roschon started and played early and then didn't get back in until fairly late in the game.  I thought he had been injured or dinged up, and they were holding him out. Glad that wasn't the case.

 

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12 minutes ago, sunset87 said:

The RB rotation seemed a bit strange. Roschon started and played early and then didn't get back in until fairly late in the game.  I thought he had been injured or dinged up, and they were holding him out. Glad that wasn't the case.

 

That's what happens in blowout victories I guess.  It's been so long since we seen starters relax in a game

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2 hours ago, Burt Macklin said:

 

He’s used up all his chances and been passed by a walk on. Later bro. 

I'll pull for the kid to figure it out until he or the coaches decide to part ways. I don't care that I have to read about his flip-flopping. It's been a tough year on everyone.

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2 hours ago, sunset87 said:

The RB rotation seemed a bit strange. Roschon started and played early and then didn't get back in until fairly late in the game.  I thought he had been injured or dinged up, and they were holding him out. Glad that wasn't the case.

 

Herman made the point in the presser today that the offensive gameplan was more concentrated on getting the receivers involved and less about the run game.  He feels good about the RB rotation and it was a good opportunity to get some answers about the receivers.

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Quote

First, a flashback to the most impressive throw I've ever seen in person. It came in a spring game -- the 2009 Missouri spring game, to be exact.

Blaine Gabbert, the home-state, five-star QB, was prepping to become the starter. On one play in the scrimmage, the sophomore-to-be rolled left, couldn't find anyone open and attempted to throw the ball away. Only it didn't go out of bounds. He flicked his wrist and threw it approximately 115 yards beyond even the deepest receiver.

My memory exaggerates, so maybe it was only about 90 yards. Still, the way the ball left his hand was different. And it's the play I think of anytime you hear a scout say the words "arm talent." It's a pretentious phrase, but it's real. Massive arm talent isn't required to become a great quarterback, and having it doesn't make you great. (Case in point: Gabbert himself, whose Mizzou career was perfectly solid and whose pro career has been ... not as solid.) Still, you know it when you see it, though.

If you saw Oklahoma's 48-0 romp over Missouri State, you saw that arm talent basically every time Spencer Rattler threw the football. A few examples:

  • That's 52 easy yards from release to catch, almost off of his back foot. It looked as if the defensive back, assuming the ball couldn't possibly go any farther, cut in to break it up only to watch it go over his head. The ball was so pretty that I said, "Oooooooh" out loud on my sofa before I knew if there was a receiver waiting on the end of the pass. And then there he was.

  • Forty-seven yards on a rope after an almost casual throwing motion.

  • Forty-one yards downfield and into a tight sideline window.

In just one half of action, Rattler went 14-for-17 for 290 yards and four touchdowns. Two of his three incompletions were on the money but were dropped. He threw short passes with finesse, and long passes with staggering accuracy and just the right arc. I'm not here to proclaim that he's going to be better than all of the recent, ridiculous lineage of OU quarterbacks -- Sam Bradford, Landry Jones, Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, Jalen Hurts -- and I'm not going to predict multiple Heismans. But when it comes to pure arm talent, this is about the most we've seen from a Sooners QB.

Rattler versus recent Sooners greats

Rattler wasn't perfect, of course. He scrambled into trouble a couple of times, and one of those aforementioned drops came when a receiver couldn't handle an absolute missile at short distance. But as far as debuts go, it's hard to ask for much more.

Out of curiosity, I wanted to compare his debut to that of other recent Sooners starters. Here are the first starts for all recent OU starters since 1999, when the Sooners and the Air Raid offense first began dating exclusively.

  • (1999) Josh Heupel vs. Indiana State: 31-for-40 for 341 yards, five TDs and one INT (185.4 passer rating)

  • (2001) Nate Hybl vs. North Carolina: 20-for-29 for 152 yards, no TDs and one INT (106.1)

  • (2003) Jason White vs. North Texas: 23-for-35 for 248 yards, three TDs and one INT (147.8)

  • (2005) Rhett Bomar vs. Tulsa: 5-for-13 for 42 yards, no TDs and two INTs (34.8)

  • (2006) Paul Thompson vs. UAB: 14-for-24 for 227 yards, two TDs and two INTs (148.6)

  • (2007) Sam Bradford vs. North Texas: 21-for-23 for 363 yards, three TDs and no INTs (266.9)

  • (2009) Landry Jones vs. Idaho State: 18-for-32 for 286 yards, three TDs and one INT (156.0)

  • (2013) Trevor Knight vs. ULM: 11-for-28 for 86 yards, three TDs and one INT (93.3)

  • (2013) Blake Bell vs. Tulsa: 27-for-37 for 413 yards, four TDs and no INTs (202.4)

  • (2015) Baker Mayfield vs. Akron: 23-for-33 for 388 yards, three TDs and no INTs (198.5)

  • (2018) Kyler Murray vs. FAU: 9-for-11 for 209 yards, two TDs and no INTs (301.4)

  • (2019) Jalen Hurts vs. Houston: 20-for-23 for 332 yards, three TDs and no INTs (251.3)

  • (2020) Spencer Rattler vs. Missouri State: 14-for-17 for 290 yards, four TDs and no INTs (303.3)

Based on passer rating, the top five debuts were Rattler, Murray, Bradford, Hurts and the Belldozer, Blake. Adjust for opponent, and Murray and Hurts probably jump ahead of the rest, followed by Rattler and Bradford. Regardless, Rattler's performance holds up against some ferocious peers.

 

Spencer Rattler threw for 290 yards on 14-of-17 passing and four touchdowns, all in the first half, in Oklahoma's dominating win. David Stacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Now all he has to do is the same thing over and over and over again.

Granted, the Big 12 didn't exactly cover itself in glory on Saturday. It went 0-3 against the Sun Belt. Texas Tech tried really hard to lose to Houston Baptist, an FCS team, and aside from OU and Texas, only West Virginia managed to rise in the SP+ rankings this week. (Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Tech fell by an average of nine spots.) But if nothing else, a variety of defensive attacks awaits Rattler in conference play.

• Even if Kansas State can't quite shore up the weaknesses exposed by Arkansas State -- ASU's Logan Bonner and Layne Hatcher combined to go 23-for-36 for 265 yards, four touchdowns and one pick, and the Red Wolves averaged 6.9 yards per play overall -- by Sept. 26 and a battle with Oklahoma, a trip to Iowa State awaits Oct. 3. Though the Cyclones' offense was awfully shaky in Saturday's loss to Louisiana, the defense was fine until late, and navigating defensive coordinator Jon Heacock's tricky 3-3-5 is a learning experience for a lot of young QBs.

• After ISU comes the Red River Rivalry, and Texas has both a new defensive coordinator (Chris Ash) and all the experience in the secondary it didn't have a year ago. The Horns held UTEP to three points and 3.2 yards per play Saturday, but that's obviously not saying much.

• We don't yet know what late-season opponents such as WVU or Baylor will have to offer, but post-Red River there are still a couple of solid tests. First, OU plays at TCU on Oct. 24. Then on Nov. 21, Oklahoma State comes to town. Both opponents have serious levels of experience and physicality in their safety corps, and both could make life hard for what is still a pretty new OU receiving corps.

• If all goes well, then after those tests will come a rematch against Texas or whichever team is good enough to get past the Horns in the standings.

Losing the Tennessee nonconference game to reshuffling because of the coronavirus pandemic meant losing the single-biggest defensive obstacle on the schedule, but there are always lessons to learn. We'll see how many mistakes Rattler can either avoid or make the smallest possible number of times moving forward.

Another Big 12 blueblood had a key debut of sorts

 

play

2:07

Ehlinger throws for 426 yards, 5 TDs in Texas' opener

Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger has a dominant night in the pocket, completing 25 of 33 passes for 426 yards and five touchdowns as he leads the Longhorns to a 59-3 rout of UTEP.

Not to be outdone, Texas' Sam Ehlinger has all the experience Rattler lacks. He threw his first collegiate pass more than three years ago and has 9,300 passing yards, 73 passing TDs and another 25 rushing TDs. If he wanted to take advantage of the "everybody gets a free year of eligibility" rule and return in 2021 -- and my guess is that he won't -- he could theoretically finish his career with something in the neighborhood of 16,000-17,000 passing yards.

(If you're wondering, Houston's Case Keenum is the all-time yardage leader at 19,217, but Hawaii's second-place Timmy Chang, at 17,072 could be catchable in this scenario.)

In an attempt to catch up to annual Big 12 champion OU, however, Texas head coach Tom Herman brought in a new offensive coordinator, former Oklahoma State OC and Ohio State passing game coordinator Mike Yurcich.

At both OSUs, Yurcich's system proved devastating in stretching the field vertically. Ehlinger is an efficiency machine. He's a burly runner, and his quick passes to Devin Duvernay on the perimeter last year basically served as a second running game for racking up a high success rate. His deep ball, however, could improve. Of his passes thrown at least 20 yards downfield in 2019, he completed only 38% at 36.1 yards per completion with a 3.9% interception rate. Those aren't terrible, but compare them to a couple of recent Yurcich proteges:

  • Ohio State's Justin Fields on passes thrown 20-plus yards downfield in 2019: 44% completion rate, 34.3 yards per completion, 1.7% INT rate

  • Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph, 2015-17: 44% completion rate, 41.1 yards per completion, 3.0% INT rate

Fields was almost mistake-free on downfield passes last year, and Rudolph was one of the most explosive passers in recent memory. If Ehlinger can become more like them and less like 2018 Cowboys starter Taylor Cornelius (38%, 33.8 yards per completion, 6.0% INT rate), the Texas offense might have another gear.

Against UTEP on Saturday, Ehlinger wasn't asked to wing the ball deep downfield all that often, but the intermediate passing was good. We saw other benefits of the Yurcich spread. With Texas receivers stretched the field both horizontally and vertically, stressing overwhelmed Miners defensive backs into mistakes and huge catch-and-run situations, like this one to Joshua Moore on the opening play of the game.

UTEP is only a step or two above Missouri State, so we can't draw much from this performance. But if we're crediting Rattler for how he looked against overwhelmed defenses, we have to do the same for Ehlinger because a stat line of 25-for-33 for 426 yards (17 yards per completion!) and five touchdowns in a 59-3 win is pretty solid.

Special teams: On full display

Louisiana bought time for its struggling offense with not one but two return scores against Iowa State, then put away a surprisingly easy win when the offense came to life late. Texas State battled back from a huge deficit against UTSA and tied the score late in regulation with a thrilling punt return score. But the Bobcats fell short when they missed the go-ahead PAT, then pushed a chip-shot field goal attempt wide in overtime. Florida State blocked two Georgia Tech field goal attempts to stay ahead longer than it should have. (Tech eventually eased ahead and won.) Arkansas State has had punts blocked in each of its first two games.

EDITOR'S PICKS

This was as wild a special-teams weekend as we've seen. The numbers bear that out. Let's compare this season's first two weeks, which featured just 29 total FBS games, with last year's, which featured over 150.

  • Field goals attempts blocked: 7 in 2019 (1.8% of all field goal attempts), 5 in 2020 (6.8%)

  • Return touchdowns: 7 in 2019 (0.3% of all kickoffs and punts), 4 in 2020 (2.4%)

  • Field goal attempt success rate: 74% in 2019 (average length: 36.0), 66% in 2020 (35.7)

  • PAT success rate: 97.9% in 2019, 95.5% in 2020

  • Punts blocked: 7 in 2019 (0.6% of all punts), 3 in 2020 (1.5%)

 

We're seeing a percentage of nearly four times as many blocked field goal attempts -- and kicks returned for scores is almost eight times higher. Kickers are missing far more despite field goal attempts of around the same average length.

Because of the drastically altered practice schedule, positive tests and quarantines, we knew coaching staffs has less time time to implement their systems. But it's clear that altered special-teams practice has had a massive effect. It also seems that while offenses and defenses might be able to handle unexpected shuffling, plugging in new guys on coverage units or PAT protection could result in a lot more botched blocks and tackles.

College football's collective special teams units are rusty, and I would assume that rights itself over time. But It's easy to wonder just how many more games will be directly impacted by these miscues.

 

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5 hours ago, Burt Macklin said:

I kind of hope you get punched in the dick for posting this tweet, but the stuff in the article on Texas was pretty good. The writer makes a good point that Yurcich emphasizes vertical attacks and we still need to see improvement from Sam on those throws for the offense to fully work.

I think we will though. He got visibly better at those in 2019.  Part of the reason Sam’s numbers on those throws are bad is because he usually chose to throw a jump ball down the sideline instead of throwing the ball away when nothing was open and thanks to our brilliant play calling, that’s happened to him a lot. 

 

 

 

 

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Herman said freshman QB Ja’Quinden Jackson is “medically available” but probably needs more time to rebuild his confidence after the knee injury. "I'd like to get JJ into a game at some point." 

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so there's basically no redshirt rules this season right? JQJ could play in every game and still be a RS Freshman next year?

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so there's basically no redshirt rules this season right? JQJ could play in every game and still be a RS Freshman next year?

The way I understand it is this year basically doesn’t count toward eligibility. They could play and redshirt next year. And still get 5 to play 4. Apparently scholarship numbers will be adjusted to compensate for this for a few years.

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Well walking around Austin with a loaded gun effected you pretty good, so maybe cool your jets on the "lol haterz" social media posts for a hot second.

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18 minutes ago, texifornia said:

 

I haven’t done a rewatch or anything, but Overshown looked pretty natural at LB, especially for a guy who’s never played it before and came to camp late. He did a good job on the play above and a few others finding fits in the run game, which is usually what a converted safety struggles with the most in making that transition. 
There were some really encouraging signs from him.
Jacquess  is really damn good at reading the run game, but he doesn’t drop in zone well and wouldn’t hold up well chasing RBs and TEs in man. We really need Overshown to take to the position quickly and the first game was an encouraging sign. 

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Boyd on Thompson

One of the hardest parts about offseason prognostication is anticipating which previously unknown players are going to emerge in an impactful fashion. I've been breaking down Big 12 recruiting classes for roughly the last half decade and have year over year updated depth charts for every team and I still lose track of which teams might have promising talent in the pipeline. It happens every year though, there's always a new skill player that takes advantage of solid infrastructure around him to emerge in a big way, particularly at Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. There's also often the guy that no one really knows much about who's emergence at one of the other Big 12 schools proves immensely consequential and helps them shoot up the rankings.

Here at Flyover Football though we often concern ourselves primarily with the new players at space force positions. An athletic new linebacker is exciting for a team, but an unexpectedly athletic cornerback or wide receiver is a bigger deal. If you have a star athlete in a space force position where 1-on-1 battles occur regularly, you've just gained a substantial advantage when it comes to winning Big 12 games.

There were a few players that caught my eye as I took in some games around the league.

Josh Thompson: Cornerback, Texas

One of my big questions for Texas in their move to playing a 4-2-5 this season under Chris Ash was "who's getting left 1-on-1 against vertical routes?"

Every Big 12 offense at this point, and particularly the one mentioned in the section above, is pretty darn good at finding the 1-on-1 matchup so they can throw the ball on a vertical route. If the offense gets into a 3x1 set (trips formation) they can really cause problems. A 4-2-5 defense can only shade safety help to two or maybe 2.5 receivers, someone is going to get left 1-on-1. Sometimes that's the nickel, which is a tough assignment. Especially for Texas where they're playing the 215 pound sophomore Chris Adimora in that role because of the run-stopping duties that also tend to fall to that position.

The better way is to ask one of your cornerbacks to be able to hold up 1-on-1 without help over the top. That's the route Texas took against UTEP and they left Thompson on an island fairly often. UTEP recognized it and took three notable shots at him, including this fade:

This is "solo" or "poach" coverage. The field safety is playing over the top to help the nickel and the boundary safety is opening to the field so that he can help over the top of the middle linebacker if that third receiver (from the sideline) goes vertical. This is a great coverage for protecting the nickel from slot fades without losing your help over the other slot. This is a terrible coverage for protecting your boundary cornerback from 1-on-1 deep shots, he could potentially be left isolated on a post (depends on the boundary safety and what's holding his attention) and he's definitely all alone outside of the numbers.

Obviously in this instance Texas won that matchup decisively. Thompson also broke up a backside fade playing in cover 3 and defended a post route in quarters playing to the wide side of the field.

At 6-0 and perhaps 210 pounds, Thompson is a big, powerful dude that is also uniquely fast. At a SPARQ event in high school he ran a 4.57 40 and posted a 40.4" vertical. In other words, he's explosive. He's come a long way at Texas in coverage, in their 2018 matchup with West Virginia Texas had to play Thompson in place of injured starting nickel P.J. Locke and Dana Holgorsen attacked him with motions to force him into the box against the run as well as slot fades to David Sills. Holgorsen was rewarded for that targeting and the Mountaineers won a shootout in Austin.

But if things are coming together for Thompson now as an older player, as tends to happen, it is a game changer for the Texas defense. If the Longhorns can bracket the other receivers with Caden Sterns and senior Chris Brown while trusting Thompson to hold up (big if) then they're going to be very strong on defense this season. This is perhaps the no. 1 thing to watch for in Texas' Big 12 opener against Texas Tech, who has legitimate outside receivers in T.J. Vasher and Erik Ezukanma.

Edited by texifornia

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This! 995 and some fans are obsessed with cfb player weights. 

 

Edited by Goodman

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